CISRO Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries

CISRO Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries



There is legislation through provincial and federal Acts that governs aspects of the insurance industry. In addition to these laws, there are many bodies and associations through which the insurance industry partners and professionals cooperate and self-regulate. Again, these entities may have members within separate provinces, across the country, or even international associates. Apart from laws, there are also regulations, guidelines, and professional codes of conduct.

The purpose of all this collaboration is two-fold. On the one hand it functions to protect the public and to ensure a high standard of service to customers, and on the other, to protect the industry and foster a professional relationship among the many partners and representatives engaged in the insurance business.

As you can imagine, the documents that flow from these many sources present a mountain of particulars covering every aspect of activity and transaction within that industry. Only through a licensee’s regular review of relevant documents and continued attention to current changes in business will he or she remain a competent and informed professional. This course deals with the kind of document referred to here- The Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries publishedby theCanadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO).


The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a full understanding of The Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries. It presents precise details relating to expectations for the behaviour and conduct of representatives, as well as the need for providing customers with information about what they can expect from various industry representatives.


Course Content

This course covers the following topics:

Information About CISRO and its function

Information About RIBO and its function

Origin and purpose of the Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries

Particulars outlined in The Principles for professional behaviour and conduct

Particulars of the Fact Sheet

Obligations of licensees regarding the Principles and the Fact Sheet (“About Your Insurance Broker”)

Distribution of The Principles Document and Fact Sheet

Ensuring compliance with RIBO’s Guidance

Definition of Intermediary

Definition of Customer

Examples of conduct that would breach the Principles

Common Questions and Answers

Course Learning Objectives

Successful participants in this course will:

  • Know the origin and purpose of RIBO and CISRO
  • Be knowledgeable with regard to the origin and purpose of the Principles of Conduct for Insurance Intermediaries published by CISRO
  • Be aware that effective September 1, 2022, all RIBO licensees will be required to share copies of both the CISRO Principles Document and the new “About Your Insurance Broker” fact sheet with all their customers
  • Know that the document is consistent with the RIBO Code of Conduct (found in Regulation 991, Section 14, and in the Principal Broker Handbook)
  • Understand what this document presents as the RIBO licensee’s obligations as a registered insurance broker
  • Be familiar with the purpose of The Principles Document and Fact Sheet to help customers understand the broker’s obligations to them as their insurance broker and to promote trust between both parties
  • Be aware of the various ways that these documents may be distributed so that they reach all the branch’s customers
  • Be aware of the monitoring of compliance through RIBO’s spot check program
  • Know that despite the fact that expectations for the conduct of insurance business may differ from one province to another, intermediaries with oversight responsibilities must ensure that their employees and representatives meet high standards of ethics and integrity
  • Know all the types of industry representatives encompassed by the definition of intermediary
  • Know that Customer refers to policyholder or prospective policyholder with whom an insurer or intermediary interacts, and includes, where relevant, other beneficiaries and claimants with a legitimate interest in the policy
  • Be well-versed in the particular behavioral and conduct expectations of the Principles with regard to the following areas:

Compliance / Outcomes

Customers’ Interests

Conflicts of Interest



Product and Service Promotion

Claims, Complaints Handling, and Dispute Resolution

Protection of Personal and Confidential Information



  • Know the details provided on the Fact Sheet describing the various mandates relating to licensing of brokers including registrations, E&O insurance, and codes of conduct
  • Know the references on the Fact Sheet with regard to the following:

How Insurance Works

Broker Compensation

Understanding Customer Insurance Needs

Insurance Quotes

Personal Information

Customer Obligations 

Insurance Claims

Making a Complaint


  • Be knowledgeable about the types of conduct which would breach the Principles
  • Be able to respond competently to the common questions around the Principles
MFDA CE Coming Soon

MFDA CE Coming Soon

Mutual Funds Dealers Association of Canada

ILScorp currently has 2 MFDA accredited courses and more coming soon! Courses listed at the bottom of this post.

