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Requirements for IFoA non-executive directors

This page outlines the central regulatory requirements of the IFoA Member in the context of NED work.

This page and the associated documents are part of a series of resources designed to support IFoA members undertaking NED work.

Requirements for IFoA NEDs

General NED duties

The hallmarks of any NED are that an individual will be competent to take on the role and act honestly and reasonably at all times. The following attributes are demonstrative of the traits valued for NED work:

  • Leadership
  • Effective scrutiny
  • Hold the executive accountable
  • Challenge the business strategy
  • Scrutinise executive proposals from a broad stakeholder perspective
  • Show teamwork with fellow Board members.

These high-level attributes provide a basis for more specific skill sets that may be reflected in the law applicable to your area of work.

For example, the general statutory duties of a UK director are to:

  • act within the companies’ powers
  • promote the success of the company
  • exercise independent judgement
  • employ reasonable care, skill and diligence
  • avoid conflicts of interest
  • decline benefits from third parties
  • declare any and all interests in transactions with the company

IFoA regulatory framework requirements

IFoA NEDs’ awareness of professional ethics and public interest issues helps to set the ‘tone at the top’ as a cultural influencer and complements Board responsibilities relating to good governance and corporate social responsibility.

The  regulatory requirements expected of all IFoA Members, including those carrying out NED work, are set out in the IFoA regulatory framework. See the upholding standards section and our Regulatory Policy. Our Professional Support Service is available to help support you in understanding how the framework applies to you, in case of doubt. Supporting guidance explaining and illustrating this framework are generally available on this section of the IFoA website. These resources do not impose additional regulatory requirements.

The framework comprises:

The Actuaries’ Code

Like most professional bodies in the UK and throughout the world, the IFoA’s professional code of conduct, the Actuaries’ Code, forms the core of its regulatory framework. The Actuaries' Code is the foundation for trust in our Members. The Actuaries’ Code applies to a Member’s conduct as an individual, as assessed by a reasonable person (an ‘objective view’). Members are expected to comply with the Actuaries’ Code at all times.

The Actuaries’ Code sets out principles of ethical conduct. These are:

  • Integrity
  • Competence and care
  • Impartiality
  • Compliance with the law and regulatory requirements 
  • Communication
  • Speaking up

The IFoA considers compliance with the Actuaries’ Code integral to managing risk in a NED role.

Actuarial Professional Standards

IFoA Actuarial Professional Standards (APSs) apply to all Members. Some of those APSs are practice-area specific and/or apply to a specialist role or area of work. Other APSs have broader application (‘cross-practice’ standards are denoted with an ‘X’). Cross-practice standards are applicable to all Members, but there are no additional APSs bespoke to NED work. This reflects the body of existing legislation covering NED requirements and the IFoA’s commitment to proportionate regulation. 

Technical Actuarial Standards (TASs)

Technical Actuarial Standards produced by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) apply to IFoA Members carrying out Technical Actuarial Work (as defined) that is within UK Geographic Scope. 

Information about the TASs, their regulatory scope within the UK and how regulatory responsibility attaches to IFoA Members is on the FRC website. TASs apply to our Members and should be actively considered. TASs will not often however apply in the ordinary cause of business of a NED whose role is routinely that of a user. The FAQs and case study guidance discuss the relevance of specific TASs to NED work.

Supporting guidance on both APSs and TASs is available on our website. You can also contact the Professional Support Service with any queries.

Lifelong Learning and NEDs

Members of the IFoA have annual Continuing Professional Development obligations. Compliance is mandatory and you should ensure that you are recording the correct amount of CPD, in the correct manner. 

Any learning activity that is relevant to your work and role and which addresses a personal development need can be recorded as CPD. For Category 2 Members (relevant to most Members doing NED work) there is a requirement to complete 15 hours of CPD, a minimum of five hours must be gained at external events and at least two hours must be Professional Skills Training (PST). The two hours embracing professional ethics and governance do not need to be based on IFoA PST videos or events alone. They may be gained through other activities that the individual Member considers appropriate, taking into account their work or role and their personal development needs, and can include business or management skills. Relevant CPD is available from a wide variety of sources and networking with other regulated professionals who carry out NED work is a good way to identify CPD targeted to your needs.

