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Work-based skills

The work-based skills requirement applies to all students who joined after 30 June 2004

What are work-based skills?

The aim of the work-based skills (WBS) requirement is to help you to demonstrate that you have put into practice the actuarial theory you gain through taking the exams.

What do I need to do?

You can find full details about this requirement in our Guide to work-based skills, but in summary you will need to do the following:

Appoint a supervisor

Once you have joined the IFoA and have received your Actuarial Reference Number (ARN), you need to talk to your employer about appointing a supervisor who will be responsible for your development.

It won’t matter if you have more than one supervisor during your training, but please call or email Education Services to tell us who the new supervisor is. You will need to make sure that your learning logs are each signed by the supervisor in place at the time you undertook the work and training.

If you do not have a supervisor, or are not currently employed you can defer starting your work-based skills until you are in actuarial employment or have an appointed supervisor.

Once you have an appointed supervisor then you can start to complete the work-based skills documents.

Complete learning logs

These are records of your "on the job" experience. You and your supervisor will complete the Work-based skills review form every 6 or 12 months.

You can find an example of a completed review form in the Guide to work-based skills. This will give you guidance about the content of your learning logs.

Answer review questions

These are short pieces of written work, presentations or other work which you have produced and discussed with your supervisor.

There are some sample review questions in the Guide to work-based skills to give you and your supervisor suggestions about what you should be covering.

How long will it take me?

You should start to maintain your learning logs when you start relevant employment. The minimum time required is then 1 year for Associateship, and 3 years for Fellowship.

If you have completed the minimum time but have not yet passed all the exams you will need to continue to complete learning logs until you pass your final exam. Your final learning log should be signed off no more than 60 days before your documents are received by the Education Services Team.

What do I have to do once I have passed all the exams and have at least the minimum of work-based skills records?

To be recorded as a 2018 qualifier you will need to meet the following deadlines:

By Friday 18 January 2019 Send 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
By Monday 11 February 2019 Resolve any final queries on your documents and have these signed off by us
By Friday 22 February 2019 Sign and return the transfer form that we will send you


You have a right to appeal against a rejection decision if you believe that you have met the minimum requirements for successful completion of your work-based skills requirements. You must submit your appeal within 50 days of receipt of the decision.

Read more about appeals

PPD changes 2017

Further to recent notifications about the new Personal and Professional Development (PPD) structure (which is replacing work-based skills), we are pleased to announce that more information about this has now been released.

Read more about Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

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Contact Details

Education Services Team

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.