GUEST COMMENT: PMI – 40 years and counting

Written by PMI marketing and client relationship manager Judith Codling

In a year where so much has changed, it’s good to have some familiar faces around, and for our members the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) represents the constant in a changing world.

But complacent we are not; we are always looking to build upon the strong foundations that were laid 40 years ago by the founding partners, NAPF (now the PLSA), SPC (now SPP), ACA and the Life Insurance council of the ABI.

These organisations recognised the clear need to educate and provide career development for all professionals in what was then, the pensions industry, and to provide a qualification that recognised that development.

Over the last decade the PMI has developed its core qualifications offering of the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision and the Qualification in Pensions Administration to build a broader suite of qualifications to support pension managers, advisors, trustees and administrators which cover both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements.

The most recent qualification to be launched is the Certificate in Pension Scheme Member Guidance which is supported by an online learning programme and examined by a verbal interview to assess both technical knowledge and softer communication skills.

The range of membership categories has been developed over the years for those studying towards PMI qualifications with Student, Certificate Member, Diploma Member, Associate and finally to Fellowship showing clear career development. To supplement these, PMI introduced Trustee Group membership and more recently Affiliate membership for those who wish to receive all the benefits of being part of the PMI without the requirement to undertake additional qualifications (many of those in these groups have professional qualifications from other institutes).

And so to the future, with the appointment of a new chief executive, Gareth Tancred, the PMI is looking for even closer engagement with its members and will achieve this through a series of consultations about potential developments. The first of which is currently live and is looking at whether there is a need for a specific qualification for professional or experienced lay trustees.

Thought leadership is also an area that the PMI is looking to develop, and with this we will strengthen our role as the authoritative voice for our members on key issues which affect their work and working lives. The PMI recognises the need to remain relevant and up-to-date and the ability to provide our own input to the pensions and retirement savings debate is therefore essential.

After 15 years in our current location, PMI House in Artillery Lane, next year we will be moving. This change of location will not only be geographical but will be part of a cultural transformation where the suite of services we provide will be expanded and the delivery channels broadened to ensure we are able to tailor our offerings to the different needs of our members. So watch this space and do come and visit once we are settled in.

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