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The Fellowship programme demonstrates a commitment to further self improvement.

Fellowship of the CII is universally regarded as the premier qualification for those working in the insurance industry. By achieving the ACII, you have already demonstrated a high level of commitment, but the Fellowship shows that you have taken this commitment one step further. Acquiring FCII accreditation will further demonstrate your knowledge, experience and professionalism to the world.

In developing these access routes to the FCII, the aim has been to provide holders of the CII's Advanced Diploma/ACII with every opportunity to advance to the higher qualification, regardless of how their career has developed in the interim.

This information enables each individual to outline his or her career record in the way that best demonstrates their fitness for Fellowship. In so doing, it presents a full picture of the candidate's technical knowledge before highlighting their business skills and achievements. It thus allows individuals to present their own case, taking into account their career choices and the subsequent requirements of their employment.

Achieving Fellowship of the CII gives financial services practitioners genuine differentiation. It confirms their commitment and ability and it adds real weight to their curriculum vitae. It is tangible, objective evidence of ambition and success.

As an Associate member of the CII, you have already demonstrated considerable commitment to your own professional development, succeeding, as you have, in a wide range of subjects examined at the highest level. Fellowship of the CII shows that you have taken this commitment one stage further, demonstrating Continuing Professional Development (CPD) through a major achievement and planned acquisition of skills and knowledge. The Fellowship programme has been designed on the basis that each individual is in the best position to evaluate what development needs they have and how best to address these needs.

The programme is designed to give you control of the way you progress your own career while also working towards Fellowship. It gives you the ability to select a path to Fellowship which fits your own skills, interests and development needs.

Being a Fellow tells employers that you have a major professional qualification and that you are committed to Continuing Professional Development.

Eligibility to become a Fellow

To become a Fellow you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • be a current member of the CII (and remain a member throughout your progression to Fellowship);
  • have completed your Advanced Diploma/Associateship before enrolling on the Fellowship programme*;
  • have been employed (or self-employed) in insurance for at least four years overall;
  • be wholly or mainly engaged or employed in work connected with insurance;
  • fulfil the requirements of the Fellowship programme set out in these guidelines;
  • be able to supply records of your last three years of Continuing Professional Development (CPD);
  • meet the requirements of the Fellowship Advisory Board.

If, after reading these guidelines, you are in any doubt about the requirements, please phone the Fellowship Advisory Service - FAS on 020 8530 0819 or email

* If you are a pre-1992 ACII you will need to submit a summary of ten years relevant work experience

Fellowship Advisory Service

During your progression to Fellowship you may need help or advice. You may be fortunate in having the services of a mentor from your employer to call on, or your local institute may offer help. Use these as your first port of call. You should feel free to approach others to get useful additional input. For instance, it can be helpful to discuss your plans with your employer or you might wish to approach colleagues who have passed other qualifications in which you are interested.

The FAS can give information about the Fellowship programme and can offer a wide range of help and advice. However, we cannot provide technical information about a subject you may be studying.

As we have a small team of advisers, assistance is limited in terms of time available to any one member. We will, however, try to help you in any way we can and, if there is anything you do not understand, please contact us at the earliest opportunity. This may prevent you from running into problems later.


CII qualifications involve the completion of one or more units, each covering an individually assessed topic. Assessment methods vary and depend on a unit's level and subject matter.

Assessment methods include:

  • Multiple-choice exams - the assessment method for Award, Certificate, and Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning units R01-R05 assessed in the UK. Exams are delivered on-screen at a network of over 40 public centres across the UK. Sittings are available year-round, often on a weekly basis.
  • Written exams - the assessment method for some Diploma and Advanced Diploma units and all units examined outside the UK. Sittings are typically available twice-yearly in April and October at over 50 public centres throughout the UK and over 120 public centres outside the UK.
  • Coursework assessment - available for a select number of Advanced Diploma in Insurance units, Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning unit (AF6) Senior management and supervision and financial services unit (J09) Paraplanning, coursework assessment involves the completion of three written assignments during a 12 month period.
  • Mixed assessment - available for a number of Diploma in Insurance units and all Diploma in Insurance units by April 2018 (unit codes begin with the letter M). This involves the successful completion of both a coursework assignment and a multiple-choice exam. This has an 18 month enrolment period.
  • Dissertation assessment - available for Advanced Diploma units (991) London market insurance specialisation and (994) Insurance market specialisation. This involves the submission of a dissertation proposal and an 11,000 word dissertation. This has an 18 month enrolment period. 

Find out more

It is essential that candidates familiarise themselves with the guidelines and instructions which are shown on the CII website under the relevant units. In addition candidates should familiarise themselves with the coursework and dissertation policies as well as exam policies (before the assessment) and notes to results (after the assessment).

Steps 1 and 2 – Enrolment and fellowship plan

Steps to completing and enrolling on the Fellowship plan


Step 1 - Complete Advanced Diploma/Associateship

Learn more about the Advanced Diploma in Insurance

If you have gained the Advanced Diploma or Associateship please move to step 2:

Step 2 - Enrolment on the Fellowship plan

If you are intending to apply for Fellowship you must complete the Fellowship enrolment form and send it to us, with the appropriate fee. You must also complete the major achievement application form if you are putting forward a professional or managerial qualification as part of your Fellowship plan.

If you have pre-1992 Associateship it will be necessary for you to submit a summary of ten years relevant work experience since qualifying as an Associate (a Curriculum Vitae will suffice), along with your enrolment application form and Fellowship plan.

Please note that enrolment is valid for five years from the date of its acceptance by the CII. You must remain a member of the CII while on the Fellowship programme. If you do not successfully complete the Fellowship programme within five years, you will have to re-enrol and pay a further enrolment fee unless the FAS grants an extension due to special circumstances.

Fellowship plan

The Fellowship plan should be completed in full and can be found on the back of the enrolment form.

The plan should cover the period up to application for election to Fellowship and it enables you to set an agenda for how you plan to become a Fellow. To obtain the maximum benefit from planning the next stage of your career, it is important to identify your major overall objectives and to combine these with practical, tangible and achievable interim goals.

If you require assistance with any aspect of the plan the Fellowship Advisory Service can offer guidance. Your plan should be realistic and include goals that will stretch you and help you to develop as a professional.

Current position

To be most effective, the plan should be based on an analysis of your current position. Familiarise yourself with the following sections and decide on your major achievement.

Objectives set to reach Fellowship

This section prompts you to set a timetable for the completion of each step of the Fellowship programme.

You are also asked to state how you have ensured that the personal objectives you have set to reach Fellowship meet with those of your employer. The needs of your employer's business should be central to your considerations when planning your route to Fellowship. If your plan fits corporate objectives, you are more likely to receive support from your employer and so obtain the greatest career benefit from your chosen route.

Major achievement chosen to support election to Fellowship

The plan must include details of your proposals by way of a major achievement.

If you are intending to undertake another professional or managerial qualification as your major achievement you should read the guidelines and then complete the application form and send it in with your Fellowship plan. If you have already completed a professional or managerial qualification which you would like to use as your major achievement, please also enclose a copy of your certificate or results notification (these must be attested to be a true copy of the original by a person other than yourself who is a current member of the CII or PFS. The member must include their PIN for verification by the CII/PFS) with the application form and documentary evidence.

