Loss adjusters and insurers seek single professional qualification

The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) have set up a joint working party to discuss how the two groups can work closer on the issue of professional examinations.

In a joint statement, the groups said the decision had been made in "preparation for a much greater degree of industry regulation" and its findings will be published during the summer of 2002.

CILA president Gerald Williams told Insurance Times: "We are interested in talking to the CII about working closely with them concerning our examinations and how we can share information.

"With more regulation governing the market, it seems only natural we should find a way in which the whole industry can benefit from just one qualification."

He said it was too early to talk about the way the processes or methods of examinations would work or whether the examination fees and subscriptions would be split between both institutes.

"These are very much exploratory discussions," he said.

Asked whether these talks would lead to a possible merger between

CILA and the CII, he stressed that this "has not and never will" be on the agenda.

CILA has recently established the Society of Claims Technicians (SCT), with Miller Fisher's ex-managing director Bev Fitzgerald as its chairman. The SCT has created a foundation level of qualification for people working in claims handling, and in particular the call centres.

"We recognised some years ago that polarisation was coming in the loss adjusting market and that the high volume, low value market needed a qualification to instil a sense of professionalism in its claims handling divisions and call centres," said Williams.

A number of major insurers have already approached the SCT and want all their staff to adopt the qualifications.

CILA executive director Graham Cave confirmed to Insurance Times that Avon Insurance was one of the companies which had taken an interest.

The working party will consist of Sandy Scott, director general of the CII; Chris Miller, chairman of CILA's examination committee; and Tony Clack, CILA's education officer.

The CII has 65,000 members while CILA has 2,400 members