Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to questions most commonly asked can be found in the Single Course Guidelines and, for Self-Accredited Course Providers, also in the Self-Accredited Course Provider Guidelines.

In making a request for course accreditation, course providers agree that they have read the current Guidelines and are prepared to abide by all conditions placed on them by the Alberta Accreditation Committee. However, the large number of inquiries we receive where the answers can easily be found in the Guidelines tells us that many accredited course providers aren’t familiar with and/or operating in compliance with the Guidelines. The Alberta Accreditation Committee wishes to remind all accredited course providers that non-compliance with the Guidelines can result in the cancellation of their accredited courses.

These “Frequently Asked Questions” have been compiled to assist accredited course providers in administering their courses in full compliance with the established Guidelines.

Should you have an inquiry that is not addressed in the Guidelines, Forms or information provided, please e-mail accreditation@abcouncil.ab.ca.

To submit a course, please click here.

Q. What is the process for submitting a Single Course Request for Accreditation?

An acceptable single course request is comprised of three components: 1) Your completed Request Form. 2) Your sample CE certificate. 3) Your course material. This can be a PowerPoint presentation, a detailed agenda or outline that explains the content, timing, purpose and learning objectives of the course. In that order, your documents are submitted to us as one (1) PDF file here.

Before making a request for single course accreditation, you should familiarize yourself with the current Single Course Guidelines and Instructions for assembling your request. Please also ensure that all CE certificates you issue and the sample you provide follow the standard certificate template mandated in the Province of Alberta for insurance industry course accreditations. It is the course provider’s responsibility to regularly monitor the Committee website for any changes to the forms and guidelines. Forms and guidelines are updated annually (usually in January). Course providers are encouraged to submit as much material as possible to support their course accreditation request(s), within the established parameters (10MB file size and 100 page maximum per submission).

Q. Which Alberta class of insurance should I be requesting credits for?

The Committee is looking for courses that contain the following (although not exhaustive) concepts or products:

For Life Insurance, click here.

For Accident and Sickness, click here.

For General Insurance, click here.

For Insurance Adjuster, click here.

Q. Can I request CE credits for more than one Alberta class of insurance?

Yes, if your course offers content that would apply to more than one Alberta class of insurance (Life Insurance, Accident and Sickness, General Insurance and/or Insurance Adjuster).

Q. What are the minimum and maximum credit hours that can be requested for a course?

Accreditation per submission is:

  • a maximum length of delivery for all types of courses is seven and a half (7.5) hours per day;
  • a minimum of thirty (30) minutes in length;
  • a maximum of thirty (30) hours; and
  • a session must include a fifteen (15) minute break every three hours.

The Committee rounds approved hours to the nearest quarter (0.25) hour (0.25 hour = 15 minutes).

Q. Can test or exam time be included in the number of credit hours requested?

No. Credit is not given for test or exam time, or for course preparation outside of course instruction.

Q. Will the Committee accept a transcript in place of actual course material?

Yes. However, you must include a detailed course outline that explains the timing, purpose of the course/learning objectives, topics being covered, and how the content relates to the credits being requested.

Q. Our organization conducts monthly meetings. Can we get these accredited?

No. Meetings or conference calls that deal with the day-to-day management of a specific business or company are not eligible for accreditation.

Q. What are the acceptable methods for verifying in-person attendance and/or Internet/Self-Study completion of a course?

In-Person

It is attendance which earns the certificate of completion for in-class courses and seminars. Attendance must be confirmed by sign in /out, roll call, scan badge, or other verifiable methods.

For multiple day (5 or more) courses, conferences and seminars, the individual must attend at least 75% of the total approved instructional time to earn a certificate.

Courses which are given in less than a five (5) day format require 100% attendance to receive the completion certificate.

Internet/Self-Study

Internet/Self-Study/Correspondence courses must have an exam (or exercises) developed by the course provider, which must be passed (minimum 60%) to receive a certificate of completion. If the course provider’s pass rate standard is higher, then the course provider’s pass rate will be adopted. Exam time is not included in accredited time.