If you propose to submit a dissertation, project report or portfolio of published work as your major achievement you should read the relevant guidelines. Once you are confident that your major achievement will meet the guidelines, complete the relevant section on your plan with details of your chosen major achievement. Employer agreement is essential if you are intending to use a work-based dissertation or project report as your major achievement. If this is the case please ensure that you obtain your employer's endorsement of your intended major achievement.

Other considerations

When completing your plan you should also consider the requirements of the CII's CPD scheme. You need to maintain your CPD records, as these will need to be submitted when you submit your final application for election to Fellowship.

The plan can be used as a basis for further analysis of your current position and identification of areas where you can see opportunities for acquiring or improving skills or knowledge, which will be important for your future. When completing your plan you are also encouraged to consider:

  • what current skills/technical knowledge you need to maintain;
  • what new skills/technical knowledge you need to learn;
  • what constrains there are on your learning (eg, time, geographic or physical constraints);
  • what resources are available to you;

We recommend that you identify those areas you feel would enhance your personal development and career. The emphasis should be on acquisition of experience, skills and knowledge which will extend your interests and will help you realise your career aspirations and potential.

What if my circumstances change?

During your progression to Fellowship your professional or career situation may change. If so, you may need to review your plan to reflect your new circumstances and goals. If you decide to change your choice of major achievement we recommend that you notify the Fellowship Advisory Service so that we can advise you, and update your Fellowship records.

Pdf icon small Download the enrolment form here »

Fellowship submissions

Rules for ensuring the originality of submitted work. In submitting work under the Fellowship programme you are declaring that it is your own work.

Unacknowledged copying from published sources, including the internet, or incomplete referencing constitutes plagiarism and it is essential that all source documents are properly referenced when you submit your work. You must not use the words of another author to produce work, although quoting small sections from the work of others to back-up research may be used provided the author's work is properly acknowledged.

All work submitted for assessment will be subject to plagiarism software checks. If a match is found to another student's work or other published sources then this will be fully investigated.

It is a disciplinary offence to submit someone else's work as your own. Completing, copying from and/or amending your work with the help of another person is not permitted. Neither is it permissable to allow your work to be used by and/or amended by anyone else in order to complete their own application.

Failure to comply with these rules may result in disciplinary action and your name being published in our Journal and Financial Solutions magazines and the website. Details of the CII's disciplinary procedures and rules can be found at

Step 3 - Business ethics programme

Step 3 - Business Ethics Programme (BEP) 

The Business Ethics Programme (BEP) recognises that insurance professionals will frequently be called on to make decisions that involve complex ethical issues. This programme is not designed to tell you what is right or wrong - this would be impossible with such a complex area - but to give you a framework to help you decide how best to make the right decision.

Businesses, and the people working within them, have a growing awareness of the possible impact their decisions may have on others. In this climate of awareness, businesses need to be ready to respond to scrutiny by ensuring that their actions are ethically acceptable. The BEP provides you with the means to approach this crucial aspect of business life with confidence, enabling you to make a valuable contribution to the industry in which you work.

The BEP is a compulsory element of the Fellowship election process. If you are enrolled onto the Fellowship, but have not ordered the BEP, please complete a Business Ethics Programme application form and return as detailed on the form.

The BEP is built around a framework for evaluating business ethics, contained in a book, Just Business by Dr Elaine Sternberg, one of the leading authorities in this field. As well as this core text, the BEP consists of a guide to the business ethics model and a sample worked case study to give you an insight into the level of response, which will be expected of you. You will also receive three case studies for you to consider and return to the Fellowship Advisory Service for assessment.

As it uses distance learning, you can undertake the BEP at any time after enrolment. We recommend that you undertake the BEP in either the first or second year of your Fellowship programme. This will help you to avoid any last minute rush and also, because the BEP is designed to have a practical value to you throughout your professional life, the earlier you do it, the more value you are likely to gain from it.

When undertaking the BEP, you should read the core text, making use of the model guide to help you focus on the way in which the issues are considered. You should then attempt to evaluate the three case studies, presenting your answers following the format identified in the model guide. Once submitted, your analysis of the case studies will be passed to a CII assessor for evaluation. The case studies will not be returned to you, therefore we advise that you retain a copy. Applicants will be advised of their results approximately 2-3 weeks later.

You will be advised, in writing, if you have satisfactorily completed the BEP and an application for election to Fellowship will be sent to you at this time. If you have not completed the BEP to the satisfaction of the CII assessor, you will be given written feedback outlining the areas that you need to re-consider.

Please note: You must successfully complete the BEP before you make your application for election to Fellowship. You must not allow another person access to your BEP assignments under any circumstances.

Step 4 - Major achievement

Step 4 - Major achievement

 There are four types of major achievement:

  • Option 1 - Additional professional qualification.
  • Option 2 - Research-based disscusion paper.
  • Option 3 - Report on a major project that brings about change in a commercial capacity. 
  • Option 4 - Portfolio of published works.

You need only choose one which must be attained after you have passed the Advanced Diploma/Associateship. If you change your mind about the major achievement that you wish to submit for Fellowship, please advise the FAS. This is particularly important if you want to study for another professional or managerial qualification: you must check that it is appropriate.


Many work-related projects and dissertations include information of a sensitive commercial nature. Where this is the case, you may change names and references (eg, to 'company x' or 'product y') provided that the actual names and references are disclosed on a separate sheet of paper which will be made available to the FAS only, not to assessors. We may undertake investigations, as considered appropriate, to ensure the validity of the information.


Please note, in submitting your Major Achievement, and it being successfully accepted towards your Fellowship, you are agreeing to the CII making this available for public view.

Categories for assessment

The categories for assessment used by the Fellowship Assessment Board to judge each major achievement are set out below. Please read these very carefully - many people fail to be elected to Fellowship because they do not observe the rules. Remember, you only need one from the four major achievement options listed above.


Lucy works as a regional underwriting manager within a large commercial insurer. She joined from university onto a Graduate Training Programme and, as part of her training, completed the Advanced Diploma in Insurance, attaining the designation 'ACII'.

Upon completing five years' work experience, she applied for and was awarded 'Chartered Insurer' status.

Lucy is keen to continue to advance her career. She sees ongoing structured professional development as essential to the fulfilment of her ambitions.

Lucy decides to enter for CII Fellowship. This involves her meeting a number of requirements related to advanced professional development:

Continuing Professional development (CPD)

Submission of three years' CPD records

Business Ethics programme (BEP)

Completing a distance learning course providing a framework for the ethical and moral issues that she faces in the workplace

Statement of Personal Development (SPD)

The submission of a statement summarising the learning and development she has gained through the Fellowship programme and how her future prospects will be helped through her achievement

Major achievement

Undertaking one of the following: an insurance-related dissertation; a work-based project report; a further academic or professional qualification; or a portfolio of published works

For her 'major achievement', Lucy decides to obtain an additional professional qualification: the CII/Cass Business School MSc in Insurance and Risk Management.

Through the MSc Lucy explores the growing relationship between insurance, risk management and financial services developing her technical understanding.

As a holder of the Advanced Diploma, Lucy can take a fast-track route to completion of the MSc via exemptions from four of the compulsory eight core modules. She must take four core modules, select five elective modules from a choice of fifteen, and complete a dissertation.

As a part-time student she completes this in eighteen months, rather than the two years it will typically take non-Advanced Diploma holders.

Lucy completes her MSc and fulfils all the Fellowship requirements. She is awarded the Fellowship on completion and, as a member of the CII, is invited to apply to use the designation 'FCII'. She is also entitled to use the designation 'MSc'.

