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Educational opportunities (paid): frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries has a range of paid opportunities that both members and non-members can get involved in. We have opportunities for individuals starting out in their actuarial career, such as testing and providing feedback on exam papers; to more senior roles such as a Chief Examiner, who oversees the subject team and development of exam related materials or a partnership role such as Independent Examiner who ensures the quality of our partnership with universities meet the IFoA examination standards.

 

Quality teamWe would like to introduce ourselves, the team has five members who are responsible for numerous processes throughout the student journey. One of our biggest areas of responsibility is managing our self-employed contractors ensuring the recruitment, induction and training is delivered.  We work closely with our colleagues in the Assessment Team to manage this process effectively and to ensure our supporters from around the globe are given an opportunity to get involved. We are keen to hear from individuals with the relevant skills and experience to take on a particular role. We welcome expressions of interest throughout the year, however we do have two main recruitment periods, December and May which is one of our busiest periods.

The Quality team

Find out more about our roles

We have put together some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to provide more information about our roles.
 

View our paid opportunities now
 

FAQs


Application process

I have never been involved in the examination process before and I don’t know where to start?

We are here to assist you with any questions you may have.  Many newly qualified actuaries assist with the review of the examination papers by reviewing the content, grammar, and questions and assessing the length and difficulty, we call these positions Exam Test Candidates.  The Exam Test Candidates play a very important role to ensure that the paper is fit for purpose.

Review our supporting information document for full details

I am still a student member, can I mark the examination papers?

These roles play a key part in the marking of our examinations, and therefore student members of the IFoA or other Actuarial Associations will not be considered for these positions. Once qualified and transferred as an Associate or Fellow then your application can be considered and we would love to hear from you.

How do I register my expression of interest (EOI) for a role?

Fill in our EOI form to register your interest

Do I need my own laptop and is internet access required?

The IFoA does not provide a laptop or computer, you should ensure that you have access to the equipment and that all material can remain confidential and secure. Stable Internet access is required to fulfill the IFoA Paid Opportunity roles.


Marker applicants 

What training will I receive if I apply to be a Marker?

All applicants will be required to undertake a test exercise.  You will be asked to mark some sample scripts and be given adequate time to complete the task. All material will be made available using an online platform.  All exercises will be reviewed and if successful you will receive a Letter of Engagement which sets out the terms of the role.

What are the technical requirements, do I need access to particular software?

The majority of the student exam scripts and related material are delivered via a secure online platform.  This means to access them you will need a reliable internet connection. You should have Microsoft Excel and Word as well as Adobe reader installed. Some marking is carried out using an eMarking platform, the technical requirements are within the task and person document.

Will I automatically be selected to mark exam papers?

We endeavor to allocate scripts to all available Markers in each session; we cannot, however, guarantee this as the number of available scripts is dependent on the number of student entries. We will always contact you for your own availability beforehand.

How many scripts will you ask me to mark?

Script allocation will vary depending on the number of examination entries received.  Usually, you will be asked to mark one ‘load’ a load is approximately 100 scripts.

Do I have to be available at the same time every year?

The exam sessions are twice a year, in April and September.  You will be contacted before each session to check your availability. Therefore, you would need to be available after the session if a Marker, Examiner and Chief Examiner and before the session if you are a Chief Examiner or Examiner as these roles are involved in the writing of the paper.  The IFoA will usually allow up to 4 weeks post exam for marking of papers.


CPD

Can I claim CPD for the role?

You can claim CPD hours for the marking/scrutiny meetings you are asked to attend. The Membership team are responsible for CPD hours and any queries should be directed to them.


Fees paid and contract length

How much will I be paid for the role?

The remuneration for each position varies depending on the role and work required. The fees are outlined in the Schedule of Service which is provided upon successful appointment. We understand that the fees paid do not reflect the market rate for Actuaries.  We do however recognise the dedication and inspiration to help others on their journey as Actuaries.

