Repositioning the actuarial profession
As the actuarial profession evolves to meet the challenges of an uncertain, rapidly changing world, the IFoA has a central role to play in helping you develop the skills, competencies and mind set that are necessary in an agile, evolving profession for you to enjoy successful, and sustainable careers.
As a major global provider of actuarial learning it is essential our learning resources support your individual needs and aspirations through all stages of your career and equip you to meet the challenges of an uncertain, complex future.
A high level review of our learning offering was conducted during 2020 to ensure that our holistic offer puts your future needs at its heart, is fit for purpose in a reinvented profession, and is relevant, modern and appropriately flexible. The review drew on the expertise and experience of IFoA members, as well as independent experts on contemporary professional learning. It identified a need for a shift in our learning culture, centred on refreshed and continually evolving content with global relevance, drawing on the highest quality provision, delivered and assessed by the most contemporary approaches.
The Learning Change Programme
We are excited to announce that a Learning Change Programme has been commissioned to modernise, deepen and broaden our actuarial qualifications and lifelong learning offering, empowering members to succeed in emerging professional domains, keep pace with rapid changes in established areas of actuarial employment, and be equipped with the skills and mind set to adapt and lead within a wider and rapidly changing global professional environment.
This programme of change will introduce improvements and benefit for members at every stage of their career, from those studying for their first examination, to those in senior roles looking to refresh and expand their knowledge and skills. This is in response to your feedback about professional learning and will address the challenges that have the greatest impact on your career, including:
- opening up of new career domains
- changes to established actuarial roles
- employers having a clearer understanding of the role and value of actuaries
- the need for more choice and personal ownership of the areas you study
- continued quality of exams
- greater confidence in our infrastructure to support online learning and accessible examinations.
All elements of the programme will support the ongoing internationalisation of our qualifications, to ensure they are relevant and more accessible to members wherever they are studying.
The change programme will focus on four key areas:
- Pre-Associate curriculum
- Pre-Fellowship subjects
- Modern and digital methods of assessment
- Lifelong learning
We encourage you to read the detail below on what will change and how we will engage with members, employers and other partners to ensure that the changes meet real needs and speak to your needs.
Your voice matters
The Learning Change Programme is here to deliver changes and wider learning culture to support you and your employers now and in the future in a rapidly changing actuarial employment landscape. Your feedback through our regular member and student surveys, Forums, events and meetings has been invaluable to identify the improvements that are most important to you.
We want you to continue to be involved. We will regularly update you on the Programme’s progress and share information resources through these web pages, The Actuary, Newsletters and email – please look out for opportunities to be get involved and help shape the future.
If you have questions, suggestions, or require additional information, please contact LCP@actuaries.org.uk. We will use these questions to create a regularly updated set of Frequently Asked Questions where all members can benefit from your thoughts, suggestions and questions. They will be shared on our Programme FAQ page.
We are working with our individual subject review teams to formally review our pre-Associateship syllabus. This will include reflection on feedback and learning from Curriculum 19 and assessment of the detailed technical content for relevance in an evolving profession. An oversight group will also shortly be established to look more broadly across the curriculum, including its structure and the specific demands of studying certain modules.
This work will be informed by a major piece of independent research to identify the future needs for the curriculum, beginning in April 2021. A wide range of stakeholders will be engaged to ensure that this represents the voice and needs of you and your employers, ranging from individual members and employers in established and new employment areas, to recruiters, accredited university partners, and other global actuarial associations.
The project work will also inform a new competency framework of skills and knowledge gained by completing our Associate qualification. This will provide employers and other interested parties with clear evidence of the competencies and capabilities of our Associate members.
We expect that the core of our pre-Associate curriculum content will remain broadly unchanged, but will be updated and enhanced to ensure subject areas, case studies and recommended reading are current and internationally relevant. Some new material will be introduced in emerging domains such as Data Science, Banking, Climate Risk and Sustainability. This will ensure student members develop a broader contemporary knowledge-base, and skills which equip them to pursue opportunities in a wider range of emerging actuarial opportunities and roles.
For those that wish to progress to Fellowship, we will develop a broader portfolio of learning with more individualised learning based on your professional interests and career aspirations.
We are engaging with our Practice Boards and Member Interest Groups to scope, plan and introduce new pre-Fellowship subjects, to support those considering moving into newer areas of actuarial employment.
Following positive feedback from members and employers on our move to online examinations, we will further enhance our online examinations service. This will provide a more robust, technologically advanced, and forward-looking service with greater global accessibility; meeting the service expectations of our members while maintaining our examinations’ integrity and high standards.
The first stage will be to procure and configure a new, on-screen examination delivery solution, with a phased move of current examinations to the new examination delivery solution from April 2023. We will work closely with employers and student members to test this system’s suitability and user interface, as well as more general aspects of examinations processes. We will keep you informed on progress, and will provide detailed arrangements to those sitting examinations and the opportunity to test the new system well ahead of the go-live date.
In the longer term, we plan to introduce ‘Objective Based Testing’ for the early mathematical modules of our Associate qualification. This will support a move to more contemporary, high standard assessments, similar to those used by other regulated professional bodies. Objective based testing will also enable machine marking, with the potential to offer more flexible, on-demand style testing in the future.
We will be working closely with leading learning consultants, as well as IFoA subject matter specialists, to build IFoA examiner capacity and competencies in this area.
Growing the portfolio of Lifelong Learning is central to the Learning Change Programme.
Our enhanced Lifelong Learning offer will complement and build on that provided by your employers, providing you with opportunities to refresh your knowledge and skills with continuous learning and self-reflection, building new competencies to support your career aspirations, and enable you to take greater ownership of your professional learning and development.
We have already taken the initial steps to expand our Lifelong Learning offer with the recent launch of our Banking and Sustainability lifelong learning microsites. Demand for certified Lifelong Learning opportunities remains strong, and we plan to build on the success of our Certificate in Data Science.
We will engage with members, employers, and others to scope the required breadth of the IFoA’s future Lifelong Learning offering. We will deliver new content in a range of formats, some co-developed with partners or sourced from relevant third-parties, as well as specific bespoke learning developed specifically by IFoA members.
Download the Learning Change Programme timeline.
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Cancer incidence and mortality vary by region and socioeconomic status. Modelling the structure development and trends of cancer risk is important for insurance purposes and can impact pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision.
A panel discussion with investment representatives discussing the impact of investment on climate change and vice versa.
This event is part of The Road to Glasgow: IFoA’s Sustainability Thought Leadership Series which will provide a platform for prominent contributors so that our members and others can understand the perspectives of a wide range of parties interested in the climate debate.
Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing our world today. Addressing it will require multi-faceted solutions. Through this panel session, we will explore the different levers that can be used to meet net-zero targets including climate science and data, government engagement, and mobilising green finance.
How governments and societies collectively respond to the climate crisis is increasingly being analysed through the lens of intergenerational fairness. Our expert panel will assess and explore the extent to which inter-generous fairness is being considered in climate policies, the lessons from those countries who are leading the way on fairness and justice in climate interventions, and more.
This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.
The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.
Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.