Major achievement - option 1

Option 1: Additional professional qualification 

The Fellowship programme recognises that, for many people, an additional professional or management qualification may be the most valuable form of personal development. As long as these qualifications are relevant to the work done in the context of insurance operations, credit can be given.

All professional qualifications will be judged against the following criteria:

  • it must be gained after the Advanced Diploma/Associateship has already been achieved;
  • it must be obtained by independent/external assessment by the awarding body with a minimum of four assessments or their equivalent at Advanced Diploma subject level or above;
  • it must usually have been awarded after
    1. a minimum of two year's part-time study or
    2. one year's full-time study;
  • where achievement of the additional qualification is partially dependent on credits awarded for prior learning, additional assessments equivalent to at least 120 Advanced Diploma credits must be undertaken;
  • assessments equivalent to at least 120 Advanced Diploma credits must be undertaken;
  • the subject matter of the qualification must be relevant to your occupation in the insurance sector;
  • it must be a complete qualification, which meets the criteria in its own right.

A qualification which has been used to gain credits for the Advanced Diploma/ACII/APFS cannot be used as a major achievement. It is advisable to have a qualification assessed by the Fellowship Advisory Service before you start studying towards it.

Examples of qualifications used as major achievements

The following qualifications are just a few which have been used as major achievements:

  • FCILA - Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters
  • International Diploma in Risk Management
  • APMI - Associate of the Pensions Management Institute
  • FPFS - Fellow of the Personal Finance Society
  • BA(Hons) Financial Services, Insurance Management or Insurance Studies
  • ACCA/CIMA - Qualification for Chartered Acoountant or other equivalent accounting qualifications
  • GradICSA - Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • LLB (Hons)
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration
  • MSc in Insurance and Risk Management - CII/Cass Business School
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Law
  • Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing, Chartered Institute of Marketing
  • Solicitor or Barrister or Chartered Legal Executive (CILEX Level 6)

Download the application form for a major achievement. When making your application, you must enclose documentary evidence of non-CII qualifications demonstrating that the qualification meets the relevant criteria. Such evidence can be:

  • details of the method of assessment;
  • course outline;
  • syllabus summary of the topics covered;
  • examination papers undertaken as part of the qualification.

Please note that the CII is not able to obtain this information on your behalf and failing to supply all the relevant information may delay your application. All information submitted should be in English.

If at the date of application you have already completed the qualification, you should additionally submit either the original results notification and certificate or a photocopy (a person other than yourself who is a current member of the CII or PFS must attest the copy to confirm that it is a true copy of the original and sign it to that effect. The member must include their PIN for verification by the CII/PFS).

If your qualification is unacceptable for the CII Fellowship scheme, you will need to choose a different major achievement.

Major achievement - option 2

Option 2: Dissertation


A dissertation, for CII purposes, is a discussion paper covering an insurance-related subject. If your dissertation is employer based, you must seek their written approval before submitting it. If you choose this route, your dissertation must:

  • be typewritten in gramatically correct English;
  • be 4,000-5,000 words long and include a word count (dissertations outside of the word count and/or without a word count will NOT be accepted);
  • be on an insurance-related subject;
  • have been researched and written by you. You may get someone to type it from your own instructions but it is a disciplinary offence to submit someone else's work as your own.

Examples of acceptable practices

  • Quoting small sections from the works of others, typically a sentence or paragraph, provided that the author's work is fully acknowledged.
  • Writing a dissertation based on previous work which you have written. The dissertation must not be identical to the previous work and must be updated where appropriate. The nature and existence of the previous work must be acknowledged, eg, 'based on my MBA dissertation completed in May 2011'.
  • Information quoted should be the most up-to-date available.
  • Your work may be typed, proof-read and critiqued by another. Their input and the extent of it must be acknowledged in the dissertation, e.g 'typewritten by my secretary James Jones and proof-read by Felicity Brown'. You may ask someone else to comment on any shortcomings in your draft dissertation but any changes must be your own work.

Examples of unacceptable practices

  • Plagiarism - that is, using the words of another author as your own.
  • Submitting a previous work without authorisation or acknowledgement. For example, a dissertation you used as part of another qualification.
  • Using information and data knowing them to be out of date.
  • Getting a researcher to write any part of your dissertation.
  • Getting a secretary, adviser, consultant, lecturer, writer or any other person to write any part of your dissertation.

Choosing the right subject

Put a question in the title. This strategy can help to keep both author and reader focussed. If you are considering a number of alternative subjects, discuss your ideas with colleagues. Bear in mind that it can be difficult to write something new and interesting on some of the most popular topics.

Keep to subjects you know well and are confident about. The Fellowship assessors look for an in-depth understanding and developed argument. This is more difficult to do if you decide to investigate a completely new field. If you decide to write a dissertation on an area new to you, please ensure you explain in the introduction your reason for the choice of subject. As you would be learning about the subject during the time you are writing, the requirements to review the whole dissertation once completed is even more important to ensure consistency.

Keep the subject focussed. The assessors like to see a detailed discussion on a specific topic, rather than a shallow treatment of a broad subject.

You must state in the introduction to your dissertation why you have chosen this particular subject to research. The subject should generally be linked either to your current or future work, or to an area of special interest to you or to your employer, or to a subject of significance to the insurance industry as a whole. CII Knowledge Services holds copies of successful dissertations, applicants can review these for suitable ideas for research. These are available through the CII library and on the CII website

Unsuitable topics

  • Purely historical, non-analytical narratives, eg, 'The history of motor of insurance'.
  • 'How to…….' or textbook guides, eg, 'How to obtain new business'.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Extended job descriptions.

Getting the structure right

Compile a contents page. This will help you to see at a glance how your paper will develop. If you struggle to identify the main themes at this stage, now is the time to choose a different subject.

Get the balance right. Remember that the assessors will want to see a balanced consideration of the topic. Be clear on not only how you will incorporate supporting material, but also how you will explain any contradictory evidence.

Keep to the word limit - 4,000-5,000 words may sound like a lot but it is all too easy to overrun. Check your paper for 'padding'. Make every word count.

Your dissertation must include all of the following:

  • a title;
  • a contents list;
  • an introduction of no less than 200 words;
  • a conclusion of no less than 300 words;
  • a cross-referenced bibliography. This must set out the publications you have used for authoritative input to your work. Using text verbatim from other sources (except where clearly shown as such) is not acceptable - the dissertation must be your original work only;
  • appendices where these add to the text - these should only be included where you feel it will be helpful to the reader. They are not counted in the word count;
  • a word count.

Your dissertation should set out what the subject matter is or what the key findings are. It should then develop this theme, taking account of others' views on the subject as well as your own, supported by the evidence given in the paper.

Your dissertation must not exceed the word limit of 5,000 or it will be returned for editing and potentially delay your Fellowship application.


Subdivide the text. It is far easier to read text when it is labelled with sub-headings.

Use 1.5 line spacing and Calibri size 12 font.

Make sure that there are no mistakes in the text or in any figures. Spend time proof reading, including spelling, grammatical errors and use of language.

Use a contents page and use page numbers - this is mandatory and will help the reader navigate the paper.


