Meet Your U.S. CEBS Instructor: Elizabeth McBurney, CEBS

Meet the CEBS Instructor

There’s something about fall that makes us all want to go back to school.  Would you like to feel prepared to take your next CEBS® exam by the end of the year?  Get motivated to learn with CEBS Online Study Groups!  Many CEBS candidates rely on CEBS Online Study Groups With Instructor Support for extra help on their learning journeys.

CEBS​​ Online Study Groups are an optional educational resource designed to complement the self-study approach.  Offered over a 12-week session, Online Study Groups provide structure to your study efforts and are facilitated by established and experienced CEBS professionals.

What does an online instructor do?

Your online instructor has many roles, including:

  • Designing all content and activities in your class to help you retain knowledge and study for your CEBS exam
  • Facilitating live review sessions
  • Monitoring the discussion forum to provide clarification and guidance to learners
  • Creating discussion questions for each module and Benefits in Action Mini Case to stimulate engagement and enhance learning about employee benefits
  • Sharing their real-world experience about being a benefits professional
  • Answering questions that students submit via the discussion forum, email and private message

A Chat With Elizabeth McBurney, CEBS

Elizabeth McBurney, M.B.A., CEBS, ACHRM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Assistant Human Resources Manager
Columbia County Board of Commissioners
Instructor: GBA/RPA 3—Strategic Benefits Management

How has earning the CEBS designation enhanced your career?

There is no doubt that earning the CEBS designation brings with it industry recognition and value. For me, once I obtained my CEBS designation, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity for an adjunct teaching position at a local university in the fields of human resources and organizational behavior.  The CEBS designation truly opened doors for me in ways that I don’t believe would have happened otherwise.  To me, the CEBS designation is the gold standard in the benefits industry.  It brought me knowledge and the ability to act strategically within my organization. My proudest accomplishments, however, are being able to lead the GBA/RPA3 Online Study Group and being part of a great organization.

What will benefits professionals learn from GBA/RPA 3?

Benefits professionals will learn the foundations of ERISA, the value of using analytics in the healthcare arena and the legal ramifications of the benefit industry, among many other things. This course is truly the “nuts and bolts” of benefits. It is extremely important to understand the complexities of health and retirement plans, and this knowledge can be gained from getting the CEBS designation. 

Are there any interesting current events, regulatory updates or industry trends related to concepts or issues your course explores?

As we explore the various modules of the course, each one interacts in some way with current events. In today’s world, we are dealing with an increasingly diverse workforce and post pandemic survival. We ask, how do we put our organizations back to the pre-COVID days? We don’t—We must adjust to a new way of doing business and look at every benefit offered. Many organizations are looking to increase voluntary benefits as a means to keep employees as organizations are fighting for talent. We must know what those industry trends are and how we can maintain our organizations. Without the knowledge provided by the CEBS designation, it would be more difficult to see a clear path forward.

What are your best study tips for CEBS students?

Read the Study Materials thoroughly and utilize all the available Study Tools in your Online Study Group. Also, put yourself in the position of a company CEO and ask yourself what you would do if you had to run the company. How would you use your knowledge to become a strategic business partner in employee benefits for your organization? Instead of just trying to memorize the data, get to understand the theory behind the material.

What sort of success stories have you heard from your students? Why would you encourage people to earn their CEBS designation?

Many students have told me that they have been able to offer knowledge to their organizations and have a clear understanding of the legalities of benefits and retirement. They have commented that once they have the designation, it is easier for them to “gain a seat at the table” and make meaningful input.

In my geographical area, there are only a few individuals who hold the CEBS designation, which puts them at a tremendous advantage in the benefits world. Not everyone has a clear understanding of the rules and laws surrounding benefits. There is no doubt that CEBS has made a success out of many people.

Learn more about CEBS and the CEBS Online Study Groups With Instructor Support.

Do you need guidance on your CEBS journey? Whether you’re about to take your first step or getting close to reaching your designation, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (800) 449-2327, option 3, or email