IFoA Council lead for the Member Value Proposition Working Group, Lee Faulkner FIA, reports some of the findings from our recent programme of member research
We have now completed our programme of member research and can begin to report some of the key findings and how we plan to use the research to deliver better value for our members.
Our member research programme began back in November 2018 with an online member survey. We achieved a 12% response rate - considered a good result for an organisation of our size and nature. The online survey data was reweighted to reflect accurately the make-up of our membership by category (Affiliate, Associate, CAA, Fellow, SAA and Student) and level of engagement with the organisation.
The survey asked questions to help us understand what our members most value about their IFoA membership, the challenges and issues members face, and what we could change or improve to deliver better value to our members.
A number of key themes and issues emerged from the data, which we explored in greater detail in our qualitative member research.
What you told us - online member survey
Members in all categories agreed that the most valued IFoA roles are delivering actuarial education and lifelong learning to keep pace with business needs, and regulating members and setting standards and codes of conduct to assure public trust and support business innovation. However, our Fellows did not value the IFoA's role in delivering education and lifelong learning as much as all other membership grades. The member benefits you rated as most useful were holding a globally recognised professional qualification, and our CPD events and resources.
The most highly endorsed statements around being a member of the IFoA were that you were proud to be a member of the IFoA and that it is important we provide a collective voice for the profession. The least endorsed were that the IFoA listens to you, works hard on your behalf and understands the issues that matter most to you.
A number of areas were highlighted in the survey results that we wanted to understand in greater detail. These included that Fellows and Associates consistently scored significantly lower than Students across engagement and satisfaction rating questions in the survey, and that members based overseas feel that the IFoA is less relevant to them. There was also a perception across all member groups that our membership fees are high and that IFoA membership does not offer value for money.
To explore these areas in greater detail, and to gather detailed feedback on how we can offer better value for our members, we undertook a series of focus groups and telephone interviews with members who had taken part in the online survey.
What you told us - focus groups and interviews
Members described strong feelings of loyalty towards the IFoA, but were not clear about our values or what we stand for beyond our key functional roles. While our members based overseas described us as professional and having a global and high reputation, our UK-based members felt we were slow, expensive and lacked member focus.
You told us the ways in which we could support you in overcoming the most significant challenges you are facing in your working lives. These included promoting the value of actuaries to businesses, policymakers and the public; supporting actuaries to move into less traditional areas of work; and ensuring our regulation and standards were responsive, relevant and supportive of both business needs and career opportunities for members.
When we asked how we could improve our membership offering, you highlighted key benefits and services that included careers guidance and mentoring, online events that support knowledge and information sharing, and networking and training in areas including analytics, technology, machine learning and data science.
What you told us in the online member survey, focus groups and interviews will be discussed at the June 2019 Council meeting. Council is conscious of the effect your feedback will have on several ongoing workstreams and activities, such as fees structure, regulation and compliance, and our CPD offering. Your feedback will form an essential part of Council's strategy review work this summer. This will ensure we incorporate clear and member-led priorities into our strategic plans for the coming years.We will continue to report the results of our member research through a range of IFoA channels, including the IFoA website, e-newsletter and The Actuary magazine. Once Council has completed the current phase of its strategy review, we will update members on Council's plans to deliver enhanced member value.
If you have any questions about our member survey or would like to take part in future IFoA member research, please email [email protected]
Lee Faulkner, FIA is the IFoA Council lead for the Member Value Proposition Working Group