With the Shaping the future together consultation now closed, we reflect on its aims and the early findings
For more than a century, the same guiding principles have underpinned our professional body. While insurance institutes had been formed around Britain and Ireland from as far back as 1873, it is widely recognised that it was the vision of one institute member – Frederick Rutter in 1919 – that was the catalyst for what became the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) as we know it today.
We are proud to carry this vision forward and continuously seek to ensure our profession is fit for the future.
Like many others, our profession has seen significant shifts in key areas such as technology, communications, working practices, data management, availability of information and globalisation. These changes – and the pace at which they take hold – bring both opportunity and risk.
The CII exists to support its members – both current and future – through myriad changes, to help seize those opportunities and mitigate those risks. The CII will listen to and engage with member feedback and ideas as it strives to anticipate – and shape – the future.
As a professional body, the CII knows it can only provide its members with the necessary support and services if it truly understands those needs, and that is why the CII’s Shaping the future together consultation is so important.
Sian Fisher, CII CEO, said: “Our mission is to support the professional development of our 125,000 members worldwide and help everyone enhance their career potential. As our Royal Charter states, we work to “secure and justify the confidence of the public” in our profession. To deliver on this mission – and to support our valued membership – we have moved in recent years to become a truly modern, relevant and diverse organisation.
“We continually engage a broad range of our profession’s stakeholders: building public trust in the insurance sector, and beyond; working strategically with organisations to raise professional standards; and helping those contemplating a career in our profession with their journey.
“We know that the expectations of the clients our membership serves – and swift pace of technological developments – will continue to change in the months and years ahead. Just as with the pandemic, our profession will rise to the challenge.
“Going forward, we want to be by your side, helping you every step of the way.”
A vision for the future
The Shaping the future together consultation – which closed on 17 December – outlines a vision for how the CII will work to raise public trust, across key areas, including the qualification framework.
The consultation set out proposals to make learning provision more user-friendly, accessible and better suited to the needs of all students. It also proposed that more can be done to recognise previous attainment giving members more flexibility to achieve the professional body’s Chartered and Fellow designation, providing a route that encompasses a blend of both qualifications and experience.
The consultation also looked at replacing the current membership model with three levels of membership – member, Chartered member and Fellow – and explored a possible requirement for a statement of professional standing for insurance professionals.
Shaping the future together also considered amendments to the CII’s governance structure to allow greater clarity and cost efficiency, as well as renewing focus on core technical proficiencies and continuing professional development for those practising internationally.
Going forward we want to be by your side, helping you every step of the way - Sian Fisher, CII CEO
Analysis of the early consultation responses reveal some initial themes. Respondents highlighted their wish for the CII to drive deeper engagement for the profession with the wider public, government and regulatory bodies. The early feedback also recognised that there are advantages to a model that offers economies of scale to CII and Personal Finance Society members, and that sharing the common goal of raising professional standards and public trust is crucial.
There has been a great deal of very rich feedback on the experience assessment and membership simplification proposals. One thing that comes through strongly is the vital role the CII plays in recognising all aspects of professionalism, along with the need for a rigorous system of qualifications and membership to fulfil this role.
Peter Blanc, CII president for 2022 and group CEO at Aston Lark Group, says: “As a profession, we have moved to a place where consumers and businesses are trying to fend for themselves in deciding their insurance needs, the policies available to them and, most importantly, understanding the small print.
“In a fast-moving world where customers’ expectations are constantly evolving, the CII needs to stay one step ahead of the risks we face and ensure we can build and sustain trust in our profession.
“I believe the CII has a role to play in shaping the professional standards and ethics of our profession, and
I like to think that CII members would agree. But what more can be done? Do members want the CII to be more vocal about ethical standards and decent, trustworthy practices that put the customer first? To my mind, that fits in with the whole purpose of the CII – to promote public trust.”
Mr Blanc concluded: “The CII’s consultation – Shaping the future together – allowed everyone to have their say on how the CII can best support our profession. In the consultation, all CII members had the opportunity to share their views on several areas, including the future of professionalism. The CII acknowledges that professionalism is more important than ever in a fast-changing world and that it sits at the heart of its purpose under the Royal Charter. So, I thank everyone who has taken part and shared their views
The CII values and appreciates all feedback received and thanks all those who took part in the opportunity the consultation provided to help the CII shape the future of the organisation and ensure it is fighting fit for the future, and better able to strengthen public trust. The CII will share the findings of the consultation and how it will help shape the group’s strategy in 2022.