Change and growth in risk management practices and demographics has morphed education programs, ranging from basic to master’s programs, classroom-based and online, according to education experts.
With baby boomers holding high positions in the industry leaving the workforce, those replacing them often need introductory insurance courses, said Daniel Kugler, assistant treasurer, risk management, Snap-On Inc. in Kenosha Wis., and director student involvement for the Risk and Insurance Management Society.
“People search out technical education to broaden their perspective,” he said. “They’re looking for courses such as the fundamentals of insurance. Most have been placed into risk management positions and don’t have risk management experience. They need to learn the basics about an insurance policy.”
Mr. Kugler, who teaches risk management and insurance courses through RIMS, as well as The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research and the International Center for Captive Insurance Education, said risk professionals also are seeking courses about the fundamentals of risk management, claims and claims management.
On the other side of the coin, some are looking to enhance their career and learn more about enterprise and strategic risk management, he said.
“Even at the higher levels, they are looking at areas where they need to improve,” he said, noting that risk managers are continually looking to expand their résumés. “It’s critical that people have a broader perspective,” Mr. Kugler said.
He also highlighted a younger demographic for the risk management profession. Individuals entering the industry want practical information on how to implement and how to affect change at the undergraduate level, he said.
He noted differences in risk management education today versus 10 years ago. A number of schools now offer MBA degrees with an emphasis in risk management, he said, whereas in the past risk management usually was part of a general insurance program.
Students now also have many choices in how they want to take those courses. Some are taught in the classroom, and many are web-based, including podcasts and webinars.
Another place where there is increased interest, he said, is specialized education. For example, Mr. Kugler teaches a web-based captive fundamentals class for ICCIE. Specialty programs such as this give risk managers the opportunity to hone their skills and careers to the needs of their organizations, he said.
ICCIE’s captive courses, he said, attract a number of people from the United States, Bermuda and the Caymans.
“We’ve had classes as large as 25. It’s what I would consider a fairly large introductory class, and we run it two to three times a year,” he explained.
Students taking the class are asked how many years they have spent in the captive industry, “and it ranges from none to 25 years,” he said.
RIMS also has responded to demand by continually expanding its lineup to include strategic risk management, directors & officers, captive insurance, and supply-chain risk management courses, Mr. Kugler observed.
These are typically two-day, in-person courses, with practicing risk managers teaching professional development courses throughout the country. They also have online courses and podcasts and offer the RIMS fellow designation, which he said is “growing and making significant progress.”
An interesting designation introduced two years ago by the Insurance Institute of America is the Associate in Risk Management-ERM, with an added module for ERM taught by RIMS for professionals seeking the ARMe designation.
RIMS and IIA collaborated for an essay test on a case study and how an ERM process would be implemented, he said.
IIA also offers the Risk Management for Public Entities course. Students who pass that course in addition to required ARM exams can earn an Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities designation.
The National Alliance, Mr. Kugler said, offers the Certified Risk Managers International (CRM) designation, for which he teaches courses. “Here you’re looking at 25 people in a professional development course,” he said. “People in the group sometimes develop a peer-to-peer relationship and stay in touch afterward.”
Those courses consist of a two-day case study “to give takeaways to improve your current job,” he said.
The CRM designation attracts risk managers as well as agents and brokers and insurance underwriters who want to “get a handle on how to work with risk managers and understand risk management,” he said.
Mr. Kugler noted that the question comes up whether risk managers should pursue a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation or a Master of Business Administration. His opinion, he said, is to “get the MBA.”
He explained that the RIMS Benchmark Survey has shown that “most of us report into the financial area. If you’re like me, coming up through an insurer background, the need to get the finance or business perspective, to get to the chief risk officer’s position and maybe a treasurer’s position or a chief financial officer’s position, you need to broaden yourself outside of this field of expertise.”
The increasing desire for those in the risk management industry to pursue a master’s program, he said, is “indicative of the influence of ERM on the industry.”
Becoming a profession that significantly contributes to a company is important, Mr. Kugler said, noting, “The joke always was, ‘go to that cube down the hall there, that’s the insurance guy.’”
RIMS, he said, has itself seen an evolution, from being “an association of insurance buyers, moving to risk management and now to strategic ERM.”
Yet RIMS still focuses on those risk professionals who for various reasons will never make the transition.
“RIMS has done a fantastic job in broadening their offerings yet not leaving behind the traditional risk manager—who does everything from claim administration, insurance purchasing, maybe running a captive—but has not moved into a chief risk officer-type position,” he said.
ACTUARIES EMBRACE ERM
Barry Franklin, director, Corporate Risk Consulting with Towers Watson in Chicago and vice president-ERM on the Executive Council with the Casualty Actuarial Society, said, “ERM is part of the DNA” of the CAS. He noted that part of the group’s centennial goal—set for the 100th anniversary coming up in 2014—is for actuaries “to be recognized as experts in the evaluation of enterprise risk, particularly in the property-casualty industry.”
CAS, he said, does a lot of research and education in enterprise risk, going back to 2001, when it introduced its first ERM seminar, now the annual ERM Symposium.
“The core education syllabus of the CAS has always reflected a healthy dose of risk management material,” he said. “So at some level, we would almost consider the core actuarial designations of Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society and Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society [both achieved after members pass a required number of examinations on insurance topics] as risk management designations. We also have an online instructor-led course in ERM.”
Most recently, he said, CAS became one of 14 international actuarial actuary organizations to sign a treaty establishing the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst designation to bring consistency in education in this area. CERA, he said, is a globally recognized ERM designation.
“Each of the authorized organizations will be able to issue the CERA to their members—a fairly significant step,” he said.
The designation will entail completion of an actuarial designation and some rigorous ERM material.
“These people will all be qualified actuaries and qualified for the chief risk officer position,” he said. The CERA coursework also appeals to “a chief actuary who wants to be more well-rounded and to have a broader business perspective.”
As actuaries, Mr. Franklin noted, “we always thought we had an important role to play in risk management.” Now that ERM has caught on and is considered a true discipline rather than a passing fad, the CERA effort seeks to establish that role for actuaries “with a credential that people will recognize.”
Both current and future actuaries are among the target groups for the credential. On one hand, he said it’s an effort to broaden the reach of actuaries and provide greater opportunity to current actuaries, but it’s also part of an ongoing effort of the actuarial profession to attract more well-rounded candidates, “as opposed to those who are just quantitative experts.”
He added, “We’d like to attract people with broader business skills as well. It will be a benefit to the actuaries and the users of our services.”
The treaty has been signed and a number of organizations have been approved, he said. “The CAS’s application is currently under review. There is a rigorous process to make sure you have the appropriate standards and testing.”