CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
Past Issues |  
October 2016

September Board Meeting Highlights

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By Dave Dickson, FCIA
CIA President

After a very busy summer for many councils and committees, the Board had a packed agenda full of complex discussion items at its September 20–21 meeting. Extending the meeting to two days from the usual one allowed more time for strategic discussion of many of those items.

Here are some highlights from the meeting:

  • Upcoming bylaw amendments on public statements: The Board approved the release of proposed bylaw amendments to members for consultation. These amendments will clarify the development process for future public statements. The proposed process calls for member input and Board ratification prior to the release of public statements that have elements that are beyond actuarial considerations. The consultation process runs through October 31, 2016. The Board will consider the input received and target formal adoption of the proposed amendments at its December 2016 meeting. Member confirmation of the amendments would likely be sought at a special General Meeting of members in February or March 2017.
  • Potential upcoming public statements: Mike Hale, Chair of the Public Positions Committee presented five potential public statement topics. After a thorough discussion, the Board approved all of them for further investigation.
  • CIA risk appetite: The Board’s Risk Committee presented a draft proposal on risk appetite for the CIA. The Board approved the proposal in principle and tasked the Risk Committee to finalize the document which will be applied to future CIA decisions.
  • The future of CIA education: The Board debated alternative options for the future of CIA education. Educating future Canadian actuaries is a very complex issue, and the Board had a very good discussion. The Board asked for more information to be developed, which will be presented at our December meeting.
  • Strategic plan, 2016–2019: Our strategic plan was reviewed and updates on strategic initiatives were provided. One of our strategic initiatives is a review of our corporate governance. A consultant hired to guide us through this process presented his comprehensive report. There are a large number of potential improvements to our governance processes for consideration. For example, we will look at the size of our Board, better ways to measure Board performance, and how to arrive at more effective committees and councils. This is a very important initiative that will impact the future of the CIA.
  • Communications and member engagement strategy: Two of our communications professionals, Les Dandridge and Pascale Belleau, presented a plan to improve our communications and member engagement. They had done a lot of work on this strategy which was well-received and supported by the Board. One of the things they did was to measure member engagement at the individual level, by practice area, where members work, etc. There are a number of follow-up items to get us started, such as organizing focus groups with members to better understand what we need to provide, and how, so that members can better connect with the Institute.

This was the first time I chaired a CIA Board meeting and I found it gratifying to juggle items and deal with the issues around a full agenda. We addressed all our items and the Board was fully engaged in the discussions, which resulted in a very productive meeting.

We did identify some areas for improvement; changes we will implement at our next meeting. As an example, we will better frame future agenda items so that Board members know in advance whether they will be asked to make a decision, provide input, or if the item is being presented only for information.

If you have any questions or comments contact me at

Dave Dickson, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.


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