Broker licensing exam irregularities influenced RIBO changes

Broker licensing exam irregularities influenced RIBO changes

Broker licensing exam irregularities influenced RIBO changes | Insurance Business Canada

Insurance News

Broker licensing exam irregularities influenced RIBO changes

Updates will cover entry-level exam questions and a new integrity policy

Insurance News

Gia Snape

Ongoing updates to the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario’s (RIBO) Level 1 broker licensing exam questions are part of its response to exam irregularities uncovered earlier this year, the organisation confirmed to Insurance Business.

RIBO is also planning to introduce a new academic integrity policy in the near future. The new policy “will serve as a powerful deterrent, discouraging any attempts to compromise the fairness of our exam processes,” according to Jessica Harper, director of policy, licensing & standards at RIBO.

Aside from these actions, the Ontario self-regulatory broker body has also made strategic investments “to equip the organization and its exam service providers with additional tools to scrutinize exam data comprehensively, identify irregular patterns, and take prompt corrective action.”

“Exam results and patterns of behaviour displayed by individuals during any exam administration are regularly reviewed for irregularities and breaches of rules,” Harper said.

“In all instances where irregularities are detected, our service providers can and will nullify results out of an abundance of caution.”

What are the changes to the RIBO Level 1 exam?

Late last month, RIBO announced changes to its entry-level exam, which serves as the cornerstone for becoming a licensed insurance broker in Ontario.

The changes are meant to ensure that new brokers possess up-to-date knowledge and skills needed in the industry, and follows an extensive review conducted with industry experts earlier this year, RIBO said.

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One of the key updates is an increase to 100 multiple-choice questions geared towards a more comprehensive evaluation of subjects such as legislation and insurance product knowledge.

Additional questions will also test candidates’ knowledge on commercial insurance.

The new exam questions will be piloted in November 2023, gradually refreshed throughout 2024, and fully integrated by January 1, 2025.

The increase of exam questions to 100 will start on January 1, 2024. Fees for all RIBO exams will also rise to $100 on the same date.

‘Cultivating a culture of integrity’ in Ontario brokerages

In a decision, RIBO said it nullified the Level 1 exam result of an individual named Surjeet Singh following exam administration audits stemming from a potential breach of exam security.

Singh wrote the entry-level exam via virtual proctoring in November 2022 and had received a passing mark. The exam nullification was made in April 2023.

That same month, RIBO Q&R chair Thomas Watson issued a message to principal brokers urging them to “cultivate a culture of integrity within [their] brokerages.”

“We are working to ensure that only qualified individuals are becoming licensed, and we thank you for your patience,” the statement said.

“We are also looking to you, as Principal Brokers, to cultivate a culture of integrity within your brokerages. All incidences of exam breaches and irregularities will be investigated.

“If a breach is determined to have occurred within a brokerage office this could lead to consequences for the brokerage, including a suspension of online examination privileges for brokerage staff.”

What are your thoughts on RIBO’s exam changes and response to exam irregularities? Share them in the comments below.

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