Applications Open

Certificate in Insurance Product Advice (APA)

The entry-level qualification on our pathway that gives you the foundation needed to build a career in insurance.


Whether you’re working in personal, commercial or private medical insurance, the APA designation signifies that you possess the knowledge you need to work unsupervised and advise your customers in the product area in which you’ve qualified.

Who is this programme for?

  • New entrants or those returning to the insurance industry who need to meet the requirements of The Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code 2017 (MCC)
  • School leavers or graduates looking to start a career in insurance
  • Career changers hoping to move into the insurance sector
  • Grandfathered Persons who wish to reinforce their experience with an insurance qualification

Entry-level and technical requirements

  • Be at least 18 years of age and hold a Leaving Cert or UK equivalent including a pass in Maths/Irish
  • Or, Have 6+ months of experience working in the industry
  • Or, have Mature Student Status (23+ years of age)

We deliver all of our programmes in English which requires students to have a high level of English language proficiency. 

If you are new to insurance and wish to apply for your first CIP module you will need to become a member of The Insurance Institute first. Ask your employer if they sponsor membership, if not you can apply direct.  

Key Details


  • APA (Personal, Commercial and/or Health Insurance)
  • Awarded by: The Insurance Institute


  • Certificate in Insurance Product Advice (Level 7 Special Purpose Award)
  • Awarded by: Atlantic Technological University, Sligo
  • European Credit Transfer System (ETCS): 15 credits


  • 3 in total (2 core modules, 1 elective module)


  • Online


  • Semesters start in February, June and September and are 12 weeks in duration


€360  Per module + membership fee
Applications Open

Career Pathway

The Insurance Institute has programmes to suit each stage of your career, designed to help develop the skills you need both now and into the future.

Qualification Career Pathway
    Step 1

    Certificate in Insurance Product Advice (APA)

    Entry-level qualification on our framework that gives you the foundations to build a successful career in insurance.

    Step 2

    Certificate in Insurance Practice (CIP)

    If you already hold an APA, the CIP designation will equip you to do more and grow your career by broadening your product and industry knowledge.

    Step 3

    Higher Diploma in Insurance Management (MDI)

    Grow in confidence with our advanced, professional qualification that helps you achieve more, by enhancing your technical insurance knowledge and developing key management skills, such as critical thinking, report writing, researching and problem-solving.


To be awarded the Certificate in Insurance Product Advice qualification, you must complete 3 programme modules (2 core and 1 product). Completion of a product module will indicate which area of insurance you wish to specialise in (Personal, Commercial or Health Insurance). You can complete more than one product module to broaden your knowledge and increase your career prospects.

Core modules

You need to complete these TWO core modules.

Module Code: CIP-01

The Nature of Insurance

  • The Irish insurance market
  • Risk & risk management
  • Insurable risks & their insurance solutions
  • Underwriting: the people & processes
  • The insurance contract & policy
  • The legal environment
  • Duties and responsibilities in the claims process
  • Calculating the claim payment: who should pay & how much?
Module Code: CIP-02

Compliance and Advice

  • Why & how we regulate
  • Impact of regulation
  • Agency & relationship management
  • Impact of The Central Bank Consumer Protection Code
  • Insurance documentation
  • Other legal requirements
  • Ethics & competency
  • Dispute resolution

Product modules

Once you have completed your core modules, you then choose ONE elective product module.

Module Code: CIP-03

Personal General Insurance

  • Knowing the consumer & suitability
  • Motor insurances
  • Household insurances – definitions, insurable values & information gathering
  • Household insurances
  • Travel & protection insurances — Private health insurance
  • The claims process
Module Code: CIP-04

Commercial General Insurance

  • Knowing the client & suitability
  • Commercial motor insurances
  • Commercial property insurances
  • Insurable values & presentation of information
  • Commercial property insurances – policy cover
  • Other property-related insurances
  • Commercial liability insurances
  • The claims process
Module Code: CIP-05

Health Insurance & Associated Insurances

  • Healthcare provision
  • Challenges into the future of health insurance
  • Private health insurance (community-rated)
  • Risk-rated health insurance
  • Knowing the consumer & suitability
  • Health insurance claims & administration
As a first time student with The Institute, I wanted to say thank you. The webinars were excellent and the lecturer made the content very easy to understand with real life examples to put things into context. ‒ Ashley J. Claims Broker


The Certificate in Insurance Product Advice will give you the basic knowledge and confidence you need to start your career and is delivered via live online classes and self-directed learning.

Programme delivery

Quitch Mobile App


A mobile app that improves retention and boosts exam performance.

Accessible Textbook


Accessible print and digital formats to help better visualise the material.

Online Study Supports

Online study supports

Micro-learning activities, learning plans, guideline answers, and mock exams.



Live and on-demand lectures with industry experts.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Download the Certificate in Insurance Product Advice (APA) Guide

This helpful guide will provide you with all the information you need about getting started with the Certificate in Insurance Product Advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Visit our Key Semester Dates page. Here you'll find key dates for your diary – everything from when applications open and close, when results will be released and the dates and times of exams and submissions

  • The exam paper consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and is scored out of 100.

    Exam marking

    • Minus (-) 1 mark for every incorrect answer.
    • Plus (+) 3 marks for every correct answer
    • Zero (0) marks if you prefer not to answer 
    • Forty-percent (40%) overall pass-mark
  • All fees related to the Accredited Product Adviser (APA) can be found here

  • Our Certificate in Insurance Product Advice (APA) is recognised on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and is accredited by ATU Sligo as Level 7 (15 ETCS) Special Purpose Awards. 

  • Qualification
    A qualification is an academic award conferred by an educational body e.g. the Certificate in Insurance Practice is awarded by ATU Sligo. Holders of an academic qualification have successfully completed a particular course of study, but this does not automatically mean that they are competent to practice a trade or profession – that's where the designation comes in.

    The term "designation" refers to the letters used after one's name upon successful completion of a qualification, indicating a compliant and knowledgeable professional - it is your licence to trade. Designations can be removed if certain conditions, like maintaining membership and meeting CPD requirements, are not met. The Central Bank of Ireland's Minimum Competency Code 2017 outlines the regulatory CPD requirements for maintaining compliance and designations awarded by The Insurance Institute.

    • e-book
    • Webinars and online tutorials
    • Chapter by chapter key points
    • Online mock exam with feedback
    • Access to the Quitch app which tests your knowledge chapter by chapter       
    • Microlearning resources to help with challenging topics 
  • If you have completed courses and qualifications in the past that may have contained content relevant to some of our qualifications, you could be entitled to an exemption.

    Please contact our Member Services team to discuss. 

Still have questions?

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