Loss Control Specialist


What does this person do?

Loss control specialists work in the field inspecting job sites, shops, warehouses and other business areas looking for hazardous conditions and ways to fix them. Their primary responsibility is to limit injury, loss, and accident. Specialists in healthcare focus on preventative medicine as well as improving work environments. Those interested in this career should be familiar with engineering, or safety management. Ideally, candidates should prepare by getting a degree that emphasized both technical expertise and business skills. Loss control specialists inspect businesses on behalf of insurance companies and provide loss prevention recommendations to reduce the frequency and severity of losses arising from fire, crime and liability. Loss control specialists also:

  • Identify potential areas of concern – inspecting a fire prevention system, recommending the best way to store materials, developing supplementary computer systems and helping customers to understand their responsibilities for a faulty product.
  • Inspect risks, determining their degree of exposure to fire, crime or liability loss.
  • Report exposures to a variety of audiences and comprehension levels and recommend a course of action to reduce the frequency or severity of loss and eliminate loss exposure.
  • Help insurance companies charge appropriate premiums and reduce the potential for losses that may be caused through injury, criminal activity or physical hazards.

Some examples of roles within this field are: loss prevention engineer, loss prevention specialist, safety consultant, and risk consultant.


Personality Traits

Do the following statements describe you?

  • Your studies require you to use your investigative skills, read complex plans and documents while also developing your interpersonal and communication skills
  • You have the ability to communicate with others from various backgrounds and levels within an organisation
  • You are self-motivated, outgoing, open-minded, and enjoy learning
  • You are creative and analytical, with strong customer service skills
  • You are comfortable using a variety of computer applications and have excellent report writing skills

If you answered yes to these statements, then a career as a loss control specialist might be the perfect fit!


Learning Path

Each institution has its own entry requirements. Schooling and obtaining a National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course are the normal requirements.

The training you will require to work in this occupation will depend on the nature of the insurance environment in which you work (i.e. short-term insurance, long-term insurance, medical or other specialist insurance). Different training and regulations also apply to those working directly with clients versus those working in the claims-handling divisions of the insurance industry.

A couple of learnerships at NQF Level 4 are applicable to the occupation of Loss Control Specialist (commonly known as: Insurance Risk Surveyor). While you require a minimum of a Grade 11 or NQF Level 3 qualification to access these learnerships, most people only access them after having completed a National Senior Certificate or Grade 12 with Mathematics and Accounting as subjects:

  • Learnership in Short -Term Risk Management Level 4
  • Learnership in Long Term Risk Assessment Level 4, which can be followed by the Learnership in Long Term Risk Assessment Diploma Level 5

You can also study with training providers that are registered with the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA). The minimum entry requirement is a National Senior Certificate. Candidates on this stream can move to progressively higher levels of professional designations awarded by the IISA. It should be noted that in the Long Term, Health Insurance and Specialist Insurance markets (e.g. motor or aeroplane insurance) many Loss Controllers (Insurance Risk Surveyors) may be required to have a medical or other specialist qualification that is relevant to the field.

Please also note that the learning paths for the occupations of Insurance Investigator, Insurance Loss Adjustor, Insurance Agent and Insurance Broker may also be relevant to the occupation of Insurance Risk Surveyor.


Professional Regulation

Professional body membership and professional designations are highly valued by the market and for this reason many Loss Control Specialists (Insurance Risk Surveyors) follow learning paths that lead to professional designations. The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) offers Programs in Insurance, or provides recognition of other insurance related qualifications or courses. These are needed in order to register as an IISA Member.

Designations: Designations are awarded by the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA). A designation is a title that professional persons may use (write behind their name) to indicate that they are fully qualified in a certain professional field and are registered with a professional body to practice in that field. It also indicates that the person subscribes to the code of conduct of that professional body. The Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA) offers the following designations:

  • Fellow of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (FIISA)
  • Licentiate of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (LIISA)
  • Associate of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (AIISA)