Provider & Course Approval Questions & Answers
Sections 2186 to 2188.10 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) state the prelicensing and continuing education provider certification and course* approval requirements. These requirements implement Sections 1749-1749.9, 1810.7, 10113.2(b)(1)(a), 10234.95, 14090.1, and 15059.1 of the California Insurance Code (CIC) which mandates the prelicensing and/or continuing education requirements for agents, brokers, bail agents, and independent or public insurance adjusters.
To assist prelicensing (PRE) and continuing education (CE) provider certification applicants, listed below are links to the PRE and CE provider certification and course approval frequently asked questions.
- Prelicensing (PRE)
- Continuing Education (CE)
- Course Approval Requirements
- Provider Roster
- Sending Applications
- Class Presentation Schedules
- Advertising a Course
- Certificates of Completion
- Attendance Records
1. How much are the filing fees for a PRE education provider certification application?
- The filing fee for a PRE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, is $75.
- Bail: A bail PRE provider applicant is to submit the Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, and the filing fee is $75.
2. How much is the filing fees for a PRE course approval application?
- The filing fee for a PRE Course Approval Application, Form LIC 446-3, is $75 per course application.
- Bail: The filing fee for a bail PRE Bail Course Approval/Renewal Application, Form LIC 001B, is $75 per course application.
3. What must be included in a prelicensing course approval application? In addition, can a course application combine a prelicensing course and the required California Code and Ethics education?
- Refer to the required Attachment Checklist on the Course Approval Application, Form LIC 446-3, for a complete list of required items. If the required items are not submitted with the course application, there will be a delay in the approval process.
- Please note that a provider may combine a 40-hour or 20-hour general insurance course and a 12-hour ethics and California Insurance Code course and submit one course approval application for a 52-hour course or 32-hour course. Or, separate applications may be filed for each license type and for the ethics and California Insurance Code. As stated above, the combined course must include the required Attachment Checklist.
- Bail: The bail PRE education is a 12-hour requirement.
4. Can I pay my PRE provider certification and PRE course approval application fees with a credit card?
No. At this time, CDI only accepts checks or money orders.
5. How much are the renewal fees for a PRE education provider certification application?
- The fee for a PRE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, is $75.
- Bail: Bail PRE provider applicants are to use the Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2 and the fee is $75.
6. How much is the renewal fee for a PRE course approval application?
- The fee for a PRE Provider Course Renewal Letter is $37 per course renewal.
- Bail: The fee for a PRE Bail Course Approval/Renewal Application, Form LIC 001B is $37 per course renewal.
1. How much are the filing fees for a CE provider certification application?
- The filing fee for a CE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, is $75.
- Bail: The filing fee for a bail CE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, is $75.
2. How much are the filing fees for a CE course approval application?
- The filing fee for a CE Course Approval Application, Form LIC 446-3 is $37 per application. The filing fee for each additional course application is $37.
- Bail: The filing fee for a bail CE Bail Course Approval/Renewal Application, Form LIC 001B is $37 per application. The filing fee for each additional course application is $37.
3. Can I pay my CE provider certification and CE course approval application fees with a credit card?
No. At this time, CDI only accepts checks or money orders.
4. How can I submit an application for a CE course that is approved in another state?
- For contact courses, the education provider submits the NAIC Uniform Continuing Education Reciprocity Course Filing Form with the appropriate fee, outline, agenda, relevancy statement and proof of home state approval. The filing fee in California is $37 per course.
- For non-contact courses, the education provider submits NAIC Uniform Continuing Education Reciprocity Course Filing Form and an outline or table of contents, word count, relevancy statement proof of home state approval and a final examination that includes a minimum of three questions per hour of credit with questions scrambled (e.g. the questions cannot be in chapter order).
- For an additional service fee, education providers may also submit continuing education course applications on-line using Vertafore's Compliance Express. Providers using Compliance Express services will be billed monthly by Vertafore, which in addition to the service fees, include CDI's course application fee.
5. How much are the renewal fees for a CE education provider certification?
- The renewal fee for a PRE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2, is $75.
- Bail: The renewal fee for a bail PRE Provider Certification/Renewal Application, Form LIC 446-2 is $75.
6. How much is the renewal fee for a CE course approval application?
- The fee for a CE Provider Course Renewal Letter is $14 per course renewal.
- Bail: The renewal fee for a CE Bail Course Approval/Renewal Application, Form LIC 001B is $14 per course renewal.
1. What should I submit with my course approval application besides the fees?
All course approval applications require a statement on how the course is relevant to insurance topics and insurance products. In addition, the applications must include the Required Attachment Checklist items, which can be found on the Prelicensing/Continuing Education Program, Course Approval Application, Form LIC 446-3.
2. What subjects will or will not qualify for CE course approval? Section 2188.2(l) of the CCR states, in part, that subjects qualifying for continuing education course approval shall include, but not be limited to, insurance contract analysis, risk management techniques, and rating and classification sessions.
