By Aamir Chalisa, MBA, LUTCF, LACP
NAIFA has rolled out the Life and Annuities Certified Professional (LACP) certification. The association launched the certification at the MDRT meeting in June, where it was well received by attendees.
In the few short weeks since its launch, more than 130 established financial professionals have been certified to be LACP candidates, and 125 more are in the process of completing their application, with the number of applicants continuing to increase each day. And the momentum continues. SagePoint/Advisor Group and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. recently informed NAIFA that they have approved the LACP for use by their representatives. And dozens of other companies are reviewing the certification for use by their agents.
My involvement with the LACP
I am very proud of my involvement in the developmental stage of the LACP. I was invited by NAIFA to work with the strategic partner who created the test. I helped write test questions for the exam and had detailed discussions with fellow committee members about what the LACP certification is all about, and how it will help agents demonstrate to their clients that they are true experts in life insurance and annuities, beyond their industry licenses.
As we worked together, we concentrated on creating questions that give a case study and test the practical knowledge of an agent, above and beyond the topic itself. By working collaboratively, we were able to come up with a great exam that truly tests a candidate’s knowledge of life insurance and annuities.
NAIFA then asked me to join them at the MDRT meeting, and what an experience that was! Standing at the NAIFA booth for three days and talking to hundreds of agents from across the world gave me an opportunity to get to know them and to talk to them about what NAIFA is and what the LACP certification is all about. Also, I was able to share some first-hand experience with them about the certification process, since I was going through it at that time. In fact, I believe that I was the sixth agent to be LACP-certified!
I was also able to answer a lot of questions by the attendees about NAIFA. Many stopped by just to take pictures, while others used our comfortable sofas to relax and rest between sessions. It was interesting to converse with many who barely spoke English; so, having information about the LACP in many languages was very helpful. It made me realize what a global world we live in and the opportunity NAIFA has to create a name for itself throughout the world by promoting the LACP certification. In addition, it was great to see many attendees from the U.S. sign up for the certification on the spot, since they were keen to have it on their business cards.
Overall, the LACP is a certification that tells consumers that the agent they are doing business with is knowledgeable about life insurance and annuities and has earned the certification through experience or by mastering the exam content. Consumers can feel they can trust an agent who has this certification.
The LACP certification is another feather in the agent’s cap. It tells the client that the agent is not only licensed by his or her state’s Department of Insurance, but is also certified by a renowned and well-known association. I am sure that in years to come, agents who have this global certification will stand out from the rest and will cherish the fact that they have it. I know I will!
Aamir Chalisa, MBA, LUTCF, LACP, is Managing Director with Futurity First Insurance Group in Oakbrook, Illinois. He is a member of NAIFA’s National Diversity Task Force. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.