Ethics Training in Insurance

Ethics training in insurance is too often pitched at ‘where you have to get to’. What’s missing are the steps to get started and the steps to build confidence. These are what generate the outcomes the the firm is looking for. In weighing up your ethics training, look for these attributes…

  • It should be based around common insurance practices that resonate with people
  • A customer voice or interest should be featured at each stage
  • The practicalities of getting started in ethical decisions should be a key feature.
  • It should be orientated around the main ethical issues that a firm and its people are encountering
  • It should use stories and encourage people to contribute stories too
 Ethics training can be relevant, practical and stimulating. Properly organised and facilitated, it can also surface some important issues for firms to address.


How much of a priority is ethics training within your firm’s L&D programme? There’s often a tendency to outsource it, and give precedence to more technical insurance training. Both are understandable, but both could also be increasing individual and firm level accountability risks.

And UK insurance executives recognise this - 28% think that by 2022, the greatest risk they expect to face will be personal regulatory sanction because of their firm's compliance failings. Ethics training needs to be part of their firm’s response.

I’m not saying that technical training is not important, just that ethics training should be treated as of equal importance. And while outsourced training can be good, it can also be too generic and detached from the issues that your firm needs to address.

In my experience, good ethics training is built upon three simple things..

  • You learn what ethics means in relation to insurance and why it matters to your firm
  • Your learn about what is expected of you and about the skills you will need to deliver that
  • Your practice those skills through case studies and ethical dilemmas, designed around your role.

Use these three things, and other resources on this webpage, and you can start to move your training from generic to specific, from aspiration to risk, and from thinking to doing.

Contact me if you'd like me to carry out an assessment of your existing ethics training programme.  


Different people in your firm will have different training needs, influenced by the ethical risks and expectations associated with their role. This guide looks at just how good you need to be at a popular training tool - the ethical dilemma.

ethical dilemmas

The challenge to overcome when thinking about the ethical expectations that training needs to be geared towards, is that all your people are good people, and so don't need much ethics training. 

Of course all your people are good people, but remember that most misconduct in corporate settings is not down to bad people doing bad things, but down to good people making poor decisions. Ethics training helps good people make better decisions, in line with your firm's ethical vision and values. 


Four Training Courses on 'Ethics and Insurance'

I have written comprehensive training resource on these four key elements...

1.  Ethics - what it is, why it matters and what is expected 

2.  Ethical Decision Making

3.  Tackling Ethical Dilemmas with Confidence

4.  Leadership on Ethics for Insurance People


What students have said about training resource I have created...

Engaging and thought provoking with lots of practical, real life examples and exercises.
Concise, relevant and a very useful refresher tool
Interesting, practical and helpful. I'd recommend this to any practitioner.


Six Signs of Poor Ethics Training

1. the ethics training is not orientated around the key ethical risks that the firm is facing;

2. it’s being applied on too broad a basis – it needs to be focused on to the people who most often make decisions that touch on those key ethical risks;

3. it shows people what ethics looks like, but doesn’t give them the knowledge, skills and practice to go on and confidently address those ethical challenges themselves on a regular basis;

4. it is too top down. It should be based on what people want to know about the situations they face. Get them involved so as to deliver more resonant training;

5. it’s too individualistic and siloed. Good ethics training feeds off discussions and the sharing of challenges and solutions;

6. assessments give feedback that is too generic or vague. Feedback loops can work wonders with training effectiveness.

In this article, I mention two training stories with very different outcomes...

Don't take the wrong approach to ethics training


Training for Impact

Ethics training is a waste of time, unless it has some form of impact. And to have that impact, it must cover the right things, be relevant to those taking it, and practical enough to be used in their everyday work. All very good you might think, but what evidence do we have for that impact? And by impact, I don’t mean a ‘feel good’ factor, but the actual influencing of business decisions. Recent research sheds some light on this...

What Impact does Ethics Training have?


Should Ethics Training be a Priority?

The UK conduct regulator is expecting the level of detected misconduct to increase by at least 25%. This is not from new risk, but from better detection of existing risk. Ethics training is all about addressing that existing risk, because that is what the regulator is doing...

Why Ethics Training has to be a Big Priority 

Why Ethics Training needs a Big Rethink


A Critical Friend

I help insurers with their ethics training in four ways....

1.  I review their existing ethics training 

2.  I draw together the topics that their ethics training should be covering

3.  I write ethics training resource to address those topics

4.  I write assessment resource so that the firm knows how its people have progressed.   

Get in touch if you'd like to have an informal chat.


Assessing Integrity

The point of assessing integrity is not to show good people what good decisions look like, for they believe their decisions are good ones already. The point of assessing integrity is have those good people challenge themselves around the integrity of their sometimes questionable decisions. 

Read more here... Assessing Integrity in Good People

Jump to other 'Ethical Skills' themes...

Search across all articles for what interests you...