Helping keep our members in the best of health
We make it easier for our customers to look after their employees by providing affordable and accessible health benefits.
Proud past. Exciting future.
We started back in 1877, way before the NHS, helping railway workers keep their health on track. Today, we’re still steaming ahead, with over 380,000 members and their families benefiting from our services.
Friendly by name. Friendly by nature.
The fact that our friendly society is owned by our members means we constantly strive to enhance customer experience and offer the most relevant and affordable benefits.
How do we do it?
We recognise each member as individuals, we listen to them, we're always there for them to support them on their journey to better health.
How we work
Toggle accordionWe’re ready to help you
We’re here to help and want to make it easy for all our customers to get in touch.
Toggle accordionTreating customers fairly
We’re totally committed to the Financial Conduct Authority’s ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ initiative. We’ve even developed 10 codes of conduct to make sure we always treat our customers fairly.
1. We’ll put you first in everything we do
2. We’ll strive to identify your needs
3. We’ll create products to meet your needs
4. We won’t provide our employees with incentives that may put you at risk of being sold an unsuitable product
5. We won’t hide behind any small print and will always be open and clear in all our dealings with you
6. We’ll be courteous, responsive and consistent
7. We’ll listen to what you have to say
8. We’ll keep you informed of any product changes
9. We’ll deal with any complaint promptly and impartially
10. We’ll treat you as we would want to be treated ourselves
We at Health Shield take great pride in our high levels of customer service, but from time to time things can still go wrong.
If you feel the need to complain to us, our Internal Complaints Procedure will ensure that your problem is dealt with quickly, fairly and impartially.
For more details on how to make a complaint to Health Shield, visit our How to make a complaint page.
Toggle accordionRole of the Audit Committee
Our Audit Committee helps to ensure we’re managed ethically, fairly and for the benefit of our members.
Reporting to our Board, they take a close look at our operations to check we’re effectively run in line with our ethos, vision, internal controls and compliance procedures.
They also make sure that we meet our statutory requirements and follow our Society’s principles, policies and practices when we prepare our annual accounts and financial statements.
The Audit Committee monitors the way that Health Shield is run and provides independent assurance to the Board of Management. It is free to act independently of the Executive Team and to investigate and advise on any issue that has been highlighted or it feels needs closer inspection. The Audit Committee is also empowered to obtain information from any officer or employee of the Society and can also seek out independent advice.
Audit Committee responsibilities:
- Liaise with external auditors and the management team to make sure that the accounting principles, policies and practices used to prepare Health Shield’s accounts and annual financial statements comply with all statutory requirements and accounting standards. A particular focus is on where judgement is exercised to reach conclusions.
- Ensure that Health Shield has an effective risk management system in place.
- Recommend ways that the Board of Management can optimise Health Shield’s accounting and financial controls within the risk management framework and policy. It can also recommend the appointment of external and internal auditors, the terms of appointment and the audit fee.
- Review the performance of Health Shield’s internal control systems.
- Agree and review the planned internal audit programme with the internal audit team, making sure it fully addresses the key risks in the risk register.
- Examine and review reports from the internal auditors about internal controls and make sure all recommendations are reviewed and acted on where necessary
- Provide advice to the Board of Management about the internal control environment, taking into account Health Shield’s risk management framework and the appropriateness of policies and procedures designed to maintain control over transactions and events.
- Examine and review accounting, risk management and financial controls with internal and external auditors. Also, the Committee must ensure that the planning and co-ordination of internal and external audits provides an appropriate, efficient and cost-effective service.
- Review and examine audit findings with the external auditors and review and agree the scope of their audit for the following year.
- Consider summaries of audit findings and request any specific reports.
- Ensure that Health Shield complies with all relevant sections of the Annotated Corporate Governance Code for Mutual Insurers.
- Receive the Compliance Manager’s report.
- Consider FCA and PRA regulatory matters, including the timely submission of statutory returns.
- Review the draft annual report and accounts to ensure that it presents a fair view of Health Shield’s financial position and that it is clear, balanced and understandable Note: All recommendations made by the Audit Committee will be subject to the approval of the Board of Management unless the Board of Management has given prior delegated authority for the Audit Committee to act on its behalf.
Who’s on the Audit Committee?
The Audit Committee consists of seven members of the Board of Management. Either the Deputy Chair of the Board of Management or the Senior Independent Director will act as Chairman of the Audit Committee.
Health Shield’s Audit Committee usually meets four times per year. At one of these meetings the Committee will meet separately with both the internal auditor and external auditor. The Actuarial Function will attend at least two meetings per year, as well as other Audit Committee meetings as judged appropriate by the Chairman of the Committee. A quorum of four members is required, at least 50% of which must be non-executives. The non-executive members of the Audit Committee may elect to hold a meeting without any executive representation.
Our Internal Audit Charter shows how we’re committed to improving the operations of Health Shield Friendly Society.