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The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) is committed to the holistic development of the industry

20 September 2019 The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA)

For time immemorial the insurance industry in South Africa has been viewed as an exclusive sector – however as the industry has become more open, diversity and inclusivity have begun trickling into various ranks to the benefit of both industry and insurance consumers.

The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) - a professional body of the insurance industry recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) whose vision is to champion inclusive professional development and education standards for the insurance industry has over the years seen more females and people of colour in its ranks. At present the institution’s board has 44% female members and 33% black male members. This year IISA appointed two new board members, Collin Molepe, deputy CEO at Bryte Insurance Company Limited and Danie Matthee, CEO at OUTsurance.

The IISA’s purpose is to build capacity within the insurance industry through insurance skills development and exposure into the insurance profession and in so doing mitigate skills shortages, improve opportunities for employment and social security, and ultimately contribute to the sustainability of the industry and the economy.

The institute’s CEO Thokozile Mahlangu says the IISA will continue to strive to be the beacon of transformation for the industry, among various other objectives.

This year the institution’s roadmap explicitly sets out to develop the industry as a whole in all avenues under its jurisdiction. The IISA has partnered with the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA) to provide solutions to skills shortages and development within the industry.
“The insurance industry is faced with a shortage of skills at executive management and director level, lack of platforms for technical insurance training and an ageing workforce,” says Mahlangu.

“As part of the intervention, together with INSETA we will be rolling out short courses to aid in understanding the language and tools of the fourth industrial revolution and its link to the insurance industry. We will also be rolling out the first program for the development of insurance directors. Practitioners will be equipped with skills that will enable them to be effective and have a meaningful contribution at board meetings,’ she says.

Mahlangu says part of the IISA’s role is to avail platforms that address such challenges.
She says it is important for South Africans to see an industry reflective of society, and this can be achieved through transformation, inclusivity and diversity.

The IISA and INSETA have also rolled out a programme to develop insurance practitioners to executive management level. They also introduced board exams as part of recognition of prior learning (RPL), this provides an alternative means of obtaining the professional designations.

“It is our belief that these undertakings will be to the benefit of the insurance industry and will assist in addressing the skills shortages currently experienced by the industry and we also hope they will further drive transformation within the sector,” Mahlangu says.

Furthermore, the IISA has collaborated with the Chartered Insurance Institute in London for international recognition of IISA designations subject to meeting certain requirements. IISA will further continue to provide workshops that will contribute to continuing professional development (CPD) nationwide.

“We will also be launching an e-learning platform, this is another way we are introducing innovative ways of availing CPD platforms to the industry without having to leave the office. ,” says Mahlangu, adding that their 2019 strategy is not limited to just these points. “We are doing all in our power to develop the industry today for present and future insurance practitioners and consumers. The South African industry holds a lot of unmined potential, and there is no better time to roll up our sleeves than now”.

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