The 400 Club, a volunteer feedback group that provides a representative view of the IFoA's membership on a variety of topics, was recently asked to rate what member benefits it values most highly. The results have proven interesting and will help us prioritise the services we develop further and which need more promotion.
Below is a summary of the results based on the themes from the 2011 strategy.
Professional recognition: 97% valued the professional recognition that the IFoA provides; some feel that it is the most respected and reputable actuarial body in the world and that it provides international mobility. The challenge to this is achieving greater recognition of the qualification outside the actuarial community itself.
Regulation: while many respondents mentioned the challenges that regulation brings, 90% of respondents valued this aspect of their membership. Maintaining standards underpins the integrity of the brand and makes members recognisable as experts. The challenge is to ensure that regulation is proportionate and does not make actuaries more expensive compared with other professional groups.
Syllabus and continuing professional development (CPD): the ability and desire to learn throughout an actuary's career is of significant value - this is especially true of the qualification syllabus (valued by 94% ) but also for CPD opportunities (valued by 81% ). There was consensus that the rigour around the exam process helps actuaries develop a broader way of thinking and approaching problem solving. There was recognition that the IFoA has worked hard to improve the quality of CPD events as well as access through the online archive. The challenge for both areas is ensuring relevance so that members are continually progressing.
Public affairs: 70% valued our newest area. In fact, members felt that public affairs was a very important activity for the IFoA. Many conceded that it is not easy to achieve a voice in a short time and therefore we need to keep improving.
Other valued benefits include:
topic-based newsletters ( 79%).
The Actuary magazine (85%)
volunteering opportunities (81%).