Positive Changes at AmCOMP
AmCOMP (The American Society of Workers Compensation Professionals) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to professional excellence in the field of Workers’ Comp. Now in its 17th year, AmCOMP’s education program, certified Workers Compensation Professional (WCP®), was developed to help raise the professional standards in the field of Workers’ Comp and Employers’ Liability. The WCP course is offered in various colleges and universities, as well as a self-study or group study program.
John Leonard, CPCU, WCP, is the President and CEO of MEMIC and the 2015 incoming AmCOMP Board President. I had the pleasure of speaking with him about AmCOMP and what it offers to Workers’ Comp professionals, and I thought some information about the organization was worth sharing.
Q. John, you have been involved with AmCOMP for some time. When did you become a member and what sparked your interest?
John: I began my involvement with AmCOMP about 10 years ago. I always viewed education as the cornerstone to the foundation one needs to maximize his or her success within any industry. There are many valuable educational opportunities available within the insurance industry, but I was looking for something that concentrates on my field, Workers’ Compensation. AmCOMP clearly appeared to be the answer to my search. After attending a few of its programs, I found this experience to be something exceptional.
Q. What benefits have you and your company received through your membership and participation in AmCOMP?
John: A number of my employees at MEMIC have attended some of the AmCOMP seminars through the years and always came away deeply impressed with the quality of the programs offered. As word spread throughout the company regarding the quality of the AmCOMP experience, more than 50 MEMIC employees to date became involved with the WCP (Workers Compensation Professional) educational program. Perhaps, what is more important is the fact that I see participation increasing each year. Obviously, the WCP program alone is something that benefits all levels of employees.
Q. John, you are known for your personal commitment to continuing education. As a strong proponent of the WCP designation program that AmCOMP offers, what are its merits? And to whom would you recommend it?
John: I would recommend that anyone involved in the Workers’ Comp industry should seek the benefits of this unique organization. If you work in Comp, as a carrier employee, as an attorney, a healthcare professional, or a service provider of any type, you will be amazed at what you will learn by attending one of the professional seminars - as well as pursuing the WCP designation which is clearly so popular within my company. Using MEMIC as an example, we have had IT professionals, underwriters, claim professionals, human resource specialists, communication artists and senior management people participate in the WCP program. The point is simply that the breadth of this program is valuable to everyone who works within our industry.
Q. What other type of content does AmCOMP provide its members throughout the year?
John: The extent of AmCOMP’s reach has expanded over the past year as we have employed an outstanding organization, Accolade, to serve as our association management company. We have quarterly newsletters that capture the essential elements of what is happening now within our industry. A number of physicians and attorneys, as well as carrier representatives, contribute articles that highlight areas of interest that may not be found elsewhere. I already mentioned the WCP program but being a WCP myself, I cannot overstate its value. The educational programs that run semiannually are among the best in the insurance industry.
Q. Why do you feel it is important for professionals in the Workers’ Compensation industry to be a part of an organization like AmCOMP?
John: Let’s face it, this is a people industry supported by technology and other elements of our structures. But, in the end, it is people who ultimately make the difference. We learn from one another, we collaborate with one another, and we gain knowledge and support from colleagues we meet throughout our careers. Some may simply call this networking, but the real benefit occurs when there is a transfer of knowledge. You need to be among your counterparts in order to gain this informal educational experience. During my 10 years at AmCOMP, I have made hundreds of new friends, and have established new relationships with individuals who support our companies and have gained a deeper insight into techniques for handling both challenges as well as opportunities.
Q. If someone is interested in exploring what AmCOMP has to offer or perhaps even to become a member, what should they do?
John: I encourage everyone associated with Workers’ Comp to bookmark our website - www.amcomppro.com - and attend our events. Gen Re’s clients should also feel free to contact me directly for more information about this outstanding organization.