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Apprentice Employers Guide (Life)
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Apprentice Employers Guide (Non-Life)
An introduction for employers.
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What is the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship?

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is Ireland’s first apprenticeship to award a level 8 honours degree – the BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice.


The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is a 3-year work-based learning programme designed around the needs of employers in the life and non-life insurance sectors and that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. Available to anyone aged 18 and above who meet the entry requirements, it is a way for young people and adults to earn while they learn in a real job, gaining a real qualification and a real future.

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How it works

Expressions of interest from employers are sought all year round, with recruitment for the programme open anytime before the first semester of studies starts in September. Upon approval.

Below is a high level, year-by-year breakdown of the key academic elements of the apprenticeship programme.

Year 1

Year 1 is frontloaded to meet CBI minimum compliance requirements and to ensure removal of supervision early in accordance with Industry requests.


Year 2

Year 2 sees apprentices strengthening their technical insurance knowledge and continual development of soft skills.

Year 3

Completlon of Capstone Project/Dissertation tailored to suit the specific needs of your business.


BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice


Employer requirements checker

Can you recruit and select an apprentice(s) on a three-year, full-time permanent contract?
Can you provide apprentice(s) work that will allow them to gain experience and develop their skills?
Can you provide the time, facilities and equipment necessary to support the apprentice(s) in both on and off-the-job training?
Can you provide a qualified or experienced staff member who will supervise the apprentice(s) and assess/verify their work?
Can you provide a mentor and/or programme manager to provide support and guidance to the apprentice(s)?

Unfortunately, you must meet all of the requirements before you can proceed with hiring an apprentice. For more information on how we can help you meet these requirements, please contact us at apprenticeship@iii.ie.


While you meet some of the requirements, it's strongly recommended that you meet all of the requirements in order to hire an apprentice. Please reach out to our Apprenticeships team at apprenticeship@iii.ie or on 01 645 6629 and can work with you so you meet the requirements.


Congratulations, you meet all the requirements to hire an apprentice and can now be assessed. Please contact our Apprenticeship team at apprenticeship@iii.ie or on 01 645 6629 to discuss next steps. You can also reach out by submitting our Contact Us form. We look forward to hearing from you!


Benefits to business

There are many benefits for employers as a direct result of hiring an apprentice, ranging from low-cost training to staff retention amongst others:

  • Funding: The initiative is Government supported, which means the tuition fees are funded and student fees are largely subsidised and payable by the apprentice
  • Soft skills development: Apprentices will develop strong communication, negotiation and organisation skills as part of their business modules
  • Fill your skills gaps: Developed with industry stakeholders, this apprenticeship focuses on developing the specialist skills you need to keep pace with the latest technology and working practices - skills often not available in the job market
  • Fast track to compliance: The apprentice gains the Accredited Product Adviser (APA) at the end of year one and the Certified Insurance Practitioner (CIP)/QFA at the end of year two increasing your pool of qualified people


David Malone

David Malone

Member Relationships Manager - IPB Insurance

The Apprenticeship Programme is an ideal way to recruit new staff as it combines on the job training with the theory through online learning. Our apprentices have also provided valuable feedback through questions and opinions on their work in their departments and this has helped identify areas for improvements.

Diarmuid Kelly

Diarmuid Kelly

CEO - Brokers Ireland

Brokers remain a vitally important channel for consumers. Being able to attract new, young talent into broking who want to develop and prosper with a professional, rewarding career in insurance is vitally important in revitalising the industry and future-proofing Brokers presence in the marketplace.

Carolyn Higgins

Carolyn Higgins

Group Information & HR Manager - Thornton Group

At Thornton's, we were finding it quite difficult to recruit staff and to find the right people. We had to sit back and think about how we were going to solve this problem and decided upon the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship as it gave us the opportunity to bring somebody on board that we could work with from the beginning of their training and benefit our business in the long run.

Aletta Brennan

Aletta Brennan

Training and Quality Manager, An Post Insurance

Apprentices are gaining invaluable, on the job experience. The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is like a passport into the insurance industry, and as employers, we are here to help them every step of the way.

Duncan Duke

Duncan Duke

Director, Inverdea Financial Services

From the outset, we received excellent support from all involved in the programme. This included help with framing our advertisement;  guidance on the assessment of potential candidates; interview processes and guidance around employment matters. The entire process worked very smoothly and we were well supported at all stages.

We support you

With a dedicated Apprenticeship Team from The Insurance Institute and IT Sligo at your side, we're here to support and guide you through the hiring process, in addition to providing:

  • Online Resource Centre with all the latest programme updates and content specific to your role as a supervisor/mentor
  • An online learning environment that marries on-the-job training with academic study
  • A full-day training programme for supervisors of apprentices tailored both to the needs of the sector and to your needs as an employer


Expressions of interest from employers are sought all year round, with recruitment for the programme open anytime before the first semester of studies starts in September.

The Insurance Institute will host your advertisement on www.earnandlearn.ie and in addition will issue by email to the pool of potential apprentices.

A supervisor/mentor should have as a minimum the APA qualification relevant to their specified function or be a Grandfathered Person (as defined by the Central Bank MCC code)

This programme is a BA Hons degree which is a level 8 programme as classified by the QQI on the NFQ. However, apprentices will only get this award upon successful completion of the 3-year programme. In their first two years, apprentices will receive their APA and CIP awards, both of which are level 7 and comply with the Central Bank Minimum Competency Code (MCC).

The apprenticeship programme is open to employers from both the general and life insurance sectors. If you wish to find out more about the life apprenticeship programme, please contact the LIA’s programme team queries@lia.ie

Please contact the apprenticeship team on apprenticeship@iii.ie who will talk you through the process and advise of the role and responsibility of the employer. 

Although the programme is designed to attract new talent into the industry, we recognise that for some of you, you might already have someone already employed that you believe might be suitable. If you do have someone that you would like to put forward for this programme, please contact a member of the programme team to discuss further – apprenticeship@iii.ie 

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship is Ireland’s first apprenticeship to award a level 8 honours degree – the BA (Hons) in Insurance Practice. The three-year, work-based training programme combines academics with on-the-job learning, allowing appretnices to acquire both technical and soft skills. Employers recruit apprentices, where they will learn the practical aspects of the job while studying towards a degree. All study is done online through IT Sligo and The Insurance Institute. Employers will support apprentices in on-the-job learning, with regular one to one personal development sessions with an industry supervisor and mentor.

No. The apprenticeship programme is delivered using the latest ed-tech, with lectures streamed directly to the apprentice at their desks one day per week. All other study is done via distance learning, with the exception of two offsite days per semester, which are held in Dublin. All new apprentices are however asked to attend the mandatory induction day at the start of the academic year at IT Sligo.

There is no cost to employers wishing to take part. Training is fully funded by the government and student fees are significantly reduced (€600 per annum) and payable by the apprentice.

A maximum of 7.5 hours CPD per annum can be awarded to qualified supervisors for marking case study assignments.

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