One of NAPSLO’s most valuable member benefits is access to high-quality education and career development programs offered by the Association. NAPSLO’s Education program has grown from the initial E&S School offering in 1990 to now include courses designed to meet the needs of member-firm employees from their introduction to E&S throughout their careers, culminating with the Executive Leadership Summit.
NAPSLO expanded its course offerings with the introduction of its Management program in 2015, which was presented to a sold-out class of students in January. The course is offered in collaboration with Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, with instructors from Emory as well as industry professionals.
“The inaugural Management program offering was a success by all measures,” said Jacque Schaendorf, NAPSLO Education Committee Co-Chair and President and CEO, Insurance House. “The course is geared to management professionals who work under the executive level of their organizations and typically have less than five years of managerial or supervisory experience. The curriculum incorporates lots of best practices for day-to-day management and staff leadership issues that both brokers and carriers face.”
Schaendorf said that she and the NAPSLO Education Committee believe that the Management program was an important addition to the NAPSLO education offerings because it helps meet a need for professionals who have been in the industry for a number of years and have extensive industry experience, but are relatively new to a management role and can benefit from management training that’s specific to E&S issues.
The new course joins NAPSLO’s existing education programs, which, according to Randall Jones, NAPSLO Director of Education, are constantly being updated to meet the evolving career development needs of NAPSLO-member E&S professionals.
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NAPSLO’s original course, Excess and Surplus Lines (E&S) is a three-day program designed as an introductory course for insurance professionals with less than five years of surplus lines experience. E&S program students gain a basic understanding of how excess and surplus lines insurance works in the marketplace. Jones said 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 program, offered each fall, is the next step in the NAPSLO school progression. “Advanced students learn about industry regulatory issues, marketing, the claims process and reinsurance impacts on the specialty insurance industry, in a classroom setting,” said Jones. “Advanced students spend three days learning from industry professionals who have extensive experience. They also hear from a panel of industry executives, who impart real world expertise in a discussion format.” Both E&S and The Marcus Payne Advanced program are held in St. Louis, Mo.
The Surplus Lines Consultative Selling Skills course, which is offered in a small group environment and is specifically tailored to real world E&S transaction situations between wholesalers and retail agents, and wholesalers and market underwriters, is offered regionally throughout the year.
Consultative Selling Skills is presented in conjunction with Richardson, a leading global sales training and strategy execution company. “Before students attend the course, they complete Richardson’s SkillGauge assessment tool to identify topics for emphasis during the program,” said Joel Cavaness, NAPSLO Education Committee Co-Chair and President, Risk Placement Services, Inc. “The school is really a consultative selling training program, and it teaches students to look at sales as an interactive process. Afterwards, they can access Richardson’s online QuickSkills review program to reinforce what they learned.”
Cavaness said that the course is an important complement to NAPSLO’s other leadership and industry training and that attendees benefit from the more personalized one-on-one interaction between the students and instructors.
The capstone course in NAPSLO’s education program is the Executive Leadership Summit (ELS), designed for senior-level executives with extensive experience in the industry and in managing people. The course is presented at the University of Virginia by Darden School of Business faculty in Charlottesville, Va. ELS attendees enhance their ability to successfully implement strategic thinking, planning and leadership and leverage that in change management at the personal, team and organizational level.
“ELS students are typically very experienced and busy executive level professionals,” Jones noted. “But, we hear time and time again that the experience is incredibly impactful for participants and they always report that the shift in thinking that results from the program far exceeds the time investment.” He added that the opportunity to collaborate with other executives during the program also yields great networking opportunities for attendees.
In addition to the full slate of on-site programs, NAPSLO offers two online training courses that can be accessed at the NAPSLO website at any time by members: The first, the Surplus Lines Fundamentals course, was developed collaboratively by NAPSLO and The Institutes. The course is a primer for anyone interested in learning the basics of how the surplus lines market works. Julie Fritz, NAPSLO Director of Operations, said that the course is an ideal starting point in training new hires.
The second online course, Surplus Lines Regulatory Compliance, is designed for professionals with less than two years of compliance job training or experience and covers a variety of material including an overview of surplus lines licensing, diligent search, tax remittance and policy disclosure.
“NAPSLO subsidizes the cost of these online programs for members and students can elect to earn CE credits in both courses,” said Fritz. “We believe that making these courses easily accessible for members is an important investment in the future of the industry.”
For more information about all the NAPSLO education programs, visit www.napslo.org.