This is the first President’s Message to appear in the new RIBO Review format, and the fourth overall to appear during the global pandemic. Like all of you, I had hoped that this would be behind us by now. With the vaccine rollout, there is definitely good reason for optimism. I truly hope that my next Message will be written in a post Covid environment.
In the past year, RIBO has been redefining itself. Our consumer protection responsibilities have not changed, but how we conduct our activities has been rethought, retooled and in many instances, re-deployed. Perhaps most notable is a transition away from the exam administration function. We have partnered with both the Insurance Institute and the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario who will now administer RIBO licensing exams on our behalf. Both organizations have the resources to conduct this activity with expertise and efficiency. As a result, an applicant’s first interaction with RIBO will be after they havepassed the licensing exam.
The licensing exam itself has also been transitioned to 100% multiple choice. We are confident that the rigor of the previous exam has been maintained in the new format. Further, by no longer spending time on administering the exams, RIBO can better focus on ensuring the content of the exams remain relevant and up to date.
The application process itself is changing as well. An online-only application is in the final stages of testing and should be rolled out this Spring. Everything from the criminal record check to payment has been built into the form, and should lead to significant efficiencies in our review process.
Many of these changes have been the result of an enhanced focus on both technology and better communication. Introducing tech expertise in-house has enabled more creative and expedient approaches to problem solving. Similarly, a Communications Committee of Council is working hard with staff to strengthen our messaging efforts. The recent online ‘town halls’ are examples of this, as is the RIBO Review which you are currently reading. Improved messaging at our website, ribo.com, is also being introduced.
These refinements, improvements and investments come with a cost, of course. Similarly, as we rethink how RIBO operates, we are also considering staffing and technology requirements. This is a necessary and evolving process, but one that will strengthen RIBO and help it to better fulfill our commitment to public protection and customer service.