Welcome to our roundup of the key regulatory news from 2020.
Below you will find a round-up of the key regulatory news stories from this year, which includes the publication of new standards, consultations, reviews and more.
New CPD Scheme
The new CPD Scheme came into force on 1 September 2020. The Scheme is a simpler, modern approach to CPD that seeks to better support IFoA Members in carrying out more meaningful learning.
Members have to do fifteen hours of CPD activities, including two hours of Professional Skills Training, and a broader range of activities can be counted towards these requirements.
Every year Members have to take part in a reflective practice discussion with an ‘appropriate person’ and some Members will also be selected for such a discussion with the IFoA. These two way exchanges will allow Members to consider their learning outcomes, their future development, and look at what support would be useful to achieve their goals.
The Scheme applies to all IFoA Members except those working in the organisations that adopt the QAS CPD Scheme and those with student membership who follow PPD instead. Exemption from the Scheme is available to those that do not carry out technical actuarial work and are eligible for non-practising status. To apply for the status please complete the online form.
More information, including an example of a reflective practice discussion, is available on our website.
Actuarial Monitoring Scheme (AMS) Thematic Review Programme
During 2020 two experienced actuaries, David Gordon and Alan Marshall, joined the Actuarial Monitoring Scheme team and work progressed on the IFoA’s first thematic reviews:
- Pensions: actuarial factors used to calculate benefits in UK pension schemes
- Involvement of actuaries in pricing of UK home and motor insurance
In December the team published its first Thematic Review Report – Pensions: actuarial factors used to calculate benefits in UK pension schemes. The report highlighted the very good standard of advice being provided by scheme actuaries while recommending improvements on how current standards are being met, and potential further research and benchmarking for commutation factors.
Additionally, the team announced topics for future reviews. Topics are chosen in areas identified as being of significant public interest, as well as having the potential to provide useful insights into the work of IFoA Members. The Actuarial Review Team will undertake reviews in the following areas:
- Climate-related risk
- Equity release mortgage product design and pricing
- Actuaries as experts in narrower fields (covering a number of areas including Funeral Trusts)
- Corporate pensions advice
New Professionalism courses introduced
In July 2020 we introduced two new online Professionalism courses to replace the former Stage 1 OPAT and Stage 2 Professional Skills Course. These new courses were developed with input from the Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre at Leeds University and utilise a variety of media to ensure the content is engaging as well as relevant. The new Stage 1 Professionalism Course is self-access and consists of 4 modules, each with a computer-based assessment and the new Stage 2 Online Professionalism Course focuses on facilitated discussion of case studies led by a combination of actuaries and ethicists.
Publication of 2020/2021 Professional Skills materials
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we have adopted a phased approach to publishing new Professional Skills content to help Members meet their Professional Skills Training requirements under the Scheme. The first release of content was published on 27 November 2020 and you can access these resources on our website. As restrictions on filming are eased, we will be producing more video case studies with wider cast and location options. A further two releases are planned throughout 2021.
A Toolkit with comprehensive resources and downloadable links to the first phase is available on request from the Professional Skills Team. The Toolkit will be updated as new material is developed.
In addition, we hosted two Professional Skills webinars in May and August 2020 which are available to view on the IFoA’s website.
Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS)
The QAS accredited two new organisations during 2020, both in Malaysia.
- Nicholas Actuarial Solutions
- AIA (Malaysia)
The QAS CPD Scheme launched in September 2020, this is an outcomes (as opposed to hours) based scheme exclusively available for QAS accredited organisations.
The annual SQAR Forum (for QAS representatives from all of our accredited organisations) was replaced by a series of webinars because of Covid-19 restrictions. These will continue for the foreseeable future and it has been fantastic that QAS colleagues from across the globe have been able to take part in these exclusive events.
We are delighted to be able to continue to offer remote accreditation assessments as a response to the impact of COVID-19 on working practices. We have a variety of processes in place to support this including secure file sharing.
More information about the Scheme and the other benefits of membership of QAS are explained in our FAQs.
If you are interested in having a discussion about QAS, or have any questions please contact the QAS team who will be delighted to assist.
Consultation on revised Actuarial Profession Standard (APS) P1
The IFoA launched a consultation on proposals to introduce a revised mandatory standards APS P1 on ‘Duties and Responsibilities of Members undertaking work in relation to pension schemes’. The current APS P1 sets out specific ethical requirements, that apply in addition to the Actuaries’ Code, for Members advising on certain pensions work. The consultation closed on 7 January 2021. The IFoA is now considering all of the consultation responses, with a view to publishing a feedback document in due course.
For further information, please find the consultation package on our website.
APS X5: Compensation for Professional Shortcoming introduced
The IFoA published a new standard APS X5 which came into force on 20 November 2020.
APS X5 requires Members who are Principals in organisations that provide actuarial work to external clients, to have in place measures relating to compensation of clients, or alternative arrangements relating to liability, for loss caused by professional shortcomings.
The new standard replaced GN30: Compensation for Professional Shortcomings and implements broadly the same requirements. GN30 was withdrawn when APS X5 came into force.
The withdrawal of GN30 and introduction of APS X5 was consulted upon in early 2020, with the feedback being available on our website.
Risk Alert on COVID-19
In April 2020, the IFoA issued a Risk Alert on points for actuaries to consider in relation to COVID-19.
It aimed to help bring to the attention of Members some specific issues that were identified that they may need to consider in the immediate term as a result of COVID-19.
Download the risk alert (PDF).
JFAR Risk Perspective 2019-20
The Joint Forum for Actuarial Regulation (JFAR) – a collaboration among UK regulators involved in actuarial work (including the IFoA) - published an update of the Risk Perspective in June 2020. The update identified eight ‘hotspots’ intended to raise awareness of the risks to high quality actuarial work. JFAR introduced a new ‘systemic risk’ where they considered the potential impacts of the current pandemic on actuarial work. The analysis also used the Actuarial Risk Identification Architecture (ARIA) methodology to identify climate related risk as the top hotspot.
Get in contact
If you have any queries regarding the regulation of the profession or your professional requirements, please do get in touch.