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Qualifications Overview

When you start working in insurance, you’ll become part of the industry’s largest professional body, The Insurance Institute, who provide qualifications to suit every stage of your career. You can study online towards these qualifications, which means they’re very achievable if you’re working or studying full time already.

Learn more in our Prospectus

Getting Started

When you work in insurance your customers place a lot of trust and responsibility in your hands, so it’s essential that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to give them peace of mind.

Here are the qualifications that will help you to get your career going.

Accredited Product Adviser (APA)

The Accredited Product Adviser (APA) is the minimum requirement that is expected throughout the industry.

There are a number of different product areas within insurance and you can earn the APA in any of the three main areas:

  • Personal insurance
  • Commercial insurance
  • Private medical insurance

Whether you’re working in underwriting, claims or direct client support, this qualification is a must-have.

Why not get a head start on your APA before you start working in insurance? It will give you an overview of the various aspects of the industry – and it’ll look great on your CV.

All about APA

Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP)

While the Accredited Product Adviser (APA) is the entry level designation, you’ll find that most people who are serious about a career in insurance will continue on to earn the Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP).

The CIP will give you all of the knowledge you’d earn with the APA, as well as:

  • An understanding of all general product areas – personal, commercial and medical
  • In-depth study in the areas of underwriting, loss adjusting and/or broking
  • Plenty of career options, as you’ll be qualified to work in any area of general insurance.


APA modules make up 50% of those you need for the CIP – so if you choose to go down the APA route first, you’ll already be halfway towards your CIP.

Check out the CIP

BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice – Apprenticeship

The BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice is the degree you’ll earn if you take part in the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship programme. It’s delivered online through IT Sligo and The Insurance Institute and is a combination of academic study and on-the-job learning.

Some key facts about the programme:

  • It’s delivered over 3 years
  • You will study towards the degree while you work
  • You’ll earn a salary as you study

Applications for the programme open in Spring 2017, with apprentices starting in September. You can sign up to hear more about when apprenticeship applications open.

Keep in the loop Employ an apprentice

Study Supports

The Insurance Institute has lots of online study supports to help you along your journey. These include

  • webinars
  • learning plans
  • online lectures
  • mock exams
  • chapter keypoints
  • and lots more


If you’ve completed courses or qualifications in the past that may have contained content relevant to The Insurance Institute qualifications, you could be entitled to exemptions.

We have offered exemptions to those who have completed specific business courses or modules from the following third level institutes:

  • Accounting Technicians in Ireland
  • ACOI
  • Athlone Institute of Technology
  • Cavan Institute of Technology
  • Chartered Insurance Institute
  • Cork College of Commerce
  • Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)
  • Institute of Technology Sligo
  • National College of Ireland (NCI)
  • UCD
  • University of Ulster
  • University of Limerick

Use our exemption checker or contact us on 01 645 6670 to see if you might qualify for exemptions.

Advanced Qualifications

Once you’ve made your mark in insurance, these advanced qualifications will help you move onwards and upwards throughout your career.

Management Diploma in Insurance (MDI)
This qualification will suit you when you decide to move into management or more senior roles. Learn more

CII Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII)
An advanced qualification that’s recognised the world over.

Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII)
In a few years, when you’re leading a team of insurance superstars, this qualification will really show you’ve made it.