History of local institutes & the CII

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CIIs) network of local institutes across the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands offers existing and prospective CII members ongoing professional development at a local level.

Each institute’s activity is shaped by a panel of member volunteers. Their backgrounds are in all disciplines – from claims, underwriting and broking to loss adjusting, financial services and more. They come together to support one common goal – to give back to the profession and help support others.

On top of technical CPD programmes, networking and social events also provide a platform to develop business relationships, help boost confidence and support mental wellbeing; vital factors in supporting positivity and productivity for employees.

Most events are free to CII members or charged at a nominal fee.

History of the local institutes and the CII

The first insurance institute was founded in Manchester in 1873. This was followed over the next twenty-three years by the formation of insurance institutes in Glasgow (1881), Dublin (1885), Norwich (1886), Birmingham (1887), Leeds (1888), Bristol (1890) and Newcastle (1896).

In 1897, representatives from the then 10 established local insurance institutes decided that they should form an association, and the Federation of Insurance Institutes of Great Britain and Ireland was established as an examining body, with the local institutes forming classes and providing other educational facilities. This Federation also committed to produce an annual Journal of papers of relevance to insurance, which we continue to maintain today.

Further local institutes were formed over subsequent years, and in 1908, the Federation became the Insurance Institute of Great Britain and Ireland before soon transforming into the Chartered Insurance Institute when granted its Royal Charter by King George V on 17 January 1912. The charter made the organisation a single entity with the same rights and powers as an individual and stated that it should “secure and justify the confidence of the public in its members and the insurance sector.” The CII charter evolved in 1987, when Queen Elizabeth II granted a new version, which identifies the current seven “objects and purposes”, which are broadly:

  • To promote efficiency and improvement in insurance practice among professionals
  • To secure and justify the confidence of the public and employers
  • To promote the study of subjects related to insurance
  • To inform regulations and law associated with the profession
  • To exercise supervision and control over professional standards of our members
  • To assist members in developing their careers
  • And to assist members who have fallen on hardship.

Bringing the CII’s story up to the present day, the professional remit expanded in 2005, with the formation of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) as a result of the merger of two other UK professional bodies, the Life Insurance Association and the Society of Financial Advisers. The PFS is now the leading professional membership body for financial advisers in the UK. Its creation made the CII unique among other professional bodies in the UK, by virtue of it having two membership bodies under one roof.

Today, the CII is an international organisation with more than 120,000 members living and working in more than 150 countries. But the ‘community’ nature of the profession continues to drive the work, alongside all the Local Insurance Institutes in the UK. It’s a central pillar in the CII’s unique member proposition alongside ‘credibility’ and ‘career’.

The past 150 years has had its fair share of challenges. But changing with the times is something that the insurance sector has always done well, recognising the essential role our profession plays in times of adversity.

Central Support

Your Regional Membership Manager is your key contact - any support you require please get in touch and we can discuss how the team can help.

Didn't find that you were looking for? Try search

You can search all our content, news and FAQs by simple typing a question