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Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

Personal and Professional Development (PPD) is the practical work experience requirement that applies to all IFoA students on the path to becoming either an Associate or a Fellow. It is a key component of the IFoA qualification. As IFoA students, you are required to submit a minimum amount of credits and formal learning hours each year, in order to sit exams and maintain your student membership.

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PPD: What do you need to know?

PPD is designed to make the work-related element an integral part of your ongoing learning experience.

To work effectively as an IFoA qualified actuary, you need to develop your skills in the workplace.

  • PPD allows you to demonstrate how you have applied in practice the knowledge and skills you have gained through the IFoA examinations.
  • It develops your understanding of the business environment and how to work within a professional and ethical framework.
  • Gives understanding to the need for continuing development of yourself and your skills, and to reflect on the quality of your work and how you can improve in the future.

You will need to submit a minimum amount of credits and formal learning hours annually to be able to sit exams and maintain your student membership. There are three elements to completing PPD:

  • Satisfying a number of core competencies under three key objectives
  • Maintaining a record of formal learning activities undertaken
  • Demonstrating the learning gained from completing these activities

PPD: What do you need to do?

Each year you are required to submit PPD. You will have a unique date to submit your records by, this is usually the date you joined the IFoA and is known as your ‘annual PPD deadline date’. You will need to submit a minimum amount of PPD per year.  There is also an annual requirement to record formal learning activities in addition to the competencies.

For each PPD record, you must complete a detailed log that refers to work-based activities which you have completed. You should select your topic choice from the 30+ competencies available. Those 30+ competencies are split up into three objective categories. The three objective categories set the minimum standards which you need to demonstrate in the workplace:

  1. Effective Communication
  2. Problem Solving and Decision Making
  3. Professionalism

Each of the objectives contains a range of competencies, including certain mandatory competencies which you must complete before you qualify. You may select which to complete, however, we expect at least one from each objective. Ideally, you will have a range across all three. You may complete the same competency more than once, however, it must relate to a different activity and learning outcome. Each competency carries a value of 1 or 2 credits. These weightings reflect the importance attached to each objective. You will need to complete a minimum amount of credits per year and overall in order to qualify.

Mandatory competencies 

There are certain mandatory competencies that you must complete before you qualify. These are the following:

  • 1.1: Present the results of actuarial work to informed but non-technical audiences
  • 2.1: Analyse and prioritise stakeholder needs when designing solutions
  • 3.1: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of professional and ethical standards in an actuary’s work
  • 3.2: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of peer review in professional work

If you do not complete the mandatory competencies, your application will be returned to you for further amendments. 

Please note – If you transfer to become an Associate, you would have needed to complete the 4 mandatory competencies listed above however you will not need to repeat the mandatory competencies if you chose to later transfer to Fellow.

Further details on the competencies available, alongside the credit value and appropriate examples, can be found in the Objectives and competencies mini-guide.

Each PPD record requires:


An activity description

The description should be a concise overview of the activity you are referencing. You should avoid jargon and abbreviations and it should be able to be understood by someone who is not familiar with your work. There is a limit of 250 characters for the activity description. If you are preparing your draft submission in Microsoft Word, the IFoA recommends using Microsft Office packages from 2010 onwards for an accurate character limit. 

Download the activity description mini guide


A learning outcome

The learning outcome is where we expect to see the main body of the submission. It should be a descriptive and self-reflective piece of writing describing what learning or development have taken from the activity and how you will use this in the future. This ‘reflection’ is an important business skill that you need to develop throughout your professional career. There is a limit of 1024 characters for the learning outcome. We would expect to see a learning outcome between 900-1024 characters. If you are preparing your draft submission in Microsoft Word, the IFoA recommends using Microsft Office packages from 2010 onwards for an accurate character limit. 

Download the learning outcome mini guide


An activity date


This must be the date you undertook the activity within the PPD year. It is not possible to retrospectively add activities to previous years or edit information once the year has reset.


Confirmation that you have discussed the PPD record content with your supervisor or line manager

This is indicated by ticking the appropriate box and is a mandatory requirement of submitting your PPD. We may contact your supervisor for confirmation of the activity you are describing.

Formal learning

In addition to recording your credits, you will also need to record at least two hours of formal learning and development activities each year. These must be unconnected with the actuarial exams and activities you have completed for CPD. Such activities can include attendance at meetings of local actuarial societies, technical and business presentations, company arranged training and actuarial related seminars.

