Your council

Annual General Meeting

All local institutes across the UK, with the exception of London, hold their Annual General Meeting in March, April or May.

Numerous decisions are taken at these meetings, including the election of a president, deputy president and all other members of council.

The institute’s annual report and accounts will be discussed and adopted. The new president also has the opportunity to discuss their plans and key objectives for the coming 12 months.

The AGM gives your members a voice in relation to the running of their local institute and the associated local membership proposition, allowing them to ask any questions to council regarding the direction the institute will take in the future. So be prepared.

Knowing what to do during the AGM as both incoming and outgoing president is essential to make sure the AGM runs smoothly and each institute should work closely with their secretary to make sure the meeting runs smoothly.

An overview of a secretary’s typical responsibilities can be viewed here.

To remove the requirement for nomination forms, hold a council meeting prior to your AGM to discuss forthcoming roles. This should be held after your eflyer notification is issued, in case any new members wish to join council. Agree your council roles, subject to ratification at your AGM, ensuring that this receives a majority council vote and is minuted. This process removes the requirement for nomination forms.

Key documents for running your AGM can be found below. If you have any questions at all please contact your RMM.

The regional membership will promote the importance of your AGM within The Journal giving members forewarning of your institutes AGM date.

Following the AGM a number of forms and pieces of information known as annual returns will need to be submitted prior to 31st May. This includes:

  • officer returns form
  • annual dinner date
  • annual accounts
  • AGM minutes
  • CPD accreditation renewal
  • next year’s AGM date.

Running your AGM online?

If you are running your AGM online - we advise the following:

Prepare – find the right platform for your institute and make sure you are aware of how the platform works in order to get the best out of your online AGM. Try ZOOM, SKYPE or MICROSOFT TEAMS - your RMM is on hand to offer advice.
Practice run – ask people with speaking parts to attend a practice run of the AGM so everyone feels comfortable and is aware of what is expected on the day.
Make your attendees aware - remember to let your council members and members who want to attend your AGM aware of your platform by sending relevant links and passwords a couple of days before your AGM. We advise you log in ten minutes before your start time.
Keep attendees engaged - a visual in the background could be considered to engage with attendees. This could be a simple presentation – giving an overview of key speakers, immediate Past President achievements, objectives & goals of the incoming President or information or how to get in contact / involved.
Housekeeping is key - set rules out at the start of the meeting for example: 'All attendees booked online will have received a copy of last year’s annual report, today’s agenda and last years minutes by email', 'All attendees will be muted with no web cam during formalities', 'To ask a question please use Q&A or chat – we will read out your name and question and then answer at an appropriate time to do so' etc
Stick to the working agenda – this will achieve your set formalities. Allow time at the end for any informal chat, this would be an ideal time for members to engage.
More hands make less work - there can be a lot going on, ensure there is someone taking the minutes separately to someone controlling the slides.
Record the meeting if possible - this could help to refer to what was said.

Council roles

Each local institute council comprises of a number of defined roles, ranging from treasurer through to education secretary, with each role accountable for a number of specific tasks which allows each institute to function effectively and deliver a range of services to benefit its members.

Council members are elected at each AGM to serve in a particular role and hold responsibility for coordinating the key activities associated with their respective positions.

An overview of each of the key council roles can be accessed below.

President

Deputy President

Secretary

Treasurer

Education Secretary

Dinner Secretary

Membership Secretary

Careers Officer

Charities Representative

Communications Officer

Diversity Officer

Vice President

To ensure roles are kept fresh and to broaden your team’s experience, it’s worth considering rotating these positions every few years to give everyone a wider insight into how the institute operates.

This is an important part of succession planning which ensures that your council evolves, and that new members are brought on board with fresh ideas on how to further develop your local offering.

The size of your council varies depending on the size of your local institute, we recommend the following as best practice:

≤500 members - 6+ members
501 - 1000 members - 8+ members
1001 - 2000 members - 10+ members
2001 - 3000 members - 12+ members
≥3001 members - 15+ members

Other roles are sometimes created by local institutes to serve a particular need or activity undertaken by the institute, for example, a Sports and Social Secretary. The appointment of such roles is at the discretion of the institute and should be elected at your AGM.

Council meetings

Council meetings should ideally be scheduled at the start of each presidential year to enable council members to block out time in their diary accordingly.

The frequency of your council meetings may vary and will depend on what works for your council – we recommend a minimum of four times a year, however you may choose to run meetings more frequently in order to meet council objectives.

It is the secretary’s responsibility to call all meetings held by the local institute. This responsibility may be delegated should an ‘acting’ secretary be appointed to service a particular committee (e.g. Sports and Social, Education etc.) Any ‘acting’ secretary must adopt the same procedures as the elected secretary and must pass a copy of the minutes of any meeting to the elected secretary for safekeeping and onward reporting as necessary. Once the date of a meeting has been agreed by the president (or appointed chairman), the secretary must give all members of the council or committee at least seven days notice, in writing via e-mail of the date, time and venue of the meeting, and must include an agenda or details of the purpose of the meeting.

