Special Interest Group:

Future Focus Group

The Future Focus group represents the next generation of loss adjusters (and other claims professionals) on the CILA Council to ensure that their views and needs are considered and reflected within Institute activities. The group undertakes activities with the aim of encouraging CILA members to achieve CILA qualifications, predominantly focussing on members with no CILA qualifications at present.

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SIG Committee


Neil Powell - Davies Group Ltd


  • Luke Brannigan - Cunningham Lindsey UK
  • Mahesh Ganesan - McLarens
  • Stephanie Niblett - Cunningham Lindsey UK

Latest Updates

The Future Focus Conference returned for its third time in Birmingham with the intention of providing an informative day to delegates, providing them with knowledge and an understanding as to the fundamental principles of Insurance together with an understanding as to what examiners are looking for when they mark the answer sheets.

Finally, an insight as to how the CILA exams rank against other qualifications was provided to illustrate that they are not merely formalities to undertake and pass. The event was well attended with all places being taken within the conference room.

A big vote of thanks has to go to Malcolm Hyde and Julie Robson who took on the task of presenting the various topics to the candidates over the day. In addition, the efforts of James Nathaniel and Laura Moir of the Future Focus group have to be noted in determining the structure of the event. Finally, thank you to Adeola Daramola of CILA for making the event run smoothly, by taking care of all the background issues that make such a conference possible.

The conference was opened by Mike Jones, President of CILA. Mike explained his vision and elaborated on the need to ensure that the next generation of Loss Adjusters continue to progress through the ranks. We do not want to be in a position that more adjusters are retiring than qualifying and the need to move away from the demographic time bomb that could be on the horizon.

The conference then moved into full swing with Malcolm Hyde delivering talks on Subrogation, Contribution, Proximate Cause and the Insurance Act 2015. Julie Robson then took over the mantle for the afternoon interactive session that included Setting the Scene, What do Examiners Want and Putting things into Practice. These practical sessions had the intention of trying to assist candidates in how to read and understand exam questions, how to structure answers and how to improve technique.

Whilst the stage was firmly held by both Malcolm and Julie for the day, strategic coffee breaks were put in to ensure the delegates remained full of energy right through the day and into the closing speech delivered by Neil Powell, who enviably had the graveyard slot to close the conference with delegates keen to move on and catch trains and enjoy Friday night!

Overall the conference was well received and it was encouraging to see that employers had allowed their staff to attend this event. As a group Future Focus want to encourage members of CILA to become involved and undertake the examinations on offer as they demonstrate a high level of achievement and professional knowledge within the Insurance Claims market.

Again, a big thanks to the organisers and speakers and all of you that attended. It is hoped that the conference was informative and provided sufficient content to encourage you to take up or carry on with the examinations CILA has to offer.

Neil Powell, Chairman, CILA Future Focus Committee


It is half past eight on the 2 May 2014 and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself. Having made the usually harrowing motorway journey from Leeds to Birmingham in record time, it would appear that, for once, I have managed to arrive at a CILA event on time!

However, the pressure on me was more than just about being punctual. I had also been involved in organising the third Future Focus Conference, an event designed to inspire the next generation of Claims Handlers and Loss Adjusters.

This year we had taken the ambitious decision to base the Conference around a claims based setting involving a fire at an imaginary greetings card factory with our speakers tailoring their session to the issues outlined within the scenario. As the only half of the team attending that had devised the scenario, I had a sense of trepidation that, if our scenario did not work, the whole day would also fail as a result. What could possibly go wrong?

As it was, there was no need to be anxious. CILA’s very own Wonder Woman, Alison Gamble, had organised the excellent venue and speakers with the precision of a Swiss watch. With the delegates fuelled on coffee and French pastries, the day started with stirring speeches from both Candy Holland (CILA President) and Neil Powell (Future Focus Committee Chairman) briefly outlining the proposed future development of CILA and setting the scene for the day to come.


