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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 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


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.


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.


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.


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:


  • 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.


  • 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

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:

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Events calendar

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  • Asia Conference 2021 webinar series

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    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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