IBAO Education—A New Direction

Simon Liang—Education Program Lead, IBAO

Obtaining your license is the initial challenge in becoming a broker. Subsequently, it demands significant effort to acquire the technical knowledge required to explain insurance products and provide professional advice to clients. 

Since the launch of the Commercial Insurance Certificate program in October 2019, we’ve seen the significant impact foundational learning has had on brokers across Canada. Continuing this mission, in July 2023, we introduced the latest program designed to address a fundamental aspect of the Ontario Automobile Policy titled: Auto Insurance Foundations: SABS for Personal Lines & Commercial Lines Brokers.

When I first joined the IBAO, I often wondered how newly licensed brokers could eventually become experts in their specific insurance niches—whether it’s dealing with large commercial fleets, farm, cyber, specialty insurance, or mastering personal lines products. Having worked at IBAO for two and a half years, I’ve noticed that the path to becoming a great broker isn’t always straightforward. Typically, there’s a period of shadowing and internal training involved. Here we identified a gap in the industry’s education offerings.

We aspire to be different, provide the necessary stepping stones and act as the guiding light for aspiring brokers. Our Education Team aims to speed up the process of becoming well-versed and confident in serving clients by creating a catalogue of programs that are practical, beginner-friendly and foundational for most brokers.

In collaboration with IBAO’s expert Continuing Education facilitator, Jo Anne Mitchell, Owner-Consultant at Effective Training and Communication Plus, and Wayne Briggs, a seasoned industry professional with over 45 years of experience, we committed to creating a comprehensive course, leaving no stone unturned.

Right from the initial course outline, our team and subject matter experts engaged in debates, challenging each section to ensure it was understandable for new brokers and that content was adequately covered. Fast forward a couple of months through numerous meetings, control groups with industry volunteers, and more than a few cups of coffee, the program was finally complete. 

The initial response has been overwhelmingly positive. Brokers in charge of training at their brokerage were given the opportunity to test the material to see if it would be a good fit, and all have given it an enthusiastic thumbs up. 

This is only the beginning of what we have in store for IBAO Members. With new projects underway, you can expect more foundational educational content coming your way aimed at empowering your brokerage with thoughtful, quality education. If you have any questions about our programs or ideas you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to connect with us at education@ibao.on.ca.

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