Auckland, 1 September 2020 –AA Insurance has won twice for learning development at the 2020 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards, scoring gold for its Sales Training Program and bronze for its Claims Assist Inductions.

The Excellence Awards recognise organisations around the world that develop programs, strategies, systems, tools and processes in multiple areas, including Learning and Development, Leadership Development, and Talent Management and Acquisition.

AA Insurance’s Learning and Organisational Development team submitted two joint entries in the Learning and Development category with remote learning specialist, Immersive Solutions.

  • The Best Use of Games and Simulations for Learning for a workplace-learning program recognises one or several gaming components in the course of an overall learning program and /or models that illustrate a real-world example or experience. AA Insurance took gold for its sales training program, which utilises a sales adventure game to replace traditional roleplays.
  • The Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program for a workplace-learning program recognises innovation and drives positive organisational outcomes.  AA Insurance took bronze for its virtual reality experience, developed for the induction of Claims Assist staff.

“Our learning development is always evolving to utilise the most up-to-date and appropriate ways of helping teach our people – be that low -board games or high-tech virtual reality,” says Nikki Howell, Head of People and Capability at AA Insurance.

“We’ve worked with Immersive Solutions for a couple of years to get this right for our staff. They are fantastic to work with and are full of creative ideas to help bring learning to life for our people,” she says.

She says organisations put such a high value on the Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards that entries reached a record number this year, amidst the global pandemic, and she is humbled and delighted AA Insurance was recognised among other global companies.

“We’re immensely proud of these awards as they validate the great work we’re doing to help our people develop in their roles, the business, as well as the insurance industry. Looking back, this has been vitally important given the changing nature of work during these unprecedented times.”

About AA Insurance

AA Insurance is an independently operated, New Zealand-based joint venture between the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) and Vero Insurance New Zealand Limited (VINZL). Since 1994 we have demonstrated trusted expertise in home, contents and car insurance in New Zealand, and in 2018 introduced commercial small business insurance. We underwrite our own policies and sell direct to New Zealanders. Our 750+ staff look after 430,000 customers with nearly 850,000 policies.

We proudly partner with Eden Park, support youth charity Blue Light, and have been consistently recognised by: Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands (10 consecutive years since 2011) and Quality Service Award for Car Insurance (since 2015), Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers (2013-2018), and the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index (since 2015) that recognises New Zealand’s most successful companies. Last year, AA Insurance was also named Consumer’s 2019 People’s Choice award winner for car, home and contents.

AA Insurance has an A+ (Strong) Insurer Financial Strength Rating given by Standard and Poor’s (Australia) Pty Ltd. For further information visit

For more information please contact:

Nicole Steven, Botica Butler Raudon Partners, (09) 303 3862, 021 025 31886 or

Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.