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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Providing support and service to members

The Profession’s restructure in March 2008 separated the Profession’s functions into two areas: professional administration and professional community. The professional community support division provides direct support to members throughout their careers, primarily through the practice executive committees: enterprise risk management, finance and investment, general insurance, life, health and care, and pensions. A list of the members of each of the committees was provided in last month’s magazine.

The practice executive committees have replaced the practice boards and have been designed and empowered to deliver support to members directly. The main areas of support include:

>> Providing relevant and accessible CPD opportunities to encourage sharing and dissemination of knowledge
>> Stimulating and encouraging member-led research
>> Developing communication to members, fostering a sense of community within each practice area, and with external bodies.

Most of the practice executive committees have now met and are considering their main objectives for the coming year: a key aim for each committee is to engage with members working within the relevant practice area, particularly via regular and targeted communications. Provision of CPD opportunities is likely to include networking events and open fora (either physical meetings or via a wiki), as well as the more traditional routes of seminars and conventions.

Practice executive committees will continue to liaise with external organisations and contribute to consultation responses. They will also offer practitioner input to the various bodies in the professional administration area, for example to the public affairs advisory committee which is responsible for managing the profession’s public interest role.

Member interest groups
A new and important aspect of the professional community is the support that will be provided to member interest groups. These groups have been introduced to promote actuarial research and discussion, including on a cross-practice basis. Member interest groups are groups of members who have a focus or area of interest that links them. This could be a specific, narrow aspect of practice, a cross-practice topic such as climate change or a regional link; any member is free to join one or more groups. Member interest groups are autonomous, will not report to any committee — although they may have close links with one or more executive committees — and will determine their own organisation. You can find a list of current member interest groups at www.actuaries.org.uk/members/migs

One way to make sure members are kept informed about activities in their practice area is through targeted e-mails, and all members are encouraged to sign up for one or more relevant practice areas to ensure they are kept up to date. To subscribe to practice area communities or member interest groups, please log on to the Members’ Section of the website and, under Your Preferences, select Your Profile; then expand Person Classifications and check the relevant boxes from the drop-down menus for practice area communities and member interest groups.

Maria Singleton is head of professional community support

Enterprise risk management practice executive committee
The committee met for the first time in April to agree its terms of reference and identify key issues for the future. Over the coming months the committee will seek to expand its membership to broaden the range of interests, backgrounds and skills represented. Our initial focus will be to determine a vision and strategy for the committee and the Profession in the area of enterprise risk management.

A key deliverable for the Profession will be the development of the specialist level (ST9) examination syllabus in enterprise risk management — an essential plank in broadening the Profession’s expertise in the risk management arena. Work is also in hand to develop a globally recognised credential in enterprise risk management, which the Profession is actively supporting.

This year’s finance, investment and risk management conference in Manchester offers an interesting and varied agenda which will be of great interest to all interested in risk management. The 2009 conference will be a jointly sponsored venture with the finance and investment practice executive committee, bringing together topics that will be of interest to both groups.

The enterprise risk management executive committee will continue to support the joint venture with the Institution of Civil Engineers which has produced the highly regarded RAMP and STATRisk handbooks which provide tools to both actuaries and non-actuaries for the management of project and strategic risk.

Colin Ledlie, chairman, enterprise risk management executive committee

Risk management member interest group
As part of the restructure, the risk management special interest group has become the risk management member interest group. At its first meeting, the group agreed to continue to promote to its members and the wider actuarial community the developing discipline of risk management.

To this end, the group will work closely with the practice executive committees, particularly enterprise risk management. It will also continue to:

>> Develop a programme of networking evenings, by bringing members from different fields together to discuss topical issues of common interest within risk management
>> Support the practice executive committees by providing volunteer resource to continue research into areas of emerging interest in the field of risk management
>> Provide members with a point of reference/gateway into emerging risk management practices and techniques
>> Support the interests and development of its members.

Jules Constantinou, chairman, risk management member interest group