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Chair - Board of Examiners

Board of Examiners – Independent Chair

A newly created opportunity has arisen for an appropriately experienced independent lay member to chair the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Board of Examiners. 
We encourage applications from a diverse range of potential candidates, in terms of, but not exclusively, gender, age, disability and ethnicity.

The closing date for this role is 22 June 2021.

To express an interest in this paid role please contact hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk providing the following:

  • your full contact details and CV
  • a synopsis of your relevant background and experience
  • a note of your reasons for wishing to take on this role
  • what you feel you could bring to this role.

 

Task Specification

Background

The IFoA is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries based around the globe.  We have a worldwide membership of over 30,000 of which over 50% are student members.  47% of our total membership and 64% of our students are based outside the UK, reflecting the increasingly global nature of actuarial practice.  

Around 46% of the students seeking our professional qualifications are based in the UK, with a further 30% based in India and the balance across a large number of locations around the globe. 

In response to COVID, all our professional examinations moved to online delivery in 2020.

Our 28 examinations are divided across two professional qualifications -– our Associateship and Fellowship.  More information about our qualification structure can be found on our website. 

Currently the majority of our examinations run in two sessions - April and September each year, with approximately 15,000 assessments sat during each session across our portfolio of examinations. All are currently human-marked, however we plan to move at least six of these examinations to objective-based computer-assessment from April 2023. 

The Board of Examiners

IFoA qualifications were until relatively recently ‘self-assured’.  Oversight of standard-setting and operational delivery had little independence, with those responsible being entirely drawn from either our membership or employees. 

The Board of Examiners will in future have a lay chair and lay co-deputy chair to bring independent experience of sector good-practice and provide formal independent assurance to our Management Board who are responsible for oversight of our qualifications (and, as relevant to its remit, Regulatory Board) on the appropriateness of the standards and processes suporting our qualifications. The lay chair will have access to all appropriate IFoA senior stakeholders/stakeholder groups to ensure that any relevant areas of concern are formally acted upon.

The chair of the Board will also present an annual report to our Regulatory Board to support it in fulfilling its public interest role in relation to our oversight body; currently the Financial Reporting Council. 

The Board’s Terms of Reference are available on our website.

Specific Board responsibilities are to ensure:

  • assessment, marking and moderation processes are appropriate, rigorous and fair
  • equity of treatment for all candidates
  • assessments are conducted within the IFoA’s regulations and guidance
  • assessments reflect the syllabus requirements as supported by the Core Reading

To confirm:

  • pass-marks and each candidate’s examination outcome
  • nominations for examination prizes
  • the award of IFoA qualifications

To agree:

  • actions in the event of assessment process failures, including making allowances in marking (individual or cohort),  reassessment or deferral

To receive:

  • a report from each Chief Examiner on the appropriateness of their assessment process and on the extent to which regulations governing the assessment of candidates have been rigorously and consistently applied

And to :

  • provide formal assurance to Management Board, and, as relevant to its remit, to Regulatory Board, on the appropriateness of standards and processes for our qualifications.
  • present Management Board with formal reports on each examination session, and an annual report on the standards of the IFoA’s qualifications compared to sector benchmarks.
  • present to Regulatory Board an annual report on the standards of IFoA qualifications, and the processes by which they are delivered, as relevant to the public interest remit of Regulatory Board. 
  • offer an opinion to Management Board on the annual internal audit of aspects of our examination processes, rules, and regulations to ensure they are operationally followed during delivery of our examinations.
  • make recommendations to the IFoA Executive, which is responsible for implementation of education strategy.

 

The Chair of the Board of Examiners will promote good governance as well as bringing the specific benefits of:

  • experience of appropriate challenge, scrutiny and support at a board level
  • visible demonstration of best practice and independence
  • checks and balances on the IFoA’s decision making processes
  • external and different perspectives derived from the wider professional learning sector
  • integrity and accountability to the IFoA’s members
  • the development of less experienced board members.

The Board reports through the IFoA Executive to Management Board, with the Chair line managed by the Director of Engagement & Learning.

Key responsibilities of the Chair

The Chair will be expected to foster a mutually respectful relationship within the Board of Examiners which enables appropriate levels of challenge and support in the operation of our professional qualifications.

The Chair is expected to ensure that all board members:

  • bring independent judgment to bear
  • play a pro-active role in assuring the standards of our professional examinations
  • be suitably prepared for meetings, having read all papers prior to attendance
  • take responsibility for their specific examinations
  • offer constructive comment and input at meetings and on ad hoc activity between meetings.

Tenure

The Chair will be appointed for a period of two years, which may be renewed, by mutual consent, for a further two years.

Time commitment

Board of Examiners meet formally twice a year to oversee the outcomes of the IFoA’s sessional examinations with participation by either video conference or face-to-face meetings in London.  Timing of meetings will be arranged to be sympathetic to the time zones of any international members.  In addition to these there will be additional meetings with IFoA executive colleagues, follow up actions and communications between meetings by email and telephone, and formal presentations to the IFoA’s Management and Regulatory Boards.  Total time commitment is estimated to be 10 days per annum.

Remuneration

This appointment will be remunerated through the IFoA’s payroll.  The fee will be discussed with any candidates taken forward to interview.  The fee (gross) is payable per annum, plus out of pocket expenses in accordance with the IFoA’s Volunteer Expenses Policy.

