By Alasdair Boyle (

Alasdair Boyle explains why the need for adjusters to continue their professional development is more important than ever in order to meet the needs of an ever more demanding market.

For many the thought of constant years of study whilst continuing to work on a daily basis is not something that is welcomed.

In the loss adjusting sector of the past, particularly in the major loss and speciality markets, much of the training would be on the job, working alongside an experienced adjuster on assets and losses around the world.

Times have changed but so has the environment in which we operate. Personally, having taken a Medical Science degree at University, a Graduate Diploma in Law and then completing the CII exams once I had started my career in the insurance industry, study has been a way of life.

When I became a loss adjuster, the opportunity was there to embark on my Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusting (CILA) qualifications. The decision to take the qualifications was not only mine. I was also encouraged by the team around me, all of which spoke highly of the benefits that the CILA qualifications would provide.

The truth is, compared to all my previous studying, the CILA qualifications have proven to be the most beneficial and relevant to the “day job”. Perhaps that is not surprising as I am a loss adjuster. However, the ways in which the qualifications can support you personally and your role within the wider organisation quickly become apparent. They combined the theory and the practice and, as such, have given me the technical knowledge to make the right decisions to progress claims both efficiently and fairly.

Having been an adjuster for eight years, each year has not only added to my understanding of the jobs that I am tasked to do but also the changing needs and skills that a loss adjuster in the modern world requires.

I have been a property adjuster for much of my career. However, the legal qualifications I entered the industry with have enabled me to also support my colleagues on a range of liability claims. Today’s adjuster needs to have a broad and rounded understanding of the wider market, particularly in the energy and specialty classes. The major and complex claims practices do not have a huge talent pool, and the need for more experienced staff is becoming more acute as the frequency and scale of events increases. In those eight years, I have seen the claims we are being asked to address grow in size, scale and complexity. It only adds to the need for experienced and qualified adjusters to support both the insurers and the insureds.

Today’s market requires a comprehensive approach from a team that increasingly needs to contain a wide range of skill sets and expertise. The growing interconnectivity of the global economy has made the issues around business interruption and contingent business interruption ever more important.

It is clear to me that the qualifications I have been able to attain have provided a solid foundation for my day to day work and the way in which I can play my full part in the team at GRS.

We are fortunate to have a team that is highly experienced and have undertaken the qualifications that I continue to pursue. It provides the ability to talk with them on the demands of the qualifications and also highlight how those same qualifications have changed to reflect the different demands placed on adjusters today. I am pleased to say I am now at the point where I can offer support to my colleagues who are undertaking the CILA qualifications, which only adds to the view that success in all aspects of loss adjusting is a team effort.

The market and our clients are at the heart of GRS. The company’s commitment to the growth of staff both individually and as a team is evident. By ensuring employees are encouraged and empowered to undertake both insurance and technical professional development, it has resulted in the ability to recruit and create highly qualified teams in all areas and business disciplines.

As technology and new systems become ever more embedded in speciality markets, we are already seeing how going that extra step to focus on continued professional development is benefiting our service and support to our clients and the wider market.