The inimitable Malcolm Hyde (CILA Executive Director) then proceeded to summarise the CILA Qualification process before providing an informative and valuable lesson about Calculating the Value at Risk & Underinsurance. Despite the day being aimed at those with a more junior level of experience, there is no doubt that even the most seasoned adjusters would have picked up some useful tips here.

Adrian Foster (vrs Vericlaim) and David Crowder (Building Research Establishment) were next onto the stage to impart their knowledge about Proximate Cause & Subrogation. On the face of it, not the most thrilling subject you might think, especially as the day was heading towards lunchtime and the faint rumble of stomachs could be heard through the auditorium.

However, two more engaging speakers you would struggle to find as they skilfully interwove their commentary and imparted their knowledge to the room.

A fine lunch was provided to a group of people probably more used to grabbing a pre-pack sandwich in between appointments, which was further enhanced by the friendly conversation throughout as people ate and drank.

It would be a brave individual, who was going to take on the notorious ‘after lunch’ slot, traditionally the time drowsiness takes over as the food endorphins kick in especially as the first afternoon session was about Policy conditions & Warranties. Once again, Malcolm gave an assured talk pitching the subject matter at just the right pace and technical level that set up Ron Caley (Agrical) for the last leg about Business Interruption.


Even as he finished, questions for Ron still flowed freely from the audience demonstrating his ability to keep an audience engrossed, even at 4 o’clock on a Friday afternoon with trains to catch.

Our grateful thanks go to all the speakers, who provided such informative speeches as well as giving up their valuable time; to Alison Gamble, who organised such a triumphant event as well as to Dri-Eaz Ltd, the sponsors of Future Focus. However, our biggest thanks goes to those 52 people that attended our Conference despite their heavy workloads. We hope you found the day fulfilling and encourage you and your colleagues to become involved with all that CILA has to offer, not only to develop your own careers to their full potential but to positively drive our industry forward in the future.

James Nathaniel Dip CII Dip CILA
Future Focus Committee

Presentations and Speaker Notes

The newly titled Future Focus Conference was held on the 26th April 2013, with very good support from delegates and speakers alike.

Overall, the conference was almost at capacity with 62 delegates attending, in addition to the expert speakers, who had donated their time to support this event.

The conference was opened by the Future Focus chairman, Andrew Considine, with a tale of working in the far and middle east! He was then followed by our President, Kevin Wood, who also gave his time in support of this event showing how important the next generation of CILA members and future associates means to the Institute. Kevin also surprised Laura Mellars of Williams Pitt by presenting her with her certificate for successfully completing the Cert CILA examinations.

The aims and structure of the conference had been designed by the Future Focus Committee whose role is to represent the next generation of CILA members. The topics were all purposefully selected to assist delegates with their studies in the CILA examination structure. Topics ranged from building construction, liability issues, drying techniques, alternative accommodation, fraud, treating customers fairly and ending the day with insurance principles. The standard of speakers was such that the delegates were kept on their toes throughout, with interactive sessions breaking up the talks.

Overall the conference was well received and it was encouraging to see that employers had allowed their staff to attend this event. It was clear that the move from a Saturday to the Friday was a success and it is hoped that this event will now go from strength to strength and be a major source of technical support to exam candidates.

Thanks has to go to Alison Gamble whose efforts in organising the venue and speakers are greatly appreciated.

Neil Powell, CILA Future Focus Committee


The Life of a Building - John Parvin, Major Loss Team Manager, Zurich
This session considered what buildings are designed to do and what is the expected level of resilience of a building against storm and flood etc. The speaker explained how buildings deteriorate over time and provided common examples of gradually operating causes.

Liability - Adrian Foster, vrsVericlaim
This session explained how legal liabilities arise and what is meant by the term subrogation. The session also provided an introduction to the Civil Procedure Rules and the reserving of personal injury claims.

Fraud Management - John Freeman, Counter Fraud Director, Questgates
This session explored the definition of fraud and how fraud can arise in insurance claims. The session also discussed the tools and methods that are used to detect fraud.


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