Diversity

We encourage applications from a diverse range of potential candidates, in terms of, but not exclusively, gender, age, disability and ethnicity, as well as reflecting the geographical spread of our membership.  We are seeking an open-minded individual who will respect diversity of viewpoint around the Board on aspects of our professional examinations.

Person Specification

We are seeking candidates who meet the following criteria:

Essential

  • experience as an effective board Chair
  • extensive professional educational experience
  • awareness of the role of professional learning and qualifications in the professional transformation of individuals and organisations
  • awareness of the technological advances in supporting and evolving professional education and learning
  • the ability to exercise independent judgment and to think objectively
  • strong and effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • sound business acumen.

Desirable

  • an understanding of the role of actuaries
  • an understanding of the global context of professional learning
  • experience of the corporate psychology of training and developing the workforce
  • an understanding of not-for-profit member organisations with a public interest responsibility
  • an appreciation of the challenges facing professions in a global environment
  • general awareness of the challenges to professions from digital and technological advances.

 

 

Contact Details

HR Team

hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk

We aim to respond to all enquiries within three working days. To apply for this role, please send your CV, cover letter and your current salary details to: hrsupport@actuaries.org.uk

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Events calendar

  • Pensions Conference 2021

    Online webinar series
    16 June 2021 - 22 June 2021
    Spaces available

    Welcome to the programme for our 2nd Virtual Pensions Conference. This year's conference features 11 webinars offering members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the pension industry. There will also be opportunity to ask questions and contribute to the discussion.

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    Mathematical Futures: The Actuary in a World Transformed – Sir Adrian Smith will outline how advances in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the world of big data will transform the nature of many industries, including financial services. The broader environment within which mathematics is applied will change rapidly, often led by innovative yet disruptive forces outside. These changes will undoubtedly have an impact on the work of actuaries - and the profession will need to adapt quickly to thrive.

     

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    This session will explore how the new index has revealed previously uncaptured mortality inequalities by using predictive variables at a high degree of granularity. Globally renowned leader in actuarial science Professor Andrew Cairns and his co-investigator Torsten Kleinow will demonstrate the uses of new LIFE index such as the causes of high or low mortality and regional differences in mortality.

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    Given our commitment to the safety of our members and employees, and as the easing of restrictions in respect of COVID-19 cannot be guaranteed at this point in time, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year.

    The Business of the AGM

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    Join newly inaugurated IFoA President Dr. Louise Pryor as she explores what we need to do to keep abreast of the changing world – and how we can seize the resulting opportunities – in her Presidential Address, ‘A Learning Society’

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    The world is changing. The fourth industrial revolution, globalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic are up-ending traditional social and business norms around the world; changes that were once predictable and steady are now faster and more profound.

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    This is a free webinar on the consultation on changes to the Practising Certificates (PC) Scheme.

    The proposals come from a recent review of the PC Scheme which was the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010. It responds directly to feedback received on how the current scheme works especially that received from members and PC Holders.

  • Spaces available

    We have entered the global age which is invalidating most of the assumptions upon which our success up till now has depended. For example, in the global planetary society there can be no externalities. Although there is increasing clamour for new ways of thinking, sadly, our attempts to invent such new ways remain trapped in the same historical set of assumptions. The result is that we are faced with three tragedies.

  • Spaces available

    The paper “Asset liability modelling in the quantum era” shall be presented by its authors, Tim Berry and James Sharpe, and chaired by Andrew Smith, Assistant Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin.

  • Spaces available

    Today’s breakneck pace of technological change has an immense impact on leaders—and as a result, on their organizations’ capacity to transform. All too often, executives remain stuck in outdated mindsets and modes of operating, even when they recognize the need to reinvent themselves. Leadership expert Herminia Ibarra upends traditional, introspective advice and says act first—in order to change your way of thinking. Following her presentation, Herminia Ibarra will be joined by Louise Pryor, incoming IFoA President and Hash Piperdy, Managing Director at Epitome Global, for a panel discussion around the themes of the session. The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA’s Actuarial Review Team will publish its second thematic review in June 2021. The review is looking at the involvement of actuaries in the pricing of UK home and motor insurance, during a period of significant developments in the sector from both regulation and innovation.

  • Spaces available

    As part of the Behavioural Science Series, David Rooke will explore the leadership capacities and capabilities that may enable actuaries to successfully navigate the challenges of our times. He will discuss how actuaries can apply these principles to ensure the profession succeeds, flourishes, and plays a positive societal role in our global community.

    Following his presentation, David Rooke will be joined by Stephen Mann, CEO at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Anusha Thavarajah, Allianz’s Regional Chief Executive Officer, Life and Health for Asia Pacific for a panel discussion around the themes of the session The panel will be chaired by Tan Suee Chieh.

  • Asia Conference 2021 webinar series

    Online webinar series
    26 July 2021 - 30 July 2021
    Spaces available

    We have made it through 2020 but the COVID-19 crisis continues to have a significant impact on individuals, societies, businesses and the wider economy across the globe. Navigating the world post COVID-19 in an uncertain and highly unstable time brings along many uncertainties, challenges and exciting opportunities. Hence the theme of this year’s IFoA Asia Conference Webinar Series is “Risk. Adapt. Thrive.”

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    Risk Management Webinar ProgrammeInternal audit is often the Cinderella of the audit world. It’s a regulatory requirement for insurance companies to have an internal audit function, so why not make it as useful as possible?  This session will look at how to link an internal audit plan to the risk register, and how that helps audit committees and boards to spot problems and fix them.