Member Services Council—A View Ahead

By Benoit Miclette, FCIA

The Member Services Council’s (MSC) role in simple terms is to bring to life the Board’s strategies and objectives with respect to public and government initiatives, the promotion of the actuarial profession, and services to the CIA membership. The result is a very broad scope of work which may not appear to fit cohesively together at first glance. Upon second look, one can see the common elements connecting to the wider membership, one level up from the distinct actuarial disciplines that define us, the same way a corporate unit oversees broader subjects within a company. The council members and I oversee 12 committees including Research Executive, Emerging Practices, Climate Change and Sustainability, Health, Predictive Modelling, New Members, and the Volunteer Management and Development Committee. Diverse? You bet! Wide-ranging? Absolutely! Boring? Never!

An Introspective Look at the MSC

The MSC underwent a full review of its activities in recent months under the leadership of its previous Chair, Marie-Hélène Malenfant, with a clear intent to focus its efforts on functions requiring actuarial expertise. The revised scope still offers its fair share of challenges, not the least of which is to identify a common agenda for all of the committees without hindering their key focus areas.

My personal goal during my term as MSC Chair is to improve communication and increase collaboration between the MSC and all the committees it oversees. With a clear vision on having a strong foundation, our initial step focused on clarifying the connection points to our committees, referred to as liaison roles, which since have been adopted by other councils, serving as a template for similar roles connecting committees. Our next step was to create a regular forum for collaboration among committees to share strategic plans and discuss common challenges. Committee feedback on these changes has been positive and we will continue to improve our approach over the coming months.

Activities from MSC Committees

The committees reporting to the MSC do an amazing job carrying out their respective mandates. Their enthusiasm and dedication are remarkable.

A great initiative from the Volunteer Management and Development Committee (VMDC) is the volunteer opportunities published regularly in the CIA announcements e-mail. This initiative helps raise membership awareness and interest in volunteering their time and expertise to CIA activities. The VMDC also has a pilot program to provide opportunities for recently qualified FCIAs to join committees as first-time volunteers; this program came out of a consultation undertaken by the New Members Committee.

Following its own restructure, the Research Executive Council now provides the membership with opportunities to participate on project oversight groups, essentially short-term subcommittees focused on a specific study, either forward-thinking, experience research, or academic in nature, allowing members to focus on topics of interest. For more information on the CIA’s research activities, please consult the Research page on the CIA website.

Our other committees have several projects underway which you will hear more about in the coming months, including some on public statements, climate change, and consultations with pension authorities, to name just a few. Stay tuned for more!

The members of the Member Services Council are Benoit Miclette (Chair), Stephen Cheng, Neil Duffy, Claude Ferguson (Board liaison), Paul Gobeil, Véronique Ménard, Nari Persad, Martin Roy, Yeh Ching Seto, Anne St-Martin, and Nimmie Veerappen.

Benoit Miclette, FCIA, is Chair of the Member Services Council.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires
http://www.cia-ica.ca/