MFDA Continuing Education Requirements

MFDA Rule 1.2 and 1.2.6 and Policy 9 (collectively the “CE requirements”) came into effect on December 1, 2021. Only recognized Continuing Education (CE) activities taken on or after this date can be reported in the CE Reporting and Tracking System (“CERTS”) and count towards the fulfillment of the new CE Requirements.

All Participants must complete the required number of credits in each CE cycle.  Each cycle will be 2 years in length, starting December 1 of each odd numbered year. This aligns with the CSF’s continuing education cycle.

Participants registered as Dealing Representatives must take 30 credits total in each cycle, which is comprised of:

  • 8 Business Conduct (BC) Credits. A minimum of 1 and maximum of 2 of these Business Conduct Credits must relate to ethics. A single Business Conduct Credit consists of 1 hour of training in educational material that promotes, directs and guides ethical and compliant conduct. It includes education regarding ethical issues, MFDA Rules and Policies, other applicable legislation, and Member’s policies and procedures for complying with regulatory requirements. This would include topics such as conflicts of interest, Know-Your-Client standard and suitability, and complaint handling.
  • 20 Professional Development (PD) Credits. A single Professional Development Credit consists of 1 hour of training in educational material that maintains or enhances an advisor’s financial knowledge or proficiency.  This would include topics such as products, financial planning, and investment strategies and asset allocation.
  • 2 MFDA Compliance (MC) Credits. These must be obtained by completing continuing education activities specifically created and designated by the MFDA for the purposes of MFDA Compliance Credits.

Those Participants who are not Dealing Representatives, but are registered or designated as Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs), Ultimate Designated Persons (UDPs), Branch Managers (BMs), Alternate CCOs or Alternate BMs are required to take 10 credits total in each cycle: 8 Business Conduct credits (1 to 2 in ethics) and 2 MFDA Compliance credits.

For further guidance and information, please refer to the following: CE PARTICIPANT GUIDE

ILScorp currently has 2 courses accredited in the credit category of MFDA Business Conduct – Ethics – available now as part of the FP Canada CE Subscription.

Courses Accredited as MFDA Business Conduct – Ethics CE

The Ethical Agent Part 1

Credit Hours: 2

Credit Type: MFDA Business Conduct – Ethics / FP – Professional Responsibility

Credit #: MFDA# 1000000451

The Ethical Agent Part 2

Credit Hours: 2

Credit Type: MFDA Business Conduct – Ethics / FP – Professional Responsibility

Credit #: MFDA# 1000000452

New Course for RIBO Management and RIBO Ethics CE

Just in time for your September 30th RIBO CE requirements, this new course is accredited for 1 RIBO Management CE and 1 RIBO Ethics CE Credit.
This course is included as part of the ILScorp General CE Course Subscription.

Guidance on the Fair Treatment of Customers

Part 1


This course has been created using the document Guidance: Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers issued by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) and the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO).

This is the first of two parts. Guidance on Fair Treatment of Customers addresses the creation of the Guidance document, its purpose and scope, as well as an explanation of the document’s impact on five key areas of the industry’s activity. The course includes quizzes that allow participants to assess their understanding of the course material


Course Content

Includes the following topics:

Definitions of terminology used in the Guidance document

The issuing organizations (CCIR and CCRRA)

The purpose and origins of the Guidance document

Scope of the expectations

Implications for conduct of business

Implications for fair treatment of customers

Implications for business culture

Implications for relationships between Insurers and Intermediaries

Implications for relationships with Regulatory Authorities


Learning Objectives

Successful participants of the course will:

  • Understand the purpose and scope of the Guidance document
  • Be familiar with the nature and history of the organizations that created it
  • Be able to explain the way the conduct of insurance business is supervised
  • Know the importance of acting in compliance with the laws, regulations and guidelines to which representatives are subject
  • Know what constitute regulatory obligations of representatives
  • Know the function and scope of the role of intermediaries
  • Understand the importance of providing Customers with timely, clear and adequate information
  • Know the particular meaning of terms used in the Guidance document
  • Know what constitutes acting with due skill, care and diligence
  • Be acquainted with the risks that could result in unfair treatment of the client
  • Be able to describe the expectations for relationships with regulators
  • Understand the importance of protecting the privacy of Customer information
  • Possess the vocabulary, the understanding and the knowledge-base for explaining and discussing the issues around the Guidance document on the Conduct of Insurance Business and Fair Treatment of Customers.


