Volume 3, No. 9 - December 2014

Education Central

- Things to know about your continuing education

Are You Experienced? You May Qualify for a Reduction of CE!

The Department recognizes that knowledge comes with experience. As such, if you have 25 or more years experience as a licensed insurance representative and have met one of the following additional educational requirements, you may qualify for a reduction in hours of your CE requirement.

  • Obtained the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation; or
  • Obtained the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation; or
  • Obtained a Bachelors degree in Risk Management or Insurance.

You must apply and be approved to receive this reduction. To apply, completely fill out the Application for CLU/CPCU/College Degree & Experience Status form (DFS-H2-1109). Proof of obtaining a CLU, CPCU, or college degree in risk management insurance needs to be provided with your application in one of the following formats:

  • A legible copy of the certificate including date of conferment; or
  • Signed and dated letter from the issuing entity on its letterhead; or
  • Official copy of your college transcript.

Once completed, you can either email the completed form and supporting documentation to AgentLicensing@MyFloridaCFO.com.

Reductions cannot be applied retroactively; they can only be applied to current and future CE compliance cycles from the date of approval. Those licensees who are approved for the 25-year reduction will only be required to complete ten hours of continuing education every two years.

The reduction reduces the amount of total hours due, but the adjustment is only made in the electives requirement. It does not reduce the amount of hours due for the 5-hour update course or any other license-specific requirement.

Please note the following license types do not qualify for a 25-year reduction: Customer Representative, Title, Industrial Fire and Burglary, and Bail Bond. A licensee holding any of these license types would need to hold another license type that does qualify for a reduction in order to receive one.

As always send any comments or questions about CE to Education@MyFloridaCFO.com.

Are You Compliant with Your CE or Not?

If you have ever felt confused about what it means to be continuing education (CE) compliant, you are not alone. That's why we are continuously finding and implementing ways to help you with this. To be CE compliant requires more than just taking CE courses. Below are a few often overlooked suggestions for remaining CE compliant.

  • CE requirements change. You should regularly review your CE status through your MyProfile account. Your total hours have specific allocation requirements that must be met. Be sure to take all the right categories of CE courses.
  • Check for late hours. Hours taken after your due date will still post on your compliance evaluation screen, but they will be noted as "Late". Though your hours requirement may have been met, late completion of your continuing education requirement will result in penalties. The statutory penalty for failure to complete CE is the cancellation of all your appointments, however you may be given the option of paying a $250 fine instead. Regardless of the penalty assessed, you are still required to complete past due CE requirements.
  • Check past evaluation periods. Always check previous compliance periods to make sure you are not delinquent for a prior period. Be sure to click on VIEW ENFORCEMENT NOTICE just below the Not Compliant text to check for any outstanding fines.
  • Check your transcript. The same course cannot be taken with the same provider within a three-year period and receive credit. This is noted on your transcript as a duplicate course. You will need to take a different course to meet your CE requirement.

We wish you success in completing your hours to remain knowledgeable in an ever-changing insurance market. And remember, your CE compliance date is your DUE date, not your DO date.

How to Search for Approved CE Courses

Looking for continuing education (CE) courses to be sure you get all your hours completed? Our online course search can easily help you by listing those courses approved by the Department.

  1. Go to our website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents.
  2. Click on MyProfile on the left panel and log in to your account.
  3. Once in your MyProfile inbox, click on Locate at the top left. Then click on Future Course Offerings.
  4. Select the Course Authority for the type of license held or course you need to take.
  5. You can also make other choices, like Study Method and Location, to narrow your search results.
  6. If you click on Perform an Advanced Search, you will have additional options to narrow your search results, such as Course Date and Course Level.

Because many factors may affect your continuing education requirement (e.g. licenses held, number of years licensed, etc.), we encourage you to periodically check your MyProfile account to determine your individual continuing education compliance requirements and status. You will also be able to find more approved CE courses after logging in to your MyProfile account versus the public search option, which limits the results to the first 100 course offerings.

Education Providers: Avoid the Negative Connotation of an 'Audit'

Being the subject of a Department audit does not infer that you did something wrong and should not be viewed negatively. Step back for a moment and think about why audits are performed. Generally speaking, an audit is used as a tool to identify opportunities for transforming procedures to be more efficient and compliance-aligned, which translates into greater integrity in the marketplace and awareness of applicable Florida Statutes and Administrative Code. Consider a Department audit as a means of managing risk - you may notice some strong similarities to the basic model of risk management:

  • Understand the Responsibilities of an Education Provider
    Be proactive: prior to even becoming an approved education provider, review the applicable Florida Statutes and Administrative Code that regulate pre-licensing education, continuing education, and providers. This is the basis for identifying and avoiding compliance issues.
  • Evaluate the Issues Identified by the Audit Process
    A complete comprehension of any issue identified is paramount. Don't just settle for knowing something has gone awry; understand why.
  • Implement any Changes
    Don't procrastinate on this one. Move quickly to plan any changes that your organization may need to make and proceed with implementation.
  • Continue to Monitor and Review
    Once the audit process has been completed, you should continue to monitor issues identified and work towards resolution.

It's all about attitude. Approach a Department audit with a positive, cooperative disposition. We're here to help individual organizations analyze internal practices or policies that may inhibit compliance or the effectiveness of an educational program. For more information on the laws, rules, and guidelines follow the links on the Education Central section of our website located at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents/Licensure/Education.