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What you told us - IFoA Member Survey 2019

In November 2019 we invited all IFoA members to take part in a short online survey to help us monitor member engagement and satisfaction.

This is part of an ongoing IFoA research programme, begun with our online Member Survey back in December 2018, designed to help us understand what our members most value about their IFoA membership, the challenges and issues members face and what we could change or improve to deliver better value to our members.

The 2019 Member Survey included questions around five aspects of IFoA membership – asking members to rate usefulness, value for money, satisfaction, likeliness to renew and likeliness to recommend. These questions were also included in the 2018 Member Survey, so we can monitor the impact of actions we are taking to improve our member experience.

Key results

The key message we have taken from the survey results is that we need to do more, more quickly to improve the IFoA member experience.

The survey achieved a strong response rate, with the member participation rate exceeding 17.5%, compared to 12% for the 2018 Member Survey. 

There was an improvement in sentiment across all questions for IFoA Fellows between the 2018 and 2019 Member Surveys. However, there was a decline in sentiment across almost all survey questions for Affiliates, Students, Actuarial Analysts (SAA and CAA) and Associates, except for an improvement in satisfaction score for Associates.

We also saw a significant decline in our overall Net Engagement Score (NES), which is calculated by taking the percentage of survey respondents giving a highly positive rating (9 or 10) across the five questions from the percentage giving a negative rating (0 – 6).

Compared to the 2018 results, the 2019 Member Survey saw a 10% increase in respondents giving negative scores and a 7% decrease in respondents giving positive scores.

Understanding the survey results

The 2019 survey results, especially when viewed alongside the results for 2018, tell us a number of things.

The increase in participation rate indicates that our members want to make their voices heard and encourage the IFoA to take action to improve our membership offer and experience, and that our Member Surveys are an effective way to achieve this.

However, the key message that IFoA leadership and senior volunteers have taken from the 2019 survey results is that we need to do more, and more quickly, to deliver the services and value that members want from their IFoA membership.  

We are currently working to deliver the improvements that members told us were most important to them in the 2018 survey, including developing a wide range of career support resources, reviewing our CPD Scheme and delivering our new Data Science Certificate.

We are also working hard to address the decline in satisfaction and other survey metrics for our student members. A number of issues affected our student members during 2019, including the withdrawal of some individual examination exemptions (IEEs). This is likely to have contributed to a decline in engagement for some students. A number of improvements are underway to improve our student experience, but these have not all been delivered yet.

Since we conducted the 2019 Member Survey, we have also all experienced the far reaching impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. We have been focused on ensuring IFoA members can still access our central services: converting most of our April 2020 exams to online for those students who still wanted to take them, and converting many of our in-person events to webinars and online content,  enabling members to stay connected and complete their CPD requirements. We are also continuing, and in some cases accelerating, the work undertaken in response to member feedback to move some of our key member-facing processes online. The COVID-19 pandemic has very much underlined the importance of this work to improve member value.

If you have any questions about our Member Survey or would like to take part in future IFoA member research please email