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Managing Uncertainty with Professionalism

The Managing Uncertainty with Professionalism Working Party seeks to develop general and simple principles to support actuaries in managing and communicating uncertainty in all fields.

The working party arose from a specific concern that, by quoting '1 in 200' numbers for capital requirements under Solvency II, actuaries were, perhaps unwittingly, being party to giving false confidence about the financial strength of insurers. This issue naturally led on to broader reflections on uncertainty, looking beyond the actuarial profession and even beyond the insurance industry.

We have had a particular focus on decision making where there is uncertainty and have developed six high level Uncertainty Principles that can be used in supporting, making and critiquing decisions:

  • Face up to uncertainty
  • Deconstruct the problem
  • Don't be fooled (un/intentional biases)
  • Models can be helpful, but also dangerous
  • Think about adaptability and resilience
  • Bring people with you

Our recently published paper, 'Managing Uncertainty, Principles for improved decision making' explores each of these in turn along with some case studies. These are further illustrated with additional case studies and vignettes in our GIRO presentations.


Co Chairs

Melinda Strudwick, Martin White, Paul Kaye and Andrew Smith

Membership 19
Established 2014


Related documents

Contact Details

If you want more information about this research working party please contact the Communities Team.

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Start date
E.g., 27/09/2021
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E.g., 27/09/2021

Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    A panel discussion with investment representatives discussing the impact of investment on climate change and vice versa.

    This event is part of The Road to Glasgow: IFoA’s Sustainability Thought Leadership Series which will provide a platform for prominent contributors so that our members and others can understand the perspectives of a wide range of parties interested in the climate debate.

  • Spaces available

    Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing our world today. Addressing it will require multi-faceted solutions. Through this panel session, we will explore the different levers that can be used to meet net-zero targets including climate science and data, government engagement, and mobilising green finance.

  • Spaces available

    How governments and societies collectively respond to the climate crisis is increasingly being analysed through the lens of intergenerational fairness. Our expert panel will assess and explore the extent to which inter-generous fairness is being considered in climate policies, the lessons from those countries who are leading the way on fairness and justice in climate interventions, and more.

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The climate crisis and the degradation of our planet will affect societies everywhere. How we address these threats will require solutions that transcend borders. As a global profession, the actuarial community is well-placed to consider and propose effective risk management solutions to help manage the climate crisis.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.