Read widely on the subject before starting. CII Knowledge Services can help access materials. The Internet provides access to informantion. Use the most up-to-date information available, but an allowance will be made, if your location makes that difficult. Consider how much research material is available. If there isn't much material for you to base your paper on, you will need to be prepared to carry out the initial research yourself. Keep good records on the information you may use later; this will help you with your cross-referenced bibliography. You must include citations.

Do not plagiarise. Fellowship assessors are widely read and have access to subject experts if they suspect plagiarism. Someone else can type the paper for you so long as they do not otherwise contribute and their role is acknowledged. On the other hand, you can include short sections of others' work provided that the author is fully identified.

We strongly recommend that you read other successful dissertations, which are available online and in the CII library. You should also ask a colleague or academic contact to give you an unbiased critique of your paper before submitting it. Suggestions for reading material which may help with the preparation of your dissertation are given below.

Appendices should be included where they are relevant to your dissertation and would be helpful to the reader.

Those who assess your dissertation wish to see evidence of your own views being expressed, it is not sufficient just to repeat what others may have already said or written.

The categories for assessment

Introduction and rationale for choice of subject

This section should be at least 200 words long; it should introduce the subject and set out how the paper will develop its theme. It should also explain why you have chosen that subject - it may be a major industry issue on which you hold strong views, a subject about which you or your employer want to know more or a subject that will benefit your career development.

Main text

Over a third of the marks go to this section. Consideration is given as to how you have developed the theme: how you have introduced, analysed and incorporated contradictory and supporting evidence into your case and how the paper has been broken up into clearly developed sections. You should include your interpretation and explained argument prior to reaching a conclusion or making recommendations. Information included within the dissertation should be up-to-date and relevant.

Quality of research

The assessors look to see that you have taken appropriate steps to ascertain what information is available on the subject and its relevance. You should make clear within the text the relevance of research included and use such research to demonstrate specific points. Quality of research is more important than the length of the bibliography and allowance is made if you have only very limited access to research material. You should mention in the introduction to your major achievement if there have been any difficulties or restrictions on your research. The CII, however, expects you to make every effort to research your subject adequately. The bibliography must be fully cross referenced to the text.

Clarity of argument

The basic premise of your dissertation and your overall objective must be clear and well developed throughout the paper. Keep your argument focused. Arguments should be logical and based on hard evidence where this is available. The arguments contained within the dissertation should be fully developed and then further strengthened by your personal interpretation.

Personal position in the debate

Your dissertation must clearly evidence your own position in the debate.


Remember the importance of accurate spelling and grammar. You should take care to ensure that your paper is well presented, and free of spelling mistakes, poor grammatical construction and poor syntax. Your paper should be typed using 1.5 line spacing and Calibri size 12 font. You must submit three bound copies of your dissertation, which will be sent to assessors, so make sure each copy contains all the pages. In addition, you must submit one copy by e-amil to  A contents page and clearly defined sections within the dissertation must be included.


A fifth of the marks go to this section. The conclusion should be no less than 300 words and must draw together the main themes of the paper and put forward firm recommendations or solutions. However, it should not include fresh research or views which have not been included and discussed within the text. The paper must relate back to its title and resolve any issues identified in its introduction. If it is not possible to resolve an issue, then a possible solution or route around an issue should be proposed. Your paper must contain your own thoughts and show where you stand in the debate. Your recommendations need not necessarily be ones that your employer would suggest. You can hold whatever views you like. All you need to do is back them up with evidence. A good conclusion should almost stand alone as a summary of the paper.

Each section of your dissertation will be assessed separately.

You must supply four copies of your dissertation, which will be sent to assessors, so make sure each copy contains all the pages.

Further reading

Below is a list of some books that provide advice to dissertation and project writers. These books are for information only and all submissions must follow the guidance given here.

Succeeding with your Masters dissertation: a step-by-step handbook.

2nd edition. John Biggam (Oxford University Press, 2011). RRP £23.99

Doing a successful reserach project: using qualitative or quantitative methods.
Martin Davies & Nathan Hughes (Palgrave Macmillian, 2014). RRP £19.99

Researching and writing a dissertation: a guidebook for business students.
3rd edition. Colin Fisher (FT/Prentice Hall, 2010). RRP £52.99

Mastering your business dissertation: how to conceive, research and write a good business dissertation.
Robert Lomas (Routledge, 2011). RRP £23.99

Dissertations and project reports: a step by step guide.

Stella Cottrell (Palgrave McMillan, 2014). RRP £13.99

Critical reading and writing for post-graduates 2nd edition.

Mike Wallace, Alison Wray (Sage Publishing, 2011). RRP £19.45

CII/PFS members can borrow these materials from Knowledge Services.  For information about lending services please go to

Major achievement - option 3

Option 3: Projects

These entail a report in English on a major insurance-related project which you have either led or in which you have been a key member of the project team. If your project is employer-based, you must seek their written approval before submitting your project report.

A project report is not the same as a dissertation and you should carefully scrutinise the differences in requirements. A project is likely to be commercial in nature with clear aims and is designed to be completed over a defined period of time in accordance with an agreed business case, whereas a dissertation is, by comparison, a research-based discussion paper.

Choice of project

Make sure that you choose a project which will enable you to write a report that satisfies all the catergories for assessment. However important a project may have been to you or your employer, you are being assessed on your evaluation of the project, rather than the success of the project itself. Ideally, pick a project from which you have learnt a lot and from which your skills have developed. These are important issues in the marking scheme.

The project must be led by you or you must play a significant role in it. Significant means that you must represent your company, or a large group, on the project team. You must contribute or be responsible for a significant proportion (generally at least 20% of the key inputs to or outcomes from the project group) and be seen by others on the project team as being a significant player in the project. As a guide, it is likely to involve at least 60 working days' input from you.

A project may be your own idea, or an existing one. Although projects must be insurance related, they need not necessarily involve a work-related project for your employer. In keeping with the status of being a major achievement, projects should be significant in the context of your own professional development. 

Examples of acceptable projects

  • Development of a new product or service.
  • Acquisition of, or merger with, another insurance-related organisation.
  • Business development idea with a core insurance-related organisation.

Examples of unacceptable projects

  • Non-strategic, routine issues.
  • Acquisition of, or merger with, a non-insurance related business.
  • Development of a non-related product, service or business.

If you choose this route, your project report(s) must:

  • be typewritten in English;
  • be 4,000-5,000 words long each, regardless of how many projects are covered, and include a word count (projects without a word count and/or oustide of the word count will NOT be accepted);
  • take the form of a written report;
  • be clearly set out - using the 'elements and categories for assessment' headings.

The project report(s) should include the following sections:

  • the business case, rationale and background to the project;
  • definition of the project: what the project was, its objectives and planned time scales and outcomes;
  • project methodology: how the project was run, including budgets, milestones, deliverables, isssues and risks;
  • project team members and/or stakeholders: names and/or responsibilities, impact on workload, support and decision making processes;
  • application of initiative and research conducted;
  • measured outcomes and an overview of the project's successes and failures;
  • your personal inputs and outputs and your project responsibilities;
  • key learning points from the project for you personally;
  • any skills and knowledge gained or enhanced as a result of the project.

Please include a statement of how much time you spent on the project, counter-signed by the project manager or, if you are the project manager, by an authorised signatory of your employer.


Make sure that the categories for assessment are clearly covered in your submission. To gain maximum points establish a structure, using a contents page and suitable headings and sections (such as those mentioned above), which make it clear where points are being addressed. It is easy to become so close to your project report(s) that an assessor may not identify what you perceive to be obvious.