The secretary is also responsible for ensuring that all meetings are quorate. Please check your own constitution for quorum details.

The president should act as chair of the meeting but in his/her absence, the deputy president or another member of council may be selected to lead the meeting.

An overview of a president’s typical responsibilities can be viewed here.

Under the terms of the CII’s draft local institute constitution, five members are required to form a quorum in order to pass proposed actions by council. Please check your institute’s constitutional requirements regarding how many members are required to be quorum.

To keep meetings interesting and your council members engaged, you should ensure every attendee has a role to play or at least something to say.

There are certain elements that are required as a matter of course for each of your council meetings, all council meetings should be recorded by the secretary and the minutes circulated to all council members in reasonable time following the close of the meeting. The minutes should be added as an agenda item at the next meeting and be signed off as an accurate reflection of what was discussed.

Key documentation for the effective running of your council meetings are accessible through the TOOLS tab once you log in through the My LI tab.

Annual returns

Following your institute's AGM and to ensure good governance is achieved, your institute must submit a number of annual returns documents.

Once these documents are completed they must they must be uploaded and submitted on Network Know-How via the annual returns page, which can by found within the My LI section once you have logged in.

Documents for submission are as follows:

Officer Returns Form
AGM Minutes
CII Local Institute Accounts Tool spreadsheet
Year end financial returns or bank statement
Next year's AGM Date
Next year's annual dinner date - plus indicate if you want a CII speaker or not
CPD Accreditation Renewal

Please note that your officer returns form must be submitted within seven days of your AGM. This will ensure we have the most up to date contact details for all your council members, ensuring they receive regular updates on institute related matters.

Please remember that 31st May of each year is the last date for the full submission of your annual returns documentation.

Annual Returns Video Guide

This video guide gives instructions on how to upload your Annual Returns on Network Know-How.

Annual assessment & development plan

The local institute network now has annual development & assessment meetings, created by the network of local institutes and supported by the regional membership team.

Each year, following the AGM the immediate past president is required to complete an annual local institute assessment looking back on their presidential term. The incoming president is then also required to discuss their annual development plans for the forthcoming presidential year.

The annual local institute assessment is intended to support and ensure consistent high performance across the entire local institute network. The assessment highlights instances of best practice so that all institutes can focus their resources on the right activities. The ambition is to create a roadmap for institute councils to follow as they strive to provide the best service to their members.

The assessment criteria have been agreed in consultation with the local institute network and approved by the CII Board. Local institutes are measured across a number of categories and where appropriate, assessment measures will reflect the membership composition of individual institutes. The questions asked relate to the last full presidential year, with the exception of those in respect of local institute finances which are in respect of the previous financial year.

The development part of the meetings key purpose is to help incoming presidents plan for the year ahead, ensuring that their institute delivers the services required by members such as CPD provision, social events and communications; as well as ensuring good governance is adhered to.

The plans also support and underpin every local institutes ongoing progression and provide a helpful barometer for your institutes progress and development in the key areas linked to your annual assessment; which in turn links to your institutes annual funding.

Annual Assessment & Development plan meetings are also used to discuss a number of other initiatives such as your grant payment and a number of annual key projects being developed by the regional membership team.

Importantly these written plans will become historic documents allowing each institute to record key achievements on a year on year basis.

Your assessment & development plans can be found within the My LI section once you have logged in, this can be found in your role page.

Constitution

Local institutes are unincorporated associations and as such require their own constitution which details what their purpose is and rules about how they work.

The CII has prepared a model constitution for use by local institutes. Our aim is to produce a model that is flexible and works for all Institutes, from the smallest to largest, and that will remain relevant for the foreseeable future.

In the interests of consistency, our preference is that local institutes adopt this model constitution, but you are of course welcome to revise if you consider it necessary, although we ask that you run proposed amendments initially past your Regional Membership Manager.

Every local institute secretary (and indeed council member) should be familiar with their institute’s constitution.

The model constitution can be downloaded below. Any questions regarding the constitution should be directed to your Regional Membership Manager.

Succession planning

There are a number of key roles on local institute councils where there is a vital need to identify potential successors.

The identification of possible candidates for the roles of president, deputy president, secretary, treasurer, education secretary and dinner secretary are essential in maintaining the successful running of your local institute.

By having successors (or deputies) for these key positions it ensures that council members have exposure to these roles, keeping your council fresh and allowing your institute to move forward.

Many local institutes appoint a past president to take on the responsibility for succession planning, having already been through the process as deputy president and then president. In particular, the immediate past president should have responsibility for encouraging the younger members of the institute to become involved with committees and council.

