- Stuart Harbourne
As I approach the end of my Presidential year, I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months
When I accepted the Deputy Presidents role in a conversation with my predecessor, Tim West in early 2020, little did we know what the following 2 years would bring. I’m sure many would agree that the Covid Pandemic has probably changed the face of our industry for ever. Working from home has become part of a new normal. A hybrid model used to be reserved for a vehicle running on 2 sources of power, but now I hear it used to described someone’s working pattern
I began my Presidential year with renewed hope that we could return to a place of face-to-face networking, CPD and social events, including reigniting several postponed charity events. Whilst I am pleased to say we are now starting to return to that, the emergence of new variants, particularly omicron and the changing restrictions meant a lot of what I and the rest of Council had hoped to do in 2021/2022 sadly didn’t materialise.
I’m pleased that I’ll be able to hand over the Presidential reins face-to-face at our AGM taking place at The Grand. For those that don’t know, this is where our institute was formed back in 1887 with the written objectives to disseminate knowledge of the principles of insurance amongst those engaged in the industry and to encourage social interaction amongst members of the profession. Whilst we have evolved and grown as an institute – now serving over 5000 members – when I consider our CPD programme and our social and networking events, it is clear that the principles on which we were formed still hold true today.
The focus for my year was to continue our excellent virtual CPD offering. We’ve listened to our members and will be maintaining a virtual CPD programme of events. We can now reach more of our members at a time that suits them and organise follow up events according to demand.
I’m a firm advocate of our industry being built on relationships, and I truly believe those relationships are nurtured face-to-face, when we get to ‘chew the fat’ on those current topics. Networking and raising money for our charities is something that has suffered during the Pandemic, but I’m delighted to see us returning to these activities. Our Charity Fun Run took place in March which had been originally planned for March 2020 and was very well supported. Our flagship annual dinner has now gone for 3 Presidential years without taking place, but we plan to have this and other events in the calendar as we go through 2022 and into 2023.
Professional development and achieving formal qualifications remain hugely important to our industry and developing Public Trust. I’m honoured to be able to recognise those BII members who have achieved outstanding success in their examinations in 2021 straight after our AGM.
My immense thanks go to the dedicated officers and members of Council, including the Young Professionals committee, Vice Presidents and those that continue to support the largest institute outside of London. Quite simply the institute would cease to exist if it wasn’t for the dedication of those that volunteer their time and resources to give something back to our industry. I’m indebted to each one of them for the support they’ve given me this past year.
As an institute we had a strong voice in the CII’s Shaping the Future together consultation and will continue to work with them to ensure the strategy delivers for our members.
To be elected to be President of an Institute that dates back 135 years is something I’m immensely proud of and something I will always look back on with great fondness.
A little more about BII
Who are we?
We are the second largest Institute in the UK and are run by elected Officers, Council Members and our Young Professionals’ Group. Everyone involved is a volunteer who seeks to give something back to their profession in the local area, alongside their normal day job.
It is our responsibility to ensure that you get the most out of your CII membership, by providing local events and initiatives to assist with your career development.
What do we do?
The BII exists to provide educational and developmental support, along with networking opportunities to our members living or working within the Birmingham and surrounding areas. It is important to us that you have the appropriate support to enable you to achieve your goals and we can assist you with achieving professional qualifications, as well as providing opportunities for on-going learning and development.
We have given a lot of thought to how we, as your local Institute, can best support our members and the insurance industry in the Birmingham area.
Professional Development & Education
The BII provides a range of lectures covering a diverse range of interesting, pertinent and informative topics, to support your Continuous Professional Development.
For successful examination candidates, there is an annual award ceremony, where diplomas, certificates and prizes are presented to the most meritorious candidates.
The BII will continue to play a leading role in charity fundraising – both for local chosen charities and the general Insurance Charities.
Our social events, as well as our live lectures, are great opportunities for networking and meeting others involved in our industry, and also provide an enjoyable break from the routine of daily work.
If you wish to receive details of these events, please ensure that you are opted in to receive local institute email communications by checking the ‘My CII’ part of the CII website. Otherwise, take a look at the Events link on this site.
Remember, the institute is here to serve you, our members, and I recommend that you get to know those of us who represent you on Council, and make full use of the services we offer.
Please contact me, or any of the Officers, should you have a query about anything related to the Birmingham Insurance Institute.
On our ‘About Us’ pages, you will find a contact list of all the Officers on Council.
Alternatively, please email me directly at email@example.com
We warmly welcome anyone who wishes to become involved in the BII Council. It is a great way to meet new people in our industry, and will give you opportunities to:
- Gain an understanding of, and contribute to, ‘the bigger picture’ of insurance;
- Mix with experienced, like-minded insurance professionals;
- Put something back into the local insurance scene.