Choosing a solution for your business is never easy. There are many options and features. Of course, ACORD Standards should always be an essential element. Now, there’s an additional level of confidence you can achieve when making your decision – ensuring that your solution provider has ACORD Certified Experts on staff.

Back in the 1960s, Texaco’s jingle went, “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.” Today, that may be just as true for trusting a solution that is developed by ACORD Certified Experts.

We announced the ACORD Certified Expert (ACE) program in 2009 as a way to ensure individuals claiming expertise in ACORD implementations actually possessed those skills. Members—both companies and solution providers—wanted an easier way to determine if people were really experts.

To ensure that those receiving a designation are truly prepared for implementation, ACE exams were developed with subject matter experts who are known leaders in ACORD Standards implementation. This gathered the collective wisdom from the industry to provide us with a baseline.

For those unfamiliar, the ACORD Certified Expert program is made up of three exams:

  • ACORD History, Process, and Governance
  • Third-party exam acknowledging industry knowledge
  • ACORD implementation exam in one of ACORD’s standards such as P&C, life, or reinsurance

While this is a technical designation, it comes with a major business benefit. In a competitive landscape, you need to show that you are providing the level of expertise customers want. Could it come down to a solution developed using an ACE versus one that didn’t? Think of solutions from other industries and consider the possibilities.

I could sit and write about how important having ACE designees on staff is for solution providers. However, I think some of our current ACEs have said it better in the ACORD Weekly Newsletter:

  • “To have several of our employees hold an ACE designation demonstrates to our clients the depth of knowledge our company possesses in ACORD industry standards,” Suzanne Brazeal, Vertex.
  • “Our carrier customers are excited about our certification and have said it is a powerful testament to our company’s proven proficiency of the ACORD Standards. Our carriers knew we had the knowledge and experience and now the ACE designation reinforces,” Fran Clarke, IVANS
  • “The ACE designation gives me the added credibility and tells people I deal with that I am an expert and I can help them solve problems. It really aligns perfectly with our company’s mission and is a great for all of us,” Steve Thomson, Connective Technologies
  • “I believe that as more individuals undertake the program and demonstrate their proficiency as ACORD experts the importance of gaining this foundation will become more and more evident,” Rob Campbell, Greenvalley Commercial Ltd.
  • “It also demonstrates to the outside world, and particularly to our current and future customers, that Web Connectivity is committed to maintaining its reputation as a forward-thinking ACORD specialist by having one of the first RLC ACEs on its staff,” Rein van Keulen, Web Connectivity

These individuals, along with many others in the process today, recognized the importance of a designation from ACORD to their businesses. As the program continues to grow and more solution providers are staffed with ACEs, it will further differentiate solutions and how they are developed and sold.

Beth Grossman is chief learning officer for ACORD. She is responsible for developing and deploying ACORD’s educational and training program. Drawing on her background in education as well as her industry expertise, Beth is spearheading the ACORD certified expert (ACE) designation program. Previously, Beth served as AVP for industry affairs where she formed strategic alliances with other associations and standards organizations. She serves on the executive committee of IDMA (Insurance Data Management Association) and received a Fellow in Insurance Data Management (FIDM). Beth’s insurance experience includes training and education as well as underwriting, brokerage and information technology. She has used these skills with such organizations as Crum and Forster, Continental Insurance and Marsh.