LLQP stands for Life License Qualification Program and is the standard for Canadian licensing of life insurance sales people. Before you can sell life insurance and related products, you need to earn your LLQP certification by:
- Pass an LLQP course
- Earn a certificate of completion
- Pass the provincial LLQP exam
- Pass a criminal record check
Once you’ve passed the exams, you can complete the other licensing requirements to sell life insurance, A&S insurance, and other related investment products like segregated funds or annuities.
The LLQP certification is sometimes called HLLQP or Harmonized LLQP because the certificate is valid in all provinces except for Quebec.
LLQP is an entry level program that is the first step if you want to work in life insurance with companies like Freedom 55 or Sun Life. Once you pass the LLQP, you can write the provincial licensing exam and then apply for your certificate/license to sell these types of financial products.
You should also note that there are 2 versions of the LLQP license:
A “full LLQP” which lets you sell the full range of products: life insurance, accident & sickness insurance, segregated funds/annuities.
An “A&S license” lets you sell just the accident and sickness insurance products only.
History of LLQP
Now that you know about the license, you might be curious to know about the history of how this came about.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Canadian life insurers were experiencing financial difficulties. In order to cut expenses and restore profitability, they cut their in-house sales teams and instead relied on brokers to distribute their products.
Under this brokerage system, Managing General Agents (MGA’s) took on those responsibilities and hired brokers or agents to sell life insurance products.
Financial regulators in Canada were not so keen on the move however. Most MGA’s were unwilling or unable to train sales people. As a result, CCIR and CISRO put together a certification and training program to ensure agents/brokers are knowledgeable.
Starting in 2003, anyone wanting to work as an insurance agent needed to write their exams. In 2013, CISRO released an updated design document to change the exam process to what we know today. There are now 4 modules and 4 separate exams focused on one area of required expertise.