Q. We don’t agree with the decision on our course. Can we appeal it?

Yes. However, appeals will only be reviewed if received within thirty (30) days of the initial committee review.

To appeal a decision, send an e-mail message to accreditation@abcouncil.ab.ca with “APPEAL” in the subject line. In your message, detail what you are appealing (course name and number, credits, dates, etc.) what you are asking the Committee for, along with the reasons why you think they should change their decision.

Appeal requests for courses to be retroactively approved beyond sixty (60) days from original date of receipt will not be considered.

Q. What is a CIPR number?

The Canadian Insurance Participant Registry (CIPR) number relates to the course participant, and will be different for each individual. When you issue certificates upon course completion, you must include the participant’s CIPR number on their certificate. The expectation is that a participant’s CIPR number be collected at the time of registration so that it can be printed/typeset on their certificate. If this information cannot be collected ahead of time, there should be dedicated space on the CE Certificate beside the participant’s name for them to enter their CIPR number. To learn more about CIPR, visit the Alberta Insurance Council’s website here and the CIPR website here.

Q. Does the Committee publish a schedule of meeting dates?

Yes. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to see all upcoming meeting dates.

The Committee meets monthly to review submissions. All courses must be submitted and processing fees paid by 12:00 p.m. MST on the Thursday of the week preceding a scheduled meeting. Courses are reviewed in the order they are received. In the event of heavy volume or time constraints, submissions made very close to an agenda deadline may be deferred for review at the next scheduled meeting.

Q. Who approves Continuing Education (CE) courses in Alberta?

The Minister of Treasury Board and Finance of the Government of Alberta has delegated responsibility to the Alberta Accreditation Committee (“the Committee”) to approve CE course providers, the courses those providers are authorized to provide and the hours of each course, pursuant to Section 29 of the Insurance Agents and Adjusters Regulation.

This third-party Committee is comprised of experienced industry professionals, course instructors who may also work in the insurance industry, and public members. The Committee meets monthly and approves hundreds of courses at each meeting. Every course submission is reviewed in detail at least one week before a scheduled meeting and adjudicated based on the information provided. Credits are awarded based on how well the information provided merits the credit hours requested.

Q. Why doesn’t the Alberta Insurance Council approve courses?

The Alberta Insurance Council (AIC) is Alberta’s insurance regulator, whose mandate is to protect Alberta consumers through the licensing and regulation of insurance agents, brokers, and independent adjusters. The AIC’s only role is to provide administrative support to the Committee.

Q. We applied for a three-year accreditation of our course, but it was approved for less. Is this a mistake?

The Committee reserves the right to end date a course, depending on the content and course title.

Courses that have a focus on an investment fund will have a maximum end date of 1 year. For example, the material is directly related to the details of the investment fund.

Courses that are current and subject to rapid change will have a maximum end date of 1 year. For example, topics relating to new products, the economy, politics, taxes, etc. are subject to rapid change and the information presented may be outdated in one year’s time.

Q. Why did we receive half or reduced credits for our course? Why was our course declined?

The Committee may award:

  • half or no credits if the presentation promotes the sale of a product or service(s);
  • half or no credits if the presentation includes motivational, inspirational and/or personal growth material;
  • reduced credits for breaks and/or lunch, if not accounted for in a course submission;
  • no credit for test or exam time; and
  • no credit for course preparation outside of course instruction.

Q. We submitted a course that had been accredited in the past, but it was not approved for the same number of credits and/or Alberta insurance class. Why wasn’t the course approved as before?

Course accreditation requests are considered on their own merit. While a course may have been approved in the past for credits, it doesn’t mean that the updated offering will be approved exactly the same way.

Q. How far back can a course be retroactively approved?

Courses are retroactively approved to a maximum of sixty (60) days from the date of receipt by the Committee. Appeal requests for courses to be retroactively approved beyond 60 days from original date of receipt will not be considered.

