As your new President, I probably shouldn’t admit that, until 12 months ago when I joined the IASG Council, I really didn’t know too much about IASG beyond the Annual Dinner traditionally held at the end of November at the Hilton Hotel. But my admission is now out in the open, and I’d bet a fair sum of money that a good number of you reading this share a similar view.
And that’s a real shame, because what I’ve learnt over the past year is that the capabilities within IASG’s remit are substantial and there is so much potentially on offer, and that can be done, to and for the membership.
A great example of this relates to the activities and efforts of our three fantastic sub groups, the Young Professionals, the Professional Development Group and Club FS, who each already provide an excellent array of events and opportunities for engagement, education and networking. These are always well attended and supported, but I’d gamble again here that for every one person who currently participates and benefits, there are at least two or three others in our catchment who could derive equal benefit but simply aren’t even aware of their existence.
This is just one example, and I could start to build a long list, adding in projects such as the mentoring programme successfully launched last year, the opportunities for education and revision support that exist and the re-emergence of a strong Sports and Social programme all delivered for our members locally.
One of my priorities for the next 12 months is to look at how the IASG can increase and improve communication, engagement and, very importantly, relevance, with those employed in our sector, and in doing so, recognise the rich diversity of organisations, individuals, roles and experience, and the differing needs or interests of each category or group.
This is on top of a number of other projects my council will be working towards over the next 12 months and I’ll share details of those over the coming weeks, but for now, I’ll leave you with one final observation.
IASG has a job to do and that is to push our messages further and wider, and that is a responsibility I have set myself and the IASG Council, but employers also have a responsibility to encourage and support their staff to pursue opportunities for development, education and increased professionalism.
That responsibility increases even further if your employer, like mine, carries Chartered status. So if your boss needs any encouragement in this area, pass him a copy of this message and ask him to get in touch with me. Or if you are the boss and want a chat, please do likewise. We might just be calling on you anyway!
Andy Macfarlane ACII, Chartered Insurer
President, Insurance and Actuarial Society of Glasgow