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Reflective Practice Discussions

The CPD Scheme sets out that Members should participate in a Reflective Practice Discussion with an Appropriate Person every year. Members may also be selected for a Reflective Practice Discussion with the IFoA.

A reflective practice discussion is a conversation in which you reflect on what your learning needs and objectives were for the year and the outcomes of your CPD activities. You consider what you learned and whether you fully addressed your needs. The two way exchange may also help to identify any gaps in your learning and allow for suggestions of further topics to explore. It’s also an opportunity to talk about your development, future plans, ambitions, and goals.

More information is now available in this document on the concept of reflection and the practicalities of the discussions, including a list of potential questions. 

Who should I have the discussion with?

The Scheme requires you to have the discussion with an 'Appropriate Person', being “An individual identified by the Member, who understands the nature of the Member’s Actuarial Work, their development and their Learning Outcomes. Such an individual could be a peer, a colleague, a line manager or a volunteer of the IFoA, amongst others.” 

The person need not be a member of the IFoA nor an actuary. The key is that they understand your work, where your development might take you, and what the learning outcomes of your CPD activities might be. There needs to be trust between the two parties, a willingness to be open and a genuine interest in embracing the discussion.  For those that cannot identify such an individual we have set up a pool of volunteers that we can put you in touch with for this purpose.

What does a reflective discussion look like?

Please watch the 2 short clips below to show you what a reflective practice discussion might look/sound like. In both videos, Melissa is played by Ji-Hyang Lee and Bob by Dermot Grenham, both of whom are IFoA Members and sit on the Scottish Board.

Reflective practice discussion role play video  – part 1

Melissa is a Scheme Actuary. Having completed her CPD for the year under the new CPD Scheme, she has now arranged with Bob to have her first reflective practice discussion. Bob is an actuary who volunteered for the pool of ‘Appropriate Persons’. Melissa got in touch with him, considering him to be an ‘Appropriate Person’ with whom she could have this discussion with. It appears that Melissa may not have engaged fully with the ethos of the new CPD Scheme.

Reflective practice discussion role play video – part 2

Melissa and Bob meet again, a year later. Bob offered up some suggestions to Melissa on how she could be better approaching her CPD, giving more thought and consideration to her needs and taking her activities a little more seriously. Melissa took the advice on board and has made some improvements. Let’s see how this year’s reflective practice discussion goes for Melissa…

When should I have my reflective practice discussion?

The discussion can take place any time after you have completed your CPD activities for the year. This will allow you to reflect on all your activities and whether you met your learning objectives for the year.

If you complete your 2020/21 CPD on 30 August 2021, for example, you should have the discussion after that, even if it takes place after 1 September in the 2021/22 CPD year.

IFoA reflective practice discussions

A selection of members will also be chosen to participate in a discussion with IFoA executive staff to reflect upon their learning and development during the CPD year, the outcomes of their CPD activities and their plans for future development.

The discussion will take place by telephone or videoconference at a mutually agreed time with a member of a trained, specialist team.

The IFoA is still to determine how it will select individuals for such discussion and about the frequency. It is unlikely that all members will be selected for such a discussion every year.

What happens after the discussion?

The IFoA will stay in touch with you, to offer up further support and assistance with a view to helping you continue your development and maintain your competence.

When would the reflective practice discussions with the IFoA start?

The discussions will start from September 2021. A trial of these discussions, which will allow us to tailor the process for IFoA members, will begin in 2020. 

Contact Details

If you have any enquires about CPD, please contact the Membership Team

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

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