Q. How soon after a meeting can I view my course decisions on the Course Lookup page?

Course decisions are posted here within one week of a meeting, but often earlier. The Committee only sends written notification in the event of a course denial. When checking your course decisions by “Course Provider”, always leave the “Course Date” field blank to obtain a complete list of your accredited courses.

Q. We rebranded and changed our company name. What happens to our accredited courses?

According to Section 1(c) of the Single Course Guidelines, “If the course provider name, title of course, content, time, or structure has changed, the course is considered a new course and requires a new completed Request for Course Accreditation.” All active courses must be resubmitted for accreditation under the new course provider name. See “Accreditation Requests” FAQ for further information.

Issuing CE Certificates under a course provider name that is different from the course provider under which accredited courses were approved constitutes a breach of the Guidelines. Non-compliance can result in the cancellation of your accredited courses.

Q. We made a small change to our course. Do we have to resubmit it for accreditation?

Yes. According to Section 1(c) of the Single Course Guidelines, “If the course provider name, title of course, content, time, or structure has changed, the course is considered a new course and requires a new completed Request for Course Accreditation.”  If there has been a change in course content (however small), a course must be resubmitted for approval as it has changed from what was originally submitted and approved by the Committee. See “Accreditation Requests” FAQ for further information.

Q. We want to offer our accredited course online, but it was only approved for in-person delivery. What are our options?

New methods of delivery to existing courses must be approved. The Committee will approve new methods of delivery for an existing course to a maximum of sixty (60) days from the original date of submission. Otherwise, the course must be submitted as a new Single Course Request for Accreditation. See “Accreditation Requests” FAQ for further information.

Q. Can we change the start date of an approved course?

Course providers have sixty (60) days from approval date to request a date change.

Q. Can we partner with a third party to deliver our courses?

No. According to Section 4(a) of the Single Course Guidelines, “a course provider must not delegate the issuing of certificates to a third party.”

Issuing CE Certificates under a course provider name that is different from the course provider under which accredited courses were approved constitutes a breach of the Guidelines. Non-compliance can result in the cancellation of your accredited courses.

Q. What is the difference between “Webinar” and “Internet/Self-Study” methods of delivery?

The Committee considers webinars to be live group learning events, administered by a virtual instructor (not in the room). Attendees must attend the full presentation and be tracked both in and out to earn a CE certificate. No exam is required in this instance. If the webinar is on-demand (happened in the past but available for online viewing) and is administered to a group in a classroom, the same would apply.

However, if the webinar is on-demand and accessed by an individual online to be viewed at his/her own pace, it is considered “Internet” or “Self-study” learning. In this case, evidence of completion would be successfully passing an exam to earn a CE certificate (minimum pass rate 60% – see Section 4(e) of the Single Course Guidelines). Attendance is usually tracked via online learning software, but the Committee doesn’t require sign in/out for internet/self-study learning. Successfully passing an exam is the only requirement.

Q. We are delivering a course in-person and via webinar, but it was not approved for “Multiple” methods of delivery. Why?

Courses are approved for “Multiple” methods of delivery if offered both in-person and online (Internet/Self-Study).

Q. When I use the Course Lookup Tool to search our approved courses by “Course Provider”, I am not getting a complete list of our accredited courses in my search results. Why is this happening?

The reason you are not seeing all of your courses is because you did not leave the “Course Date” field blank. By leaving the “Course Date” field populated, you are filtering your results to only display courses valid on or after the date of your search. Always leave the “Course Date” field blank to obtain a complete list of your accredited courses. You can find the Course Lookup tool here.

Q. We have courses that are expiring soon. Is there an easy way to renew them?

There is no special process in place to renew the accreditation of a course. When a course expires, it can be submitted again as a new Single Course Request for Accreditation. See “Accreditation Requests” FAQ for further information.

Q. We submitted a course for renewal, but it was not approved for the same number of credits and/or Alberta insurance class. Why wasn’t the course approved as before?

