In this section we highlight how the CII works with its local institutes and affiliated institutes internationally to meet the needs of the profession
Our local institutes
When you become a member of the CII in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, you also become a member of a local institute, which is usually close to where you live or work. These 56 local hubs provide a huge range of member services including technical, market and regulatory CPD events; soft skills and business-related training, networking activities student career guidance, networking activities, local news and market information.
Our focus with the Local Institutes is on delivering a valuable membership experience through a meaningful engagement proposition. While our Societies provide digital content on a sector basis, our Local Institutes are focussed on the face-to-face delivery of member services. In the last couple of years, our principal aim has been to improve consistency and quality to ensure that we are delivering a high-quality product regardless of a member’s location. For example, in 2019, in order to support our Local Institutes, we launched the Professional Focus programme – a centralised CPD proposition for the general insurance sector. The programme was made up of seven conferences across the UK each providing more than four hours of CPD to our members. The programme will be repeated in 2020 and we will continue to explore areas where we can offer more centralised support to benefit our members.
Past President of the Insurance Institute of Manchester
“As an institute, we gain hugely from our relationship with the CII. Our contacts at the CII work to give us the benefits of the Institute’s infrastructure and knowledge framework, which gives us the time to get on with building supportive networks in our local area. The Network Conference, for example, is a fantastic opportunity to learn from, and share best practice with, our peer institutes.”
Our international network of institutes
International growth is a key part of our strategy, delivered by our 37 affiliated international institutes, the Institute we run in Hong Kong, and our three international offices. David Thompson, International Director, talks in more detail later in this year’s report about the current status of our international business, however, here we gain the insights of our three Regional Directors on the role the CII currently plays and the potential for growth in each of their regions.
Regional Director, Asia Pacific
“The Hong Kong Institute merged with the CII in 2015 to form the CII Hong Kong. Since then we have worked to replicate the CII model in the UK by dealing directly with members, regulators and government bodies. This has been helped greatly by the high regard with which the CII is viewed by insurance professionals throughout the Asia Pacific region, which has been further supported by growing our offer to firms, with continuing professional development (CPD), online learning and qualifications.
Our growth plan is based around localising our offer and building closer relationships with regulators; institutes and trade association; corporate and distributors; and universities. In the last year, for example, we have had very constructive discussions with Chinese government officials; secured partnership agreements with various insurers and training institutes; began localising our courses; developed a Chinese version of our website and developed a WeChat payment gateway in Hong Kong for the China region.
Our focus in 2020 is to continue to build relationships, while growing membership and engagement for the Personal Finance Society, particularly in Hong Kong and China, as well as exploring and securing new business partners in the region.”
Regional Director, Middle East and Africa
“Our main clients in the region are the United Arab Emirates, Insurance Authority (UAE IA) and the Financial Academy in Saudi Arabia who are the training arm of the Saudi regulator, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). We are working very closely with them both to help support their initiatives and create public awareness of the CII brand. We also work with many training providers, brokerages and insurers throughout the region.
As the United Arab Emirates and most of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states do not have any minimum qualifications in place to give financial advice, our effectiveness is currently limited, however, this is a fantastic position to be in when qualifications are mandated as we will be there from the start. This is why we will continue to work hard to make the public aware of our offering and how we can support them. We currently work very closely with the UAE IA and SAMA and are hoping that, going forward, the need for minimum qualifications will become more urgent and ideally mandated.
In the last year, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Financial Academy, which has now led to a full contract; we have tendered for several other projects with SAMA and the Financial Academy; have signed a new three-year exam and training contract with the UAE IA encompassing a new leadership programme, Junior Zone, awareness programme and CPD programme; and we have signed a tripartite agreement with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Lloyd’s of London and the CII to provide training for the DIFC Academy.
Our regional focus for 2020 is on continuing to build our relationships with the UAE IA, The Financial Academy and the DIFC.”
Regional Director, Central and South Asia
“The development of the CII’s activity in our region is focussed on our Royal Charter of working to “secure and justify the confidence of the public” by providing professional courses and learning support to students, corporate clients and partners. In 2020, Central Asia also became part of our region, therefore we are now responsible for 13 countries with a particular focus on India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Our business is with three main communities – corporate clients; individuals and strategic partners; educational institutes and distribution partners. In general, among corporate clients and individuals in the region, the CII is held in high regard, with a more mixed pattern among government bodies and regulators.
Our plan in the region is to work alongside the affiliated institutes; build close relationships with the regulators and government bodies and onboard new corporates and education/distribution partners to promote the CII proposition. As of the end of 2019, we have 30 active corporate relationships in the region; 20 active education and distribution partners, having added 10 new partners across the region in 2019; and have been working closely with the regulators in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with ongoing discussions with the regulator in India.
In 2020, our focus will be to successfully launch the India Motor Insurance qualification; retain the top 10 corporate clients in India by providing proactive services on an ongoing basis; leverage the launch of online examination set up in Sri Lanka; ensure that new universities and schools collaborate with the CII through our education partner; expand the newly allocated region (Central Asia) by raising the CII brand and establishing new contacts there; and ensure the individual member segment continues to function across the Central and South Asia region.”