The categories for assessment

Introduction and rationale of the project
This includes assessment of the clarity of the business case and objectives, parameters set by, or for, the project group and the methodology used to achieve the desired outcomes.

Your input to the project
Over a third of the marks go to this section. It includes how decisions are arrived at by the project team, how stakeholders were involved and evidence of the use of initiative to achieve desired outcomes. There should be evidence to demonstrate the quality of your input to the project and a detailed post-project analysis of your input to the project, and your own key learning and skills gained from the project.

The assessors look to see how you have gone about your tasks, how you have conducted or commissioned research, how you have used available resources (within your organisation and outside) and how you have organised your workload, making allowance for any other responsibilities you and the rest of the project team had outside the project group. An explanation of how the project has affected your other work areas should be included.

Your input into team objectives
This rewards candidates who think and contribute outside of their own areas of responsibility. Effective teamwork is a prerequisite of a good project and these factors are evidence that you played your part in developing the team ethos of the project group and explain how decisions were reached.

Remember the importance of accurate spelling and grammar. You should proof read your report to ensure it is well presented and free of spelling mistakes, poor grammatical construction and poor syntax. Your paper should be typed using 1.5 line spacing and Calibri size 12 font. You must submit three bound copies of your project, which will be sent to assessors, so make sure each copy contains all the pages. In addition, you must submit one copy by e-mail to A contents page and cleary defined sections within the report must be included.

Outcomes of the project
About a fifth of the marks go to this section. You should draw together measured outcomes, budgetary and time compliance of the project. The information should be presented in a balanced and logical order. The solutions should be appropriate to the needs and requirements of the project sponsor. The project outcome should be related back to the original objectives and you should demonstrate that efforts have been made to resolve all issues.

Each section of the project will be assessed separately.

Assessors look at your input rather than that of any others involved in the project. You are not marked down if other members of the project group performed poorly unless you were responsible for their input. Assessors do not expect every project to be exceptionally successful - not every project can succeed in meeting its objectives - but they do look to see that the project's outcomes were in line with what could reasonably have been expected and that lessons have been learnt.


Although the project analysis is restricted to a maximum of 5,000 words, you can include documents in an appendix which clarify or prove points that you make in the main text. Appendices are not included in the word count. However, you should not include excessive information within an appendix unless it is directly relevant to the project report. Your project must not exceed the word limit of 5,000 or it will be returned for editing and potentialy delay your Fellowship application.

Revise, revisit, refer

Compiling your project report will take some time. It is important that you keep referring back to these guidelines and checking that you are still making the points you initially intended to. Some applications include references to sections which have been deleted, or the introduction identifies different points to those which are eventually found in the conclusion. This happens because a candidate has become so immersed in their paper that their view of the issues changes over time. Try to pass a final draft to someone who has the time to read it carefully. Ask them to consider it against these guidelines and listen to their feedback carefully, the assessors will not have the luxury of asking you what you meant to say. But remember, this is your application, so if a colleague asks you to make changes, you must be happy with them. More than one candidate has failed because they were advised by a friend to remove significant detail which the assessors felt should have been included.

Major achievement - option 4

Option 4: Portfolio of published works 

This option is likely to be of interest only if you have already made your mark on the industry or profession through your published works. Normally these works will take the form of books, although in certain cases an article or series of articles in an approved journal will be accepted as long as the criteria set out below are observed:

Examples would include approved textbooks and articles in publications such as Post Magazine, CII Journal,Insurance Professional, subject to the minimum word count.

If you choose this route, your published work(s) should:

  • be printed in English (or with an English translation provided by you at your expense);
  • have direct relevance to insurance or to an aspect of insurance or a related market;
  • take the form of a critical analysis or be used for reference;
  • be put in circulation to experts in that field;
  • be regarded as of value to specialists in the field covered.

Four copies of each published work (including where appropriate English translation copies) to be assessed must be submitted and will be retained by the CII.

Each published work must be accompanied by a written summary of around 100 words setting out:

  • the purpose of publication;
  • where and when the work was published, including ISBN number and name of publisher;
  • the intended audience with an indication of the number of copies sold or the estimated readership;
  • any follow-up that resulted from publishing the work.

Your portfolio of published work must include at least one, but no more than three (exceptions may be made if the portfolio takes the form of a series of articles) separate works, usually a minimum of 10,000 words in total. Books will certainly not be disqualified if they are substantially in excess of 10,000 words but there is no advantage to greater length - the assessors look to quality not quantity.

You must confirm how much of each published work submitted is entirely your own and what external help and advice you had(if any) in producing it. A degree of editing, external research and guidance is acceptable. We reserve the right to make enquires as to the accuracy of all statements.

The categories for assessment

Adequate research

Clear evidence of research must be available, either from the text or supplementary information provided by you.

Where information is derived from other sources, these must be clearly identified and acknowledged. Plagiarism - that is using the words of another author as your own is an unacceptable practice.

Clarity of thought and expression

The works must show evidence of logical thought processes and be well structured. Views should be clearly expressed and consistent with the needs of the audience.

Value to the industry and profession

It should be clear how the works add value to some aspect of the industry and/or your employer or sponsor of the work.

Overall quality of the work

Assessors look for evidence that you have taken an effective approach and that the end results come up to a standard to be expected for the work and identifies, addresses and satisfies the needs of its audience.

It is permissible to provide supplementary evidence to demonstrate how your work meets with these categories for assessment.

Each category will be assessed separately and marks available will be divided equally between the four categories.

Step 5 - Continuing professional development

Step 5 - Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 

One of the requirements for election to Fellowship is the completion of three years' Continuing Professional Development (CPD). You will be sent CPD guidance notes which contain further information on CPD and details of the CPD online recording tool Regardless of the date you enrol onto the Fellowship programme, you will be able to backdate CPD records.

If you are recording CPD under the CII CPD scheme, this will be accepted towards your Fellowship commitment. If you have recorded CPD activities under another CPD scheme, it is possible that you may be able to use these records towards your Fellowship commitment. For further advice please contact the Fellowship Advisory Serrvice on +44 (0)20 8530 0819.

Your CPD records should be submitted to the Fellowship Advisory Service one month before you are ready to submit your application for election to Fellowship, or alternatively you can submit them for assessment with your election application. The CII will confirm in writing if your CPD record meets the requirements of the CII scheme.

Further information on the CPD scheme and the online tool can be found at

Step 6 - Statement of personal development

Fellowship is the ultimate achievement and you must demonstrate how, through your learning process, it has helped you develop as a person and as a skilled practitioner. The SPD is a critical part of your programme and will clearly show what you have learned through the Fellowship programme.

Drafting your Statement of Personal Development (SPD)

The Fellowship assessors will consider your SPD in detail and you should not underestimate the time that it will take to complete.

Your Statement of Personal development must:

  • be typewritten in English;
  • be clearly set out using the 'categories for assessment' headings below;
  • not contain any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors (it helps to have someone else proof read your SPD);
  • be 1,000-,1100 words long and include a word count (SPD's without a word count and/or outside of the word count will NOT be accepted);
  • represent you in a professional, formal manner;
  • review what you have achieved by effectively providing an executive summary of your achievements;
  • be submitted with your application for election to Fellowship.

The categories for assessment

Candidates can be, and are, rejected on their SPD. Usually the Assessors feel that unsuccessful candidates do not address adequately each of the sections below - especially the last three. By using the headings and following trhe guidance carefully you will greatly enhance your chances of success.

