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 RMM team collate an annual insert for The Journal which highlights the importance of your AGM and gives members forewarning of your institutes AGM date. An example can be viewed here.

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?

Most institutes had to move their AGMs online during 2020 - see below for some handy hints.

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 2019 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.


Deputy President



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.

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
Annual Accounts OR CII accounts spreadsheet
Financial Returns Summary OR CII accounts spreadsheet
Following Year AGM Date
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 development plan

The local institute network now develops individual annual development plans, created by the network of local institutes and supported by the regional membership team.

The key purpose of these plans 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.

Development plan meetings take place in quarter one of each year in conjunction with your Regional Membership Manager with the time also being 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 development plans can be found within the My LI section once you have logged in.

Annual assessment

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 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, with a weighting applied to recognise their relative importance e.g. governance and CPD the most important, social events the least important. Thecategories are governance of council, finance, CPD, engagement and communications.

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 assessment is completed in conjunction with your Regional Membership Manager.

Your assessments can be found within the My LI section once you have logged in.


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.

Any questions regarding the constitution should be directed to your Regional Membership Manager.

The model constitution can be downloaded below.

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 who can talk you through a campaign called 'I’m In' that has been developed to help institutes recruit new council members.


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

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.

All CII Service Awards are to be worn on the ribbon supplied with the medal. The Bridgewater Award is worn with a blue ribbon edged with silver piping. The Exceptional Service Award is worn with a blue ribbon. The Distinguished Service Award is supplied as a lapel badge to be pinned on the right hand side. The awards should be worn at all CII formal functions and on other formal occasions when the invitation states that decorations and other medals should be displayed.

Other badges are also available for deputy presidents, vice presidents and local committee chairs.

For more information, please contact your Regional Membership Manager.

To order regalia, visit the ordering page.

Ordering 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.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the engraving factory used for CII regalia was closed for a significant length of time across 2020 and 2021, therefore there is a delay in processing any orders received during this period.


Please note the cost for a past president badge is £40.00 for a full badge and £27.00 for a bar only; both costs are inclusive of engraving (where requested), postage, VAT and presentation wallet.

Council awards

CII awards

The CII annually recognises the success of members and local institute volunteers via the annual CII Awards.

Nominations open each January to all members and volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding qualities and achievements within the profession. Any individual can submit a nomination; however, members cannot nominate themselves.

Further details for the 2020 awards can be found here.

The categories are:

  • The Allan Bridgewater Award for Excellence
  • Distinguished Award
  • Outstanding Award
  • Excellence Award
  • Emerging Professional of the Year
  • Chartered Member of the Year
  • Chartered Firm of the Year

Local awards

Local institutes have the facility to also recognise service provided to their institute by creating their own awards – these awards can recognise work that has benefitted the institute, the local membership, the local insurance community or the CII.

These can take the form of a presentation of a certificate produced on behalf of the local institute, an illuminated scroll or the production and presentation of a suitably designed (and CII approved) medal at the local institute Annual General Meeting.

Most institutes, when recognising exemplary service, choose the election option of an honorary vice president of the local institute.

History of local institutes

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 The Federation of Insurance Institutes of Great Britain and Ireland was established as an examining body only with the local institutes forming classes or providing other educational facilities.

In the years up to 1911 a further eleven institutes were formed – Nottingham (1898), Edinburgh (1901), Cardiff (1905), Belfast, Liverpool and London (1907), Northampton (1908), Dundee and Stoke-on-Trent (1909), Aberdeen and Perth (1911).

In 1908 The Federation became the Insurance Institute of Great Britain and Ireland and this remained the name for the next four years until, in 1912, the Institute was granted its Royal Charter and The Chartered Insurance Institute came into being.

In the years shown local insurance institutes or centres were formed in the following cities and towns in Great Britain and Ireland:

1873 Manchester ('the Insurance Institute')
1881 Glasgow
1883 Manchester ('the Insurance Association')
1885 Dublin * (the Insurance Institute of lreland)
1886 Norwich
1887 Birmingham
1888 Leeds (the Insurance Institute of Yorkshire)
1890 Bristol
1896 Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham (the Nottingham Fire Offices Society)


1898 Nottingham (the Nottingham Insurance Institute)
1901 Edinburgh
1905 Cardiff
1907 Belfast, Liverpool, London


1908 Northampton
1909 Dundee, Stoke on Trent
19rr Aberdeen, Perth


1912 Brighton, Sheffield
1913 Huddersfield, Hull, Ipswich, Southampton, Swansea
1914 Leicester
1920 Cambridge, Exeter, Reading
1921 Preston
1922 Bournemouth, Bradford, Middlesbrough, Plymouth
1923 Bedford, Cork*, Dumfries, Portsmouth
1926 Maidstone
1927 Canterbury, Shrewsbury

1928 Oxford, Salisbury

1929 Carlisle, Wolverhampton, Worcester

1930 Blackburn, York

1931 Blackpool, Doncaster, Grimsby, Inverness

1932 Chelmsford, Guildford, Luton, Peterborough

1933 Croydon, Derby, Stratford upon Avon

1934 Barnstaple, Coventry, Watford

1935 Barrow in Furness*, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Lincoln, London-

derry, Taunton, Tunbridge Wells

1937 Ayr, King's Lynn*, Truro

1938 Hastings (East Sussex)

1939 Torquay

1946 Ilford, Kingston upon Thames

1947 Chester

1949 Kendal

1954 Bangor (North Wales)

* The institutes formed in Dublin and Cork have since 1949 been associated institutes of the CII.

Further information can be found on Wikipedia.