CIMA's newly published annual review reveals a year of growth for the institute in 2008 against a backdrop of turbulence, risk and opportunity.
I am delighted that we exceeded our membership growth target of 3.5 per cent last year to achieve a net increase of more than 3,000 members.
According to the 2008 report of the Financial Reporting Council's professional oversight board, CIMA had the highest year-on-year growth in UK membership compared with the other four UK-based accountancy institutes. This is powerful evidence of our continued and increasing relevance to employers as we help them to survive--and thrive--during the financial crisis.
The review highlights other notable achievements in 2008.
These included the following:
* Eight out of ten members worldwide reported high levels of satisfaction with CIMA in a comprehensive survey published in June.
* The CIMA professional qualification was recognised as equivalent to an MSc degree by the independent UK rating body that assesses qualifications worldwide. The updated syllabus, launched in December, won plaudits and reinforced CIMA's pre-eminent position as a global accounting qualification provider.
* We welcomed our 75,000th member in September.
* The institute enlarged its presence in the Middle East with the opening of its first office in the region.
* CIMA pushed ethics and sustainability up the corporate agenda by developing action points for members; hosting a global ethics debate; conducting a global survey with the Institute of Business Ethics; and participating in the Prince of Wales's "Accounting for sustainability" project.
* We launched CIMAstudy.com, our first set of online courses available to all students worldwide at managerial and strategic level.
* We expanded our international alliances to give members greater employability in China, India and UAE. We also signed new reciprocal membership arrangements with CPA Australia and updated our existing agreement with CMA Canada.
Although we didn't hit our ambitious target for increasing student numbers in 2008...