TAL is one of Australia’s leading life insurance specialists, providing Life, Total and Permanent Disability (TPD), Critical Illness and Income Protection insurance solutions to approximately 40% of the Australian working community. For 150 years, TAL has been protecting people. Together with their partners, TAL protect 4.5 million Australians, helping them look after what matters most so they have the freedom to keep living the life they planned, no matter what happens. TAL is the only insurer in Australia with a significant footprint in offering life insurance to customers via financial advisers; through Group insurance; directly from TAL over the telephone or online; and through an existing relationship with one of TAL’s alliance partners (including health and general insurers).
TAL is proud of the reputation and relationships it enjoys with financial advisers. The need for advice is more important than ever to Australians and as TAL is a leading life insurer, they are aware that through financial advisers, Australians are least likely to be impacted by under insurance and can have financial security in place. By placing strong emphasis on shared value and long-term partnership, TAL has continued to build its brand, meet and exceed customer expectations, and remain a trusted leader within the financial services industry.
The past few years have seen elevated levels of scrutiny alongside changing competitive and industry dynamics, bringing significant changes to the operating environment for life insurers and advisers specifically. As part of their work to govern the conduct of professionals in the financial advice sector, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) established mandatory educational and training requirements. The rising education standards play a pivotal role in rebuilding consumer confidence in the advice sector and TAL is continuously thinking about how they can deliver content to upskill advisers and empower them to improve the quality of advice. The TAL Risk Academy is a unique program designed to support the professional advice sector by helping advisers meet their new education requirements and fulfil their best interest duty to their clients through a range of technical and soft skills courses. With rapid changes occurring in the financial advice industry, TAL is committed to supporting financial advisers to comply with the new advice standards and regulations. TAL has developed and delivered a program of learning to help keep financial advisers in the industry. The introduction of FASEA’s education requirements has had implications on all advisers and the industry. The TAL Risk Academy FASEA Exam Masterclasses focus on supporting advisers with their preparation for the exam, providing key information to be aware of, guidance on the materials to be across, and advice on how to prepare in a way that will maximise the potential for first time success. TAL sought to add value by keeping abreast of the rapid changes occurring in their profession, so advisers can continue to be well-equipped to provide quality advice to Australians well into the future. These Masterclasses include face-to-face workshop courses, materials created to allow best preparation and follow-up support. A post course practice test is provided to allow financial advisers to test their knowledge and prepare for passing the exam itself. The Masterclasses play an important role in addressing confusion and apprehension around the exam process, as well as addressing the content the exams will cover.
The TAL Risk Academy provides training to help advisers deliver the best solutions for their clients. TAL launched the FASEA Exam Masterclasses to support advisers, improve brand and profile for TAL and support and introduce new relationships to TAL. The FASEA Masterclass has been designed to support experienced advisers in the preparation for the exam, exploring thought-provoking, advanced concepts.
The need for advice is more important than ever to Australians and for TAL as a leading life insurer. TAL endeavour to play a leading role within the industry and this program provides positive commentary both in the wider market and within the business’ sales team. The new advice education standards have broad implications for licensees’ training programs and plans for advisers. Helping advisers understand exactly what studies they are required to undertake to fulfil their FASEA requirements can help alleviate some of their anxiety associated with having to return to study, in some cases, after decades. The FASEA Exam Masterclass series provides an opportunity to continue to show leadership in the education and support space for advisers. At TAL, they have always believed in providing advisers and their teams with practical support and guidance. Their courses are designed based on their feedback and updated for relevance to ensure they are “exam ready”. It is this belief and TAL’s experience in education and training that has allowed their business to respond quickly to provide support to advisers with the new educational requirements.
The TAL Risk Academy is led and managed by TAL’s Licensee and Partnership team and informed by the broader business to ensure the courses have relevance and impact on advisers. As with all new developments, preparation and management of the launch of the courses proved difficult. The limited information available and the different skillsets in the small teams were an initial challenge, which had been overcome to create a market-leading initiative for advisers. Through the TAL technical team, they felt they had the requisite skills to support advisers in preparation. In order to develop this program of learning, and to manage the challenges, it was important TAL reviewed capabilities in the industry. TAL’s team then had to consider how best to create a program of learning centred around the needs of financial advisers and the goal of preparing for the exam. Their job at the TAL Risk Academy is to provide advisers with the best learning environment and to continually adapt to the changing industry and adviser needs.
At TAL, they believe strongly that a sustainable financial advice sector is crucial to ensuring the financial wellbeing of all Australians now and into the future. In December 2019, the TAL Risk Academy program finished the year with the strongest uptake rates recorded since it launched four years ago. This record performance follows the introduction of the FASEA Exam Masterclasses earlier in the year to help financial advisers prepare for the examinations. The recognition TAL received encouraged their team to continue to provide the best support they can to advisers as they build their capabilities, which ultimately leads to improvements in the quality of advice for all Australians. The key to the Masterclasses’ success lies in their product-agnostic nature. They have taken a practical approach and made sure their courses are fit-for-purpose and evolving at the same speed as market developments to meet advisers’ needs.
The Masterclasses provide an opportunity to drive brand awareness and consideration metrics by interacting with the community in a meaningful way and the course has received significant PR and social media support amongst adviser communities that has helped the TAL brand. The Masterclasses have helped to further position TAL as a different kind of life insurer that is connected with the needs and interests of the wider industry.