Following The Insurance Institute’s AGM, Irish Broker sat down with some of the Executive Team to learn more about the organisation’s successes over the last year and strategic priorities for the future

Executive Team members: Frank Craven, Dermot Murray and Paula Hodson, The Insurance Institute.

Dermot Murray, Chief Executive Officer

How would you sum up the year for The Insurance Institute, Dermot?

Since our establishment back in 1885 – The Insurance Institute’s goal has been to educate, inspire and connect. I’m delighted to say that we’ve continued to move forward in all of these areas in 2016.

An absolute priority for us is making insurance an appealing career choice and attracting the country’s best and brightest and the launch of the Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship has been a real game-changer for us. It’s fair to say that it is already revolutionising recruitment in the sector, with life and general organisations around the country getting on board for the 2017 programme.

While attracting talent to the industry is a priority, providing excellent products and services for existing members is still top of the agenda. We’re continually improving our educational offerings, but we of course recognise that not everyone is doing exams. We provide real quality for our graduate members in terms of online and face to face CPD, career development and networking opportunities.

What’s on the agenda for this year?

At the moment we’re focusing on putting together the strategic plan that will take us to 2020. The key areas of focus will be: building on the apprenticeship’s success and developing new propositions that cater to the needs of professionals at all levels; using technology to enhance the member’s journey; and most importantly, ensuring that The Insurance Institute continues to remain relevant to our members at both local and national levels.

Jim Duncan, President

Jim, you’ve been asked to stay on for a second year as President of The Insurance Institute. Can you tell us about your first term? It’s certainly been a busy 12 months, but I was delighted to be asked to stay on for a second term. Although it has been hard work, I have received extensive support from the team at The Insurance Institute, as well as the Local Institute Presidents and councils nationwide. Attending CPD lectures, social and networking events and Board meetings has certainly opened my eyes to the value of the role The Insurance Institute plays in our industry. What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the Institute over the last year? What really surprised me was a statistic I came across in the 2016 Annual Report. Last year, members recorded over 70,000 hours of CPD. This impressive figure really shows the value our industry places on keeping in-tune with new legislation, technologies and products. I’ve always believed that The Insurance Institute is a significant resource for companies who want to ensure high standards and create a solid knowledge structure in their organisations. We should not underestimate the essential role that the Institute plays in elevating these standards throughout the sector, through education, networking and continuing professional development.

Paula Hodson, Director of Development Services and Education

The Insurance Practitioner Apprenticeship has been hitting the headlines recently. How is the 2017 programme going? The insurance apprenticeship is the first in Ireland to award a level 8 degree and out of the over 80 proposed apprenticeships submitted to government in 2015, ours was the first to launch. It is also the first new apprenticeship in Ireland in over 50 years. To add to these firsts, our programme boasts the highest female count in apprenticeship history and this innovation by our industry is something we should all be very proud of. Over 1,000 people have registered their interest in the 2017 programme so far and this really shows the potential of this apprenticeship to transform our sector. What has been the highlight of the last year for you, Paula? The nationwide conferral ceremonies are always very proud and enjoyable occasions. We believe that lifelong learning is essential to the growth of our industry and the conferrals really showcase the pride our members and their families feel when they earn their qualification. It’s a fantastic recognition of the commitment that our members have to their education. We also won the Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD) award for Best Learning and Development Organisation in the not-for-profit category in 2016 and were delighted to retain the title this year. This was certainly a highlight for me and indeed the rest of the organisation. The Insurance Institute’s 2016 Annual Report was published on 25 April and is available to download at

The Insurance Institute employees practice what they preach, receiving insurance qualifications in 2016.

Richard Brophy, Cathal Lowe, Paula Hodson and Charles Cavanagh.

Dermot Murray, CEO, Coleman Hudson, The Insurance Institute of Dublin President 2016-17, Jim Duncan, The Insurance Institute President.

Frank Craven and Paula Hodson accepting the IITD Award for Best Learning and Development Organisation (Not-For-Profit). The Insurance Institute won this award in 2016 and 2017.

Jim Duncan addresses a crowd of over 800 at The Insurance Institute of Dublin Dinner.

Jim Duncan, Anne Dalton and Professor Gerard McHugh at the 2016 Insurance Institute of Dublin Conferral ceremony..