The Malaysian Insurance Institute Transformation Blueprint 2013-2020
The Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII) had recently organised a three-day exclusive briefing on its Transformation Blueprint to the insurance industry leaders, human resource managers, insurance professionals and representatives from the insurance industry statutory associations, namely the General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM), Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), Malaysia Insurance and Takaful Broking Association (MITBA) and Association of Malaysian Loss Adjusters (AMLA). The briefings were held on 14, 15 and 16 August 2012 between 2.30 pm to 5.00 pm at the Istana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
In this issue, INSURANCE interviews MII Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Puan Khadijah Abdullah, and MII Consultant, Professor Datuk Razali Mahfar, to get a clearer picture of the MII Transformation Blueprint.
Legislations to Regulate Higher Education and Qualifications in Malaysia
The Malaysian parliament passed two legislations, namely the Private Higher Institution Act (PHEI Act) 1996, repealed 2009, and Malaysian Qualifications Agency Act (MQA Act) 2007 to regulate higher education and qualifications respectively. MII, as an institution offering professional education programmes has to comply with the requirements of the two laws.
The PHEI Act requires that institutions, other than public universities, offering programmes higher than school certificate and other than certificate of attendance be registered with, and licensed, by the Ministry of Higher Education. There are three types of higher learning institutions, namely (i) universities, (ii) university colleges and (iii) colleges. While universities and university colleges can offer home-grown programmes up to doctoral level, colleges can only offer up to diploma level. Institutions, particularly the new ones, have to start with a college status before they can be upgraded to university college.
The MQA Act requires higher education and professional programmes be accredited by, and registered with MQA. The MQA Act broadly categorises institutions into three, namely (i) self-accrediting institutions, (ii) other higher learning institutions, and (iii) professional bodies. There are only five selfaccrediting institutions in Malaysia, namely Universiti
Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. As the category suggests; these institutions, based on their long history and vast experience, are given the mandate to accredit their own programmes in accordance with the guidelines set by MQA.
As for the accreditation and audit of other higher learning institutions, MQA will set up Accreditation Committees, whose members will comprise MQA representatives and academics from institutions other than the applicant institution.
For professional bodies, Joint Technical Committees will be set up with members comprising representatives from the professional bodies and MQA to accredit and audit professional programmes. The MQA Act defines a professional body as 'any body established under any written law for the purpose of regulating a profession and its qualifications or any other body recognised by the government’.
A government body is defined as ‘the Federal Government, any State Government, local authority, authority or body whether corporate or unincorporate, established, appointed or constituted under any written law’ (The Insurance Act 2009, Regulations 2001).
Although MII does not enjoy the status similar to statutory professional bodies such as the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM), it is nonetheless a professional body set up by a government agency, BNM. Further, MII qualifications are recognised by the Malaysian
government via Insurance Regulations 1996 of the Insurance Act 1996 issued by the Minister of Finance of Malaysia.
In this respect, MII satisfies the definition of a 'professional body' as per the MQA Act 2007 under 'any other body recognised by the government’. Strengthening MII Governance Structures
In order to strengthen MII roles as a professional body and an education centre, separate governance structures have been designed to ensure clear boundaries between the two roles. In addition, the education centre governance structure which is to comply with the PHEI Act 2009 has also been differentiated and separated from the corporate governance structure which is to comply with the Company Act 1965, as depicted in the chart below.
The Malaysian Insurance Professional Standards Board (MIPSB) shall set the necessary prescribed examinations standards, requirements and curricula, from which the Malaysian Insurance Education Board shall develop education programmes to be offered to students, the majority of whom are the insurance industry employees.
The new MII governance structures will also result in the redesigning of MII organisational structure to ensure clear separation of roles in the day to day operations of the Institute.
Strengthening the Malaysian Insurance Qualifications Framework
MII has been syndicating intensively and extensively with it stakeholders namely its Board of Directors, professional members, industry chief executive officers and human resource managers, and representatives from the insurance industry statutory associations; PIAM, LIAM, MITBA and AMLA. The content of the new framework has been benchmarked with those of professional and academic institutions in the USA, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. The new qualifications framework will be adopted at a general
meeting of MII professional and institutional members to be convened in the near future.
MII Multi-stakeholder Feedback
To date more than two hundred individuals been syndicated with, involving more than seven hundred and fifty man-hours or one hundred man-days. After various engagements and iterations, the MII Transformation Blueprint final draft was presented to the ninety Malaysian insurance industry leaders and representatives on the 14, 15 and 16 August 2012. At the end of the briefing sessions, attendees were requested to provide documentary feedback via questionnaire comprising twentynine questions for Fellows and Associates of MII and twenty-six questions for industry leaders and representatives. These questions were carefully designed and triangulated to ensure the feedbacks are reliable and valid.
Of the ninety attendees, sixty stayed on to complete the questionnaires. The twenty nine questions were asked to get feedback on six areas. Each question was presented with a statement relating to the Blueprint content and recommendations with five Likert scale ratings for the respondents to choose, namely; Strongly Disagree (-2); Disagree (1); Neutral (0); Agree(+1); Strongly Agree (+2).
As we can see from the survey report summary appended below, the industry is fully backing MII and its Blueprint. Once the key recommendations have been accepted and passed at the next MII general meeting, the Blueprint will be officially launched no later than the second quarter of 2013.
What is worth highlighting herein is that the respondents have strongly agreed that MII graduates are industry-ready as they are equipped with comprehensive knowledge to perform. Currently less than fifteen percent of the twenty two thousand industry employees hold MII professional qualifications. On this matter, the respondents are of the strong view that the more industry
employees hold MII professional qualifications, the higher will be the industry growth rate.
With the heightened awareness and acceptance of this effort, we could well expect that the number of professional students enrolment with MII will increase by many folds.