When will I get paid?

Payment will be made once the session is complete; this is usually after the issue or results. Detailed information is available on the individual schedule of services for each position. You will however be provided with an invoice template to use.

Do I pay tax?

Any payment received from the IFoA in relation to work undertaken should be declared as income, each individual’s tax arrangements vary and any advice should be sought from HMRC or your own tax adviser (from the country in which you reside).  We are unable to give advice on tax issues.

If I apply for a role as an Examiner, do I need to do any form of testing?

Applicants will be asked to write a specimen question on the subject chosen; it may also be necessary to undertake a test marking exercise for those who have no marking experience.

How long is my contract with the IFoA?

The tenure of the position is usually 2-3 years, we will, however, discuss extensions to this with individuals at the time.


Role progression

I am currently an Exam Test Candidate, can I automatically move to a Marker role?

Exam Test Candidates do not automatically become Markers and should apply for available roles by completing the application form.

I am already a Marker, how do I progress to the Examiner position?

All available positions will always be advertised on the Paid Opportunities page, to become an Examiner, you should have already gained marking experience. The Examiners write the exam papers with a small team and they also undertake any review of marks awarded by the first two Markers.


About the teams

Who are the Quality team?

The Quality team deal with the recruitment of paid and some volunteer positions, they are the first point of contact during the recruitment process. The Quality team work closely with the Assessment team; both teams are based in Oxford.

Who are the Assessment team?

The Assessment team work closely with the examination teams for all subjects. They are responsible for the relationship between the IFoA and the subject teams. They allocate the number of scripts for marking and arrange the marking and scrutiny meetings.

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.

  • Spaces available

    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

  • Spaces available

    This session is for new candidates and existing candidates where we will be discussing the practical steps you need to take leading up your exam and on the day. We will be discussing how to testing the online exam platform, downloading and uploading your paper and key information from the Exam Handbook.

    The exam webinar is for candidates, new to IFoA exams and returning candidates, sitting in the September 2022 exam session.

  • Spaces available

    The role of Non-Executive Directors has become increasingly challenging and critical over the past few years.

    Big picture thinking, Governance knowledge, Independent mindset, Ambassador potential and Energy and commitment: these are the essential skills sought in a successful NED, according to the Chartered Governance Institute (UK & Ireland).

    In parallel, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly key and used by investors to measure the sustainability and ethical impact of investing in an organisation.

  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    In the UK, the idea of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes is gaining more attention with the launch of the Royal Mail CDC scheme, the first of its kind in the UK. Our recent research on CDC plans investigates the sources of the putative benefits of CDC schemes: the smoothing of pensions for members.  Using an attribution analysis to burrow into the scheme design, the reason for the smoothing of members' pensions is explained and understood.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Social Care Agenda

    11 October 2022

    Spaces available

    Social care reform has long been on the to-do list for successive governments over the last two decades. In February, the government’s proposed reforms to adult social care [including cap on care costs] was published. Against this backdrop of funding promise and rising National Insurance taxation, in this session we will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact of future demand for care services and what role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding in other countries where public-private partnership works.

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.

  • GIRO Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool  
    21 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
    Spaces available

    We are delighted to announce the return of GIRO as an in-person conference, giving you an opportunity to connect with actuaries in your practice area. Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the General Insurance sector.

  • Life Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP
    23 November 2022 - 25 November 2022
    Spaces available

    Life Conference returns as an in-person conference in 2022, giving you an opportunity to connect with your peers and fellow actuaries in your sector, in person. You will also hear leading experts discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Mortality and morbidity risk varies by variables such as age, sex and smoking. In traditional actuarial experience analysis, these variables, and certain combinations thereof can be explored. However, with the wealth of data now available it is becoming increasingly challenging to identify the key drivers of experience and account for the interaction between different variables. A univariate approach often compares apples and pears, for example males are more likely to smoke and have larger policies than females. Likewise, variable interactions are missed unless specifically included.