Listed below are six categories the assessors will be looking at when they consider your SPD. Please use these headings in your SPD to ensure that you demonstrate coverage of all six areas. Under each heading ensure you give enough detail to demonstrate your personal achievements.


This sets out, in two or three paragraphs or approximately 250 words, how you have set about your Fellowship programme and any key changes during it.


You should restate the key points of the plan you drafted on enrolment onto the Fellowship programme and also show how you achieved the objectives set. This should emphasise new knowledge gained and the skills you used to achieve this. You should be able to see some of the effects of this process on your career.

Changes to plan

If your Fellowship plan changed, you should set out what you changed and why you changed it. It may have been for external reasons (e.g., a change of job or other circumstance) or for internal reasons (e.g., you were unhappy with your progress on your major achievement or identified a new opportunity which you wanted to exploit). The effect of circumstances beyond your control should not be ignored and events, which have caused delay, should be identified. If there are no changes to your plan you must make this explicit.

You should also highlight how you were affected by, or made use of, unplanned opportunities that arose. It would be particularly helpful to indicate whether these opportunities were based on situations which you initiated, or unexpected ones which you were able to exploit. How were you affected? How did you make use of these opportunities? If the change of plan was unexpected, were you able to use the pressure to your advantage and provide an innovative solution?

Self learning and awareness

What did you learn about yourself as you progressed to Fellowship? As is stated later, this is the main reason why the SPD can fail. This self analysis is important although it can be dificult to undertake. It should include 'soft' facts such as how you dealt with both negative and positive experiences as well as 'hard' facts such as your achievements.

Key skills and knowledge acquired

During your time on the Fellowship programme you will have learned a number of new skills and increased your knowledge base. List the main items. This evaluation stage deserves special attention as it produces a summary of achievements, which demonstrates how you met your original objectives. For any area where you achieved less than you originally planned, reconsider whether the target originally set remains valid or whether you simply require more time to achieve it.

Intentions for the future

Continuous Professional Development is key to your ongoing professional development. Now that you have undertaken a major achievement and obtained new skills and knowledge through a planned programme you will need to continue your CPD programme. In this section, set out how you plan to use the lessons of your Fellowship programme in the future.

Finally - points to note about the SPD

Before writing your SPD you may find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What were the most important things I learned and why were they the most important?
  • How have I applied new skills and knowledge in my work?
  • In analysing the application of these new skills and knowledge, can I produce evidence of the circumstances in which they are applied?
  • What other reading and CPD have I done outside my Fellowship plan to improve myself further and what do I now need to do for the future to continue my development as my career progresses?

The members of the Fellowship Assessment Board evaluate every SPD very carefully. The most common reason why an SPD fails to meet the required standard is because it does not demonstrate the candidate's self-awareness. It is vital that your application illustrates what you have learned and in particular what you have learned about yourself as a result of negative experiences. You should not be afraid of admitting that you have learned from your mistakes as well as your achievements. In fact, such candidate's self-awareness is extremely valuable.

It is important that you include sufficient information in your SPD to enable the Fellowship assessors to evaluate your application. Any other correspondence between you and the CII will be kept separate from your application and so the SPD must cover any issue which you feel is relevant to your application. You must include sufficient detail to demonstrate that you have completed all the steps to Fellowship and you should identify how the elements of the application have been useful to you in your work. The Fellowship assessors will also wish to see you demonstrate your ability to reflect on what you have achieved and how you will move your career forward.

Examples of SPDs

The following examples have been presented to the Fellowship Assessment Board. They have been accepted and the candidates are now Fellows of the CII.

Pdf icon small Download the Statement of Personal Development application form

SPD - example 1

Example 1


Near to the completion of my ACII studies my career as an underwriter took a change of direction. I moved from an underwriting agency specialising in household property insurance to join an international commercial property team at a major Lloyd's syndicate, XYZ Ltd. The opportunities to expand my knowledge and participation in the international commercial property business was a fantastic opportunity from a career point of view but also presented a great challenge to me in terms of my own personal development. My Fellowship plan was therefore based on my personal development as an international commercial property underwriter and the pursuit of my stated objective 'to realise the opportunities presented by making the most of the resources available to me at XYZ Ltd.'

Not long after formulating my Fellowship plan I began to realise that I might not be able to achieve all of my stated objectives at XYZ Ltd because of factors beyond my control which are discussed later in this SPA. For these reasons I eventually decided to look elsewhere to achieve my goals and was fortunate to be offered a position as an international commercial property underwriter at another Lloyd's syndicate, LMN Ltd, in May 2001.


Formulating my Fellowship plan caused me to reflect on my career so far and to articulate in words a plan that I had already embarked on, albeit with a less structured consideration of how I would achieve my objectives and the potential problems I could encounter. I started at XYZ Ltd approximately 10 months before submitting my Fellowship plan. The Fellowship plan SWOT analysis established my strengths as expertise in household property business, a niche area of property insurance and the value of contacts I already had around the world relative to that niche industry. My weaknesses were my lack of experience outside of my niche area, a weakness which I later had to work hard to address at XYZ Ltd. The opportunities were significant offering me a chance to get into the mainstream of international commercial property business in Lloyd's and it appeared that a senior management position might also be possible at XYZ Ltd. The threats were identified as being the limited time available to harness resources and to take advantage of the opportunities before market conditions changed.

My major achievement is my BA (Hons) degree in Insurance studies which I completed in 1999 with a 2.1 grading. The first quarter of this course overlapped with the completion of my ACII in April 1998. My degree was a modular course consisting of eight units taken over four semesters. Some of the units were compulsory and included macro-economics, modern insurance law and strategic management. Three units could be selected from a list of agreed subjects and the eighth unit was a dissertation.

As stated above, my Fellowship plan expressed a programme I had already embarked on. It made me focus upon a two-fold objective: 1) to develop as a leading underwriter in international commercial property insurance and 2) to progress in the management hierarchy at XYZ Ltd. I considered that my knowledge of household property insurance could be valuable in the development of service-based products and would help my personal development.

Changes to plan

In April 2000, however, I began to realise that that I would probably not be able to attain my objectives at XYZ Ltd. for reasons largely beyond my control. A number of syndicates including XYZ Ltd. had begun to forecast poor underwriting results for the property business generally. A loss of confidence in the international property business generally led XYZ Ltd. to examine its business and to re-focus on its core UK property and nonmarine liability business. As a result of this I felt that I was unlikely, as an international commercial property underwriter, to progress in the management hierarchy of XYZ Ltd.

The realisation that I would not be able to develop as I had planned at XYZ Ltd was a great disappointment. I had learned a lot there and felt that it was an extremely well managed company. It opened my eyes to how an underwriting business should be run and it made me realise quickly that I still had much to learn about insurance business generally. The approach to business, reporting functions and controls identified the key areas that are critical to underwriting successfully whatever the class of business. There was also an absolute focus on profitability.

Self learning and awareness

At times I found it difficult to make the adjustments needed to become a successful international commercial property underwriter. With guidance from my managers and peers at XYZ Ltd I completed the transformation and this enabled me to market my skills in this business area and eventually to take the position as international commercial property underwriter at LMN Ltd. Managing change has been a recurring theme in my development and I feel that in achieving my Fellowship plan objectives I have learned to use changing circumstances to work to my advantage.

