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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, questions and assess the length and difficulty, we call these positions Guinea Pigs.  The Guinea Pigs 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 fulfil 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 endeavour 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 a Guinea Pig, can I automatically move to a Marker role?

Guinea Pigs 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

  • Autumn Lecture 2020: Professor Elroy Dimson

    Online webinar
    14 October 2020

    Spaces available

    Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term.

  • GIRO Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Available to watch globally in November.
    02-13 November 2020
    Spaces available

    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area

  • Life Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Online
    16 November 2020 - 27 November 2020

    Spaces available

    This year's Life Conference has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the life insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's website.

  • Spaces available

    The webinar will discuss the challenges and opportunities schemes face in evaluating end game options, choosing a target state and understanding the impact this strategic decision could have on member outcomes long after the “end state” is reached. Adolfo, Kevin and Rhian bring over 60 years of experience in the industry and a variety of perspectives as scheme actuary, covenant adviser, trustee, de-risking adviser and insurer.

  • Spaces available

    Cash-flow driven investing is a game-changer for DB pension funds navigating their end-game. Suitable for sponsors who want to reduce risks on their balance sheets. And for trustees, it shifts the focus to providing greater certainty of returns, managing funding level volatility and ensuring they have enough income to pay cash-flow requirements.

  • Spaces available

    Patrick Kennedy, Partner at Gateley Legal and Founding Director of Entrust (a leading professional pensions trustee company), will be delivering an update on the latest legal developments during the course of 2020. With both a pensions legal perspective and over 25 years of trustee service, Patrick will seek to highlight how the letter of the law has continued to evolve against the backdrop of a difficult and challenging year

  • Spaces available

    The talk will provide an understanding of the priorities and relationships between deficit reduction contributions, in the context of wider scheme funding, and different types of value outflow from the employer based on the working party’s recently published report.