What Is the Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) Designation?

The Associate in Insurance Services (AIS) is a professional certification in the insurance industry that emphasizes general knowledge about the industry, its products, and its regulatory landscape. The AIS is administered by The Institutes, an organization dedicated to providing accreditation and continuing education to insurance professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • The Associate in Insurance Services, or AIS, is a professional designation in the insurance industry.
  • The designation stresses general knowledge about the industry, its practices, and regulatory rules.
  • It is one of many designations offered by The Institutes, an organization providing training and accreditation for professionals in the insurance industry.
  • The main coursework for the AIS typically takes between 10 and 25 months and includes a prerequisite designation program and a core course.

How the AIS Designation Works

The purpose of the AIS is to ensure that professionals entering the insurance field are equipped with a broad base of understanding about the insurance sector. Relative to other designations offered by The Institutes, the AIS is focused mainly on the fundamentals of the insurance industry. By contrast, other certifications conferred by The Institutes are focused on more specific specializations, such as the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) or Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding (AFSB) designations.

To earn the AIS, applicants must first earn one of The Institutes' prerequisite designation programs. These are administered on a self-taught basis, although additional in-person training may be available depending on the candidate’s region. In some cases, candidates may be eligible to bypass the course requirements altogether if they have already obtained a more advanced insurance-related credential. Examples of such advanced credentials include the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), the Associate in Claims (AIC), and the Associate in Risk Management (ARM) certifications, among others.

Following the completion of the prerequisite designation program, applicants must complete one additional core course, called “Delivering Insurance Services.” This foundational course provides an overview of the insurance industry, including describing the needs of potential insurance clients, and surveys some common management techniques professionals can use. Its coursework relates to such issues as leadership, teamwork, and organizational structures. Those candidates who complete this foundation course are entitled to a Certificate of Completion.

Completing the program may give applicants credit toward another designation, the Associate in Surplus Lines Insurance (ASLI)

Real-World Example of the AIS Designation

The AIS designation is commonly sought by professionals wishing to enter the insurance industry or as part of an ongoing professional education program. Because it is mainly concerned with the fundamentals of the insurance industry, many candidates will view the AIS as a platform for subsequently obtaining more advanced designations.

Today, the AIS is just one of 28 different designations offered by The Institutes. In recent years, the number of such designations has proliferated throughout the financial services industry, with many professionals finding it necessary to proactively upgrade their skills in order to remain competitive with the increasing complexity of modern financial and insurance products.