Canadian regulators have been working together, along with the various stakeholders in the life insurance industry, to harmonize and update the standards for life insurance agent proficiency. The new standards that have been developed are known as the Life Licence Qualification Program (LLQP), and involve the completion of a mandatory pre-licensing course, an examination and a one-step licensing system.
In most provinces and territories, regulators have agreed to introduce the LLQP course and examination to the market on an optional basis to start.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) will accept the completion of the LLQP course and examination as an optional equivalency for the existing Level I and Level II examinations effective June 1, 2002.
During this Optional Equivalency Period, regulators will offer individuals who are looking to obtain a life licence the choice of completing either the LLQP course and examination or the existing Level I and Level II examinations. Regulators agreed that the LLQP would be optional for a period of not less than 90 days. Regulators are currently working to have regulations or bylaws put into place where they are required.
Governments will decide whether and when to make the regulation or bylaw changes needed to make the LLQP mandatory.
This Optional Equivalency Period will provide the insurance industry an opportunity to gain experience with the LLQP course and examination and to share those experiences with regulators.
In addition, this period also provides current Level I agents and prospective agents the choice of taking either the existing Level I and II examinations or the LLQP course and examination.
The LLQP includes a practical course component based on the real life experiences of life insurance practitioners.
Agents taking the LLQP option must become knowledgeable in the products and services relevant to the current marketplace.
The names of course providers will be published on the FSCO website (www.fsco.gov.on.ca), as their courses become available.
The courses are provided commercially, and course fees will be set by the course providers. The LLQP examination will be made available for people successfully completing these courses. FSCO will publish examination arrangements on its Website.
The examination requirements will be responsive to the demand for the optional equivalency.
Industry associations are currently advising us of their estimates of the locations and numbers of examination candidates.
During the Optional Equivalency Period, the role of the Committee to Co-ordinate Implementation of the LLQP (Co-ordinating Committee) will come to an end and a transition will occur to a new committee to be known as the LLQP Integrity Committee.
This committee will be responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the examination questions database and will advise on operational matters related to the examination process.
The committee will be comprised of industry representatives selected by regulators for their knowledge and background, and will be requested to maintain confidentiality of the examination.
The regulators extend an invitation to the Canadian insurance industry to form a committee to provide advice on the impacts of the LLQP and any operational concerns related to the LLQP.
Individuals, companies, or associations who wish to be part of an industry advisory committee should notify Grant Swanson, FSCO's Director of Licensing & Compliance and Chair of the Co-ordinating Committee, who will put them into contact with each other so that they can form a committee.
This committee will provide its advice to the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations and the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators for their consideration.
A series of answers to typically asked questions about the LLQP Optional equivalency Period are attached. Further details describing the LLQP will be provided on the CCIR website (www.ccir-ccrra.org).
Questions can be posed by email to the CCIR at the following address LLQP@fsco.gov.on.ca and the questions and answers will be posted on the CCIR website.
We are confident that this program will serve to enhance the training and proficiency standards of life insurance agents across the province.
Chief Executive Officer and
Superintendent of Financial Services (Acting)
May 17, 2002