Part 2


This is the second section of The Guidance Course which deals with the joint release by the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR) and the Canadian Insurance Services Regulatory Organizations (CISRO) concerning the conduct of insurance business and fair treatment of customers. Part 1 of the course dealt with the creation of the document, its purpose and scope, as well as aspects of the insurance business discussed in the document.


Part 2 of the course deals with the Customer Outcomes the industry hopes to achieve, as well as the specific attitudes and practices on the part of industry representatives which will accomplish these goals. There are twelve distinct outcomes articulated and for each of these outcomes there are behaviors which can be observed and monitored.

There are quizzes provided which will assist participants in checking their understanding of the material.

Course Content:

Topics covered in the course include the following areas of customer outcomes and the expectations for the conduct of representatives in each:

  • Governance and Business Culture
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Outsourcing
  • Design of Insurance Product
  • Distribution Strategies
  • Disclosure to Customer
  • Product Promotion
  • Advice
  • Disclosure to Policyholder
  • Claims Handling and Settlement
  • Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution
  • Protection of Personal Information


Learning Objectives:

Successful participants of the course will:

  • Understand that overall responsibility for fair treatment of Customers is at the level of the board and/or senior management, who design, approve, implement and monitor adherence to policies and procedures aimed at ensuring that Customers are treated fairly.
  • See the importance of relevant staff being trained to deliver appropriate outcomes in terms of fair treatment of Customers.
  • Be aware of the role played by remuneration, reward strategies and evaluation in achieving fair treatment of Customers.
  • Know the areas of risk for potential conflicts of interest as Intermediaries interact with both Customers and Insurers
  • Understand issues around responsibility and monitoring of outsourcing
  • Gain a heightened sense of the factors at play in relationships between Insurers and Intermediaries
  • Become knowledgeable about the ethical issues around product design
  • Understand the importance of representatives having adequate product knowledge in order to enable customers to make an informed decision about the proposed product.
  • Be clear about the limitations and responsibilities around providing various types of “advice” to customers
  • Be knowledgeable about issues surrounding disclosure of information in terms of changes in the policy or the customer’s needs
  • Be aware of the expectations for representatives to handle claims settlement according to all the best practices listed in the guidance document with regard to fair treatment of customers
  • Be knowledgeable about the expectations for representatives in their handling of complaints and dispute resolution
  • Be familiar with the Guidance document’s creation and purpose
  • Possess the vocabulary, the understanding and the knowledge-base for explaining and discussing the issues addressed in the Guidance document



When you hear the word “ethics” what comes to mind?

Most of our insurance education focuses on improving product knowledge and developing our sales and service skills. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, more emphasis has been placed on discussing the ethical decisions that brokers have to make daily in their dealings with other brokerage staff, their clients and the insurance companies they represent.

Ethics is all about doing the right thing in a particular situation. As insurance brokers, our clients, insurers and the public would expect us to do nothing less.

When you hear the word “ethics” what, if anything, comes to mind?

If you said that ethics involves doing the right thing – making the right decision – when in a given situation that offers other possibilities, you are on the right track.

So, it makes sense that if you choose to do the right thing, you are acting ethically and, conversely, if you choose to do the wrong thing, chances are pretty good that you are acting unethically.

There are many definitions of “ethics”, including this one:

“Ethics is about fairness, about deciding what is right or wrong, about defining practices and rules that guide responsible conduct between individuals and groups”.  [Canadian Professional Insurance Broker Program, Law & Ethics,]

Fairness is a basic ethical value – if you treat people fairly, you reduce the odds of your behaving unethically.

Here’s another definition of “ethics”:

“Ethics are both personal and societal. They are discovered by reason of introspection, yet they are shaped by our environment and the values of our culture”. [Williams, Bruce D.; Ethics, Profits and Prosperity]

So, what is being said here is that society has a set of expectations as to what constitutes ethical or moral behavior.  We need to be discerning enough to know what behaviour is acceptable to society as a whole and what is not.

