SA insurance education shake-up on the cards for the new year

With an increasing shift to technology-based knowledge exchange and louder calls for skills and competencies that plug into the needs of 4IR-transformed workplaces, South Africa’s financial services Sector is on the cusp of an education revolution. 1 March 2022 will usher in a new era, with the launch of The Insurance Framework of Occupations, a ground-breaking learning model that reinvents education in South Africa’s insurance space.  

Powered by The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS), in partnership with the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA), The Insurance Framework of Occupations is an internationally benchmarked and globally recognised framework that is linked to the IISA professional designations. It offers future-fit education pathways and recognition of prior learning, charting a solid career path from the level of a Novice (NQF 5) to a Master (NQF 8).

The framework will provide a refreshing and much-needed pivot to the current system, which is both archaic and obsolete in the context of current realities and workplace skills and competencies requirements.

Delegates attending the annual African Insurance Exchange 2021 conference received a glimpse of the framework’s innovative offering when Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO of GIFS (pictured above left), unveiled details.

“At GIFS, we are not just rethinking education; we are completely reinventing it with The Insurance Framework of Occupations,” Dr Pillay explained. “The strong application element of the framework allows for occupationally robust individuals to add significant value to organisations as soon as they qualify. Essentially, what you have are fully skilled, occupationally versed professionals who are plugged into a streamlined talent development pipeline. From an overarching industry perspective, this ensures a constant flow of workplace-skilled insurance individuals to offset the number of industry connoisseurs who are exiting the sector.”

The framework is designed to be concise, simple, and fully personalised, paving the way for multiple entry and exit points. “If, for instance, you have years of solid experience, we will conduct a pre-assessment, the results of which will determine whether you can be fast-tracked through the framework channel to an NQF Level 6,” said Dr Pillay. “However, if you are relatively new to the insurance space, the framework will start you on an NQF 5 footing and guide you through the education funnel until you qualify at an NQF Level 8 as an industry Fellow.”

Thokozile Mahlangu, CEO of the IISA (pictured above right), says the framework is a game-changer. “As a firm advocate for practical learning application and tangible learning, I believe The Insurance Framework of Occupations will provide significant value to many insurance practitioners. The framework being aligned to the IISA designations is something that is much needed in our sector. It provides an alternate, robust pathway for insurance practitioners to access designations, as opposed to a traditional way of obtaining a qualification.”