Course accreditation requests are considered on their own merit. While a course may have been approved in the past for credits, it doesn’t mean that the updated offering will be approved exactly the same way.

Q. What is the application processing fee for a Single Course Request for Accreditation?

There is a non-refundable processing fee of $100 per submission. The $100 processing fee is established in Section 12.1 of the Certificate Expiry, Penalties and Fees Regulation, and has remain unchanged for more than 15 years. When you submit a course for accreditation, you can provide Visa or MasterCard payment details in a separate, secure PDF document. If you choose not to provide credit card payment details with your submission, you will receive payment instructions from us. Unfortunately, we do not accept American Express credit cards.

Q. What is the application processing fee to apply for Self-Accreditation?

There is a non-refundable application processing fee of $250. See “Self-Accreditation” FAQ for further information.

Q. Does the Committee approve instructors?

No. Course instructors are not approved by the Committee. According to Section 3(a) of the Single Course Guidelines, it is the responsibility of the course provider to ensure each instructor has at least twenty-four (24) months of industry experience relevant to the presentation. An approved instructor list must be maintained by the course provider. Instructor names and/or biographies are not required for course accreditation requests.

Q. Can instructors receive double credits?

Yes. Instructors may receive double credits, once per licensing year, per course that has been accredited. Instructors will not receive credits for multiple speaker conferences if the conference is reviewed as one course.

Q. As an accredited course provider, what are my obligations regarding Records and Certificates?

Section 4 of the Single Course Guidelines states that a course provider must:

  • use the approved and current certificate of completion template (including licensee’s CIPR #), as posted here;
  • keep records of participant attendance for four certificate terms after the term it was earned (for audit purposes). A “certificate term” means the period beginning on July 1 and ending on the next June 30;
  • issue certificates to participants within sixty (60) days of course completion or course approval date;
  • issue certificates to participants within seven (7) days, if the individual is subject to an audit and sends a written request to the provider. Failure to comply may result in the cancellation of a course;
  • not delegate the issuing of certificates to a third party;
  • ensure all courses including online seminars, webcasts or conferences have a verifiable method of confirming attendance for the entire presentation;
  • issue certificates with the full course name (as it appears on the application);
  • sign a certificate with an original signature, if a participant’s name is not type set in the certificate;
  • send the certificate as a protected (non-editable) document, if e-mailing to a participant.

Non-compliance can result in the cancellation of your accredited courses.

Q. We are accrediting a full-day conference. Can we issue certificates to people who only attend for a half-day?

Course providers may not award partial credits. Once a course is accredited, participants must attend the full course to be awarded the credits. If you wish to award credits for attendance at individual sessions at a conference, you must make a Single Course Request for Accreditation for each session. See “Accreditation Requests” FAQ for further information.

Q. Can my organization apply to become a Self-Accredited Course Provider?

Yes. An organization is eligible to apply to become a Self-Accredited course provider if all of the following conditions are met:

  • must offer insurance designation courses or courses which lead to a recognized insurance designation, such as CIP, CAIB, CPIB, CCIB, etc. General licensing courses and/or courses to satisfy the annual CE requirement for licensing renewals do not fall under this category;
  • must offer a minimum of 5 insurance related courses;
  • must provide a history and a code of ethics of their organization; and
  • must appoint a person to liaise with the Committee.

Eligible: Educational Associations or Institutions that meet all of the above criteria.

Ineligible: Insurance Companies and Insurance Intermediaries. Insurance Companies and Insurance Intermediaries can apply to have courses accredited as Single Course Requests for Accreditation.

Self-Accredited Course Providers are approved by the Committee. The period for Self-Accreditation runs from January 1 through December 31 of a calendar year. Course providers must renew their Self-Accreditation status annually by submitting an application for Self-Accreditation along with a non-refundable application fee of $250. Renewal packages are usually sent in October.

Self Accredited course providers are subject to both the Self-Accredited Course Provider Guidelines and the Single Course Guidelines.