There are a number of benefits of being a volunteer on a local institute council and these should be used when approaching individuals to take an active part on your council. Volunteering will allow them to help shape the institute and the local proposition whilst increasing their visibility locally helping to further their career.

If you are having problems with recruiting new members on to council then speak with your Regional Membership Manager.

Local institute regalia

Presidents of local institutes have neck badges which should be worn at all formal CII functions, local institute activities and external functions. The badge is passed on to the new president at each AGM. No member of a local institute, other than the president, may wear the president’s badge.

All institutes then provide their past president with a badge to mark their time as president and this is normally presented at your AGM.

Below are examples of both the standard badge and bar options -

Additional engraving can be added to the back of the medal on the badge, at no further cost – this can be up to 6 lines of no more than 12 characters per line. The wording must be stated within the additional engraving section of the online order form.

Past presidents of local institutes should wear their badges at all formal functions of the local institute or any other formal dinner or event where it is instructed that “medals and/or decorations shall be worn”. The badge should be worn on the right hand side to distinguish them from public medals awarded by the sovereign which must be worn on the left.

Other badges are also available for deputy presidents, vice presidents and local committee chairs, full details as to what engraving is required need to be added to the online order form under the special requests section.

A few local institutes have specific ribbon and engraving colours other than the ‘standard blue’ as shown above. To change the colour of the badge ribbon or engraving, there is an official process that needs to take place which involves gaining your local council’s approval in order to determine the local institute colour for that particular region. For further information relating to this process, please contact the regional engagement administrator.

Ordering local institute regalia

Regalia can be ordered in September each year, and a reminder notice will be issued to councils in August.

An online order form will be activated on this page on 1st September, which will remain open until 31st October. From 1st November, the Regional Membership Team will process the orders and have them ready to send to councils in time for their next AGM, when they are presented to recipients.

Costs

Please note the cost for a past president badge is £46.00 for a full badge and £33.00 for a bar only; both costs are inclusive of engraving (where requested), postage, VAT and presentation wallet.

Once your order has been submitted, you will shortly receive an invoice which will have your order reference and account information in order for you to make payment.

To order local institute regalia, visit the ordering page.

History of local institutes & the CII

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CIIs) network of local institutes across the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands offers existing and prospective CII members ongoing professional development at a local level.

Each institute’s activity is shaped by a panel of member volunteers. Their backgrounds are in all disciplines – from claims, underwriting and broking to loss adjusting, financial services and more. They come together to support one common goal – to give back to the profession and help support others.

On top of technical CPD programmes, networking and social events also provide a platform to develop business relationships, help boost confidence and support mental wellbeing; vital factors in supporting positivity and productivity for employees.

Most events are free to CII members or charged at a nominal fee.

History of the local institutes and the CII

The first insurance institute was founded in Manchester in 1873. This was followed over the next twenty-three years by the formation of insurance institutes in Glasgow (1881), Dublin (1885), Norwich (1886), Birmingham (1887), Leeds (1888), Bristol (1890) and Newcastle (1896).

In 1897, representatives from the then 10 established local insurance institutes decided that they should form an association, and the Federation of Insurance Institutes of Great Britain and Ireland was established as an examining body, with the local institutes forming classes and providing other educational facilities. This Federation also committed to produce an annual Journal of papers of relevance to insurance, which we continue to maintain today.

Further local institutes were formed over subsequent years, and in 1908, the Federation became the Insurance Institute of Great Britain and Ireland before soon transforming into the Chartered Insurance Institute when granted its Royal Charter by King George V on 17 January 1912. The charter made the organisation a single entity with the same rights and powers as an individual and stated that it should “secure and justify the confidence of the public in its members and the insurance sector.” The CII charter evolved in 1987, when Queen Elizabeth II granted a new version, which identifies the current seven “objects and purposes”, which are broadly:

  • To promote efficiency and improvement in insurance practice among professionals
  • To secure and justify the confidence of the public and employers
  • To promote the study of subjects related to insurance
  • To inform regulations and law associated with the profession
  • To exercise supervision and control over professional standards of our members
  • To assist members in developing their careers
  • And to assist members who have fallen on hardship.

Bringing the CII’s story up to the present day, the professional remit expanded in 2005, with the formation of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) as a result of the merger of two other UK professional bodies, the Life Insurance Association and the Society of Financial Advisers. The PFS is now the leading professional membership body for financial advisers in the UK. Its creation made the CII unique among other professional bodies in the UK, by virtue of it having two membership bodies under one roof.

Today, the CII is an international organisation with more than 120,000 members living and working in more than 150 countries. But the ‘community’ nature of the profession continues to drive the work, alongside all the Local Insurance Institutes in the UK. It’s a central pillar in the CII’s unique member proposition alongside ‘credibility’ and ‘career’.

The past 150 years has had its fair share of challenges. But changing with the times is something that the insurance sector has always done well, recognising the essential role our profession plays in times of adversity.