Derek Cribb considers the larger picture ahead of the IFoA councils strategy discussions. Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
The IFoA hit: a milestone in August and now has over 25,000 members worldwide. It is heartening to see that the high-quality offering the IFoA provides to its members is attractive, and that even in these challenging economic times the appeal of an actuarial career has not dwindled.
The make-up of our membership is evolving, particularly so in recent years. For example, there has been rapid growth in members specialising in general insurance, while, in pensions, growth has been slower. Expansion in UK membership remains steady, but the picture is more complex internationally. The effect of the South African and Australian professional bodies on our membership numbers in these regions is felt as their domestic growth continues. However, our fellowship numbers in China, south-east Asia and continental Europe are growing apace, and student numbers in south Asia, Africa and the
Middle East are positively booming.
To maintain the quality and relevance of the IFoA, we must consider the issues affecting our members at a strategic level. For example, how can we support our members in practice areas that are showing less growth? What competencies will our members need in the future to compete eff ectively with other professionals in areas where we are seeing sharp growth? Is the structure and content of our exams and continuing professional development evolving in line with the skills and knowledge that employers want? Do we need to change what we do in order that we continue to strike the right balance between supporting our members and serving the public interest?
Developing and reviewing strategy is one of the most important responsibilities of the IFoA's Council. At the next meeting on 7 October, we will be considering some of the high-level issues aff ecting the actuarial profession. Actuaries are known for their forward thinking and ability to predict outcomes: harnessing these skills and applying them to the profession itself will ensure a prosperous future for the IFoA and its members. If you wish to feed any views into the next Council meeting, please seek out a Council member or email me at [email protected]