ACT member survey summary 2019

During the summer we conducted a survey with members and students to gain an understanding of members’ career aspirations, needs and relationship with the ACT.

Thank you to all who participated in the research – the feedback you provided helps us to shape our future strategy and activity and to ensure we are providing the resources you need.

This blog provides a summary of the main findings of the membership survey. The survey was sent to all members and students by email and we received 665 responses which equates to a response rate of 11% of the membership population.

The key themes resulting from the research were:

  1. Career aspirations and challenges
  2. Perceptions of the ACT and value for money
  3. Triggers and barriers to membership
  4. Future priorities

1. Career aspirations and challenges

Members recognise the need to develop non-technical skills in order to progress, with leadership (55%) and influencing skills (48%) identified as most important. We continue to develop resources to support our members in this area, including through the Career Hub which provides a wealth of information to support business and behavioural skills. In addition, we continue to run events on business skills, which include the well-received strategic leadership evenings and the case study-led Future Leaders in Treasury evenings. And of course our qualifications, underpinned by our competency framework, support the development of business and behavioural skills alongside technical competency. Our Advanced Diploma in Treasury Management now includes a residential school focussed on strategic leadership and influencing.

Key challenges members face in their work include increased regulatory and administrative pressures (50%), increased work load (36%) and lack of early involvement in business decisions (34%). This is consistent with the findings in our last membership survey in 2015 and in our 2019 Business of Treasury research.

Over 85% of members feel valued in their organisation, with half feeling strongly valued. This is higher than in the previous survey and shows an improved perception of the value of treasury.

2. Perceptions of the ACT and value for money

Most respondents rate the ACT as excellent or good – a significant improvement on the 2015 survey – and the net promoter score (NPS), which measures the likelihood of members to recommend the ACT to peers and colleagues, is also significantly higher than both 2015 and the norm for membership organisations.

Membership is considered to offer very good or good value for money (52%) – with an almost identical response to the survey in 2015. However, the number of employers paying for membership, qualifications and events has decreased since the last survey. This shows that members are increasingly having to self-fund.

The most valued member benefits for 2019 were policy and technical support and the use of designatory letters, followed by The Treasurer magazine print edition. Members like regular updates on regulatory issues and practical guides and briefing notes as part of the technical support provided.

Members thought the ACT was very effective at: conveying information about ACT qualifications and the importance of treasury, providing information on regulatory and legislative changes that impact treasury, providing technical updates and advice, and providing events and networking opportunities. We are felt to be least effective in communicating the value of qualifications and membership to employers. This is something we will be prioritising over coming months both with employers and recruiters. We will also encourage and provide support to members so that you can help us spread the word within your organisations and the wider community, about the importance of employing qualified ACT members who are maintaining the highest professional standards and pro-actively contributing to business success. If you would like to get involved with this work, for example by providing case studies, please let me know ( Thank you!

92% of members felt that email/e-newsletter communication was the most effective means of communication. 82% thought the amount of emails they received from the ACT was about right.

Members suggest that the current primary role of the ACT is to provide education and training opportunities (53%) and to raise the profile of the treasury profession (49%). Raising the profile of ACT qualifications internationally continues to be a priority (38%).

3. Triggers and barriers to membership

The most popular reasons for joining the ACT were to support career progression (81%) and to gain a professional qualification (75%). These were the same as in the 2015 survey.

Self-motivation accounted for two-thirds of members joining the ACT. The number joining on a recommendation from or required by their employer or peer has increased from the last survey – 35% in 2019 versus 27% in 2015.

4. Future priorities

There is a clear indication that members feel it is important for the ACT’s strategy to be global. You want us to continue to raise the profile of the ACT and qualifications internationally.

Many of you have asked us to provide more content outside of London and we are looking at ways to extend our member events, working where relevant with trusted partners, especially outside the UK, using technology to reach a wider audience and increasing the international outlook of our events, The Treasurer magazine and other published content.

We are your professional body and we are grateful to all of those who took part in the survey and shared their experiences of the ACT and their vision for the future. Your views will be used to shape the ACT’s strategy going forward and to ensure we continue to support you in the areas you need. But we believe in continuous improvement and we encourage you to feedback at any point, either by calling me on 020 7847 2555 or by email on


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