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Why I volunteered for my Local Institute - and why you should consider it too

Publication date:

22 May 2024

Last updated:

24 May 2024


Angela Irvine ACII, Sales Director at The Bletchley Group Ltd

My name is Angela Irvine and I’m the immediate past President of the Birmingham Insurance Institute, having passed the baton to my successor at the end of April this year.

My involvement with the Birmingham Institute first came about early in my career when I became a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute ahead of starting my professional exams. The local Institute reached out to introduce both themselves and the services offered to members, which when new to the industry, was invaluable. Over the intervening years, I benefited from study sessions, CPD events and social events and had always planned that when the time was right, I would look to get involved with the Council and fulfil my wish to ‘give something back’.

Taking on the role of President in 2023 came about following stints on the charity committee, general Council and then as Secretary before becoming Deputy President in 2022.

The role of President is as an ambassador and representative of the Chartered Insurance Institute in the local Institute’s region. The President is responsible for all of the educational, social and charitable activities carried out by the local Institute and heads the team of elected local Institute officers and council members.

The objectives are to maintain the profile of the Local Institute and to develop and expand the services offered to local members.

The Birmingham Insurance Institute comprises of several extremely dedicated individuals who come from all areas of the sector – we have people from the broking side, insurers, MGAs, Loss Adjusters, legal and financial services. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience, exposure to which has benefited me greatly, and this is why I urge other brokers to get involved.

Benefits of getting involved include:

  • Professional Growth – through the CII’s CPD programs and resources, I have been able to continually expand my knowledge and skills.
  • Networking opportunities – being part of the local institute’s community has allowed me to connect with fellow industry professionals, not only enriching my professional network but this has also led to meaningful collaborations, referrals and business opportunities.
  • Recognition and credibility – membership of the BII, and holding the President role in particular, has enhanced my professional credibility and reputation within the insurance community.
  • Clients and colleagues view my involvement with the institute as testament to my commitment to professional standards and the need for ongoing learning.

Not only has my involvement with the Birmingham Insurance Institute raised my profile but it has also had a positive impact on the Bletchley Group’s Company profile in terms of how we are viewed by prospective clients and prospective employees. It has certainly helped to differentiate us in an extremely competitive marketplace. Within the local market, there remains various challenges in attracting staff but our enhanced profile and reputation for promoting professional development and high standards, help us to stand out from the crowd.

All the roles on the Local Institute Council are held by volunteers, and before getting involved, it’s important that consideration is given to the amount of time involved in getting the best out of that role. Whilst this can occasionally be challenging, it is overwhelmingly fulfilling. Employer support is crucial, and I have been lucky that with strong support and military style diary management, that I have been able to devote time to carry out my duties as President to the best of my ability over the past twelve months as well as carrying out my role as Sales Director at Bletchley.

I thoroughly enjoyed my year as President and found it to be immensely fulfilling and I would certainly encourage others in the broking sector to get involved. If interested, I would recommend reaching out to current Council members – their contact details are shown on the Local Institute webpage – or simply attend a Local Institute event and have a chat there. Most Councils are calling out for new members, and certainly roles on sub-committees for careers and education and learning and professional development can be a step onto the main Council. Any amount of time and help will be greatly received.

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