Where should I complete my LLQP course?
It depends on your job strategy and your preference in delivery methods. If you need a description of the LLQP, you can find it in this earlier blog.
Many trainers claim they can help prepare you to write provincial LLQP exams. However, only twelve regulator-approved organizations in Canada can officially certify that you are ready to write provincial licensing exams. These organizations include dedicated LLQP training firms, insurance companies, colleges and institutes.
To sell life insurance in Canada, you must
- Be certified by an approved education provider
- Pass licensing exams administered by provincial regulators
- Apply for a provincial insurance license
- Be sponsored (i.e. under contract) by an insurance distribution company
Your choice of whether to first enroll in a course or find a sponsoring company will depend on your job strategy; job-first or certification-first.
Most Canadians who complete an LLQP course first become affiliated and will ultimately be sponsored by a Managing General Agency (MGA) or life insurance company. MGAs are firms that focus on recruiting agents and distributing other firm’s insurance products. They are not education providers, but they often closely align their recruiting activities with approved course providers. As a result, there are significant advantages to contacting an MGA or life insurance company first before enrolling in the LLQP.
Sponsors will state their willingness to hire you before you begin studying.
Studying the LLQP curriculum takes an average of 50 to 100 hours to complete the four educational modules required to become an agent. Passing the provincial licensing exams is an achievement. Still, you cannot sell insurance unless a company sponsors (i.e. supervises) you. Therefore, knowing in advance that an employer is willing to support you is a powerful motivator to complete your training.
Sponsors can provide valuable coaching.
Education providers should provide everything you need from an instructional point of view to pass your exams. Great instructional content is one part of the studying equation; staying motivated is another. Good MGAs will encourage you as you study. They can help reaffirm your reasons for choosing a career in insurance (e.g. providing a valuable service, improving financial independence, flexibility in hours, etc.). They can also help you organize yourself from a business point of view to be immediately productive and get paid quickly soon after you are licensed.
Sponsors can introduce you to peers.
Recruiters can often introduce you to other learners to encourage each other and discuss the instructional content.
Sponsors can typically offer discounts on course fees.
MGAs and insurance companies can offer significant course fee discounts on the LLQP course price not available to individuals not affiliated with a company.
Independent and highly motivated learners may wish to pass the provincial LLQP exams first and then apply to potential employers. The main advantage of this approach is that rather than discussing things theoretically, you can present yourself as a qualified—but unlicensed—candidate. A qualified candidate may be appealing to some firms that do not support active recruiting/training programs. However, most firms that do not have recruiting programs prefer to hire licensed agents with at least a few years of insurance sales experience.
Do you already work for a financial services firm such as a bank, financial planning firm or securities firm? The certification-first strategy, or in this case, a certification-only strategy, will likely appeal.
Delivery method preference
Delivery method refers to the way that instructional content is communicated to learners. Do you prefer to attend a class in person or are you at home with online courses? Each format has its own advantages and disadvantages.
COVID severely disrupted the in-person classroom delivery of the LLQP for the few approved providers who offered this delivery method. Nevertheless, some students like the forced accountability of showing up to a classroom at a regular time and seeing an instructor face-to-face. Classroom instructors can usually answer individual student questions. If this delivery mode appeals, check carefully that your provider is regulator approved and is not offering an unapproved “prep class.” Otherwise, you will still need to enroll in an approved LLQP course to get certified.
Even before COVID hit, online learning was the heavily-favoured mode of LLQP instruction for Canadian learners. Online LLQP learning comes in two broad categories; virtual classes and self-directed learning.
Virtual classes are similar to classroom learning. Learners must log in at a specific time to listen to a lecture in real-time by an instructor. Some learners like the self-imposed accountability of having to log in at a regular time, while others—particularly individuals with busy or unpredictable schedules—can find this frustrating. One advantage is that students can pose questions to the instructor and typically receive answers, usually in the same class. However, the class size will influence how much direct interaction you have with the instructor.
One disadvantage of virtual classes is that the instructor dictates the speed at which you go through the content. If you need extra time to comprehend material or—alternatively—if you are a quick learner, moving at the instructor’s pace rather than your own can be frustrating.
The most popular delivery method of LLQP insurance courses in Canada is self-directed online learning. A significant advantage of self-directed learning is that all learning resources are available for students 24/7. First, examine what resources are available as part of the standard LLQP course. Bare-bones providers offer only PDF textbooks and lean heavily on learners’ reading abilities—considering the several hundred thousand words of LLQP content to be covered. The best firms respond to students’ questions by providing the individual with an answer and incorporating each question and answer into their instructional content for all future students to find.
A top education provider will ensure that there is enough variety in learning formats that you can choose the resources that best suit your learning style (i.e. reading, listening, watching, doing) and ignore resources that do not appeal. One thing to check is whether the course fee includes all learning formats or if you have to pay extra to gain access to each resource.
At Oliver Publishing, we believe LLQP learners deserve variety in learning formats. Our program includes the following resources
- roadmap for studying
- study notes
- Need-to-Know videos
- video lectures
- interactive exercises
- audio notes
- chapter quizzes with feedback
- mock exams with feedback
- certification exams
We hope this information we have provided will help you choose your best path to LLQP certification.