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.
This is my final column as president – I can’t believe the year has gone so quickly! It’s been a year of ups and downs, as COVID-19 has continued to be an influence, but I’d like to focus on the good things that will make it a year to remember for me.
During the past year or so I have spoken about how much the world, the actuarial profession and the IFoA have changed throughout my career. I’ve seen fax take over from telex, only to be displaced by email and the web. Instant messaging and video calls are normal, rather than sci-fi fantasies. Spreadsheets appeared, dominated, and now compete with more powerful data analytic tools. It really is a different world today, and yesterday’s skillset isn’t adequate to deal with it.
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.
Fostering a vibrant global community is one of the three main themes of the IFoA’s 2020-24 strategy. Wherever we are and whatever our circumstances, we should be able to count on the IFoA’s support in our careers and professional development.
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.