Getting Started Basics | The Institutes

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Getting Started Basics

How Do I Get Started?

Start by reviewing our programs and course offerings.

Take a look at the courses and programs we have to offer you. We offer introductory and foundation courses, COMET Online Learning, short courses, associate specialty designation programs, and the prestigious CPCU professional designation. To help guide your decision about which course is best for you, try our online advising program. To speak with an Institute representative, you can call us at (800) 644-2101 or e-mail The Customer Success staff can answer the majority of your questions about our courses, exams, and services. If you need in-depth advising services, we will direct you to one of our advisors.

Talk to your employer.

No doubt your employer will be pleased that you have decided to take Institute courses. Most employers offer financial support to help you reach your professional and personal goals using our courses. Talk to your human resources or training director today about the proper procedures to sign up. Ask whether they pay us directly or if they reimburse you. Also ask whether they have a centralized program for ordering books and registering for exams.

Read our free handbook How to Prepare for Institute Exams!.

This free booklet will help you to study and get ready to take Institute exams. You can request one from Customer Success or download the handbook now.

Decide how you want to study.

  • Independent Study. This is the most popular method, giving you flexibility in choosing time to study. It requires the most self-discipline.
  • Institutes Online Learning. Combines the convenience of self-study with the support of a class. Visit a demo class now and see if online learning is right for you.
  • Traditional Classes or Study Groups. These are offered by third-party providers around the country and may include workplace classes or study groups. To locate a class in your area search our Public Class list.

Order your study materials.

You can order online or through Customer Success at (800) 644-2101. Customer Success is open to serve you Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. eastern time. You may charge your orders to VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or Diners Club. If you need to mail in an order with a personal or company check, you can print an order form now or request one from Customer Success.

Register for your exam.

You must register early for your exam to qualify for the minimum fee. You will receive complete registration information with your study materials. Should you have any questions, contact Customer Success. If you are taking a computer-administered exam (most exams are given in this format), you must register early with the Institutes and respond promptly to the confirmation notice you receive in order to increase your chances of getting the date you prefer for your exam.

Now study!

Registering early for your exam sets a definite end-point for your study. If you are participating in a class or study group, make every effort to attend each session. Read the text and use the course guide to prepare. To get study tips, e-mail Educational Advising or Customer Success.