On 10 September Council held its first meeting of the 2020/2021 sessional year by video conference and welcomed its new Council members, who were elected at our AGM in June.
Tan Suee Chieh, president of the IFoA and chair of Council, emphasised that the IFoA has an ambitious agenda for the year, building on the work undertaken during the past two years to encourage change by ensuring that the voice of the membership is heard, focusing on members’ needs, and accelerating our progress in delivering the IFoA’s strategy for 2020-2024.
Four areas of work were considered at this meeting. The first concerns a review of the IFoA’s governance – the processes, the underlying culture of our approach to governance, and how these must evolve for us to be able to deliver our strategy and member proposition effectively in the coming years. As part of this review, we are trialling different ways of doing things – including Digital Community Member Interest Groups for data science and banking – that will hopefully inform the changes we need to make in order to become a more agile, member-centric organisation. However, these are only the first steps on a long journey.
Our second main area of focus was the IFoA’s Learning Committee report, created to review the IFoA’s pre-qualification syllabus and wider learning offering. The Committee made a number of recommendations for adapting and modernising our learning offering so that it aligns with our strategy of allowing all members to develop the skills and mindsets they need. Council strongly supports these recommendations. The next step is to start implementing those changes; we look forward to sharing more of the details with you in due course.
To support its cultural transformation and strengthen its focus on members, and to lay a foundation for defining and charting its future, the IFoA is developing a purpose statement and set of organisational values. A draft of this work stimulated rich feedback from Council members on making the purpose statement inspiring and distinctive to the actuarial profession, and reflective of the IFoA’s present and future. Work to define the purpose and values of the profession, which will complement those of the IFoA, will take place at Council’s upcoming away-day in November.
Finally, Council received and endorsed the final report of the IFoA’s Climate-related Risks Taskforce and formally adopted the goal that climate-related risk must be understood and considered by our members in the same way other major risks are. We recognise the urgency of driving this work forward and have asked our Management Board to ensure the report’s recommendations are integrated into the IFoA’s Corporate Plan for 2021/22.