Guide to Wis. Continuing Education for Insurance Agents
Insurance agents doing business in Wisconsin are required to complete continuing education courses.
To promote efficiency and minimize costs, an administrative vendor was chosen through a competitive bid process. Pearson VUE (formerly Promissor, Inc.) was designated to administer the entire continuing education program. Course rosters are banked by continuing education providers with Sircon Corporation.
Basic Aspects of the Program
What is continuing education?
Continuing education is a practice requiring professionals to receive information on current issues in order to remain knowledgeable about old standards and emerging trends.
Why is continuing education necessary?
The Wisconsin insurance market changes at a very rapid pace--in both the products being offered and the facets of regulation.
Continuing education provides insurance agents with current information on insurance, insurance ethics, and insurance laws while enhancing agent professionalism.
Is Wisconsin the only state with a continuing education program? If not, how many other states have continuing education programs?
No. All states have continuing education programs for their insurance agents. All agents are required to complete these requirements for their resident state.
What if the continuing education requirements are not met?
Agents who fail to have the required credits banked by the reporting date will have their insurance license revoked.
Who is required to meet continuing education requirements?
All insurance agents who hold a license in any of the major lines of insurance (property, casualty, personal lines P&C, life, and accident and health) as well as those licensed in the limited line of automobile.
Are any agents exempt from the requirements?
Yes. Wisconsin resident agents who hold an exclusive limited line insurance license for credit, legal expense, travel, and title insurance are not required to take the continuing education courses.
Can specific experience requirements exempt an agent from the requirements?
No. There are no "grandfather" exemptions.
Must nonresident agents meet Wisconsin's continuing education requirements?
No. All states currently have continuing education requirements in place. Wisconsin receives license compliance data electronically, therefore, nonresidents are not required to supply OCI with evidence of completing continuing education in their home state.
What if an agent becomes seriously ill?
Agents who, during a substantial portion of the 2-year reporting period, are seriously ill or serving on active military duty outside Wisconsin may request a waiver of requirements during a reporting period for "good cause." Waiver requests must be filed at least 90 days prior to the end of a reporting period.
Waiver forms and more information may be obtained by calling Pearson VUE at (800) 274-4679, or by logging on to their Web site at: www.pearsonvue.com.
Continuing Education Credit
How many credit hours must be earned?
Licensed insurance agents who are required to meet continuing education requirements must earn 24 credit hours every 2 years, 3 of which must be in the ethics of insurance.
If I take 3 credits in ethics, what area of study do the remaining credits have to come from?
We have never required a breakdown for the various qualifications identified on your license. The remaining credits can be in whichever line of authority you choose.
What are specific credit hour requirements?
One "continuing education credit hour" is equivalent to 50 minutes of classroom instruction.
Agents will receive credit only for courses they attend in full by attending all the required credit hours or completing required examinations for self-study courses. Credit will not be awarded for the exact same courses repeated in a single reporting period.
Can more credit hours be taken during one reporting period and then applied to the next?
No. Carry-over of credits is not permitted.
Can credits from one course be split to accommodate requirements in more than one reporting period?
No. Course credits cannot be separated.
In what order are credits banked?
Credits are banked using the date the course was completed.
Where can continuing education credit be earned?
Professional agent associations, educational institutions (such as technical colleges), current prelicensing organizations, and other well-qualified individuals in insurance are offering courses in diverse settings.
Will self-study or correspondence courses satisfy the continuing education requirements?
Yes. Self-study, correspondence and on-line courses can be approved if they meet the criteria under s. Ins 28.06 (6), Wis. Adm. Code, and include completion of a certified proctored examination.
What happens if I fail to complete my continuing education and my license gets revoked?
New rules allow agents who are in this situation to reapply within one year without having to complete prelicensing education or an examination. They will, however, need to have all previous continuing education requirements met prior to reapplying.
Anyone wishing to be relicensed after the one-year period will be required to meet any prelicensing and examination requirements as prescribed by law.
Instruction and Education
How will quality of instruction be assured?
Instructors must be approved by Pearson VUE and certified as experienced and qualified in insurance.
In addition, Pearson VUE will conduct audits of the courses to assure compliance with the law.
Instructors must meet a variety of criteria, such as: experience teaching insurance courses for the past three years, or holding a proper insurance license for the past five years, and the ability to demonstrate the knowledge and breadth of experience in the area of instruction.
Other groups able to apply for instructor status include: holders of specified designations, members of a state bar engaged in the field of insurance-related law, or licensed certified public accountants engaged in insurance-related practice.
How will OCI know that the requirements have been satisfied?
The law requires that providers of continuing education submit course completion information to Sircon directly within 10 days of completing a course. Agents will not be responsible for filing their completion certificates with Sircon.
However, agents are advised to maintain course completion certificates in the event that a discrepancy occurs.
Prior to a reporting period, OCI will provide each agent who is deficient in hours with a transcript of the courses completed. Those in compliance will receive a new license following receipt of the required biennial regulation fees. Agents can obtain a copy of the most current CE transcript by logging on to www.pearsonvue.com or www.sircon.com/wisconsin. You will be requested to provide your Wisconsin license number.
Where can insurance agents get more information on the Wisconsin continuing education program?
Wisconsin contracted with Pearson VUE to administer the entire continuing education program, including provider and course approval.
Agents may contact Pearson VUE at (800) 274-4679 with general questions or log on to www.pearsonvue.com.
Where can providers of continuing education get more information?
Inquiries about Wisconsin's continuing education program, and requests for application materials regarding provider, instructor, and course approvals may be directed to Pearson VUE, the program's administrator, at (800) 274-4743 or log on to www.pearsonvue.com.
For a printed copy of the brochure "Guide to Wisconsin's Continuing Education for Insurance Agents," send a request to the address listed on the Contact Us page.