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Frequently Asked Questions - Curriculum

Learning materials

  • 1. Where do I find the Core Reading?

    You can find the IFoA Core Reading at the E-Shop. ActEd (BPP) provide face-to-face tuition and distance learning materials for the IFoA examinations. More information is available at on the ActED website.

  • 2. How can I access the learning materials?

    Core Reading for each subject is produced by the IFoA and is available through the E-Shop. ActEd (BPP) is the main provider of additional supporting materials and learning resources. Their website provides information on what resources are available and the costs.

  • 3. Are there individual sets of Core Reading for CS1, CS2 and CM1 and CM2?

    Yes, there are sets of Core Reading for each of the four subjects.

Route to Qualification

  • 1. Is there a recommended route to qualification? What subjects should I be attempting first?

    The qualification structure is designed to help students with their studies. For both Associate and Fellow, students will need to pass or obtain exemptions from all the Core Principles subjects. It therefore makes sense to complete these before progressing to the Core Practice subjects. The Core Principles can be taken in any order, but it does make sense to pass certain subjects before attempting others. CS1 is recommended as the starting point. This provides a grounding in the basics of statistical techniques. CS2 then builds on this. So certainly, CS1 before CS2. CM1 and CM2 then cover the principles of mathematics and modelling as applied to actuarial work, and CM2 then builds upon this. Again, CM1 before CM2. Some students may want a break from heavy maths between the CS and CM subjects and so they might take the opportunity to sit CB1 at this stage. Finally, in order to gain the most benefit, it is advisable to sit CB3 after CB1 and CB2.

  • 2. Can I attempt an SP paper before I have completed all the Core Principles and Core Practices?

    Yes, and some students choose to do this, especially if they are working in a related field. But otherwise it does make sense to progress through the qualification structure as described.

  • 3. Will my ST3, SA5 and SA6 exam still count towards qualification?

    Yes, it will count as one of your SP/SA subjects provided you have passed!

Assessment

  • 1. I understand that ‘reading time’ has been removed from the examination schedule. Why is this?

    We wanted to give our adult learners the choice of how to use this time. We haven’t removed the time but it is now included in the overall time; for example, a 3 hour paper is now 3 hours and 15 minutes. The only exception is Paper 2 of CP1, which retains a dedicated 45 minutes of planning time, followed by a 2hours and 30 minutes examination.

  • 2. I see that the CS and CM subjects have two papers. What are the different assessments?

    The new curriculum has allowed us to review the way we assess our subjects. The traditional examination has an important role in testing knowledge and understanding, but now the second paper, (‘Problem-based Assessment’), tests the application of this knowledge using real sets of data.

  • 3. Do I have to attempt both papers in the same sitting?

    Yes, you will have to sit both papers in the same sitting. You should view this as an examination with two elements of assessment.

  • 4. Do I have to pass both papers in the same sitting?

    The two papers for the CS and CM subjects will be weighted. Paper A, the 3 hours and 15 minutes paper will be weighted at 70% and the Problem-based Assessment, Paper B, at 30%. The outcome will be a single mark. So, the marks for the two papers will be added together and, provided you achieve the pass mark, you will pass. There is no requirement to achieve a pass in both papers. If you fail either CS or CM, you will be required to take both Paper A and Paper B again. 

  • 5. Will I have to familiarise myself with ‘R’ code or is everything I need to know contained in the Core Reading?

    We recommend that those sitting the papers requiring ‘R’ (CS1 and CS2) familiarise themselves with ‘R Studio'. There are lots of free resources available to help you with this and we will be providing you with an ‘R’ guide detailing the packages that you will need.

  • 6. In the case of CS/CM subjects, will there be a separate pass mark for each part? If not, how will the final pass mark be decided?

    There will not be a separate pass mark for each paper. The elements of assessment will be marked and the two marks aggregated with a 70:30 split between the theory paper and the Problem-based Assessment. A final single mark will then be calculated for each of the CS and CM subjects (CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2). The Chief Examiner will set the pass mark for each subject.

If you have any further queries, or would like us to add to these FAQs, please contact the education services team.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

education.services@actuaries.org.uk

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.

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Events calendar

  • KSS event in Glasgow: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson, Glasgow 20 Waterloo St, Glasgow
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Stirling: Public Sector Pensions

    M&G Prudential, Stirling Craigforth Campus, Stirling
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Edinburgh: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson 1, Exchange Place, Semple St, Edinburgh
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • The Great Risk Transfer – Breakfast briefing and launch event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    31 January 2020

    Fully booked.

