Professional membership will matter more going into the new normal

28 July 2020 Thokozile Mahlangu, Chief Executive Officer at Insurance Institute of South Africa

No one can fully imagine the new world we will enter when the Covid-19 pandemic is over. We can try, we can speculate and use what is true today as a guide for what tomorrow will look like.

We, fortunately, have a blueprint to work from, especially in the world of work.

Life and economic industries pre-Covid-19 exemplified the importance of integrity and clout both for individual and organisational brands. This, we don’t expect will be any different going into the future.

One can list numerous reasons as to why this is the case, among which is human nature, we are attracted and give authority to things and people that we can trust. But often, trust exists through the backing of credentials and other trustworthy people vouching for a person or a thing.

This is the offer made by industry professional membership opportunities, like the Insurance Institute of South Africa for example. The institute provides designations after a person has completed their insurance qualifications and can show that they have the necessary experience, in so doing, vouching for their career competence.

Being part of such a body is crucial for anyone looking to advance their career as it gives them good standing within the industry and it enhances qualifications with experience and continuing professional development. It shows current and potential employers that one is committed, curious and serious about the career path that they have chosen. This builds confidence in what the professional can offer, both in the work place and for the industry.

Going into the ‘new normal’ we will still need assurances. Institutions that have been the pillar of industries in the past, will continue being stamps of approval in an uncertain ‘new normal’. They will give confidence and direction as well as equip the workforce for operations in the new world. It is a no brainer then, to want to associate with such organisations, especially in times of uncertainty.

As a professional then, this is the time that you begin mapping out your career in a world that has been disrupted. Our vision for our professional success has to have shifted with all that has happened in the world these past few months. It is therefore no longer viable to use a plan that was set a few years ago on how to advance your career. It is also not feasible to rely solely on your own expertise for progress.

What a professional member gains from an industry professional body, among other things, is a front row seat in rooms, seminars, online sessions and elearning platforms filled with experts who would otherwise be inaccessible. These experts make it easier for the professional to grasp where their industry is going and what matters now and what will matter going forward. We, in our own capacities, cannot factor for everything, which is why continued learning is vital for career and professional growth.

Those who become professional members in their industries set themselves apart in that sense. They are constantly and consistently sifting through the best knowledge their industry has to offer and positioning themselves to be the best the industry has to offer while at it. In a world of uncertainty, that will be invaluable.

Reputable association in a world that is just emerging will fare well for anyone trying to build a name for themselves in any industry. This is why belonging to a professional body will be crucial in tomorrow’s economy.

Quick Polls


Is the commission procurement rule introduced via clause 5.14 of the Amended Financial Services Sector Code (AFSSC) an important piece of the transformation puzzle?


The clause’s implementation coincides with an increase in the minimum spend targets, which further complicates matters
Many FSPs still view the AFSSC as a matter of choice and consequence rather than compliance
Transformation represents a great opportunity for growth and penetration by brokers
Brokers are unlikely to find their commission business yanked away from them by insurers looking to influence procurement scorecards
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