The IFoA’s Professional Skills Team is also currently developing new material focused on the ethical challenges of NED roles. The IFoA’s NED MIG also offers a series of advertised events that are increasingly relevant.

See the related NED guidance for more detail.

IFoA disciplinary overview

Professional accountability underpins public trust in IFoA members, acting as both a safeguard and an assurance of quality. Disciplinary enforcement is in the public interest. The IFoA disciplinary process is set at a comparable threshold to other professionally regulated individuals. A series of simple communication notes and short videos have been created to explain the process stage by stage. See the NED guidance and further resources page for more information.

The FRC has a separate disciplinary scheme and considers matters of significant public interest in the UK (defined in agreement with the IFoA). The FRC test of misconduct reflects its different locus and role. If a case is determined under the FRC Scheme, it will not then be determined under the IFoA Scheme and vice versa.

View more about IFoA's disciplinary process

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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.

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    The purpose of this research paper is to explore enterprise risk management lessons which can be learnt from the Covid-19 pandemic in preparation for potential future pandemics as well as other “gray rhino” or “black swan” events. This paper is not intended to be an all-encompassing solution to the issues presented by Covid-19; rather, the content has been provided to help drive discussions regarding how risk management processes may need to evolve in line with the dynamic nature of the underlying risks that they sometimes need to capture.

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    This session is for new candidates and existing candidates where we will be discussing the practical steps you need to take leading up your exam and on the day. We will be discussing how to testing the online exam platform, downloading and uploading your paper and key information from the Exam Handbook.

    The exam webinar is for candidates, new to IFoA exams and returning candidates, sitting in the September 2022 exam session.

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    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    In the UK, the idea of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes is gaining more attention with the launch of the Royal Mail CDC scheme, the first of its kind in the UK. Our recent research on CDC plans investigates the sources of the putative benefits of CDC schemes: the smoothing of pensions for members.  Using an attribution analysis to burrow into the scheme design, the reason for the smoothing of members' pensions is explained and understood.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA's Infrastructure Working Party, led by Chris Lewin, will present its new introductory guide to infrastructure investment, which will be published on the IFoA web-site prior to the webinar.   Those readers whose institutions have already taken the plunge into infrastructure will know that it is a highly complex and diverse field of activity.   This guide does not explore all the matters which investors take into account, but it does discuss many of the more important points, including the risks and past returns, benchmarking, and ESG and SDG considerations.    Attendees will be invi

  • Social Care Agenda

    11 October 2022

    Spaces available

    Social care reform has long been on the to-do list for successive governments over the last two decades. In February, the government’s proposed reforms to adult social care [including cap on care costs] was published. Against this backdrop of funding promise and rising National Insurance taxation, in this session we will debate the resilience of these new proposals, the impact of future demand for care services and what role for the insurance industry and the important role it has played in long-term care funding in other countries where public-private partnership works.

  • Spaces available

    Health contributes to happiness at the personal, family, community and societal level.  Health, importantly underpins all our economic security. This talk will explore the drivers of our health, the measurement of health and the steps we can take to improve health – most of which lie outside the NHS.

  • GIRO Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool  
    21 November 2022 - 23 November 2022
    Spaces available

    We are delighted to announce the return of GIRO as an in-person conference, giving you an opportunity to connect with actuaries in your practice area. Join leading experts to discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the General Insurance sector.

  • Life Conference 2022

    ACC Liverpool Kings Dock Liverpool Waterfront Liverpool Merseyside L3 4FP
    23 November 2022 - 25 November 2022
    Spaces available

    Life Conference returns as an in-person conference in 2022, giving you an opportunity to connect with your peers and fellow actuaries in your sector, in person. You will also hear leading experts discuss key issues, emerging ideas, and new research across the Life insurance sector.

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    Mortality and morbidity risk varies by variables such as age, sex and smoking. In traditional actuarial experience analysis, these variables, and certain combinations thereof can be explored. However, with the wealth of data now available it is becoming increasingly challenging to identify the key drivers of experience and account for the interaction between different variables. A univariate approach often compares apples and pears, for example males are more likely to smoke and have larger policies than females. Likewise, variable interactions are missed unless specifically included.