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CP3 Communications Practice

In October 2016, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) announced that the current communications exam, CA3, would be replaced by CP3 in the new curriculum. While the new curriculum will take effect from 31 December 2018, a decision was taken to launch the new CP3 exam in September 2017

This page provides you with guidance on the format of the exam, an example exam paper, a sample marking guide, and examples of a good answer and a poor answer.

Format of the exam

The CP3 exam will assess your ability to communicate effectively in writing to a non-actuarial/non-technical audience. The CP3 computer-based exam will consist of a single written exam.

The presentation element has been removed from the examination and is now completed as part of Work Experience/Work-Based Skills/Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

The CP3 computer-based assessment will be split in two parts. An exam scenario paper will be available to you 3 days before the exam, with the exam question paper available from 10.00 (UK time) on the day of the exam. There is no reading time allocated to candidates in this exam.

Part 1: Scenario material

You will be provided with scenario material a minimum of  three days before the assessment is due to be taken. This could include a number of documents such as articles, written communications between relevant stakeholders, data sets, tables and charts.

This will give you the opportunity to review the materials and familiarise yourself with the scenario, and the subject area before sitting the exam. The exam question will be set around the scenario on which the advance material is based.

You are not required to undertake any research or additional reading relating to the technical material beyond what is provided in the scenario documents.

Part 2: Written paper

The CP3 exam is a three hour paper, which will have two questions

  • First question: a written communication piece such as a written report, a memo, a letter or a set of briefing notes.
    • 90% of the overall mark
  • Second question: a short reflective piece which will give you the chance to justify the style and structure of communication and the choice of charts/tables or diagrams you have used in your written answers.
    • 10% of the overall mark.

At the end of the three hour exam you have an additional 5 minutes to upload your exam submission. This must be completed within these 5 minutes to confirm your upload has been successful. You are able upload before this time if you have completed the exam question paper earlier.

Please note: your exam submission will only be accepted as a Word file. PDF submissions will NOT be accepted

Technical requirements

The CP3 Online Exam System will be compatible with all modern browsers on most modern computing platforms. This includes but is not limited to:

  • A stable internet connection (2Mbps or greater)
  • A device capable of downloading and opening PDFs, opening and creating Word, Excel and PowePoint documents.
  • Minimum resolution: 1024 x 768

Browser compatibility

  • Windows: Microsoft Edge 15, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • macOS: Safari 11, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • iPad (9+): Safari, Chrome Microsoft Surface Tablet: Microsoft Edge 15, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • iPhone: Not compatible
  • Android: Tablets running Chrome 64
  • Android phones: Not compatible

Joining instructions

As you will be sitting the exam online, joining instructions for access to the online web platform will be provided to you by email two weeks before the start of the exam session.


You will find a sample exam paper, the relevant advance material, a marking guide and examples of a good answer that would result in a pass and a poor answer that would result in a fail.

These are provided to give you an illustration of the format, and support your preparation for the exam.

We have also creates some FAQs about CP3 that you can read for more information.

Marking process

Each script will be assessed by two markers (an actuary and a non-actuary) who will mark the script according to the marking schedule.

PPD presentation element

The presentation element has been removed from the CP3 examination and is now included in the new PPD regime. However, for students who are going to qualify under the Work-based skills requirements there is a sign-off form you will need to complete.

For those students who are going to qualify under the PPD regime, you will be required to complete the 'Presentation' aspect within the Communication objective. No sign-off form is required.

To find out the details of this, and how you submit evidence, please visit the PPD Presentation page.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.

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Events calendar

  • Pensions Conference 2019

    Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre, 2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market, Bristol, BS1 3AD
    18-19 June 2019
    Spaces available

    Five plenaries and 13 workshops cover current topics and industry trends in the Pension sector with the opportunity to develop your network at the pre-conference evening dinner (18 June).  There is also a day ticket option available for the 19 June. 

  • KSS event – FinTech and The Actuarial Profession

    EY, Atria One, 144 Morrison Street, Edinburgh
    19 June 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk from FinTech Scotland's CEO will explore the mission to create an integrated Fintech ecosystem through provision of funding, support, infrastructure and talent that recognises and responds to the needs of all stakeholders - and the overarching aim for Scotland to be one of the top 5 Fintech global leaders by 2020.

    To book your place, please email 

  • Current Issues in General Insurance (CIGI) 2019

    Inmarsat, 99 City Road, London, EC1Y 1BJ
    19 June 2019

    Fully booked.

    CIGI is a well-established one-day seminar designed to increase awareness and encourage discussion on a variety of topical issues across the general insurance industry. 

    There will be an excellent and diverse line-up of speakers to provide a variety of perspectives and challenge covering technical and professional areas. 

  • Cass Event – New Thinking about Deferred Annuities

    Cass Business School, Executive Education Facilities 200 Aldersgate St, London EC1A 4HD
    25 June 2019

    Spaces available

    Our motivation for discussing this important subject comes from some exciting recent research which has analysed the impact of behavioural factors on the decision to purchase an annuity. This work has shown that behavioural factors can explain the well-known low demand for immediate annuities but this research also identifies an important opportunity in relation to deferred annuities (DA). The research suggests that these factors lead to positive incentives to purchase a DA and that, for longer deferred periods, a DA could be an attractive product for both consumers and insurers.

