Continuing Education for Insurance Agents - Ontario

Financial Services Commission of Ontario – Licensing Information

To the attention of all insurance companies licensed to transact life insurance in Ontario

As a follow-up to the March 14, 1995 bulletin, "Implementation Plan for Life Agent Reform," the Ontario Insurance Commission (OIC) is reiterating and elaborating on the continuing education (CE) requirement for life agents.This requirement is a key component of the Life Agent Reform initiative and came into effect on February 1, 1995 (see OIC Bulletins No. 27/94 and No. LH-1/95 - Life and Health). Under this requirement, each Level I and Level II life agent licensed in Ontario (resident and nonresident) is required to:

  • complete 30 hours of CE every two years; and
  • Keep a proper record of this training for possible review by the OIC. (An explanation of proper record keeping can be found elsewhere in this Bulletin.)

Hours of CE taken beyond the minimum requirement within any period of time may not be used to meet the CE requirement for subsequent periods. These hours represent the time that a person actually spends attending a course or program. In the case of correspondence programs, the time that will be recognized as meeting the CE requirement is number of hours that the course provider indicates, beforehand, that the course or program would take to complete. Time spent in self-study of life insurance, such as reading newspapers, trade journals or discussion with colleagues, does not qualify.

Each agent is required to keep accurate records of courses or programs taken for the current and immediately preceding licensing periods. He or she should obtain, from the course or program provider, a receipt or similar document verifying attendance or completion of a course or program of a specified number of hours. The OIC may require an agent to submit these records.

Records must include the:

  • name of the course provider;
  • name of the course/program;
  • course/program outline;
  • date/duration of the course/program;
  • final mark achieved in the course/program, if tests were held; and
  • number of CE hours being claimed for meeting the CE requirement.

No agent can claim CE credit hours for a course/program that he/she was registered for but did not attend. Hours spent on courses that an agent fails also cannot count for credit.

CE will assist agents, as professional financial advisers, in providing the highest level of service to their customers. The CE requirement sets a minimum standard of knowledge for agents in Ontario. CE is required by regulation, and failure to meet the CE requirement will be subject to the consequences and processes governing agents.

The OIC does not approve, recommend, or endorse specific courses, programs, or providers. CE can be acquired in a number of ways.

  • Insurance companies provide seminars and educational programs for agents.
  • Associations such as the Life Underwriters Association of Canada (LUAC) and the Life Office Management Association (LOMA) sponsor courses and hold conferences.
  • Universities and community colleges include courses for agents in their offerings.
  • Professional insurance course providers organize professional development programs for agents.
  • "Distance education" schools offer correspondence courses in life insurance.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans does not issue CEU's. Most provinces that license professionals or organizations that require recertification credit for professional designations will accept International Foundation programs for their continuing education requirements. The International Foundation’s procedures for monitoring attendance, retention of records, preparation of handout material and length of class hours are in compliance with most mandated professional continuing education regulations.

Contact Information

Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)
Licensing and Market Conduct Division
5160 Yonge Street
Box 85, 4th floor
Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6L9

Phone: (416) 250-7250
Toll free: 1-800-668-0128
Fax: (416) 226-7838
E-mail: elicence@fsco.gov.on.ca

Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO)

The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO) is the self-regulatory body for insurance brokers in Ontario. Established in October 1981, RIBO regulates the licensing, professional competence, ethical conduct, and insurance related financial obligations of all independent general insurance brokers in the province.

Course Accreditation

The International Foundation will submit any Canadian Educational Programs to RIBO for consideration by the Accreditation Committee. Approval information will be promoted in publications and on the Program’s web site as it is received.

RIBO Continuing Education Summary for the 2012/2013 term.

Continuing Education

Requirements

Principal Brokers and Deputy Principal Brokers:

10 hours of continuing education credits every year between October 1st and September 30th. A minimum of 5 hours must be in the Management category. The remaining hours may be in the Management or Technical category. There is a carryover of a maximum of 10 hours (or one term's requirements) allowed for the next term (requirement of minimum of 5 hours in the Management category still applicable).

All other licensed individuals:

8 hours of continuing education credits every year between October 1st and September 30th in any category. There is a carryover of a maximum of 8 hours (or one term's requirements) allowed for the next term.

Newly licensed individuals:

The continuing education program of 8 hours every year between October 1st and September 30th will begin the first October following registration. Individuals are only exempted for the remainder of the license year that they were registered.

E.g. Broker A was registered on November 1, 2007 and Broker B was registered on April 30, 2008. Neither Broker A, nor Broker B will be required to have accumulated any continuing education credits by September 30, 2008, but must begin taking the continuing education seminars/courses on October 1, 2008.

Monitoring and Compliance

Monitoring

Do not send the continuing education certificates to RIBO. Each individual is responsible for their continuing education hours and certificates as the continuing education program is self-regulatory. It is recommended that each individual maintain a Continuing Education Record Sheet and folder to place the certificates received from seminar providers. There will be a question on the annual renewal form to declare compliance with the Continuing Education Program. For spot check purposes, continuing education certificates should be kept for 5 years to indicate compliance with the Continuing Education Program. The Principal Broker will be responsible for ensuring that licensed individuals comply with RIBO requirements.

Non-compliance

Penalties for non-compliance will be imposed by the Qualification and Registration Committee. Non-compliance by:

Principal Brokers

Will result in the registration of the Principal Broker being referred to the Qualification and Registration Committee to review and revoke the Principal Broker status. This may also result in the brokerage firm being subject to review by the Qualification and Registration Committee for non-compliance of the Principal Broker requirement.

Deputy Principal Brokers and all other licensed individuals

Will result in the suspension of the license until full compliance has been met.