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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Everything you ever wanted to know about the Institute Sessional Meetings Committee…

Who we are

The Institute Sessional Meetings Committee comprises a chairman, David Brand, a member of Institute Council; the Institute president, Jeremy Goford; representatives from each of the practice areas, Nigel Hayes for life, Andrew Hitchcox for general insurance, Paul Houghton for pensions, Richard Humble for social policy, and Derek McLean for finance & investment; the managing editor of the British Actuarial Journal, Doreen Hart; a representative from SIAS, Adrian Hartshorn; and an observer from the Faculty Meetings Committee, Richard Muckart.

What we do

We report to the Education and Continuing Professional Development Board and are responsible for arranging a high-quality and varied programme of sessional meetings by stimulating the production of papers and other material for presentation.

Responsibilities include arranging the annual Staple Inn Reading in conjunction with the Gray’s Inn Society and, every two years, the presidential address in conjunction with the new president. We meet five times a session to discuss progress on future and potential sessional meetings and to review those that have recently taken place. Much of our work is done by email outside the formal committee meetings.

How we do it

We rely on the boards and individuals to notify us of papers that have either already been written and the authors are seeking a suitable platform for presentation, or are still merely an outline waiting to be developed. We liaise with board chairmen and secretaries, writing at the beginning of each year requesting details of any papers that they would like to be considered for presentation at an Institute sessional meeting during the next session. These may be working party papers produced on behalf of the profession or papers by individuals that have come to the boards’ (or the Sessional Meetings Committee’s) attention.

The committee then considers the papers available and produces a programme for the following session. We start this process at our March meeting with an aim to having finalised the programme by the May preceding the start of the next session. This is in order to obtain as much publicity as possible for each meeting.

Leading authors are contacted with details of the required layout, copyright assignment and, most importantly, a production timetable! We aim to have hard copies available six weeks before a sessional meeting.

The committee representatives from each practice area are responsible for progressing papers in their field. This involves finding suitable scrutineers and appointing an opener and closer for each discussion as well as a rapporteur (see p8 for more details).

What we’d like you to do

We are always keen to hear from potential authors. If you have an idea for a paper and you think it would spark an interesting discussion please submit a précis to Pauline Simpson, secretary to the Institute Sessional Meetings Committee, email paulines @actuaries.org.uk, by Friday 27 February 2004. Your précis will be considered at our March committee meeting.

Please understand our position! We have only a limited number of sessional meetings where papers can be presented, and we do try to spread the available slots between the various boards if at all possible. If you are disappointed that your paper is not chosen for a meeting please remember that papers can also be submitted direct to the British Actuarial Journal for publication (via the co-editor for submitted papers, Mary Hardy, email mrhardy@uwaterloo.ca).