PPD: Overview

A short webinar running through the key work experience requirements frequently asked questions and a demonstration on how to use the PPD portal.

PPD: Requirements

Qualification requirements for IFoA students who joined before 2 January 2019

  Minimum number of months PPD required Minimum number of credits required Minimum credits per year Minimum hours of formal learning activity total
Associate 12 Months 10 3 2 hours
Fellow 36 Months 20 3 6 hours (2 per year)

Qualification requirements for students who joined on or after 2 January 2019

PPD for joiners from 2019 Minimum number of months PPD required Number of credits required Minimum credits per year Minimum hours of formal learning activity total
Associate* 24 Months 15 3 4 hours (2 per year)
Fellow A further 12 months of PPD recording after Associate status is confirmed A further 5 credits 3 A further 2 hours

*Associateship Qualification must be obtained before progression to Fellow. Members may still sit any examination in any order, however, they must achieve the Associate award before Fellow. Once Associate membership is confirmed, a further 1 year (12 months) must be recorded in PPD before an application to Fellow is made. View the 'PPD for 2019 joiners' page for further information

Minimum Work Experience Requirements

If you are submitting the minimum amount of work experience, you should make sure you wait to submit your final sign-off and work experience documents until the full 12/36 (Associate/Fellow) months have passed.

If the period of time covered in your work experience is less than 12/36 months you will not be able to submit your application earlier, even if you have no further PPD to record. If you have more than the minimum months recorded and you have met the requirements to qualify you may submit at any time.

Requirements before submitting a final application

For Associate, you must have:

  • Completed all of the Actuarial and Business examinations (CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2, and CB3). 
    • Please note: you would need to complete the Professional Skills Stage 1 course before applying for the CB3 examination.
  • For members wishing to apply for Associate, please note you must have completed Professional Skills Stage 2 before you submit your application. 
  • Completed all of the Core Practice examinations (CP1, CP2, and CP3).
  • Completed PPD requirements for Associate, detailed above. 

For Fellow, you must have:

  • Completed all of the Actuarial and Business examinations (CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1, CB2, and CB3). 
    • Please note: you would need to complete the Professional Skills Stage 1 course before applying for the CB3 examination.
  • Completed all of the Core Practice examinations (CP1, CP2, and CP3).
  • Completed two Specialist Principle Subject (SP) examinations. 
  • Completed one Specialist Advanced Subject (SA) examination.
  • Completed the PPD requirements for Fellow, detailed above. 

PPD: Submitting an application

To submit your Practical Work Experience application final sign off to qualify you will need to:

  • Download and complete the PPD Supervisor Final Sign Off Form. This must be signed by a Fellow of the IFoA or another recognised Actuarial body. Please note, the date of your Final Sign Off form cannot be less than 12 months for Associate or 36 months for Fellow from the date beginning of your recording period. Your application will be rejected if it is. 
  • If you submit your application more than 60 days from the date of your last PPD deadline, you will be required to complete your minimum PPD recording (3 credits and 2 formal hours) for your current PPD year. 
  • Log in to the My Account area of the IFoA website using the Apply for PPD Sign-off button below and select Application for PPD Final Sign-off. 
  • Select the correct Designation Sought and Submission Content from the listed options. 
  • State the relevant PPD period you are submitting. 
  • Upload your completed PPD Supervisor Final Sign Off form and make payment.
  • Complete the Applicant declaration and submit your application. 

Apply for PPD Sign-off

You can track the progress of your application using Track Progress of My PPD Final Sign-off in the My Account area of the IFoA website.

PPD: 2021 Qualifiers Deadline

To be recorded as a 2021 qualifier you will need to meet the following deadlines by:

Date Notice
Friday 14 January 2022 Have completed your PPD requirements, alongside sending us all your learning logs and review questions, and a final sign-off form completed and signed by a Fellow of an International Actuarial Association.
Friday 25 February 2022 Resolve any final queries on your documents and have these signed off by us.
Friday 4 March 2022 Sign and return the transfer form that we will send you.

PPD: Importance notices

The ‘Personal and Professional Development (PPD)' is the current work experience scheme that is in place and being implemented by the IFoA. As of 1 September 2018, all students should have started PPD and prior schemes will not be considered after January 2022.

PPD: Guides and Materials

Download our list of helpful mini-guides:

Related documents

Contact Details

Member Services Team

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

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

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