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Ethics online learning course

Publication date:

01 June 2010

Last updated:

17 July 2019

Author(s):

Chartered Insurance Institute, Duncan Minty

Ethical behaviour is a fundamental component of the CII's and PFS's drive for greater levels of professionalism in the sector. The CII has developed a new online course on ethics, written by Duncan Minty ACII, an independent practitioner in corporate responsibility and business ethics with 18 years experience in insurance. The course, available to all CII and PFS members, supports and reinforces the CII's Code of Ethics and is aligned with related themes in the FSA's Retail Distribution Review and Principles of Business. It explores what ethics means for business and for insurers and financial service providers and those employed by them in particular.

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It is an introductory level course, designed so that users can learn through reading, reflecting and responding and is supported by detailed real-life examples, reference to research findings that provide the user with some context, and relevant case-studies covering both the typical employee and the senior manager, making it suitable for a broad spectrum of employees engaged in a wide range of roles. 

The course, which takes about 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete (including the interactive activities), is designed around a number of distinct stages in learning about ethics: 

A broad introduction to ethics

  • What do people mean by ethics
  • How ethics can be seen in different ways by different people

What ethics means within a business environment

  • Why ethics matters within a business environment
  • Who is responsible for ethics within a business
  • What the law says about ethics and business
  • How ethics and professionalism are related

Ethics in an insurance (including a specific broker topic) and financial services environment

  • Why ethics is particularly important in an I&FS environment
  • Ethics and the core principles that underlie insurance and financial services
  • How ethics is reflected in membership of the CII
  • Ethics and underwriting
  • Ethics and claims
  • Ethics and broking
  • Ethics and marketing/sales

Practical steps for making ethics part of a working environment

  • Creating a supportive environment for ethical behaviour
  • Key steps to successfully embedding ethics within a business
  • Your role as an employee
  • Your role as a manager

How to handle ethical issues when they arise

  • Building awareness and obtaining advice
  • Facilitating and managing reporting
  • Responding to an ethical lapse

On completion, participants are encouraged to take away a 'to do' list of practical tasks (one list for employees and another for managers) to further embed an ethical culture.

Launch the online course 

Important note to CII ASSESS users: Please note that usage of the course on the Knowledge Services site is not tracked (will not appear on company reports), so members whose organisations use ASSESS should take care to complete the Ethics course within ASSESS.