Bangladesh Insurance Academy (BIA) established in 1973 in dhaka by the government of Bangladesh to impart training to insurance professionals and others taking up insurance as a career. It is an autonomous body attached to the ministry of commerce. The management of the academy is vested in a board of governors formed by the government. The academy conducts various training programmes for personnel in the insurance industry, arranges seminars, symposiums and conferences on issues relating to the insurance business. The academy started functioning in early 1974 with 12 employees.
In the same year, the academy got affiliated with the Chartered Institute of Insurance in London and started conducting coaching classes for the institute's ACII programme at its campus in Dhaka. On behalf of the Chartered Institute of Insurance, the academy conducted examinations for Bangladeshi candidates for ACII certificate. Between 1974 and 1977, the academy offered a total of 17 training courses, of which 8 were on life insurance, while the rest were on general insurance with 437 and 232 participants respectively from Jiban Bima Corporation and Sadharan Bima Corporation. These were the only two state-owned insurance corporations in Bangladesh until 1984, when the government of Bangladesh promulgated the Insurance (Amendment) Ordinance 1984 and Insurance Corporations (Amendment) Ordinance 1984 and allowed private insurance companies to operate with the primary objective of improving the services of insurance and developing a competitive spirit for the benefit of the insuring community. Participants in the academy's training courses were mainly from those corporations. A few were from bangladesh shipping corporation and some universities
and they came to study for the ACII programme run by the Chartered Institute of Insurance of London.
With the establishment of an increasing number of general and life insurance companies in the private sector, the number of participants in the academy's courses started to increase. It adopted new courses and expanded the areas of training to cater to the needs of training for insurance professionals. In 1980, it introduced a Diploma in Insurance programme under the name and style of Associate of Bangladesh Insurance Academy (ABIA). During 1974-1999, a total of 397 courses on both life and general insurance were held and these were attended by 12,071 trainees.
The courses were on agency management, sales of insurance, field management, in-service training, surveyors courses, human resources development in insurance, trainers' training for insurance, risk management and loss prevention, planning, development and office management, public relations for insurance, manpower planning and development and crop insurance.
The academy published two texts on insurance in 1982 titled Life Insurance Selling in Action and Successful Agency Building. Other publications of the academy includes Legal and Economic Aspects of Insurance, Life Insurance Law and Claims, and Bima Paribhasha (in Bangla). The academy publishes a regular journal titled Insurance Journal since 1982. It implemented a promotional project titled 'Strengthening Insurance Education' with financial assistance from UNDP. Three other important research projects undertaken and completed by the academy are (a) Crop Insurance in Bangladesh - an evaluation of the existing prorammme and a proposal, (b) Marketing of Life Insurance with special reference to rural areas, and (c) Health Insurance in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Insurance Academy offers advanced diplomas in insurance and certificate courses including Certificate of Insurance Practice (CIP) of Chartered Insurance Institute of London, Associate of Actuarial Society of India (AASI), Associate of Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII, London) and Associate of Bangladesh Insurance Academy (ABIA).
Apart from conducting various pragmatic training courses,
the academy also built and strengthened its organisational structure in
terms of infrastructure, manpower and finance. It has been responding
to changing trends in the insurance industry by constantly modernising
training facilities and upgrading standards.
[Abul Kalam Azad]