Your PPD Logs need to be submitted annually via your PPD portal on the IFoA website. Your online logs are the records of your work-based activity that match’s one of the 30+ competencies available to choose from within Professionalism, Effective Communication, Problem Solving, and Decision Making.
Each log must be specific to a certain work-based activity. If you wish to reference the same activity over multiple competencies, you must seek permission from the IFoA.
When completing your online PPD logs there are 5 parts you need to complete. You must submit a log for each activity.
- Select what category and competency you are submitting
- Fill in the Activity Description
- Fill in the Learning Outcome
- Select the date the activity was undertaken
- Record if you have discussed with your supervisor
Each part is covered in more detail below:
1) Category and Competency
There are four categories; Effective Communications, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Professionalism, and Formal Learning. The first three of which each have a list of different competencies. Select the one which is most appropriate to your activity.
2) Activity Description
What you need to write for this section:
The activity description needs to be a brief overview of the activity you are referring to for the PPD Log. It should include:
- An overview of the activity.
- An outline of the tasks undertaken.
- A brief description of the wider context of the activity within your business.
The activity description is capped at 250 characters so you will need to be concise.
Some examples of what the ‘Activity Description’ might look like are shown below:
Example competency 1.6 Contribute to Actuarial Reports for Regulators
I assisted in drafting an actuarial valuation report for regulatory purposes. To produce the report I researched appropriate regulatory guidelines and standards and checked the contents of the report against these to ensure compliance.
Example competency 3.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of peer review in professional work.
I reviewed some modelling work produced by an intern. Due to the Intern’s lack of experience, I performed a detailed review, discussed my findings with the intern and documented my feedback, as per company policy.
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Example competency 2.2 Analyse and Validate a data set for a model
I was involved in validating client data for a reserving exercise. I used excel to verify individual data items as being within an acceptable range and performed a reasonableness checks on summary data to verify consistency with last year’s data.
3) Learning Outcome
What you need to write for this section:
The learning outcome should be a more descriptive and self-reflective piece, describing what learning or development you took from that particular activity, for example:
- Explain how this activity has contributed to your personal development.
- What were the key factors of success for the activity?
- Set out any elements of the activity which were unsuccessful, indicating what could be done differently next time.
- If your work was peer reviewed, outline the feedback received and comment on how you will take this into consideration next time.
- Outline, with examples, any elements of your working practice which you will review as a result of this activity.
- Explain any training or development requirements you have identified as a result of undertaking this activity
The Learning Outcome is capped at 1024 characters, and we would expect to see more in this area than the Activity Description above. There is no strict minimum, but you should provide enough detail to demonstrate a satisfactory level of self-reflection. As a guide we would expect around 100-200 words in this section.
Some good examples of what the ‘Learning Outcome’ might look like are shown below:
Example competency.11 Prepare Permanent Documentation for defined work products
While undertaking a pricing exercise for a new product I documented the procedure setting out the key stages such as data, assumptions, programming the model and sensitivity checks.
This was a new exercise for me and I learnt that it’s necessary to plan ahead before undertaking a new piece of work and that it’s important to document the steps as I go along to ensure that nothing is missed.
My work was peer reviewed and the feedback noted that there was a lot of unnecessary detail in the document, particularly on the data verification where I listed a lot of the individual data checks rather than explaining the process and principles followed.
Next time I will ensure that I don’t let excessive detail obscure the key messages. It is also important to tailor the document to the audience. In this case, the audience is a team of actuaries who, given their strong technical skills, will not need to see the detail, so do not need to see a description of every step undertaken.
Example competency 3.5 Demonstrate an understanding of your professional responsibility to the public interest.
As part of an initiative on professionalism training in house I was asked to review my employer’s policy on whistleblowing. I researched the whistleblowing guidelines on the IFoA website, together with the relevant parts of the Actuaries’ Code. This enabled me to produce a concise guideline for our staff to follow.
The key benefit from this exercise is that my employer and colleagues now have a clear procedure to follow if they have any concerns about non-compliance. The policy document has clarified the difference between ‘speaking up’ and ‘whistleblowing’ which should encourage challenges and open communication at early stages to prevent risks of non-compliance in the future.
The key factors of success from this exercise are that I now have a greater understanding of the IFoA’s professional guidance and that I feel more confident to challenge my colleagues in the future if I have any concerns.
Problem Solving and Decision Making
Example competency 2.4 Analyse and Validate the results from a model
In undertaking this exercise, I gained better understanding of how scenario modelling and stress tests can impact on the results of a capital modelling exercise. In particular I gained an understanding of the correlation between the different factors affected by each event, for example how a market crash can impact bonus rates as well as lapse and new business rates.
My supervisor took professional responsibility for this task. But after undertaking this exercise I have built on previous experience and now feel comfortable in performing this task with less supervision in the future.
4) Date the activity was undertaken
You need to add a date to your PPD activity stating when you undertook that activity. If you completed the task or project over a period of time, pick an appropriate date with that time range. Remember: You cannot back-date your PPD once your annual deadline has passed.
5) Have you discussed your PPD logs with your supervisor?
It is important that you discuss your development with your supervisor or line manager. Whilst the IFoA does not require documented evidence of that discussion, there is a Tickbox you must complete to demonstrate that this has taken place. If your log is selected for audit, then the IFoA will contact your supervisor for confirmation.
You can still submit the log if you have not yet discussed it with your supervisor, provided you complete the Tickbox at a later date once you have had that discussion. However, once your PPD year comes to an end, any logs where the Tickbox remains empty will be invalid and will not count towards your PPD.
6) Formal Learning
You must complete at least two hours of formal learning activities each year. These activities should be relevant to your work or role and address a development need.
Some examples of activities which may or may not be acceptable are shown below. Please note that these lists are not exhaustive and are guidelines only.
Examples of what might be acceptable may include:
- Digital online learning of a technical topic relevant to your work
- Soft skills training such as time management or professional skills
- Specific IT training on software directly relevant to your role
- Attendance at an event, such as one run by the IFoA
- Attendance at an event run by your own organisation
Examples of what might not be acceptable include:
- Internal training on facilities matters such as fire safety
- Generic IT training such as operating telephones
- General reading of articles, magazines etc.
- Informal discussions with colleagues
It is your responsibility to ensure that the activity you record fulfils the criteria and provide sufficient evidence in your record. Please note that any activities you have recorded as part of your CPD log cannot count towards your formal learning hours.