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Observations on the March Board Meeting

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By Jim Christie, FCIA

CIA President

As I write this article the March Board meeting is still a week away, but you will be reading this bulletin just after the Board wraps up its March 27 discussions. We are trying to increase the timeliness with which the Institute lets the membership know what the Board is discussing. As part of this effort I have selected several issues which, at the time of writing, were on the Board’s agenda for the March meeting.

Strategic Vision: perhaps the most critical item to be discussed is finalizing the Board’s vision of where the Institute should be in 10 years. To help focus that discussion, the President, Past President, and President-Elect developed a draft vision to serve as a working document for the Board’s consideration. We expect the Board will make some refinements but the final version will likely include most of the following concepts: 

  1. The CIA is viewed as an educational body, not just an accreditation body. It takes full accountability for the educational path to FCIA (which may involve outsourcing) with the FCIA recognized as being a high-quality stand-alone educational designation (i.e., not having to be aligned to another designation).
  2. Being a member of CIA is regarded as essential for all actuaries practising in Canada. All actuaries practising in Canada are active members of the CIA and view the CIA as their primary actuarial affiliation and the body with which they are most engaged.
  3. Through its research on financial welfare and risks, the CIA is widely recognized by the public as the leading contributor to dialogue, analysis, and solutions in all areas related to understanding and quantification of the costing of non-investment market-related future contingencies.
  4. Actuaries play a significant role in setting healthcare funding and priorities (i.e., having a health actuary for the planning and optimization of health expenditures). Actuaries also have a significant presence in all financial institutions, including banks.
  5. There is a continuum of practice between all practice areas.
Education: a task force (TF) established at the last Board meeting was charged with developing a broad coordinated education strategy for the Institute. The TF has now developed a strategy consistent with the draft vision document. The TF is recommending that the Board create a new Task Force on Strategic Education Implementation to begin work immediately with the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) and the Secretariat to develop an action plan with specific timelines and milestones to guide implementation over the immediate and long term.

International Actuarial Association (IAA): while there are many pressing Canadian-specific issues, the Institute still needs to keep abreast of international actuarial issues. The IAA is the organization which represents the actuarial profession globally. The Board will receive an overview of the IAA from David Congram, FCIA, who is a member of the IAA Executive Council.

Committee on International Relations (CIR): in order to ensure the Board stays current on all international issues, the Committee on International Relations reports at every Board meeting. The Board will be considering changes to the governance structure of the CIR to enable the committee to be continually attuned to the Board positions on any international issues. These changes will make the governance of the CIR similar to that used for the councils.

Board Governance: the Board will be finalizing proposed bylaw changes to allow, in exceptional circumstances, the removal of a Board member from office. CIA members will then be asked to vote on these bylaw changes either by proxy or in person at the June annual meeting.

Budget: the Secretary-Treasurer will be reporting on actual financial results through December 31. He will then be recommending the 2012–2013 CIA budget to the Board for its approval.

Waiver of Dues: changes to the current Waiver of Dues Policy are being considered to update family/parental leave. The proposed policy, approved by the EEC on March 15, adopts more commonly-used definitions of parental/family leave which provide consideration not only for maternity/parental leaves but also for family care.

Membership Projections: the Board will receive a study by the resident actuary, Chris Fievoli, that demonstrates that membership levels will remain stable, and not be adversely affected by the upcoming retirement of the baby boom generation. However, in order to maintain a steady overall membership growth, the Institute will need to see that same steady growth in the number of new FCIAs each year.

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