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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

  • Spaces available

    This webinar is intended to raise awareness of the shifting landscape of climate liability risk and what it means for actuaries, including how it impacts on their professional and legal duties. Presentations will cover the legal risks around climate change for investment consultants and actuaries advising DB pension schemes as well as consideration of climate risk for insurers.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change risks are likely to become material for many risk management and investment decisions. This will require to incorporate explicitly climate change in the tools used for risk management and investment decisions. At present existing climate change tools are often too crude for decision making.

  • Current Issues in Life Assurance (CILA) Webinar series

    Webinar Series
    15 July 2020 - 3 August 2020

    Spaces available

    CILA is one of the pre-eminent events in the annual 'Life' calendar. Due to COVID-19 we are running the programme as a series of webinars covering topics aimed at practicing life actuaries from life offices, consulting firms and other employers of actuaries and those who work in or advise on, the life assurance market in the UK and Europe.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    For annuity writers, a key challenge is the need to fund capital-consumptive new business strain (NBS) as a consequence of writing the business intended to fund future distributions.

    Reinsurance, investment strategy and capital provision all have roles to play. Here, we:

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    Mortality in 2020 is now dominated by one thing, although – in our future-focused world – the pandemic is just one of many mortality considerations.  In this session, three well-regarded mortality/longevity specialists provide an overview of:

  • Spaces available

    Because of Covid-19, forecasters predict a severe recession in 2020, followed by a V or U-shaped recovery. This impacts both individuals and companies. However, compared to previous recessions, the impact on banks of higher credit losses should be mitigated to some extent by government actions. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This session will provide an overview of the Population Health Management Working Party's research including defining impactability and impactability modelling, discussing some examples of specific modelling approaches, considering the practical challenges across the NHS as well as wider public perception and ethical issues.

  • Spaces available

    Many actuaries consider career opportunities in the Finance and Investment practice area after having started off in more traditional actuarial roles such as valuations, capital management or pricing. This session is aimed at helping actuaries to better understand roles in Finance and Investment and how they can fine tune their skills to pursue such careers.

  • Mortality and Longevity Webinar Series 2020

    Webinar Series
    22 July 2020 - 10 August 2020

    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 22nd July.

    This webinar series will provide topical and practical updates and discussion on the latest thinking and innovations in mortality and longevity, and is designed to be very accessible to a broad range of experience.

     

  • Spaces available

    Predictive risk assessment and risk stratification models based on postcode-level consumer classification are widely used for life insurance underwriting. However, these are socio-economic models not directly related to health information. Similar to precision medicine, precision life insurance should aim to tailor policy pricing/reserving to the individual health characteristics of each client.

  • Spaces available

    As insurers look towards their internal model calibration process for 2020 final year financials and statutory returns, actuaries need to deal with the complexity of adequately modelling their business in 2020 and beyond. This discussion will look at what poor model selection and calibration could look like – using inappropriate historical data; using incorrect 2020 mortality data; inappropriate stochastic model recalibration (or lack thereof). What about being prudent vs setting a best estimate? How do you allow for tail risks during a tail risk event?  This is the fourth webinar in the Extreme Mortality Events series presented by Chair of the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Colin Dutkiewicz. 

  • Spaces available

    This webinar has been re-scheduled from its original date of the 1st July. Although ESG has many buyers across the asset allocation community, from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds, it still hasn’t found its place within the core asset management strategy desks where the money is actually invested. The problem as well as the opportunity is Fixed Income. Plenty of strategies exist for incorporating ESG within Equities, from screening, integration to a combination. ESG has picked up relatively quickly within Equities with rating,indices created using ESG factors. This talk will discuss how we price a quantifiable ESG credit risk premium and make it alpha worthy in a strategy. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and demonstrate how insurance could help people address their concerns.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    This talk will look at a range of such techniques (e.g. mass lapse risk transfer, contract boundaries, risk margin relief, non-standard longevity risk transfer) that have been applied or considered by UK and EU insurers, and the pros and cons of each.

     

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance.

    The International Association of Insurance Supervisors announced on 14 November 2019 the adoption of v2.0 of the global Insurance Capital Standard (ICS) which will undergo confidential reporting for 5 years starting from 2020. This session will include specific experiences from Legal and General (L&G) as well as global industry perspectives from EY.

  • Spaces available

    Current Issues in Life Assurance

    This session will cover the PRA supervisory statement on financial impacts related to climate change, industry insights into PRA climate risk business plans, examples climate risk strategy setting out key workstreams and activity steps for successful execution, an overview of a climate risk strategy execution timeline and the future.     

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Using new and unique research and data from the UK, US, Sweden and China, this presentation investigates how consumers use the internet through their insurance journey and analyzes the role culture and generation plays in their online behaviour. We use this research to show the online landscape for insurance sales in the UK and suggest ways to shape new products and effectively engage with the consumer who is buying them.

  • Spaces available

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Gen Re Life/Health Research and Development, Dr John O'Brien, will discuss the impacts of Gene Modification for life/health insurance. 

  • Spaces available

    As an industry, it has been important to be able to look to the future to identify the next quantifiable risk. In this session, I will explore some of the less tangible, but none-the-less concerning risks to future health, such as the health risks associated with exposure to pesticides, ingestion of plastic in the food chain, and the hazards of indoor air pollution through exposure to volatile organic compounds.

  • Spaces available

    The working party will help the industry to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes and excess mortality is considered, including the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. 

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC.