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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

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

    The Grand Brighton, 97-99 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FW
    02-03 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19 we have taken the decision to turn a selection of the conference programme into a webinar series. Further announcements about this event will be made soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • Mortality and Longevity 2020

    1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ
    08-08 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19 this event has been postponed until later in the year. A new date will be announced soon.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

  • PHC Conference webinar: CMI Update

    Online webinar
    10 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) with content focused on the work of the Assurances Committee and the Income Protection Committee.

  • Webinar: IFoA Annual General Meeting

    Virtual meeting
    15 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries will be held online via a live webinar on Monday 15 June 2020. This will be followed by a Q&A session with the IFoA Leadership Team.

  • Spaces available

    Mark Williams will provide insight on this topic as IFoA Pensions Board Chair, lead actuarial representative on the PASA Working Group and head of Buck’s Square solution.

  • Pensions Conference 2020

    18-19 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 16 June.

    Focussing on topics including funding and savings, pension law current issues, ESG, the end game and transferring risk, investment issues, data visualisation and data science. Expect a great line-up of speakers and a wide range of thought-provoking topics. 

  • Webinar: IFoA Presidential Address

    Online webinar
    18 June 2020

    Spaces available

    Tan Suee Chieh will be inaugurated as President of the IFoA at this year’s AGM. Join us for Suee Chieh’s Presidential address on Uncertainty, Culture and Imagination. Using the Covid-19 crisis as the backdrop, he will invite IFoA and the profession to re-imagine our roles in a digital age and a future fraught with uncertainty and opportunity.

  • TIGI 2020 (Technical Issues in General Insurance)

    22 June 2020 - 7 July 2020

    Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance provides content across all key areas of the general insurance sector whilst also offering cross-practice area technical topic deep-dives.

  • Spaces available

    This is the third webinar in the Extreme Mortality Events series presented by Chair of the Life Board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Colin Dutkiewicz.

    This discussion will have a look at the much talked about R0 number.  It will dissect why this average number is so poorly understood, and why it is a bad indicator of the pandemic progression.  In particular it will discuss how serious errors in decision making can be made by relying on this number.


  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    In this session we will present the results of an international survey of claims assessors. We will explore key similarities and differences in claims practices in different locations, and their impact on the management of disability claims. 

  • Spaces available

    Climate change represents a material risk to future financial stability and creates implications for the work, actions and decision making of actuaries. Join us to learn about the science behind global warming and what that means for policy makers and society over the coming decades.

  • Spaces available

    The release of the PRA consultation paper may signal a good time for insurers to review and update their liquidity risk management framework. Within this presentation we discuss our interpretation of what the PRA’s liquidity consultation paper means for insurers and how this compares to our understanding of current market practice through answering the following questions: 

  • Spaces available

    Converting lifetime savings into a lifelong income are a fundamental part of pensions. Yet this is often not part of DC pension plans. One possibility is to offer a post-retirement, pooled annuity option, perhaps structured as a Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) plan, to retirees.  Pooled annuities convert lump-sum savings to a life annuity by collectively pooling longevity risk.

  • Spaces available

    Although ESG has many buyers across the asset allocation community, from pension funds to sovereign wealth funds, it still hasn’t found its place within the core asset management strategy desks where the money is actually invested. The problem as well as the opportunity is Fixed Income.

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    The presentation will cover a summary of findings over the past few years of working on the boundary between data science and actuarial. The webinar will describe and review several data science approaches and discuss their relevance and use in actuarial pricing.

  • Spaces available

    A practical and theoretical look at risk from wider perspectives, drawing on theories and examples from other fields, as well as social experiments, the session aims to stimulate members to consider information asymmetry, bias, Bayesian methods, behavioural finance and behavioural psychology when determining pension scheme risk. 

  • Spaces available

    This talk expands on recent changes to Solvency II regulation to include sustainability risks and explores whether private equity offers an opportunity for making l long-term and impactful investments. 
    We will answer the following questions: 

    How sustainable private equity could be used in your portfolio to qualify for more favourable capital treatment under Solvency II?

