Dr Adrian B Leonard reports on a history of homogeneity at Lloyd’s of London
The last 12 months have been a challenging time for the profession and our volunteer-led local institute network had to rapidly change the methods of delivering CPD programmes and networking events – to cater for the needs of local members.
Our 56 institutes mostly plan their CPD programmes for the year ahead, meaning most events have had to be moved online, but this posed its own set of challenges: upskilling volunteers to confidently use digital webinar platforms; adapting CPD programmes to best fit the new digital environment; and ensuring speakers and technical experts were comfortable delivering in the new world.
As 2020 drew to a close, the CII’s regional membership team wanted to understand to what extent the switch to an online world in March 2020 had allowed the institutes to continue to deliver their CPD programmes.
While we were quietly confident, the levels of activity surprised even us. Between January and December 2020, local institutes across the UK delivered 1,516 CPD events, culminating in 2,764 CPD hours of learning – a huge achievement that highlights the dedication of our volunteers, who gave their time and energy to ensuring the success of local CPD programmes during lockdown.
The pandemic has led to a positive development within the local institute network, which has embraced this new way of delivering the CPD proposition. The institutes have seen increased engagement with members through their CPD programmes. It is, after all, easier for our members to attend online webinars at the click of a button, ensuring they are meeting their annual CPD hours and are up to date with the latest technical content.
Another benefit has been the increased focus on wellbeing; 19% of the CPD events hosted by the network were on ‘professional skills’ and many of these focused on mental health at work, dealing with stress and coping strategies in lockdown.
Phil Beattie, president of the Insurance Institute of Liverpool stated: “As an institute, we were able to quickly move our technical CPD programme online. This was fairly new territory for us and although we have had the odd technical problem along the way, the webinars have gone well, achieving record attendance numbers and in some cases selling out. The feedback has been excellent, so we will be looking to continue to make this a permanent feature of our CPD programme going forward”.
The first quarter of this year has seen a continuation of the busy and varied digital support programmes across the local institute network, the majority providing free, engaging and topical CPD to members across the UK.
While there is hope that life will slowly start to become less restrictive during this year, it is likely that the support on offer from your local institute will remain virtual until 2022. Beyond this year, the future provides an opportunity for institutes to use their experiences of 2021 to ensure they are positioned at the forefront of the membership proposition.
There seems to be a consensus that digital CPD and support will remain a key component of the local institute offering going forward, providing more engagement touchpoints for members, while the reintroduction of face-to-face activity may focus more on the networking and charitable aspects, which are equally important for an institute to grow its social links and future foundations.
Local institutes will always welcome new ideas and fresh enthusiasm from members wanting to get involved and now is an ideal time to get a taste of what it’s about – both in terms of the spring being the time when new councils are formed at AGMs and because institutes adapting to a new world want positive and passionate individuals to help them forge ahead.
For more information, visit: www.cii.co.uk/local
Amy Oliver is regional engagement executive and Matt Ward is regional membership manager, both at the CII