November 2011 Past Issues | Advertise |
Return to main page

Observations on November Board Meeting

Print Print this Article | Send to Colleague

By Jim Christie, FCIA
CIA President

During my term as President, I am trying to increase the timeliness with which the Institute lets the membership know what the Board is discussing. After the last Board meeting on September 27, the Secretariat was able to get an unofficial summary of the meeting discussion posted and announced to the membership on October 12. Though not overnight reporting like the daily press and certainly nothing like a tweet, it is nevertheless much faster than before.

As I write this article the November Board Meeting is still a week away, but you may be reading this just as the Board wraps up its November 29 discussions. To give you a heads-up on the Board discussions I have selected several issues which, at the time of writing, were on the Board’s agenda for the November meeting.

Short-Term Strategic Focus: the Board is supposed to set the overall direction for the Institute and generally leave management of operational activities to the three councils and their respective committees. In order to do increase the Board’s strategic focus, we plan to spend the first part of the meeting discussing which aspects of our formal five-year plan require our attention in the next year or two in order to maximize the likelihood of the Institute achieving the Board’s long-term vision.

ACIA: the new concept for Associates was approved by the membership in June 2011 and will come into effect June 1, 2012. However, there is a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done between now and June 2012 to ensure the new concept rolls out smoothly. The Chair of the Task Force on Associateship Implementation, Jason Vary, will provide the Board with an update on the timetable for all initiatives related to the rollout.

University Accreditation Program (UAP): the Accreditation Committee (AC) has determined which universities it believes meet the Institute’s criteria for accreditation. It has also recommended the grades for each course at every accredited university that students will need to achieve in order to earn CIA exam credits. The AC report was recently submitted to the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC), which has the final authority on this issue. The Chair of the AC, Rob Stapleford, and the EEC Chair,  Dave Dickson, will be explaining to the Board the process followed by the AC and EEC in determining which universities to accredit. Following the Board presentation the results will be communicated to universities and then to the membership.

Review of Existing Task Forces and Committees: annually the Board reviews all task forces and committees reporting directly to it. This review is designed to vet and, if necessary, update the mandates of each group. At the same time we consider whether any task force or committee has outlived its usefulness and should be disbanded. The Board will also receive similar reports from the three councils concerning the task forces and committees reporting to each of them.

New or Revised Committees: the UAP has increased the need for the Institute to have closer relations with the academic community in Canada. Consequently, the mandate of the Academic Relations Committee has been revamped. Implementation of the new Associate concept will eventually require the creation of a New Members Committee and Actuarial Networking Group. Plans for these two groups are still in the formative stages.

Committee on International Relations: while there are many pressing Canadian issues, the Institute still needs to keep abreast of international actuarial issues. We will be receiving a report from the Committee on International Relations on the October meeting of the International Actuarial Association (IAA). In particular we will be advised how IAA activities may impact the Institute and its members.

Financial Literacy: the board will receive a discussion paper on the subject of "the role of individual savings and financial literacy" from a similarly-named task force created by the Board. We expect to approve and release this document to the membership.

Board Code of Conduct/Removal from Office: the Board will receive a recommendation from its Task Force on Governance regarding an appropriate code of conduct for Board members. We do not expect this to be a controversial item as many organizations have such codes of conduct. However, we do need a formal code of conduct in place so that if the membership ultimately approves the proposed process to remove a Board member from office, we can judge whether the actions of the Board member have violated that code of conduct.

Fiftieth Anniversary Plans for 2015: I read with interest Nick Bauer’s recent post to the General List in which he commented on his experience at becoming an Associate when the Institute was founded in 1965. It is hard to believe the Institute is almost 50 years old. Since its Bylaws require the Board to approve the time and location of all annual meetings, in order to give the task force planning our fiftieth anniversary celebrations a firm date and location the Board will be approving the site of the 2015 meeting much earlier than usual.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write me at

Jim Christie, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

360 Albert Street, Suite 1740, Ottawa, ON K1R 7X7
Tel.: 613.236.8196 Fax: 613.233.4552