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Instructions for sitting IFoA online examinations

Instructions for sitting the IFoA’s online examinations

This document contains important information you need to consider before deciding whether to continue with your April 2020 examination sitting.

You may have previously sat one of our online examinations but procedures have changed for April 2020.

Hardware and Software

You need to make sure you have the required hardware and software to sit our online examinations which can be found on our Technical requirements web page . If you find you are unable to get this in place before your examinations then we recommend you cancel your bookings. Information on how you do this can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

We ask that you ensure that your preferred email we hold on file is correct. You can do this through your member area on the IFoA website. We will be sending all communications by email and because of capacity limits in the current circumstances we are unable to manage bounce backs and check for alternatives. We also ask that you add the IFoA exam support email address (Examsupport@actuaries.org.uk) to your address book and remember to check that none of our emails have gone into your junk folder.  

You will be receiving an email from us with log-on details and a link to the online examinations platform two weeks before your examination date. If you are sitting multiple examinations then you will receive joining instructions for each examination as key information such as date, time and specific instructions for the paper will be different for each examination.

It is important to check that you can access the platform and test the download/upload facility. You will find at least one document on the platform so that you can test the download facility. Please make sure you upload a document (ensuring this is not blank) so that you are confident this will work on the examination day. You may find that there is a delay in accessing the platform for testing as we are asking all candidates to carry out these tests. If this is the case please try at a later time. Rest assured that this will not be an issue during the examination itself.

If you find that you cannot access the platform or are unable to upload or download papers then we ask that you first check your network connection as it is recognised that our platform may not work on some mobile networks. You can email ExamSupport@actuaries.org.uk if you are having issues and we will try to our best to respond. If the issue cannot be resolved then we regret you will have to cancel your examination entry. Information on how to do this can be found on our refund policy web page.

Examinations

All examinations will run for 3 hours 15 minutes unless you receive access arrangements; where you will receive a separate communication on the details. The exception to this is CP3 which will run for 3 hours. There is no separate planning time for CP1 Paper 2 on this occasion. This is now included in the overall time for the paper. You are expected to allocate your time accordingly.

There will be an additional 15 minutes allocated at the end of each examination to allow you to upload your paper to the platform. Please remember to save your work during any examination and before uploading.  It is important that you begin to upload as soon as possible in those 15 minutes as the platform will not accept any submissions after the deadline. Once you start uploading you should allow this process to conclude. In particular, please do not hit your refresh button.

Due to the number of submissions we expect to receive during uploading, we will not be able to confirm receipt of your script by email. You will receive an online acknowledgement of a successful upload.

Unlike previous examination sessions there will be no facility to contact our examinations team via phone during an examination, and email contact will be limited because of capacity limits due to IFoA staff currently working remotely.

Examination scripts must be uploaded to the platform. Emailed scripts will not be accepted.

If you have downloaded the examination paper but do not upload it will be marked as an attempt with a zero mark. If you do not download the examination paper then you will be marked as absent.

Assessment Regulations

As we are running all our examinations online this session, we have updated our Assessment Regulations with some small changes. Please read our Assessment Regulations 2020 document. We have also introduced an examination contingency statement. It is important that you read and understand these as you will be asked to agree the contingency statement before sitting your examinations.

Your examination script may also be subject to additional scrutiny even after results have been released to ensure the integrity of these online examinations.

Handbook

You have access to an Online Examination Handbook which provides additional guidance which we ask you to read carefully so that you are appropriately prepared for your online examinations.

On the day of your examinations you will be required to log-on to our examinations platform at the allocated time and to download the examination paper.  You will be required to answer your examination in either Word or Excel and guidance on the requirements for each examination is provided in our April 2020 examination formats document. This will also be provided in your online instructions. At this time you will also receive instructions on how to label your answer document. It is important that you follow these instructions or your script may not be marked. 

If you do not have access to the appropriate software packages then we regret you will have to cancel your booking. Information on how to do this can be found on our FAQ web page.

If at any point during the examination your system fails and you are unable to upload the examination paper, then we regret this will be treated as an attempt and we will not be able to offer any refund.

If our platform fails at any point on the day of the examination through the fault of the IFoA and its suppliers, then you will receive an email advising of this issue. If the examination cannot continue you will receive a full refund.

We have also added an appendix to our Mitigating circumstances policy which can be found in our Mitigating circumstances policy 2020 document. It is important that you read this before you decide to sit your examinations as you will find that there have been changes to the policy for the April 2020 examinations.

We hope these instructions and supporting documentation provide you with enough guidance and support to help you decide whether or not you wish to sit the IFoA examinations this session. There is also a supporting set of FAQs which can be found on our FAQ web page. If after reading all this information you decide you wish to cancel and withdraw from the April 2020 session, then information on how to do this can also be found on our FAQ web page.

You have the opportunity to withdraw from individual subjects while retaining your booking for other subjects, if you so wish. If you do decide to continue with sitting the IFoA examinations then we will do everything possible to support you through this difficult time within the limitations we all face.

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E.g., 04/06/2020
End date
E.g., 04/06/2020

Events calendar

  • 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

    Worldwide
    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)

    Webinars
    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

    The IFoA is running a webinar on Thursday 9 July 2020 which will focus on the challenges and issues facing defined contribution savers who wish to access illiquid investments.

    Our speakers will provide perspectives from their diverse experience, including DC fund implementation, platforms, master trusts, the role of trustees, regulation, and parallels with other fund types. They will then come together in a panel discussion with audience interaction. 

    The webinar is likely to be of interest to actuaries working across the spectrum of financial services, including investment advisers, asset managers, insurers, fund platforms and DC master trusts.

  • 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.