NIG First Academy going from strength to strength

NIG First Academy is back for its second year. We caught up with Suz Diemer, Head of Broker Propositions, to find out more about the NIG Academy and what First brokers can expect from this year’s programme.

What is the NIG Academy and why did you launch it?

NIG Academy, originally launched in 2017, is an initiative developed for members of NIG First – an exclusive club for our top independent brokers. We created the NIG First Academy in response to research we conducted among many of our First brokers. They told us they’d love more support to help them with a range of things, such as professional qualifications, product training, and leadership skills.

How did the first year go? Any highlights?

It went far beyond our expectations. We received amazing feedback across the board from First brokers. Two major highlights stand out for me. The first was achieving a 100% pass rate on our Cert CII programme. The second was being shortlisted for Best Training Programme in the Insurance Times Awards. Not bad considering it was our inaugural year. I suppose another more enduring highlight was being part of something that continues to make a real difference to our brokers and their people every day of the year. 

What’s the Academy offering this year?

More of the same, but we’re expanding the Academy to allow even more First brokers to enrol and attain professional qualifications, gain better understanding our products, and develop their leadership skills. But that’s not all. We’re also developing some new and exciting training propositions. Fresh for this year, we’re introducing a Sales Academy so frontline staff can hone their skills. We will also introduce our First Forward programme which will be launching later in the year. We are very excited about this new element – the first of its kind as far as we know. We have lots going on – it’s all about maintaining success, building on last year’s momentum, and continuing to support brokers develop the brokers of tomorrow. 

What are you most excited about?

It’s always exciting to launch new elements. The Sales Academy will be kicking off in June and should really support broker’s front-line employees. The First Forward programme is also a passion for me as I really love developing people.  It will put successful candidates through a two-year programme to complete their Dip CII, plus a comprehensive list of skills training, supported with a business mentor to maximize the potential of individuals. We’ve devised the programme with help from First members to maximise the benefit for them and the individuals involved. I think this programme really showcases the value we bring to our First brokers. We are also delighted that we have been shortlisted for ‘Investing in the Profession Award’ at the British Insurance Awards.

Where will 2019 take you?

We want to continue to innovate and listen to what our brokers tell us brings them the most value. We regularly meet with them to identify gaps in our offering, and to develop future opportunities with new and established brokers. I’m sure we’ll continue to build on this in 2019 and beyond.

Where can First brokers find more information?

We’ll be sending them more information in due course. In the meantime, if they want to discuss NIG Academy, our First Club or our propositions, they can contact their Senior Business Development managers or me directly. We’ll be only too happy to help make sure they’re getting the most from their First membership.

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