  • IFoA/SAS Joint Professional Skills Training – Singapore

    Room 903, NTUC Centre, Level 9, One Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018989
    25 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Singapore Actuarial Society (SAS) are organising a joint Professional Skills Training (PST) in Singapore. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Webinar Series: Risk and Investment Conference 2019, 26 June

    These are online webinar events.
    26 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA’s Risk Management and Finance and Investment Boards are delighted to host a series of webinars covering a range of topical and trending topics ranging from climate related risks to Brexit.

  • AGM and Presidential Address 2019 + Volunteer and Member Drinks Reception

    The Hub  Castlehill Edinburgh EH1 2NE
    26 June 2019

    Spaces available

    Notice is hereby given that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the INSTITUTE AND FACULTY OF ACTUARIES will be held at The Hub, Edinburgh on Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 16.30 (Preceded by tea from 16.00) and followed by a PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS given by John Taylor.

  • IFAM event - Actuarial Teachers’ & Researchers’ Conference 2019

    Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics Department of Mathematical  Sciences The University of Liverpool Mathematical Sciences Building Peach Street Liverpool, L69 7ZL
    27 June 2019 - 29 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute for Financial and Actuarial Mathematics (IFAM) at the University of Liverpool is pleased to host the 2019 Actuarial Teachers’ and Researchers’ Conference from 27-28 June 2019. This annual two-day event has been running annually now for many years, each time hosted by a different university, and provides all those interested in actuarial research and education a great opportunity to share their ideas and catch up on the latest developments.

  • IFoA/ASM Joint Professional Skills Training – Kuala Lumpur

    Menara AIA, Auditorium, 99 Jalan Ampang, 50450, Kuala Lumpur
    28 June 2019

    Spaces available

    The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Actuarial Society of Malaysia (ASM) are organising a joint Professional Skills Training (PST) in Kuala Lumpur. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • SIAS: The Impact of Air Pollution on Health and Life Expectancy

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    2 July 2019

    Spaces available

    Air pollution has gained increasing attention lately. Nicola Oliver, head of longevity and mortality research for Medical Intelligence, will discuss not only the impacts of air pollution on health and life expectancy but also how as an industry we should be addressing it.

  • Spaces available

    The actuarial profession has much to offer the world of banking. In this webinar actuaries with experience in various fields of banking will talk about the opportunities there are in banking; describing the actuarial aspects of the work they do as well as other roles within their area of banking.

  • Implications of 2019 IFRS 17 Exposure Draft

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    24 July 2019

    Spaces available

    Towards the end of June, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is expected to publish an Exposure Draft (ED) of limited changes to its insurance contracts standard IFRS 17, effective date 2022. To help IFoA members, the IFoA’s cross-practice Financial Reporting Group (FRG) is hosting an event at Staple Inn covering these developments. 

    For more information on the FRG please visit this webpage

  • KSS event – The Regulatory Perspective

    Deloitte Saltire Court 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2EG
    5 September 2019

    Spaces available

    This KSS talk, presented by the FCA Head of Department in Scotland, will focus on the following 3 main areas:

    • FCA business plan priorities
    • The future of regulation
    • FCA Engagement in Scotland
  • Sessional Research Event - Risk Margin Working Party

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London, WC1V 7QJ
    9 September 2019

    Spaces available

    For life insurers in the UK, the risk margin is one of the most controversial aspects of the Solvency II regime. Following its implementation, the risk margin came under considerable criticism for being too large and too sensitive to interest rate movements. These criticisms are particularly valid for annuity business – such business is of great significance to the national system for retirement provision. This criticism has led to political interest, and the risk margin was a major element of the Treasury Committee inquiry into Solvency II.

  • GIRO Conference 2019

    EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
    24-26 September 2019
    Spaces available

    GIRO is attended annually by over 800 delegates and speakers who are keen to discuss key topics such as Pricing, Reserving, Modelling and the future of the insurance industry. GIRO 2018 was a huge success and we have opened bookings early for what we hope will be another brilliant conference at the EICC in Edinburgh this year. 


  • Life Conference 2019

    The Convention Centre Dublin, Spencer Dock, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1
    20-22 November 2019
    Spaces available

    The Life Conference is the premier event for professionals interested in life insurance.  Offering a wide range of workshops and plenary sessions it’s the perfect opportunity to discover what’s hot and current in life insurance ensuring you get up to date on the latest thinking and innovation whilst meeting and exchanging ideas with a broad range of professionals.

  • Autumn Lecture 2019, London - Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    2 December 2019

    Spaces available

    The IFoA is pleased to announce that this year’s Autumn Lecture will feature the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP as its guest speaker.  Nicky has previously served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women. She now chairs the Treasury Select Committee whose remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, along with all of its agencies and associated bodies.