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Changes to Individual Examination Exemptions

Over the past three years the IFoA has been carrying out a review of all aspects of our learning offer.

Members will have seen many changes already implemented as a result of this programme, including the IFoA’s new curriculum, the recently announced Certificate in Data Science, and improved information and transparency on examinations.  

As a part of this review, the IFoA will be implementing a further significant change that is relevant to those who are student members of the IFoA and also in membership of, and continuing to study with, one or more other actuarial association.

This change affects the IFoA's exemption agreements with six sister actuarial associations.

The IFoA has made the decision that from 31st July 2019 we will cease to award such exemptions to our student members.

We recognise, however, that many of you as student members of the IFoA may be eligible for exemptions from our examinations based on individual subject passes gained from other actuarial associations. Under the existing agreements student members of the IFoA will continue to be eligible for individual subject exemptions up until 31st December 2018.

We are currently reviewing the curricula of these actuarial associations to ensure that they map to the IFoA 2019 curriculum. Once this is completed and agreed, we will update the relevant webpages. While this process is being undertaken we will not accept individual subject exemptions from the 1st January 2019.

Where this process results in a positive mapping of subject matter and examination level, exemptions will reopen based on a new agreement. This agreement will run until 31st December 2021 and will be backdated to 1st January 2019 so that no existing IFoA students suffer any detriment. Student members will then have until 2022 to apply for these exemptions.

We recognise this is a significant change and have developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to help students navigate their way through this change; these will be continuously updated in response to questions from our students.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are you communicating with us now?

We have made a significant strategic change to the way we approach Individual Examination Exemptions from the 31st July 2019. Both existing and potential IFoA student members need to understand the implications of this change for their future programme of study and examinations.

Why are you making this change?

Our arrangements with other  actuarial associations related to exemption agreements needed to be reviewed  to meet contemporary standards of good governance.

Who is this change relevant to?

It is relevant to those who are student members of the IFoA and also in membership of, and continuing to study with, one or more other actuarial associations.

Who are the other actuarial associations in this context?

  • Actuarial Society of South Africa
  • Actuaries Institute, Australia
  • Casualty Actuarial Society
  • China Association of Actuaries
  • Institute of Actuaries of India
  • Society of Actuaries

As an existing IFoA student member how does this decision affect me?

As a student who was registered with the IFoA, or whose student registration was in progress on the 31st July 2019, we recognise that you began your studies with the expectation that you would be eligible for exemptions  based on examinations passed with other actuarial associations. There will therefore be a transition period for you to allow your existing examination passes to be claimed as exemptions from the IFoA, and during the transition period, to sit further examinations with these associations which are eligible for exemptions.

How does this change affect future student members of the IFoA?

We have made the decision that from 17:00 UK time on the 31st July 2019 exemption agreements with other actuarial associations will cease for new members of the IFoA who join on or after this date.

As an IFoA student registered after the 31st July 2019, can any of my study with another actuarial association be recognised?

We will not recognise any individual subjects taken with another actuarial association. But once you have qualified with that association as an associate or fellow and the standards meet the IFoA’s standards, you may be eligible to apply for recognition at that qualification level.

If I am required to change jurisdictions for employment reasons and my new employer requires me to complete my route to qualification with the IFoA, will I lose my subject passes that I completed with one of the six Associations listed on the website?

The IFoA has put in place a safety net to allow for this scenario. Individuals holding passes with any one of these associations, but who are required to complete their route to qualification with the IFoA, will be given the opportunity to have these passes recognised. This accreditation of prior learning option will be on the basis of a candidate demonstrating that their portfolio of learning is equivalent to all or part of the IFoA’s education programme, has been assessed at an identical standard to that of the IFoA, and that there is a genuine professional need for the recognition. Further details will follow.

How long will this transition period last?

The transition period for /FoA student members registered by the 31st July 2019 will last until the 31st December 2021.

What will happen after the 31st December 2021 for such members?

The IFoA will not recognise any examination passes with other actuarial associations achieved by members registered with the IFoA after the 31st December 2021.

How long will I have to complete the application process to claim Individual Exemptions for examinations sat with another actuarial association?

For those students eligible for the transition arrangements they must complete the application process tor claiming exemptions from the IFoA before 31st December 2022.

What are the consequences of not completing an application for exemptions by this date?

If you fail to meet this deadline we will not recognise any outstanding examination passes for the purpose of exemptions

How will IEEs work during the transition period as currently they are all suspended with sister associations?

The IFoA and the other actuarial associations are currently completing the mappings of their new curricula. Where this process results in a positive mapping of subject matter and examination level, exemption agreements will re-open based on a new agreement which will run until 31st December 2021. This agreement will be backdated to 1st January 2019 so that no existing IFoA students suffer any detriment.

Why are you engaged in a continuous improvement review related to your learning offer?

We recognise that the actuarial profession is moving at a pace and the traditional approach to evolving our prequalification education is no longer agile enough. It must evolve at a faster pace to ensure that our qualifiers have the required competences tor a successful career in actuarial science. We must also ensure that there is an appropriate Lifelong Learning offer so that qualified members have access to the most contemporary learning appropriate to all stages of their career and experience.

What improvements have already been introduced as a result of your review?

Many changes have already been implemented including the IFoA's new curriculum, the introduction of Personal & Professional Development, the recently announced Certificate in Data Science, and the increasingly transparent information on examinations offered to our students. You can expect further innovations as part of this ongoing review.

Are other actuarial associations aware of this change?

We have been in discussion with the relevant associations, who have expressed no significant concerns.