This month marks the turn of our sessional year, with the AGM, our change of president and new Council appointments. It’s a time for looking back and looking forward, as well as an important checkpoint, demonstrating our accountability to our members.
As we cross the halfway mark in our existing strategy, our thoughts are somewhat inevitably beginning to turn to what comes next – particularly as much of our focus so far has been to get the IFoA ‘fit’ for what follows, whether that is our culture, systems, finances and so on. Our constant aim is to create and sustain a meaningful and valuable member experience for all of you as individuals and in the profession more broadly, and in a way that enables the IFoA to grow and flourish. The best starting point for this is the feedback you have given us.
There is always a lot going on, and we must not lose sight of the importance of having IFoA members as our advocates. We set ourselves a target to have a positive net engagement score (NES) in our member survey at the end of 2022. The feedback from 2021 is being analysed as I write, but we have made good progress year-on-year. I am hopeful that we have the momentum and initiatives to get us there in 2022. The mean average feedback is good, but NES is a measure of advocacy, and we would like more of our members to have this deeply felt sentiment.
We want our members to have rewarding and fulfilling careers. There is no set ‘landing zone’ for this, but underpinning our approach is the belief that the best thing we can do is ensure actuaries have a vision for the future, a growth mindset, and the knowledge that we will help them develop the skillsets and learning they need.
As our members – and indeed the world – face the unique challenges posed by climate change, the IFoA recognises its unique responsibility to support members with the challenges of today and the future. Navigating this new world requires new thinking and, over the past year, you have told us what would make a positive difference for you. We have listened.
When we started discussing the 2021 IFoA’s Thought Leadership Series and how we could position it in support of our purpose – that is, to be the voice of actuaries, and to support, develop and be the voice of our members – we knew member involvement had to be at its heart, not least because thought leadership is often described as being when one person’s thoughts are used to lead others.
Shortly after being offered the opportunity to join the IFoA as CEO, I made it a priority to pore over the results of the all-member survey that had just landed. Some of the feedback was truly heartening: it was inspiring to see how excited our student population is about the professional journey ahead of them. The commitment of our volunteers, as ever, shone through. And given the importance that the IFoA places on diversity, equity and inclusion, it was encouraging to see how members from around the world come to us – and stay with us – because they believe the IFoA is a place where they can
One of the things I value about being the CEO of the IFoA is the clarity of accountability to our membership. It provides a clear line of sight for the things we do, what the organisation aims to achieve, and what I expect to be judged against.