  • Spaces available

    Technical Issues in General Insurance

    Across the General Insurance market actuarial pricing tools are being migrated from Excel to web-based technologies. Web based pricing technology offers many synergies with AI and Machine Learning. But they are often hampered by poor design and practically always perform worse than their Excel counterparts!

    The following will be presented: 

  • Spaces available

    In this talk we cover the practicalities of implementing ESG within real asset investment decisions. Capital deployed in real assets is invested for a long term and has far reaching impact on the environment and society.  However, implementing ESG into real asset investment decisions is not straightforward and requires a different approach to public market assets.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This webinar will provide an overview of how and why we built a Death Toolbox using Shiny.  This includes a live demonstration of the tool that enables a user to explore mortality datasets without knowing specialist coding techniques.

  • Spaces available

    An update from the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI). Content will focus on the work of the Self-administered Pensions Schemes (SAPS) Mortality Committee and the Mortality Projections Committee and will cover the most relevant and up-to-date outputs.

  • Spaces available

    The PPF’s Purple Book provides the most comprehensive data on the UK universe of Defined Benefit (DB) pension schemes in the private sector.  Analysing how this landscape has changed over time shows that whilst the risk profile of DB schemes has reduced underfunding has persisted.  The session will explore these trends and provide an insight into how funding may evolve in the future under a number of our modelled scenarios.   

  • Spaces available

    An online webinar delivered by John Taylor, President of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries who will look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change risks are likely to become material for many risk management and investment decisions. This will require to incorporate explicitly climate change in the tools used for risk management and investment decisions. At present existing climate change tools are often too crude for decision making.

  • Spaces available

    Because of Covid-19, forecasters predict a severe recession in 2020, followed by a V or U-shaped recovery. This impacts both individuals and companies. However, compared to previous recessions, the impact on banks of higher credit losses should be mitigated to some extent by government actions. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    This session will provide an overview of the Population Health Management Working Party's research including defining impactability and impactability modelling, discussing some examples of specific modelling approaches, considering the practical challenges across the NHS as well as wider public perception and ethical issues.

  • Spaces available

    Many actuaries consider career opportunities in the Finance and Investment practice area after having started off in more traditional actuarial roles such as valuations, capital management or pricing. This session is aimed at helping actuaries to better understand roles in Finance and Investment and how they can fine tune their skills to pursue such careers.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series

    With the rising prevalence of dementia, how can we manage this risk effectively and can insurance do more? Matt Singleton, Ageing Lead at Swiss Re, will cover these topics and demonstrate how insurance could help people address their concerns.

  • PHC Conference webinar: Gene Modification

    Online webinar
    6 August 2020

    Spaces available

    Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Gen Re Life/Health Research and Development, Dr John O'Brien, will discuss the impacts of Gene Modification for life/health insurance. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. Modelling the structure and trends of cancer morbidity risk is important for pricing and reserving in related health insurance fields such as critical illness insurance and care provision. We model the dynamics of cancer incidence over time in different regions in England, using 1981-2016 ONS data. The modelling allows estimation of cancer rates at various age, year, gender and region levels, following a Bayesian setting to account for statistical uncertainty. Our analysis indicates significant regional variation in cancer incidence rates. 

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. In this talk we will outline the steps Aviva took in pulling together our first large-scale disclosures on the exposure of our business to climate change published in March 2019; in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. After touching on why insurers have such an important role in climate change, we'll cover a brief “how-to” guide for those who have not yet embarked on thinking about these topics before giving a case study of how the learnings from a TCFD disclosure exercise can be applied to investment portfolios.

  • Spaces available

    Part of the Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020 webinar series. 

    The insurance industry currently underwrites customers with diabetes based on a range of factors, medical expertise and various medical studies. The work undertaken by the Diabetes Working Party would help the industry to approach this using current research findings to update and enhance how potential risk from diabetes is considered. This includes the need to understand the underwriting implications as treatments improve, and potentially to develop new products that are tailored to those with diabetes. This webinar will present our latest findings in the management of this important chronic condition which will include research in collaboration with the ARC.