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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

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, we will discuss how cause-of-death data from the Office for National Statistics can help us to understand how inequalities arise at the all-cause level. The key to understanding mortality inequality is to think about the chain that connects risk factors, relative risks, and cause-of-death mortality through to all-cause mortality.

  • Spaces available

    The importance of biodiversity for finance, business and policy is being increasingly recognised. While many studies highlight the overall economic impact that biodiversity loss could have, it is much more difficult to quantify and understand the particular impact that is may have on individual businesses or communities. The management and measurement of these risks is a field where actuaries are well placed to contribute.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • GIRO 2021 Webinar Series

    Online
    8 November 2021 - 19 November 2021
    Spaces available

    Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas and new research across the general insurance sector.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.