Key skills and knowledge acquired

Completing my degree has also been very valuable. I covered a broad range of subjects and developed skills some of which I had previously considered to be unimportant for an underwriter. For example, I completed a public relations module which gave me a great insight into how to manage PR and how to handle negative as well as positive situations. Most of the modules, but the dissertation in particular, taught me how to research subjects effectively. This skill is not just useful as an academic tool. Undoubtedly it enabled me to develop a technical publication which I edited and launched successfully as XYZ commercial property news. In addition, from a commercial point of view, I now find that I can access sources of information very quickly and this reinforces the underwriting decision-making process.

The past eleven months have been a very testing time for me at LMN Ltd. The exposure as line underwriter has enabled me to develop very rapidly into the management position to which I had aspired three years ago. Overall the experience impacted positively on my personal as well as commercial development.

Intentions for the future

Although I now occupy the position I set my sights on three years ago, I still consider that learning and development are an on-going part of my commercial life. I reflect frequently on my underwriting decisions to try to identify mistakes early and to see if there are better ways of doing things. My development over the last three years has given me a very strong grounding as an international commercial property underwriter but I will continue to develop my personal skills and to test objectives for personal as well as management development. Current market conditions remain very unstable and no one can afford to be complacent over their skills and knowledge. I intend to use all that I have learned and to build on this to anticipate and react to a changing environment.

SPD - example 2

Example 2


In May 2001, I returned to work full-time following maternity leave after the birth of my son. As Training Manager for 123 Ltd, I was responsible for the training and development needs of 250 employees in addition to the supervision of my own team of four Training Officers. Also, as part of the general management team I was attending weekly meetings to review and discuss organisational requirements. Whilst confident in my ability both as a trainer and organiser, I was concerned with improving the weaker areas of my management skills, widening my knowledge base and gaining further responsibility.

The Fellowship programme appealed to me because of its flexibility to fit in not only with my career progression but also the demands of raising a family.

When completing my Fellowship plan, I had expected my NVQ Level 3 in Training and Development qualification would be sufficient to meet the criteria of a major achievement. As a result, my objectives set to reach Fellowship status were targeted quite aggressively, from enrolment in February 2002 to expected application to election in November 2002. It was a disappointment to me that this qualification was not set at the correct level, however, I seized the opportunity to progress to NVQ Level 4 in Training and Development once the CII had confirmed that this would be acceptable as my major achievement.

Fellowship plan

My Fellowship plan was formulated on the basis that attainment of FCII status would demonstrate my commitment to continuing professional development and further develop my management skills.

I was assisted in the pursuit of my goals with the formation of a Quality Assurance Department at Head Office and the agreement that the training area would similarly expand. At the beginning of 2002, I became responsible for managing the branch audit programme and an Audit Officer was appointed to form part of the team under my direct control. In November 2002, my responsibilities increased again with the expansion of my team to include a Customer Service Controller dealing with Lloyd's and Chief Executive complaints. My management role now included all aspects of quality assurance within the department. I have learned to co-ordinate these separate, yet interrelated, activities with each other to achieve the best result for the company. In this way, my Fellowship plan assisted in matching my personal objectives with those of my employer.

Changes to Fellowship plan

Completion of the NVQ Level 4 in Training and Development had the effect of delaying the achievement of my objectives laid down in my Fellowship plan by around six months. This turned out to be an excellent opportunity as the higher level NVQ was much more suited to developing my management skills. I enjoyed the challenge of demonstrating competence within the management of training and completed six additional units. Of particular interest and practical use were the modules on evaluating and improving training and development programmes, which led me to implement an ongoing review of existing training material.

Self learning and awareness

With hindsight, the delay in completing my Fellowship objectives proved fortunate. It highlighted that I should lead by example in terms of commitment to continuing professional development and not become complacent. In addition, I was undertaking the Business Ethics Programme at a time when the company introduced business process re-engineering which increased my understanding of this philosophy.

The completion of all aspects of my Fellowship plan has provided significant opportunities for development both personally and professionally. I consider that the most important development areas were those which enabled me to improve my management skills. Attainment of the NVQ Level 4 in Training and Development and completion of the Business Ethics Programme were of particular benefit.

I hadn't expected the Business Ethics Programme to have such an impact on my daily role but it has been instrumental in my thinking and fundamental in my understanding of the wider business issues. The lessons learned were particularly relevant when I participated in a business process re-engineering project. This involved reviewing the job roles of all supervisory levels within the claims organisation. To obtain accurate statistics, it was necessary to handle personally a supervisory workload and I was able to draw on my experience as a supervisor, as well as my training and audit knowledge. The end result was the creation of two new job roles at supervisory level and a revised organisational structure, which was implemented across all sites of 123 Ltd.

Following on from this, I produced a training programme. My awareness of the need for change and benefits to be gained was reflected in the message imparted within the course. I will evaluate the effectiveness of the training and consider any areas that could be improved as part of my involvement in the post-implementation review.

Key skills and knowledge acquired

I feel that in achieving my Fellowship plan objectives I have learned to use new knowledge and skills to their best advantage for both the company and myself. Most of all, I have improved my knowledge of considerations affecting the company outside my own team and department. Involvement in the wider business issues has enabled me to become a more effective manager with greater insight into the objectives sought by the company.

The completion of my CPD records inspired me to hold a Chartered Insurer title and continue with the ongoing maintenance of my CPD records.

The Business Ethics Programme has helped reinforce my own views of ethical decisions, particularly when faced with staff issues ranging from poor performance and unsuitable trainees to recruitment and the pay review. Equally, I am always looking to improve the productivity and performance of all employees through the implementation and review of effective training and development programmes.

Intentions for the future

I take great pride in my work and I wish to continue to be challenged to progress within the Insurance industry. Having achieved my goal of a management position and widened my responsibilities within that role, I feel I have more to offer at a higher management level again. It remains to be seen whether or not this can be accommodated at 123 Ltd.

I am anxious not to become complacent with my achievements to date. This has led me to enrol on a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services degree programme. In this way, I intend to carry on with my Fellowship plan objectives in terms of demonstrating commitment to continuing professional development and further developing my management skills.

SPD - example 3

Example 3


The initial plan to reach towards the Fellowship was to submit a dissertation on a relevant subject. I had discussions on these lines with my superiors and had tentatively identified some areas. However this plan had to undergo a change, which was primarily brought about because of a job relocation. On review after the job change, I found that acquiring a qualification in Risk Management would in my changed circumstance help both me personally and my employer. I therefore pursued this alternative. Looking back I feel that I have taken the right decision. I have progressed to the post of a General Manager in the company with two promotions in nine years. The Company's business has grown over four times in the past nine years. It was a very fruitful and rewarding experience with the Fellowship plan getting integrated into my work and vice versa.


After completion of my ACII, I had plans of progressing towards the Fellowship by way of a dissertation on an appropriate technical topic. At that time I was employed in the Head Office Technical Department of an Insurance Company based in the Sultanate of Oman. I had also decided at that time to seek new opportunities on the career front at that time in new markets. Aided by my experience and the ACII qualifications (to no small extent!) I was successful in switching over to a new but rapidly growing Broking Company in the neighboring United Arab Emirates. I joined there as a Technical Manager.

