Derek Cribb takes stock of the professions successes in 2016 and outlines the plans for the year ahead
We begin the new year focusing on a refreshed strategy and developing a plan to implement it across the organisation. It is right, however, that we also look back on the past year and take stock of what steps forward we made in delivering our Charter objectives; it is important to reflect and recognise these accomplishments.
We are realistic about the need to be energised and driven in taking the IFoA forward. We have thus identified three themes which form the basis of our corporate plan to help bring it to life for those charged with its delivery - the executive and volunteers. These cross-cutting themes are 'lifelong learning', 'being sought after' and striving to be a 'leading professional body'.
To be an effective professional, one must possess a relevant and contemporary skill set. Through research, thought leadership and the delivery of high-quality learning at all levels and in all locations, we will ensure our members and staff remain highly effective in their professional competencies. This forms the principal description of 'lifelong learning', and I feel it best describes the basis of what an effective learning organisation should seek to emulate: to foster and encourage a community that constantly looks for lifelong advancement.
In order to progress towards this in the next year, we will launch a pilot non-UK learning support initiative and develop a more structured and influential engagement model with universities and colleges. We also hope to progress discussions with other educational bodies on the provision of new education and the qualification awarding process.
Critical to success will be the final approval of our new education strategy. We should also see a measurable increase in engaged universities globally. In future years, we would hope to see higher pass rates among our non-UK student members, with the UK pass rate remaining consistent with past trends. Improvements to our sessional and CPD offering should see a corresponding increase in member satisfaction.
'Being sought after' hits right to the core and heart of the IFoA, our members and staff. We aim to continue to be recognised as experts in our field, and the first port of call for policymakers and the business world. Awareness and promotion of actuarial science within our organisation and the wider membership and key stakeholders will be the focus, and remain at the forefront of all we do.
We have made great strides over recent years in developing our research and public affairs capabilities. Promoting the ARC so it becomes a global research partner of choice for industry and academia - and continuing to develop our public affairs activities - will play key roles in positioning the IFoA as a 'sought after' profession and thought leader.
That leaves the third theme - 'leading professional body'. Fundamental to this is the IFoA's public interest role and our reputation for professionalism. We will continue to work with our UK oversight body, the Financial Reporting Council, and the Joint Forum on Actuarial Regulation, to ensure a stable, effective and proportionate UK regulatory framework. Building on the success of the Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) in the UK,we look to extend this success overseas by running a pilot in South-East Asia. It is reassuring to know demand for IFoAinitiatives, such as QAS, has global reach.
Of course, a leading professional body isn't just about what we do as an organisation. It is also important to focus on 'how' we do it. We continue to manage the operations of the IFoA on a commercial and sustainable basis, ensuring our systems and processes are fit for purpose, making us 'easier to do business with' for our members and stakeholders.
As we say in our strategy document, we are a small profession that is stronger when we work together, and as a small organisation we must also focus our resources. We will target more effective engagement with other professional bodies, exploring mutually beneficial opportunities, and seek more active and structured engagement with the International Actuarial Association and the Actuarial Association of Europe through our volunteers, the executive and other actuarial organisations. We will also build and deliver a targeted engagement model with major actuarial employers, and potential employers, to ensure the profession is meeting the needs of the market.
We value valuable insight from our members. Please get in touch via [email protected] if you wish to share your opinions on our plans. I wish you all a fruitful and professionally fulfilling year ahead.
Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries