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Practice Area Boards: driving IFoA outputs

In the first of a series on the IFoA’s Practice Area Boards, Grahame Stott, Chair of the IFoA’s Management Board, sets out what the work of the Boards and their sub-committees has delivered over the last year. 

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Grahame StottEverything the IFoA does is directed by member volunteers.

IFoA’s seven Practice Area Boards are very often the start of the process to develop the outputs that hone actuarial practice for the future and help to keep our members’ knowledge and skills fit for the ever-growing needs of the global business community.

This short blog entry is by way of an introduction to a series from the chairs of our Practice Area Boards – General Insurance (Martin Noble), Risk Management (Neil Cantle), Life (Colin Dutkiewicz), Health and Care (Nick Reilly), Resource and Environment (Louise Pryor), Pensions (Mark Williams), Finance and Investment (Dick Rae) ­– to show you how their work drives IFoA activities in your field and how you might get involved.

In numbers

The Practice Area Boards and their sub-committees – Working Parties and Member Interest Groups (MIGs) – are comprised of volunteers, mostly practising IFoA members, along with a few representatives from outside the profession.

Over the last year, that’s a total of 336 people giving their time to explore and advance actuarial practice.

Over the last year, 48 IFoA events came directly out of the work of Boards, Working Parties and MIGS, including the Annual Practice Area conferences – such as GIRO and Life – and CPD events. More than 6,000 attendees benefitted from this output.

They have provided material for 221.5 hours of new CPD offerings, including 21 professionalism courses.

Practice Area Boards output was published as 13 papers in the British Actuarial Journal, including Evolution of economic scenario generators: a report by the Extreme Events Working Party members and Funding Defined Benefit pension schemes: an integrated risk management approach.

Four major research projects coming out of the IFoA’s Actuarial Research Centre were also initiated by Practice Area Boards, including the programmes around Equity Release Mortgages and Periodical Payment Orders.

Getting involved

Before taking on my current role with the IFoA, I was a member of a number of communities linked to the Practice Boards and Member Interest Groups, which is a great way to keep up to date with current thinking in these areas, and also to start to network with members with similar interests.

If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to look at the list of communities on the IFoA website and join those that appeal to you.

As someone who has spent a large portion of my working life in Asia, I am also excited to see the way that the Practice Boards are recognising that our membership is global and considering topics which have global implications.

So what’s coming out of these Working Parties in the next twelve months? Well, the chairs themselves will give you more detail on this, but one topic I’m personally very interested in is the Systems Thinking Incubator (Research & Environment Board), which of course will have global application.

And perhaps in future, you yourself might be contributing to the work of the Practice Area Boards.

Wherever you are in the world and wherever you are in your career, watch our volunteer vacancies for opportunities to get involved.

Other blogs in this series