Andy Homer's remarks in 'Qualifications will help us be seen as a profession' (17 July, Insurance Times) strike a chord. The framework described by Homer is one shared by The Institute of Risk Management (IRM).

Recently, we have totally rewritten our qualification structure, with the new framework recognising that risk management is not something that can be learnt in an instant (then forgotten), but a discipline where knowledge and experience are acquired systematically through both study and practical application over time.

Our new associateship (AIRM) syllabus also recognises the broad church nature of risk: we have already and continue to work with other institutes on cooperative examination developments to ensure that the skills learned whilst taking a qualification in one field are recognised by the IRM if relevant to risk management. For instance, the Association of Project Managers risk qualification is now formally part of the AIRM syllabus.

Earlier this year, we also launched 'Routes to Fellowship'. This new scheme requires potential Fellows (FIRMs) to demonstrate practical application of what they have already learned, plus evidence of a rigorous approach to continued learning over time, and active contributions to the industry and the institute. This is in effect a 'points means prizes' approach to continuous professional development. Looked at another way, it is another step along the way towards the goal of a truly professional risk and insurance industry.

Steve Fowler
Executive director

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