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Revised Statements Will Guide CIA’s Direction

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By Simon Curtis, FCIA, CIA President

A key role for the CIA’s Board of Directors is to set the direction and goals for the Institute. The foundations for this are the Vision Statement and Mission Statement, which ultimately drive the specific strategic and operational objectives that we set for the CIA. During the recent Board meetings we reviewed both statements—which had not been looked at in several years—and we adopted updated versions at our November 2012 meeting.

The Vision Statement is intended to look forward to where we (the CIA) want to be, and answer the question, "Why are we here?" The Vision Statement adopted by the Board (after much debate!), which is intended to be both succinct and easily communicated, is:
"Members of the CIA are recognized as trusted leaders in the quantification and management of risk and contingent events."
This vision statement is intended to emphasize several points. Our expertise, while coming from a basis of contingent events, is moving to also encompass a broader expertise in risk. Importantly, our management acumen is built off our quantitative/measurement skills. Furthermore, while recognizing that other professionals will also undoubtedly be active in these areas, our goal is to be recognized as not only leaders but trusted leaders, which implies a high degree of external confidence in the credibility of our work.

The Mission Statement is intended to outline how we will achieve our vision, and answer the question, "What do we do?" It forms the basis for developing our strategic plan and objectives. As would be expected, our Mission Statement emphasizes our role of being the face of the actuarial profession in Canada. Specifically:
"As the national organization of the actuarial profession, the CIA serves both the public interest and the profession by:
  • Promoting the advancement of actuarial science;
  • Providing for the education and qualification of current and prospective members;
  • Providing professional guidance to its members and ensuring that actuarial services they provide meet the highest standards; and
  • Advocating for the profession and providing timely and relevant contributions to the development of public policy."
While I suspect most actuaries in Canada would find little that is surprising about this mission statement, what I find most interesting is the importance of our outward engagement beyond the profession to the public, and also to current/potential users of our services, to fulfilling our mission.

I believe these vision and mission statements are important to us. As a professional body, largely governed by and resourced from its members, we can very easily become focused almost exclusively on dealing with issues of the day and the current environment. But to ensure we remain a vital and healthy profession, we must also always continue to look and move forward towards our broader goals. Having strong vision and mission statements that can be balanced against shorter-term priorities in developing our plans/objectives is vital.

Simon Curtis, FCIA, is President of the CIA.

 

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