Example: We work in a society where people pay us for the advice and products we provide to them. They expect us to be fair, honest, trustworthy, and loyal and all the other things they value in their insurance broker. If we breach any of these ethical values, they may well perceive us as being unethical in our dealings with them.

Finally, here’s what one insurance industry expert had to say about the meaning of the term “ethics”:

“Over the years, philosophers and other scholars have made valiant attempts to provide a generally acceptable definition of ethics. Ethics, like professionalism, is very difficult to define in a fundamental way that will win wide acceptance, but we know it when we see it. Several values are widely recognized as the requisite traits of an ethical person, including:

– honesty and integrity;

– respect and caring for others;

– promise keeping, trustworthiness and fairness; and

– personal accountability. 

These ethical values can clearly influence the kind of service insurance organizations provide. A motivated work force that is guided by these ethical values will do much to earn the trust of the insurance buying public. Trust is earned over time through dealing honestly and consistently displaying an attitude that reflects both self-respect and respect for others. If service improves, if ethical values rise, the image of insurance will necessarily improve because image reflects reality.” [Baglini, Norman A.; Ph.D.; Quality, Ethics and the Future of Insurance]

The above paragraph talks about applying the list of ethical values (from the previous paragraph) to the workplace – to our business endeavours. We normally refer to these as business ethics. What does that mean? Does it imply that the personal ethical values a person has are different from the ethical values they apply to their business dealings with others? For example, you probably value honesty; fairness; loyalty; respect; personal accountability; etc. in your personal relationships. Does that change when you do business with others? Not likely. So, business ethics is essentially the application of the personal ethical values you have to business situations.

What the Experts say: While knowing ethical behaviour when we see it is all fine and well, all organizations need to establish a formal ethics program to ensure that all staff know how to make ethical decisions when dealing with their clients.

Making the Right Ethical Decisions, is an online e-Learning course that looks at the following topics as they relate to “Ethics and the Insurance Professional”, specifically:

  • Defining “Ethics”
  • Establishing Ethical Standards – Sources of Influence
  • Basic Ethical Values and What They Really Mean
  • The Insurance Broker’s Dilemma
  • What a Formal Ethics Program Will Do For Your Brokerage

This courses is provincially accredited and satisfies the new RIBO Ethics CE requirement for 2019.

All individual RIBO licensees, including Principal Brokers, Deputy Principal Brokers and Supervising Brokers must complete 1 hour of approved RIBO Ethics CE by September 30, 2019.

This online ethical decisions course addresses Broker ethics – doing right as opposed to wrong – and that it is not all black and white.

As a result, we recognize that you may  not always agree with our answers for the “ethical or unethical” situations presented in this online course. However, in any event, the important thing is that we hope we have succeeded in identifying the kinds of situations all brokers have found themselves in and in helping you to clarify your thinking on what the proper ethical response for those situations should be.

RIBO Ethics CE, you need 1 hour every year!

The Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario recently updated the continuing education requirements for all RIBO Licensees.

As a RIBO licensee you need 1 Hour of RIBO Ethics CE by September 30, 2019, and then a new hour of Ethics CE every year between October 1st and September 30th.

ILScorp has your RIBO requirements for 2019 covered with the online course Making the Right Ethical Decisions, and we will be adding new RIBO Ethics CE courses each year.


This online 1 hour RIBO Ethics CE course can be purchased for $85.00 and is completed entirely online. Once you register you will receive a username and password to access the ILScorp e-learning centre. You will have 6 months of unlimited access to complete this course. Once you pass the final quiz you can print your CE certificate immediately. We will keep your CE certificate on file for up to 7 years in-case of audit.
Your Best Option to Access the Making the Right Ethical Decisions Course
Rather than purchase this course on its own, this course is also available as part of the ILScorp General CE Course Subscription.
The ILScorp General CE Course Subscription has over 186 online courses accredited in RIBO Management, RIBO Technical, RIBO Personal Skills and the RIBO Ethics CE Course.
This subscription is $185.00 and you receive 6 months of unlimited access to all 186 courses. Each time we release a new course you receive automatic access to the new courses at no extra charge.
So if you have an active ILScorp General CE Subscription when we release the new RIBO Ethics CE courses in October of 2019, you’ll automatically receive free access!
Contact ILScorp today.
New Courses Approved for Ethics CE Training

New Courses Approved for Ethics CE Training

Three new courses have been approved by the Life Insurance Council of Saskatchewan as ethics CE training.

