This month, the AMII elected a new chair. Owain Thomas spoke to the outgoing - and often outspoken - Andrew Tripp after two years leading the organisation.
Heading up a trade body is a tough enough task as a full-time job. For the bigger organisations, this is usually a fully paid-up position, meaning that the incumbent can solely concentrate on addressing members' needs, appearing in the media and lobbying powers that be.
But this is not a luxury the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII) can afford. Its chairmanship position is a voluntary one, and so must be squeezed in around the day job of advising clients on their health insurance needs.
There are benefits to this approach, including maintaining a day-to-day link with the industry. But it also means the demands can be pretty high and the two-year term is usually more than enough.
Speaking to Andrew Tripp, the outgoing chairman of AMII after his final committee meeting (like Tripp, all of the members fulfil their roles voluntarily), it is immediately apparent that he is more than a little relieved to have completed his tour of duty.
"It has been a very useful experience, but two years is enough," he said.
"I do not regret it. I have learnt a lot from it, but Mike Izzard [Tripp's predecessor] was of the same view. One year is not enough as you cannot get anything done in a year. Two is the right term, then it is time to pass the baton on to somebody else for them to put their stamp on it."
JOB WELL DONE?
The requirements of the job, which typically means squeezing a six or even seven-day working week into a normal five-day week, sound like a good reason not to take it. Along with the 300 to 500 extra emails a month, there are demands from journalists, providers and other external bodies.
So what does Tripp feel his mark has been? One of his main desires was to get the rest of the committee more involved in running the organisation and take some of the spotlight away from the chair.
"I thought it would be appropriate for every committee member to have something they would be responsible for," he explained. "So as a consequence, every committee member has a defined role, whether that be liaising with the Association of British Insurers, liaising with the membership, PR or the AMII/CII examination.
"The publicity angle is important because one of the Association's biggest expenditures is our PR company. Previously, we were not getting good value for money. But by creating the sub-committee, we have two definitive spokespeople who are tasked with working with the PR company to get our message out. To that end, we have been successful."
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