Sovereign - Underwriter Competency Framework

  • Sovereign - Underwriter Competency Model


  • Operations Department - Underwriting
  • Design of a specific strategic Human Capital Management process
  • Focus groups
  • Stakeholder participation and ownership

Reasons for the initiative

The underlying driver behind this initiative was an under-supply of skilled medical underwriters in the New Zealand market which was posing a potential threat to one of the organisation's core capabilities. This market under-supply was also creating challenges to sustainable labour cost management.

About the Assignment

Sovereign Assurance Company Limited (Sovereign) is a New Zealand-based financial services company which provides life and health insurance, home loans, investment and superannuation products.

Working with the organisation's medical underwriters and relevant management stakeholders, the thrust of this initiative was to develop a multi-level competency framework that could be used as reference from which to evaluate current capability and guide the forward development of medical underwriters.

Person, Role and Relationship

Scott Constantine, In-house Senior Consultant, contract role.


  • A four level framework precisely detailing knowledge, competency, decision making ability, boundaries and handover points was developed along with assessment criteria.
  • A clear development pathway from entry through to Senior Underwriter level, enabling learning, development and practice opportunities to be precisely managed, as well as providing fair and transparent criteria for promotion and progression.