You are here

Changes made in 2020 to the Professional Skills Training regime

31 December 2020

The IFoA is committed to supporting our members in attaining the high levels of professionalism that assures our profession’s global reputation.

Our Professional Skills Team and IFoA members have been working together to deliver planned improvements to the IFoA Professional Skills Training regime. The changes are designed to support a more flexible learning approach and to ensure we deliver the appropriate professionalism training at the right time in members’ careers, in a way that better fits around members’ busy working lives.

How is the IFoA changing its Professional Skills Training regime?

New Stage 1 Professionalism Course

We are replacing the current Stage 1 Online Professionalism Awareness Test (OPAT) with a 4 part modular e-learning course.

The course content will cover material included in the previous Stage 2 Professional Skills Course (PSC), so that Student members will benefit from developing this knowledge early on in their actuarial careers. 

The new Stage 1 Professionalism Course can be accessed at any time of your choosing, but must be completed before you can apply to sit CB3 Business Management Exam.  The online course should take around 3 to 4 hours to complete.  Computer based assessments are included but an unlimited number of attempts are permitted. 

New Stage 2 Online Professionalism Course

We are replacing the current Stage 2 Professional Skills Course with a new Stage 2 Online Professionalism Course.   

The course will build on the knowledge acquired in Stage 1, with a format based around discussion of case studies with input from specialist ethicist and actuary facilitators. We have responded to member feedback, condensing the course into a shorter time period and focussing the course content on developing advanced ethical reasoning skills with expert input. The new course case studies will be more accessible and globally relevant as we move away from a practice specific approach.

The new Stage 2 Online Professionalism course will take place over a 1 week period, with pre-reading of case studies to be undertaken and online contributions to be made in advance of the course beginning. The course must be completed, either before you qualify as an Associate, or within 6 years of joining the IFoA.

New course fees

In order for these new courses to be sustainable we will need to charge a course fee for each stage. 

There will be a charge for each of these new style courses from 1 July 2020. A reduced rate fee will be available, for members currently on a reduced rate membership subscription fee, consistent with our pricing structure for other elements of the qualification. 

The fees will be:

Course

Full rate

Reduced rate

Stage 1 Professionalism Course

£75.00

£55.00

Stage 2 Online Professionalism Course

£150.00

£105.00

Who will the new Professional Skills regime apply to?

The new arrangements will apply to all Students who join the IFoA on or after 1 July 2020.

There will also be transitional arrangements for Students and newly qualified Fellows who joined before 1 July 2020.

Students who join the IFoA on or after 1 July 2020

  • Student members who join on or after 1 July 2020 must complete the new Stage 1 Professionalism Course before they can apply to sit the CB3 exam.
  • Student members who join the IFoA on or after 1 July 2020 must complete both the new Stage 1 and Stage 2 Professionalism Courses before they will be eligible to qualify as an Associate
  • Student members who join on or after 1 July 2020, who are not eligible to qualify as an Associate within 6 years of joining the IFoA, must complete the new Stage 1 and Stage 2 Professionalism Courses within 6 years of joining the IFoA.

Students who join the IFoA under the Transfer of Prior Learning (TPL) process

  • Student members who are accepted under the Transfer of Prior Learning (TPL) process, on or after 1 July 2020, must complete the new Stage 1 Professionalism Course within 6 months from the date of their admission to the IFoA.

What are the transitional arrangements for Students and newly qualified Fellows?

Students who joined the IFoA before 1 July 2020

  • Students who joined the IFoA before 1 July 2020, who have not already completed the relevant Professional Skills course (Stage 1 and/ or Stage 2) will be required to complete the relevant Stage of the new Professional Skills course.
  • All students are required to complete Professional Skills Stage 1 course before taking the CB3 Business Management examination

Newly qualified Fellows who joined as Student members before 1 January 2019

  • Newly qualified Fellows, who joined as Student members before 1 January 2019, and have not yet completed the Stage 2 Professional Skills course will be required to complete the new Stage 2 Professional Skills course within one year of transferring to Fellowship.

Members who have completed (current) Stage 1 and are required to complete the new Stage 2 under the transitional arrangements will also have the option to do the new Stage 1 at a time of their choosing, should they wish to do so. This will be given to eligible members free of charge due to the substantial shift of content from the former Stage 2 PSC to the new Stage 1 Professionalism Course. If this applies to you please contact education.services@actuaries.org.uk to book your free place.

Withdrawal of current Professional Skills courses

The current Online Professionalism Awareness Test (OPAT) will be withdrawn from 1 July 2020.

An additional, final Stage 2 Online Professional Skills Course will begin on 6 July 2020, to accommodate demand on a first come first served basis before the new regime is implemented. This course is now fully booked.

For further information please contact professional.skills@actuaries.org.uk.

Filter or search events

Start date
E.g., 04/12/2021
End date
E.g., 04/12/2021

Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    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

    Actuaries need to take action now - but how?  With a focus on climate change, this session will provide informed insight to enable you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, demonstrate how it will impact advice to your clients, and highlight prospective opportunities for actuaries within pensions and wider fields.

  • Spaces available

    A joint webinar from the CMI Mortality Projections and SAPS committees that will cover: recent mortality experience in the SAPS dataset and the general population; the CMI Model benchmarking survey; the MPC 2021 interim update paper; plans for CMI_2021; and initial thoughts on possible "S4" Series pensioner mortality tables.

    The webinar will be presented by Cobus Daneel (Chair of Mortality Projections Committee) and Matthew Fletcher (Chair of SAPS Committee).

  • Spaces available

    Pension scams have become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, and Trustees have increased responsibilities to protect members, which means that actuaries need to be in a position to provide advice in this area. Our specialist panel will include a professional trustee, an IFA and head administrator, two of whom are members of PASA.

  • Spaces available

    The Covid-19 pandemic creates a challenge for actuaries analysing experience data that includes mortality shocks.  To address this we present a methodology for modelling portfolio mortality data that offers local flexibility in the time dimension.  The approach permits the identification of seasonal variation, mortality shocks, and late-reported deaths.  The methodology also allows actuaries to measure portfolio-specific mortality improvements.  Results are given for a mature annuity portfolio in the UK

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, the authors of the 2021 Brian Hey prize winning paper present a new deep learning model called the LocalGLMnet. While deep learning models lead to very competitive regression models, often outperforming classical statistical models such as generalized linear models, the disadvantage is that deep learning solutions are difficult to interpret and explain, and variable selection is not easily possible.

  • Spaces available

    The dominant underwriting approach is a mix between rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing only simple applications. The remaining applications are reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This research aims to construct predictive machine learning models for complicated applications that cannot be processed by rule-based engines.

  • Spaces available

    With the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requiring a long term strategy from Trustees and sponsors, choosing a pensions endgame strategy has become even more critical. However, it is important that the endgame options available are adequately assessed before choosing one. With an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative options available, this decision may not be straightforward.