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Coronavirus: a message from Airmic’s CEO

The global outbreak of Coronavirus / COVID-19 is a dynamic, fluid and grave situation which all organisations are monitoring extremely closely, and Airmic is no exception. The business impact is likely to be far-reaching, from the personal well-being of staff and their families, to disruption in value chains, and the knock-on effect on the global economy.

As the world tries to contain the impact of the disease, developments are throwing the spotlight on the risk management community, the importance of well-rehearsed crisis and business continuity plans and their ability to rapidly adapt the supply chains and market focus embedded in their strategies.

Many of our members are currently coordinating their organisation’s own response and ensuring all scenarios are rehearsed and planned for. This is an enterprise-wide emerging risk which demands a carefully constructed and joined up response.

How is Airmic responding?

In any crisis, the importance of regular and clear communication with key stakeholders is vital, and I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you, our members, how Airmic is responding.

The most important message for us, is that the health and well-being of our staff and members is our number one priority. We have put in place a number of measures to enable Airmic to continue to safely provide its usual services to members. 

In light of the advice issued by the government yesterday, the We're also recommending increased social distancing. That's the phrase that you hear. Which means trying to reduce contact between people again to try to delay this transmission. That means where businesses can do it and where individuals can do it, home working is recommended. Unneccessary travel should be reduced and stoppeAirmic physical office will now be closed but we will remain open for business and operate virtually. We will send a note to members later today with further details about how our education and technical programmes and other services will function while these measures are in place.

Technology enables agility

We are exploring all possible ways of using technology to keep events and training available for members.

Last week, we took the decision to live stream our fastTrack Forum to allow those with travel bans to enjoy the conference from their desks. This was an ‘Airmic first’ and a resounding success! We had almost 100 online viewers and over 70 attendees, making it one of our best attended fastTrack events to date. You can now access videos of all the presentations, slides and other resources from the Forum on the Airmic website.

We hope to continue this strategy at our various Academy Forums, even once the Coronavirus has passed as it is a fantastic way to support our regional members. It shows that an agile response to a crisis can reveal unexpected positive developments.

Edinburgh 2020

I would like to take this opportunity to confirm that plans for Airmic’s annual conference in June are continuing, although clearly they are in doubt. We are very mindful of the wellbeing of the whole community and the fact that government advice is changing on a daily basis.

The next few weeks are extremely uncertain and we are in regular contact with the conference venue, partners and other stakeholders as we monitor the situation. Clarity on the future of our plans for the conference is expected to emerge over the next few weeks and we are grateful for everyone’s support and patience.

Please make use of our coronavirus update page on our conference website for our full position. This page is being updated regularly as the situation evolves.

Keep updated

Reliable advice and intelligence is of paramount importance in such a fast-developing crisis, especially with the abundance of misinformation circulating on social media. Over the coming weeks, Airmic will provide a range of insights and updates through Airmic News and our new podcast, Airmic Talks.

Please take the time to read this month’s articles covering the role of the risk professional in an epidemic, the modelling and claims activity already underway and the insurance coverage considerations for members.

Do also download our next episode of Airmic Talks, our new fortnightly podcast, featuring Control Risks and International SOS on Coronavirus, which was released on Sunday, 15 March. You can subscribe to Airmic Talks on SoundCloud, iTunes, Spotify or any other podcast app to ensure the latest episodes are downloaded straight to your device.

If any of our members have any questions, concerns or comments – about coronavirus or anything else – I am always delighted to hear from you.

John Ludlow, Airmic CEO.
john.ludlow@airmic.com