Resident Life and Accident & Sickness; and Accident & Sickness Licensees are required to complete a Council approved ethics CE course totaling at least three hours in duration.

The following new courses are now available to all ILScorp Life/A&S subscribers and are council approved for Ethics CE as follows:

Ethical Theory & Conduct in the Insurance Industry: Ethics Defined & Practical Foundations
Approved for 1 ethic hour

Ethical Theory & Conduct in the Insurance Industry: The Ethical Agent
Approved for 2 ethic hours

Ethical Theory & Conduct in the Insurance Industry: The Ethical Agent Case Examples
Approved for 1 ethic hour

View All Approved Ethics Courses

Why Ethics Training?

Most industries promote or require compliance with a code of ethical behavior. When an person becomes a life agent, they have joined a trust-based occupation that carries with it the explicit or assumed acceptance of an ethical code.

The public will expect the life agent, at a minimum, to use the code as a significant determinant of his or her individual behavior. Codes do not take the place of individual accountability but, rather, help to provide professional guidance.

A society or culture is formed when individuals exhibit like behavior and agree with basic theories on how to live and work together.

Whether one defines ethical behavior as moral, religious, cultural (i.e., an American principle) or professional, it is generally agreed that it begins with an unwritten group of ideas that define “right behavior” in various circumstances.

Ethics refers to the rules that govern “good, correct, accountable, and prudent conduct” – concurrent with the pursuit of self-choice, self-expression, personal happiness and professional development.

Ethics includes several important human traits:
• Holding and practicing empathy and respect
• Demonstrating integrity and honesty
• Working to satisfy the needs of clients

An individual’s code of ethics – influenced by belief systems – describes the moral, intellectual and emotional attitudes they hold towards their environment and circumstances.

Ones set of morals shows itself in how the individual behaves both professionally and personally. Those holding a strong sense of self-respect, self-acceptance, and positive regard for others will act in the best interest of others.

Everyone remains a product of their environment, encompassing social, personal, spiritual, economic, political, and professional spheres. However, intellectual, emotional, and experiential development equip people to maximize their individual growth potentials and capabilities within the context of a positive ethical framework.

Looking for RIBO Ethics CE?

Let’s have a closer look at the first course in the series, Ethical Theory & Conduct in the Insurance Industry: Ethics Defined & Practical Foundations.

Ethical Theory & Conduct in the Insurance Industry: Ethics Defined & Practical Foundations, explores the sources of variation in ethical standards among individuals and looks at the question of whether those differences are innate or are environmentally shaped.

The course also presents a definition of ethics in the context of the insurance business, including the benefits to clients of having an insurance representative and dealing with a quality firm.

Participants will cover details regarding the purposes and workings of regulatory and industry bodies, including the responsibilities of life agents and how insurance companies generate a profit.

Finally, the course describes an effective life insurance business model which identifies the needs of clients and assumes the highest level of responsibility for the manner in which it deals with those clients.

Topics covered:

Theoretical Foundations of “Ethics” and Introductory Concepts
Regulatory & Industry Guidance for the Life Agents and Agent Responsibilities
Ethics and the Professional Insurance Agent/Broker
Marketing Life Insurance
The Agent’s Attitude
The Advisor and the Counselor
Quality Business / Cost and the profit factor
Government Regulation / Industry Regulation
Provincial Insurance Councils
Advocis: The Financial Advisors Association of Canada
Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Board
Discovering Insurance Needs / Know Your Client Principle
Example: Breach of Duty of Care
Professionalism – Business Practices
Criteria for a Vocation to Qualify as a “Profession”

Included in Life/A&S CE Subscription

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