A joint CII and Cila claims faculty will be launched to strengthen the links between practitioners and professional standards.

A board has been established, chaired by CII treasurer and past Cila council member Jonathan Clark, of Crawford & Co, to develop the faculty.

Other members of the board include: Cila representatives - Andy King, Chris Miller, Mike Jones and Graham Cave; and CII representatives - Bill Paton and Steve Wellard. Also on the board is president of the Cambridge Insurance Institute David Williams.

The board will hold its first meeting in March, and it is hoped that the faculty will go "live" on 1 July.

Clark said: "The faculty is a major step forward for the sector. It will help to drive up standards and raise the bar of professionalism in claims."

The aims of the faculty are to encourage progression to qualified status, maintain good practice in claims and to provide a forum for all staff involved in claims functions.

Clark said that in order to ensure that professional standards reflect market operations and requirements, claims practitioners would have input into the provision of education, the exchange of information and the development of professional pathways.

"Importantly, this will be underpinned by designatory letters linked to the CII's own qualification framework and their accreditation in the national qualifications framework," he said.

According to Clark the CII and Cila would also broaden the range of material at certificate and diploma levels. And he said that Cila had also agreed to recognise the Dip CII (Claims) as a further entry level to their examinations.

Once established, the faculty will also provide seminars, updates and newsletters, and have input into the development of technical exam modules, learning materials and a CPD programme.