     

    Launch of the IFoA’s 2020 thought leadership campaign The Great Risk Transfer. The campaign will examine the trend of the transfer of risk from institutions to individuals, and how people can be better equipped to manage the financial risks they now face. At this breakfast event the IFoA will launch a call for evidence on this topic.

  • Joint IFoA and SOAT Professional Skills Training event - Bangkok

    Thai Life Insurance PCL, 13th Floor, Meeting Room 13/2, 123 Ratchadaphisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand  
    7 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This session is jointly organised by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Society of Actuaries of Thailand (SOAT).

    Video case studies will be selected from the IFoA’s 2019/2020 online content which covers a range of topics under an overarching theme of “A Trusted Profession”. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

     

  • Cyber Risk Event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    10 February 2020

    Spaces available

    What do good cyber practices look like and, to what extent, can we as an industry implement these operationally and recognise these for underwriting?

  • KSS event: Where now for pensions?

    Royal London Group, 1 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DG
    18 February 2020

    Spaces available

    With a single party government at Westminster holding a comfortable majority, and with the first phase of Brexit complete, the potential for radical reforms of the pensions landscape is increased. 

    Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb discusses what changes we can expect to see in pensions including in state pensions, pension tax relief, automatic enrolment and the workplace pension landscape.

  • Sessional: Impact of E-cigarettes Working Party

    Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    24 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This sessional meeting will be of direct interest to actuaries and others working in the in the Health and Care, Life or Pensions sectors or indeed actuaries with an interest in morbidity or mortality. Note: Registration is from 17.30 in time for the sessional to begin at 18.00.

  • KSS event: How is Scotland’s population changing and what are the implications?

    New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh
    5 March 2020

    Spaces available

    The National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects, preserves and produces information about Scotland's people and history to inform current and future generations - work that underpins the fabric of Scottish society and tells the story of our nation. This KSS talk will explore the following and other areas impacting Scotland’s changing population, and assess the potential implications of the changes:

  • Highlights of the Life Conference 2019 - London

    America Square Conference Centre, 17, One Crosswall, America Square, London EC3N 2LB  
    11 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will cover the highlights from last year's Life Conference 2019 held in Dublin. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best-reviewed sessions from the conference. Book now to ensure your place.

  • Board agenda: Why Responsible Investing, ESG, and Climate Change matters to Pension Funds, Companies

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London. WC1V 6DR, UK
    19 March 2020

    Spaces available

    Recent years have seen ESG, Climate Change, and Responsible Investing thrust onto the corporate agenda in every boardroom. The same also be said for pension funds. Expectations of how companies should respond are high and NEDs on Boards are expected to adapt and adjust their guidance to companies accordingly. What does this mean for Actuaries serving as NEDs and Trustees?

  • KSS event: A Cashless Society- Benefits, Risks, Issues and Developments

    Deloitte, 4th Floor, Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace
    19 March 2020

    Spaces available

    Speaker: Iain Collier, Chair of the CSWP

    The talk will look to cover the following: Progression towards a Cashless Society • Developments home and overseas • Benefits, Risks and Issues • Crypto Currencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies.

    There will be an extended Q&A session at the end of the event.

  • Spring Lecture 2020, Edinburgh - Vicky Pryce

    Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming at Staple Inn - Vicky Pryce

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1 V 7QJ
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will be live streamed from Edinburgh. 

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming

    Webinar
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us on 25 March 2020 for the live stream of our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • SIAS Event: CMI Update

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    1 April 2020

    Spaces available

    Following the release of the updated CMI Mortality Projection Model, CMI_2019, the CMI Mortality Projections Committee will lead a discussion on future mortality improvements.

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2020, Kuala Lumpur

    CCEC Nexus, 7, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    24-25 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Join us at the IFoA Asia Conference 2020 at CCEC Nexus, Kuala Lumpur where intellectual thought leaders, senior industry players, opinion formers, academics, actuaries and non-actuaries from across Asia and beyond are expected to attend. This year's landmark conference promises to an exciting one as our first Asian President-elect, Tan Suee Chieh will, as newly appointed president of the IFoA, use his presidential address to highlight the two key pillars of the IFoA’s emerging strategy:

    • the reinvention of the profession in terms of its skillsets and mind-sets so that we can thrive in an increasing range of domains in a digital age;
    • the widening application of actuarial science in achieving social impact and sustainability goals.

    We are also delighted to announce that the Honourable Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, Malaysia, will be the guest of honour at this year's conference.

    Early bird registration is now open until 1 March.  10% group discounts are offered to a minimum of six IFoA members booking in a single transaction.  Limited spaces are available, so please sign-up early to avoid disappointment.