Changes to plan

The new job brought along with it a number of changes to which I had to quickly get used to including adapting to the new role as a Broker (as compared to all my previous positions as an Underwriter) in a very competitive market. My role shifted from that of a purely technical one to that also encompassing administration, marketing and other managerial functions. Further from my Employer's viewpoint the very survival of the company depended on the value added services, which the client would get from a broker. From this angle a company with a better competitive advantage would be the one that has more employees with professional qualifications and competence. This prompted me to review the Fellowship plan. After deliberation and review of the situation it was clear to me that acquiring another professional qualification in a related field would result in a win- win situation for both my Employer and me. After reviewing the various courses available I felt that the Associateship of the Institute of Risk Management would be most suitable and accordingly enrolled for the same.

Self learning and awareness

The additional knowledge gained while doing this course was quite immense. To start with it trained me to look at the risk exposures faced by any organization in a very methodical way. The logical process of collecting information, analyzing the risks, recommending risk transfer mechanisms all became part of the services that could be offered to the clients. This straight away put our company's offerings to the client on a different and unique pedestal. It was possible to suggest comprehensive risk management solutions instead of pure insurance-based solutions.

The CPD (Continuous Professional Development) activities required for completion of the course was equally helpful. Though the activities were part of the job anyway the need to complete this put an added emphasis and focus. I attended as many seminars/ training workshops/ programs as possible and in due course also participated as trainer/ presenter in some of the sessions.

The BEP (Business Ethics Program) was also of considerable practical relevance. After the reading of the course material and going through the case studies it became much easier to resolve things by putting it in the decision making framework suggested. Decision-making became more professional and objective. It helped me arrive at and understand much faster the core issues during meetings internally and externally. I have a proposal of discussing the concepts of this program with the Directors of my company so that they can put it into use in their daily activities as deemed fit.

Key skills and knowledge acquired

The Associateship in Risk management helped me understand many new concepts on Risk Management as previously mentioned. I got the feeling (considering the wide potential of the course) there is a need to gain more in-depth knowledge by supplementary reading on the topics and am therefore pursuing the same. On the insurance front as part of the CPD, training sessions attended helped me in keeping updated with various developments in the products and services. Even more importantly for preparation of the papers of the presentations being done by me a lot of painstaking reading and research was required which helped in keeping updated and gaining a wider perspective. In front of an audience of 50 or more people it can be very embarrassing if a question thrown at you (as the speaker) cannot be answered. After one such experience initially I made it a point to go into any such presentation by not only trying to acquire a thorough knowledge about the subject being discussed but also of any other related areas in which questions can be raised. The CPD activities helped in discovering and building on my potential in public speaking (which was one area where I was not good earlier nor did I have sufficient exposure to the same. In fact to hone up these skills I even attended some sessions at the Toastmasters International public speaking skills meetings). I found that this had a direct impact on my confidence levels as also leadership skills. Looking back it almost seems like the Fellowship programme was tailor made to address the key learning issues that was required of me in my career. Again it was not a digression but a natural progression of my work.

Intentions for the future

I firmly believe that the only way to continued professional growth and development is to continue the learning process throughout the career. After attaining the Fellowship of the Chartered Insurance Institute, I have intentions to continue my academic progression. The courses identified for this purpose include a course in Arbitration (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) and specialized courses in Reinsurance. I will also be trying to progress to the Fellowship of the Institute of Risk Management. In my current role I also plan to spend more time on internal staff training along with the other external presentations. Within my company I have the good fortune of being recognized as a committed professional and it will be my endeavor to rise up further in the hierarchy.

Step 7 - Application for election to fellowship

Step 7 - Application for election to Fellowship 

You can apply as soon as you have completed all of the steps to Fellowship.

Once we receive your application and payment of your election fee we will send you an acknowledgement.

Applying for Chartered Status

When you apply for Fellowship you are encouraged to hold a Chartered title and to abide by the regulations applying to Chartered title holders. If you do not already hold a Chartered title you should consider whether to apply for one when you apply for Fellowship. A Chartered title with the FCII designation shows the world that you have attained and maintain the highest and most prestigious level of professional achievement.

There are five Chartered titles: Chartered Insurer, Chartered Insurance Practitioner, Chartered Insurance Broker, Chartered Insurance Risk Manager and Chartered Financial Planner. For further details contact Customer Service on +44 (0)20 8989 8464.

The requirements of the Chartered title holder CPD scheme are the same as the CPD requirements for progression to Fellowship.

Fellowship assessment dates

Fellowship election applications are assessed on a quarterly basis. You should ensure that your completed application is received by the CII by one of the following dates each year:

  • 1 February
  • 1 May
  • 1 August
  • 1 October

If there is sufficient demand, the CII may hold additional assessment boards, for further information contact FAS on +44 (0)20 8530 0819.

Applicants will be advised of their result approximately 10 weeks after the closing date.


All Fellowship applications will be assessed by specially trained Fellows. Three assessors (Fellows) will be appointed to review and evaluate your application. Each assessor receives a copy of your major achievement and your statement of personal development. Your application will be assessed against the fixed assessment categories set by the Fellowship Assessment Board, described in these guidelines.

The assessors will produce reports for the Fellowship Assessment Board which ensures consistency and standards.

From time to time we may ask a candidate to come for interview before a recommendation is made. If you are called for interview we pay all reasonable expenses incurred, which are agreed with you beforehand.

We regret that we cannot give your result by telephone.

If you succeed

Provided that you have carefully followed these guidelines you are likely to be successful.

You will receive a letter confirming that you have been elected as a Fellow and are entitled to use the designatory letters, FCII, a right that belongs only to members who maintain this status by annual subscription and Continuing Professional Development. You may not use the letters FCII or describe yourself as a Fellow until you have received this written confirmation.

Your Fellowship Diploma will be sent to you approximately 10 weeks later.

Each year, the applicant judged to have submitted the best Fellowship application will be awarded the CII's Rutter medal and a cash prize. Associates and Fellows are also eligible to enter for the Morgan Owen medal, a prize given to the best essay entered. For more details on prizes, including previous winners, visit the CII website

If you do not succeed

If you do not succeed you will receive a letter, which includes assessors' comments on why your application has been unsuccessful and advice on what further action you need to take.

Your application might not be accepted because of something that you could easily remedy. In this case, you may re-submit your application once this has been put right.

However, more major remedial work might be required. For example:

  • the content of your dissertation does not meet the required standard. You may either revise the dissertation, submit a new one or select a different major achievement option;
  • the content of your project report does not meet the required standard. This may be because the project report is judged not to have included sufficient detail, because your part in it is not sufficiently great or because of shortfalls in your report on the project. We will write to advise on what you need to do. In some cases, you may have to submit a report on an additional project or start afresh with a different major achievement;
  • your published works do not meet the required standard. You may either submit an alternative work or works or choose a different major achievement.

Please note that it is not possible to 'top-up' a deficient major achievement with part of another type of major achievement. For example, if your dissertation is at fault, you cannot submit a published work to raise it to the required standard.

Please note: All re-submissions must be accompanied by an additional election fee.

Your SPD is the final step in the process before applying for election to Fellowship and, in the event that your major achievement is unsuccesful, you will need to review and submit an updated SPD along with your new or revised major achievement for assesment.

Pdf icon small Download Fellowship election application form »

Fellowship forms

Please see below for links to the Fellowship forms you will need for your application and election to Fellowship


Enrolment form »

Business Ethics Programme »

Fellowship major achievement application - additional qualification »

Statement of personal development  »

Election to Fellowship »