The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program or course qualifies for continuing education credit is that it be a structured learning program which contributes directly to the professional or technical competence of the individual licensed. Courses on nontraditional insurance products or programs may be acceptable if the course contributes to the professional or technical competence of the individual person in the capacity for which they are licensed.
However, Section 2188.2(m) of the CCR states, in part, that contact and self-directed course subjects that do not qualify for continuing education course approval shall include but not be limited to, sales training, motivational training, meetings offered by insurers to launch new products or programs and self-improvement programs.
Furthermore, Section 2188.2(o) of the CCR states, in part, that courses may fail to qualify for continuing education credit if the subject matter is deemed to be too basic, or is not at least as comprehensive as any applicable portion of the prelicensing curriculum. Courses which have, as a majority of their allocated time, general subject matter such as economics, demographics, taxation and law will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Courses on retirement planning, financial planning and estate planning may not qualify if the course curriculum does not reflect a substantial allocation of course time to training the agent to provide product-specific information to insurance consumers.
Section 1749.1(b) of the CIC states, in part, that no continuing education course shall include sales training, motivational training, self-improvement training or training offered by insurers or agents regarding new products or programs.
3. If the Provider Director is not available to sign the course approval application, can someone else sign in their place?
Someone else can sign a course approval application only under special circumstances where the Provider Director has a planned absence and the Provider Director can coordinate with CDI before their absence to designate another signatory. Otherwise, the Provider Director must sign the course approval application.
4. What is the deadline for submitting course approval applications?
Complete course approval applications and filing fees must be received by CDI at least 30 days before the first course presentation date. Course presentation dates for any application received fewer than 30 days prior to the course offering date are ineligible for CE credit.
5. Is it necessary for a provider to file a separate course approval application to offer a course that has already been approved for another provider?
Yes. For control purposes, each course offered by a provider is assigned a unique course number so that information associated with a particular course can be tracked.
When submitting a course approval application for a course that has been approved for another provider, an authorization letter issued within the past year from the original provider or publisher must be included.
6. What are the definitions of a "minor change" and "major change" as stated in Section 2188.2(f) and (g) of the CCR?
A "minor change" only slightly changes the content of the course without introducing new subject matter. Minor changes must be submitted in writing thirty (30) days prior to implementation. Grammar or spelling corrections do not need to be reported.
A "major change" may include, but not be limited to, changes in the course content that affect presentation time, text book used, length of program and method of instruction. A major change requires the course to be filed as a new course at least thirty (30) days prior to the first course offering date.
7. Can PRE courses also be approved as CE courses?
Only the 12-hour California code and ethics course can be approved for both PRE and CE credits. If you are providing an approved PRE California code and ethics course and you are also an approved CE provider, you can file the California code and ethics course for approval as a CE course.
8. Is it necessary to provide a copy of the PRE educational objectives to students?
Yes. PRE educational objectives should be provided to students upon initial enrollment in a class so that they know what CDI's qualifying examinations are based on and what is expected of them.
1. Does CDI certify instructors?
No. It is the Provider Director's responsibility to use instructors that meet one of the qualifications stated below:
a) Three (3) years of experience within the last five (5) years in the course subject matter, which experience may include being licensed as an insurance producer; or,
b) Possess scholastic credentials, including, but not limited to:
- a college degree in the subject matter;
- recognized professional designation in the subject matter; or
- recognized professional credential in subject matter; and
- two (2) years of experience, within the last five (5) years, in the course or related subject matter.
In addition, providers shall have each instructor complete an Instructor/Subject Matter Expert Qualification, Form LIC 446-4, to be reviewed by the Provider Director. The Provider shall maintain the form on file for a period of five (5) years for review by CDI. Do not submit the Instructor/Subject Matter Expert Qualification Form(s) to CDI.
2. Can an instructor earn CE credits for teaching an approved CE course?
Yes. An instructor teaching an approved CE course can earn the same number of credit hours as a student for successfully completing the course (Section 1749.5 of the CIC). However, no course shall be taken for credit more than once during a two-year license period. To receive CE credits, the instructor's name should be included in the attendance record and provider roster and a Certificate of Completion issued to the instructor.
1. How should I report the PRE and/or CE hours taken by my students?
- Course rosters may be submitted through CDI's free Education Provider Online Programs (EPOP). For a service fee, continuing education providers may also submit course rosters through Vertafore's Compliance Express. Providers submitting rosters through Compliance Express will be billed monthly by Vertafore.
- PRE hours must be submitted within ten (10) days from course completion.
- CE hours must be submitted thirty within (30) days from course completion.
- Paper Course Roster submissions will not be accepted unless the provider contacts the Education Unit at (916) 492-3064 and the Education Unit grants prior approval.
