Filed Under:Markets, E&S/Specialty

Update: NAPSLO Education Initiatives

Education Program expands with opportunities for E&S professionals in all phases of career

A key benefit of NAPSLO membership, the association’s education and career development program offerings continue to expand. The newest addition to the NAPSLO lineup, Professional Selling Skills, was first offered in August to a sold-out class of students from across the country.

“We were very pleased with the inaugural Professional Selling Skills course,” said Randall Jones, NAPSLO’s director of education. “The class was a success by all measures and with some slight improvements moving forward we look forward to offering it in several locations during 2014. The next course will be offered in Los Angeles on Jan. 14-15, 2014. We will announce dates beyond the January course soon and hope to offer the course in additional cities such as Atlanta, Dallas, New York City and San Francisco.”

The Professional Selling Skills course is offered in a small group environment and the design is specifically tailored to real world E&S account placement situations between wholesale and retail agents, and wholesale agents and market underwriters. The school is presented in conjunction with Richardson, a leading global sales training and strategy execution company.

Pre-course, students utilize Richardson’s SkillGauge assessment tool to identify topics for emphasis. During the two-day on-site course students learn from real-life examples that augment a customized Consultative Selling training program, which teaches students to look at sales as an interactive process. Post-course, attendees can access Richardson’s online QuickSkills review program, selecting modules of particular interest to reinforce learning.

“We believe this course complements our existing courses on leadership and the surplus lines industry by targeting employees who handle sales and transact the placement and underwriting of business for their organizations,” says NAPSLO Education Committee Co-Chair Joel Cavaness. “We think attendees benefit from the more personalized one-on-one interaction between the students and instructors.”

The new course joins NAPSLO’s existing lineup of offerings, which are constantly adapting to meet the ever-changing professional development needs of members throughout their E&S careers. NAPSLO’s original course, the Excess and Surplus Lines School (E&S) is a three-day school designed as an introductory course for insurance professionals with less than five years of surplus lines experience, and has been offered since 1990. E&S School students gain a solid understanding of how excess and surplus lines insurance works in the marketplace. E&S students analyze and discuss real-world issues and leave with a foundational understanding of the dynamics and relationships between surplus lines brokers and carriers.

The NAPSLO Marcus Payne Advanced School, offered each fall, is the next step in the NAPSLO school progression. Advanced School students have five to 15 years of surplus lines experience and learn about industry regulatory issues, marketing, the claims process and reinsurance impacts on the insurance industry. Advanced School students spend three days in an on-site classroom learning from industry professionals who bring years of real-world expertise to the school. Students leave the program with comprehensive information that can be directly applied to their businesses.

NAPSLO’s Executive Leadership School is the capstone course in the schools progression and is offered for senior-level executives with more than 10-15 years of experience in the industry. The course is staffed by professors at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and emphasizes how to successfully develop and implement strategic planning and leadership and change management at the personal, team and organizational level. 

“Students in the ELS course are busy executive level professionals but we repeatedly hear that the experience is enriching both personally and professionally and the time commitment is well worth it,” says NAPSLO Education Committee Co-Chair Jacque Schaendorf. “Graduates tell us that the time invested yields a great return in terms of being able to apply the information back at home. The NAPSLO schools really build on one another, and this course is a true value in the way it helps senior-level professionals look at their teams and their business.

Jones says NAPSLO’s Education Committee plans to build on the success of the existing schools and courses with the addition of a Management Operations School for operational-management professionals that work under the executive level in their organization. Like the ELS, the new school will be presented in conjunction with a recognized university’s School of Business and is slated to happen in January 2015. The school will be taught by both business school professors for general management skills and NAPSLO professionals for surplus lines specific skills.

“The committee and NAPSLO are excited to work on the details of this new Management Operations School,” says Schaendorf. “The curriculum will incorporate solutions and best practices for day-to-day training issues that both broker and carrier members face. We think this course will fit well into the school progression for those that have completed the Advanced School but aren’t yet at the ELS position in their careers.

In addition to the on-site schools, NAPSLO’s Education Committee has developed two online training courses that can be accessed at the NAPSLO website,, at any time by members.

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