Insurance professionals are to be offered a new qualification which lets them tell their clients they are up to speed on IT issues.

The CII and the British Computer Society have teamed up to offer the first ever award covering information technology issues and responsibilities for the insurance industry.

The award, to be called The Certificate in IT for Insurance Professionals, is aimed at IT users looking to expand their knowledge of insurance and people already in insurance who are looking to expand their IT skills.

The award can also be used as a credit towards the CII's Associateship or Certificate of Insurance Practice qualifications.

"The insurance industry is especially reliant on computer systems to provide the level or service expected by customers," said CII director of qualifications and research Tony Tudor.

"The qualification offers an opportunity for those who want to have recognition of their knowledge and understanding."

Examinations, run by the BCS, will be held in April and will cost £70 for CII or BCS members. There is also a self-study book available from the CII priced £45 and an optional correspondence course is also available.

Details about the course, which concludes with a three-hour exam, are being mailed to employers and to CII examination candidates. There are no formal entry requirements.