- Any paper course rosters received without prior approval from the Education Unit will not be processed and will be returned to the Provider Director.
1. Where should I send the provider certification application and renewal and/or the course approval application and renewal?
The provider certification application and renewal and/or the course approval application and renewal, filing fees and required attachments should be sent to:
California Department of Insurance
Curriculum and Officer Review Bureau - Education Unit
P.O. Box 957
Sacramento, CA 95812-0957
For an additional service fee, continuing education providers may also submit continuing education provider certification and course applications and renewals on-line using Vertafore's Compliance Express. Providers using Compliance Express services will be billed monthly by Vertafore, which in addition to the service fees, include CDI's filing fees.
1. How should I inform CDI of new class schedules for an approved course?
Information from the Class Presentation Schedule(s) Form LIC 446-12, must be filed through the Education Provider Online Programs (EPOP) at least ten (10) days prior to the class offering. EPOP will only accept course rosters for contact courses that have the class presentation schedule information on file. Class Presentation Schedules(s) may also be filed using Vertafore's Compliance Express.
1. May I advertise a course prior to CDI approval?
Yes. You may advertise a course as "submitted and pending for approval with the Department of Insurance". However, you must also include a disclaimer that states "the course may be rejected and no credit given or requested hours reduced".
1. What information should be included in the Certificate of Completion?
Section 2188.8(a) of the CCR states, in part, that a Certificate of Completion is to include the following:
- provider name;
- education provider approval number;
- course title;
- course approval number;
- class beginning and ending dates for contact courses or completion date for non-contact courses;
- complete address, including zip code, of where class was conducted;
- number of approved credit hours;
- a statement that "submitting a false or fraudulent Certificate of Completion to the Insurance Commissioner may subject any license application to denial, and any issued license to suspension or revocation";
- a statement that the student shall retain the Certificate of Completion for five (5) years for CE and three (3) years for PRE; and,
- a signature line for both the student and the instructor/subject matter expert/provider director.
2. Should a Certificate of Completion be issued to a student who attended less than 100 percent of a PRE course?
No. Section 2188.5(a) of the CCR states, in part, that a student must attend 100 percent of a PRE course in order to earn a Certificate of Completion. This requirement means that any sessions missed by a student must be made up. An instructor must work with the student to go over the missed materials before certifying that the student has completed 100 percent of the class and materials. A student may not be assigned homework or self-study in lieu of meeting with the instructor.
3. What should I write in as the class beginning and ending dates on the Certificate of Completion for a student who attended a make-up session(s)?
Write in the original class beginning and ending dates just as if the student would have completed the class. Attach an addendum or statement to the Certificate of Completion indicating that the class was completed out of sequence and include the make-up date(s). Do not issue a Certificate of Completion
1. Is it mandatory that providers use the Attendance Record Sheet designed by CDI?
No. You may design your own attendance form; however, all of the major elements must be included on the form. Specifically, Section 2188.8(b)(4) of the CCR states that the following elements must be included: student's name, signature, license number and birthdate in mm/dd/yyyy format; time-in and time-out; provider name and CDI approval number; course title and CDI course approval number; and date, time and location of the course. For PRE attendance forms, the education provider is required to include the last four digits of the student's social security number.
2. What kind of control do I have over students who sleep or do something else during class time?
As a provider, you should have your own classroom standards/guidelines for acceptable student conduct. The instructor should ask the student(s) to leave if the standards are not met. CDI's attendance requirement for passing a course expects that students pay attention and take part in the class. For example, a student who sleeps or reads a newspaper during class time should not be issued a Certificate of Completion. When CDI's Education Compliance Auditors conduct audits to find that the student is not paying attention and is receiving credit for the course, your provider status may be revoked.
3. Can I give partial credit to a student who has completed a portion of the PRE course?
No. Each course is approved for a specific number of credit hours. For example, if a PRE course is approved for 52 hours, providers should not enroll a student who only needs 12 hours of the California Insurance Code and ethics. This person should enroll in an approved 12-hour California Insurance Code and ethics course.
4. Can a licensee get credit for completing any approved course?
No. A licensee can only get credit for approved courses for the license type held. For example, a life, accident and health agent cannot receive credit for completing a homeowner's insurance valuation course, as this type of course is specific to personal lines and property and casualty broker-agents.
5. What do I do if my attendance record has some illegible entries or is missing necessary student information?
- For PRE course attendance records, please review the student's PRE course registration information to clarify the information on the attendance record.
- For CE attendance records, the Check License Status link on the main page of CDI's website at www.insurance.ca.gov is available to help confirm a student's name and license number.
If you have additional questions, contact the Education Unit via email at Producer Licensing Bureau E-Mail or call at (916) 492-3064.
*Disclaimer - No course approved for either prelicensing or continuing education hours or any designation resulting from completion of such courses should be construed to be endorsed by the Commissioner.