How long is the IA license valid for?

May 12, 2021

Do I need to renew my license every year? Where should I apply for a license renewal?

Isn’t the IIQE exam score a license?!

Obtaining passing results in the IIQE (Insurance Intermediaries Qualifying Examination) held by the Institute of Professional Education and Knowledge (VTC PEAK) is one of the requirements for applying for an insurance license. PEAK is a statutory organization only responsible for providing professional education and training in Hong Kong. The IIQE exam is recognized by the Insurance Authority as one of its ability references, but PEAK is not a licensing organization, thus, the IIQE’s qualified results It will not be accompanied by any license or rights. The IA is responsible for overseeing the compliance of the entire insurance industry, ensuring that insurance intermediaries comply with local laws from licensing to operation, but it is not responsible for organizing examinations. Therefore, the exam must be conducted at PEAK, and cannot be taken at IA.

Instructions on applying for an insurance practitioner license

According to the “fit and proper” guidelines (Guideline 23) issued by the Insurance Authority, the insurance intermediary qualifying examination (IIQE) results are valid for 2 years from the date of the examination. If candidates have not used their scores to apply for a license within 2 years after the exam, the scores will be invalid. If students take the written test, the results will not be announced on the date of the exam, but the validity period will still be 2 years counting from the exam date.

To apply for an insurance license, most of you must register for more than one exam and obtain passing results. To know which papers you should take, you can refer to 2cexam.com.hk/A1063_eng. If students need to take more than one exam to obtain a license, they must ensure that they pass the required exam papers and apply for a license within 3 years (from the date of the first exam). If students take the written exam, the results will not be announced on the day of the exam, but the validity period will also be calculated 2 years from the exam date. For example: Suppose you need to take the IIQE Papers 1, 2, 3, and you choose to take the IIQE Paper 1 exam first. After taking the IIQE Paper 1 on January 1, 2021 and obtaining a passing score, you need to take the paper 2 and 3 exam before January 1,2023, and submit an application for a license by that day; in this way the exam will not be in vain. At the same time, it should be noted that the results of the written exam will not be announced until 7 days at the earliest, but the 2-year validity period is calculated from the exam date, not the date of the result released. If the exam result exceeds the two year validity period, you will need to retake the exam for which the result has expired. 

Will the insurance license issued by IA become invalid?

A previous article mentioned that if you completed an exam combination and successfully applied for a license, as long as the license is not terminated or revoked, there is no need to retake the exam again, and the license will remain valid. However, a successful application does not guarantee the substantial validity of the license. In fact, there are some basic requirements to be abided by. 

  1. License fee$$$

As the Insurance Authority has just taken over the supervision of the insurance industry on September 23, 2019, the license application fee for the first five years after the Insurance Authority takes over the supervision (that is, until September 22, 2024) will be waived. But the license fee thereafter is unknown.

Information Reference: https://www.ia.org.hk/en/infocenter/faqs/faqs_15.html  

  1.  Continuing Professional Development

Licensees need to continue to meet the training requirements in the “Guideline on Continuing Professional Development for License Insurance Intermediaries” (Guideline 24) to ensure that the licensees learn about the professional knowledge and ethical standards of the insurance industry.

Transition period

There are two evaluation periods from September 23, 2019 to July 31, 2020, and August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. Individuals with insurance licenses (except travel insurance agents) must participate in recognized continuous professional training activities to obtain at least 10 continuous professional training hours per year, 20 hours in total from 2019 to 2021. Travel insurance agents must obtain at least 3 continuous professional training hours per year.

After the transition period

The transition period ends on July 31, 2021. Starting from the third assessment period (that is, from August 1, 2021), the minimum continuous professional training hours for licensees (except travel insurance agents) will be increased to each assessment period for at least 15 hours of continuing professional training, including at least 3 hours of mandatory continuing professional training related to “ethics and regulations”.The requirements for continuous professional training hours for travel insurance agents remain unchanged.

For more information, please reference: https://www.ia.org.hk/en/supervision/reg_ins_intermediaries/cpd.html and Annex 3 of Guideline 24( https://www.ia.org.hk/english/supervision/reg_ins_intermediaries/files/GuidelineonContinuingProfessionalDevelopmentforLicensedInsuranceIntermediaries.pdf

  1. Continue to comply with”fit and proper” guidelines (Guideline 23)

In addition to complying with the requirements of this guideline before applying for a license, it is necessary to maintain the standards of fitness and properness after obtaining a license, such as the person must not currently or recently filed for bankruptcy, possessing appropriate abilities and skills. Otherwise, it will affect whether you can continue working in the insurance industry as a licensee. For details, please refer to: https://www.ia.org.hk/en/legislative_framework/files/GL23.pdf

If I resign, How long can I stay unemployed without retaking the exams?  

In the insurance industry, the turnover rate is quite high, therefore, we are often asked this question. Prior to changing your job, it is important for you to know how long you can stay unemployed without having to retake the exams. In the insurance industry, once an individual licensee resigns as an employee of an insurance company/insurance brokerage firm, the license will immediately become invalid. However, if you find a new company to be licensed within two years, you can successfully apply for a license without having to retake the exam. 

How can we help?

2CExam provides HKSI LE, IIQE, EAQE and SQE related exam preparation materials. We sell mock question banks for IIQE Papers 1, 2, 3, 5 and MPFE in Chinese and English; and bibles for IIQE Papers 1, 2, 3, MPFE in Chinese. We also offer 1 on 1 tutorial services. Besides, we have also made free tutorial videos for IIQE Papers 1, 2, 3 and MPFE and posted on public channels such as Youtube/ Bilibili/ Tencent/ Iqiyi. 2CExam has been an exam training expert for years. Should you need any help please visit www.2cexam.com or contact us through:

Phone +852 2110 9644 Email: [email protected] Wechat: hk2cexam WhatsApp: +852 9347 2064

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