Online Prelicensing Courses - Questions and Answers
1) When can Education Providers submit an Online Prelicensing Course to the CDI?
Online prelicensing courses are currently being accepted.
2) When can approved online prelicensing courses be offered for Prelicensing Education credit?
The Producer Licensing Bureau will review and qualify online prelicensing courses. A "qualified approval" provides all of the rights of a routine approval. The term just means that these courses will be subject to the possibility of changes to the course in the event that the regulations include some elements that conflict with elements of a provisionally approved course.
3) Will online courses receiving "qualified approval" be re-reviewed by the CDI?
Yes. Once the new regulations are promulgated, the Department will re-review each course and work with the education provider (if necessary) to ensure that the course meets the requirements set forth in the new Regulations. However, it is anticipated that the majority, if not all, of these courses will not need any changes to them once the regulations have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law.
4) If a student completes an online course which had received "qualified approval," will he/she need to retake the course once it has been formally approved by the Department (after the regulations are promulgated)?
No, the student will not need to retake the course.
5) What types of prelicensing courses can be submitted for online course approval?
Prelicensing courses offered through the Internet that meet the standards specified in Section 1749 (g) of the California Insurance Code may be submitted for review (i.e. a 20-hour or 40-hour product training course, and the 12-hour code and ethics training course).
6) What are the specific requirements for an online prelicensing course?
In addition to meeting the prelicensing educational objectives and minimum time requirements stated in Section 1749 (a) through (f) of the California Insurance Code, the online course must address the security requirements set forth in California Insurance Code Section 1749(g) which states, in part, each course must include: Safeguards in place to ensure that the student completing the course is the person enrolled in the course; Adequate methods used to monitor the students' attendance; Methods for the student to interact with the entity providing the training; and, Adequate methods used to record the times spent completing the course.
7) What safeguards are acceptable to ensure that the student completing the course is the person who is enrolled in the course?
Safeguards could include, but not be limited to, items such as:
a) Authenticating the students' identity on a periodic basis upon entering, during, and exiting the course (e.g. course employs miscellaneous types of questions that only the student would know and requires them to be answered correctly);
b) Require the student to sign an affidavit (real or electronic) that states the student, and only the student, completed the course. In addition, the affidavit states the student attests that he/she completed the 20 or 40 hours of product training, whichever is applicable, and the 12 hours of code and ethics training.
8) What are acceptable measures to monitor the students' attendance?
Measures to monitor the student's attendance could include, but are not limited to, items such as:
a) Design the course in such a manner as to ensure that the course cannot be completed by the student in less time than the period specified in Section 1749 of the California Insurance Code;
b) Course may include an electronic component that monitors, tracks and can provide rosters on the students' time spent completing the course and each section of the course; or,
c) Course may include an electronic component that logs the student out of the course after a period of inactivity of twenty minutes, requiring the student to log back in and re-enter the course.
9) What are acceptable methods for the student to interact with the provider of the training?
Acceptable methods for the student to interact with the provider could include, but not be limited to, items such as:
a) Course may include a "participatory" component that requires the student to answer review questions after each section (e.g. based on the percentage of test questions per section the 40-hour product training course could include 37 review questions based on material covered in Section I and II, 45 review questions for Section III, 32 review questions for Section IV, and 6 review questions after Section V);
b) The course may provide at least four interactive multiple choice inquiry periods during each hour of the course. Interval periods include, for example, the student's active participation in the course by responding to questions or by searching the online text;
c) Allow the student the ability to contact an instructor regarding course requirements and materials. Instructors would respond to the student within 24 hours.
10) What are acceptable methods to record the students' time spent completing the course?
Acceptable methods to record the student's time spent completing the course include, but are not limited to, items such a time clock on the online course screen that shows the student the amount of time allocated for each section; a time clock on the online course that will not allow the student to proceed to the next section until the allocated time has passed; or monitoring the student's activity on the course so that the student's time is recorded for the entire time that the student is logged onto the course.
11) Can a student successfully complete the online prelicensing course in less time than the minimum hour requirement?
No, the student must complete the minimum number of hours required (i.e. for a 40-hour product training course, the student is required to complete 40 hours of online course training and for a 12-hour code and ethics training course, the student is required to complete 12 hours of online code and ethics training) as stated in Sections 1749 (a) through (f) of the California Insurance Code to successfully complete the online prelicensing course. If the student finishes the course prior to the minimum time requirement, the student will need to return to the course and continue to review the course material to satisfy the time requirement.
12) Can a student combine an online prelicensing course and a classroom prelicensing course to complete their prelicensing education requirement?
Yes. For example, a student may take a 20-hour or 40-hour online prelicensing product training course and complete a 12-hour code and ethics prelicensing classroom course to complete his or her prelicensing training requirements. Or the student can complete the 12-hour code and ethics online course and complete a 40 hour or 20 hour prelicensing classroom course to complete his or her prelicensing training requirement.
13) How do Education Providers submit online prelicensing courses to the CDI?
The Education Provider must submit a completed Course Approval Application, form LIC 446-3 along with the $68 (effective March 1, 2015 this fee will be $75) Prelicensing Education course fee. In addition, the following items are also required:
a) a copy of the online prelicensing course in print format that provides references of where (i.e. page number) the online prelicensing course covers that material in the California Department of Insurance's educational objectives. This cross referencing will expedite the review of the online prelicensing course;
b) the computer diskette or the Internet address of the California version of the proposed course with the log-on and password; and,
c) an explanation of how the security requirements required by Section 1749 (g) of the California Insurance Code are incorporated into the course.
14) How long will it take for the Department to review and "provisionally approve" an Online Prelicensing course?
Courses will be reviewed as quickly as possible. However, the time to complete the review of a course will be directly affected by how expeditiously the providers respond to any course deficiencies identified by the Department. If the provider responds to the Department's concerns in a timely manner, we anticipate the review process could take approximately two weeks for the final approval of the course.