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APS X2: Review of Actuarial Work – new materials published following post-implementation review

APS X2: Review of Actuarial Work came into force in July 2015. It introduced a cross-practice approach to work review, requiring  all members to use their judgment to determine whether to apply work review to actuarial work and in particular to consider whether it is appropriate and proportionate for such work review to be in the form of independent peer review. APS X2 is accompanied by non-mandatory guidance which is intended to assist Members in deciding when and how to apply a review process.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, the IFoA undertook a post-implementation review of APS X2, looking at how the standard is working in practice and whether it is effective and achieving its objectives.

As part of the review, the IFoA spoke to a variety of members including Scheme Actuaries, members working in investment consultancy, those providing expert witness work, members working for Local Government Pension Schemes and those working within insurance companies.

Overall, the review found that APS X2 is understood, and being utilised and implemented appropriately. All members interviewed understood the scope of the standard and welcomed its principles-based approach, as opposed to a more prescriptive form of review.

The review highlighted some areas in which members might benefit from some additional support on the practical implementation of APS X2. As a result, the IFoA has worked with volunteer members to develop additional materials and a refreshed dedicated webpage which contains a host of resource material which aims to help members deepen their understanding of the requirements.

New materials

We encourage all members to look at the new materials, which focus on the following areas:

  • Templates, which are important in the running of some types of actuarial work. Members are encouraged to review any templates regularly to ensure they are operating appropriately, and to ensure that data input is accurate and appropriately reviewed.
  • In multi-disciplinary teams there may be junior actuaries who find it difficult to access suitable individuals to undertake reviews. It is important to consider the work review requirements of employees in structuring teams.
  • Members should remember that is it their responsibility to exercise professional judgment about whether work should be reviewed. Even if the organisation in which a Member works has a policy not to undertake work review for particular pieces of work, the actuary must exercise their own judgement in applying APS X2.
  • Work Review or independent peer review should always be capable of having an impact on the eventual work product. Cold file review is not enough to satisfy the requirements of APS X2.
  • Where APS X2 is incorporated into organisation-wide policies it is good practice to review internal implementation to ensure that it is operating as the organisation expects.  

Where can I find out more?

You can access the full suite of guidance and educational materials on the APS X2 pages.

If you have any questions about the materials or APS X2 then please contact the IFoA’s Regulation Team.