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What is the QAS?

The QAS is a scheme established in 2016.  Membership demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to high quality actuarial work and to supporting employees carrying out that work. There are five outcomes underpinning the QAS, which are designed to help organisations to support the professional responsibilities on their actuarial employees.  The Outcomes are set out in section 2 and the Appendix of APS QA1.

Who can apply?

Any organisation, or identifiable part of an organisation, that employs IFoA Member(s) carrying out actuarial work can apply.

What does accreditation involve?

The accreditation involves assessment of an organisation’s policies and procedures to ensure that a high level of quality is embedded in the working environment. Assessments will involve interviews with your organisation’s employees as well as consideration of the policies and procedures in place. As well as ensuring that an organisation has in place appropriate policies and procedures, the assessors will establish whether they are embedded within the organisation’s culture and are being applied by employees A likely outcome of the assessment is recommendations being made which should help improve these policies and procedures.

A monitoring assessment will take place in year 3 or 4 of your accreditation and each year you’ll complete an annual return to enable the IFoA to ensure that you continue to meet the outcomes.

Accreditation lasts for six years but all QAS Members are encouraged to maintain their accreditation.

How do we apply?

Simply complete the application form and send it to We will guide you through the rest of the process, which will involve arranging the assessment visit and then referring your application to the QAS Sub-Committee.

How long will accreditation take?

It generally takes around four months to complete an accreditation process, depending on availability for assessment and the timing of the QAS Sub-Committee meetings, which take place every quarter.  We’ll keep in touch with you throughout the process.

How much does it cost?

The QAS is a not-for-profit initiative. It is necessary to charge a fee in order to cover costs and ensure that the QAS is an effective accreditation scheme which provides real benefits for those who participate in it.

An annual fee is payable by each organisation, as well as an application fee.  The fees have been divided into four bands, with set criteria for each (these generally relate to turnover and the number of employed IFoA Members).

What is a SQAR/Lead SQAR?

When you apply for QAS accreditation you will need to nominate at least one Senior Quality Assurance Representative (SQAR). SQARs should be of sufficient seniority, knowledge and experience that they have direct access to the decision making function/board of your organisation, and they should also be able to influence the operational management.  If there are a group of SQARs, they should be prepared to explain how they will work together as part of the application process.  See section 16 of the QAS Handbook for more information.

What is the SQAR Forum?

The SQAR Forum is usually an annual conference style event during which SQARs benefit from a range of speakers and sessions and have the opportunity to network and share ideas and experience with eachother. Its role is to share good practice on processes and procedures amongst participating organisations and to discuss relevant issues. Special seminars and training events will be open to participants on current hot topics.  In 2020, because of COVID-19, this been replaced by a series of webinars, which are held every quarter.

What are the other benefits of QAS?

There are a number of benefits to membership of the QAS, they include

  • Use of the QAS ‘mark’ for promotional purposes and marketing (including recruitment of actuarial talent and tendering for actuarial work)
  • An independent and confidential assessment of policies and procedures relating to the QAS Outcomes,  providing insight and with best practice recommendations
  • Access to SQAR Forum and to networking opportunities with peers
  • Key IFoA contact
  • Access to the QAS CPD Scheme 

Contact Details

Quality Assurance Scheme

QAS Team, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Level 2 Exchange Crescent, 7 Conference Square, Edinburgh, EH3 8RA

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Events calendar

  • The Growth Mindset for Actuaries

    13 October 2021 - 8 December 2021

    Fully booked.

    This practical course is aimed at actuaries at any stage of their career who want to develop their own growth mindset and apply it to their work setting and personal or professional lifelong learning. The content of the course builds on the lecture given by Dr Helen Wright on Growth Mindset as part of the President’s 2021 Lecture series, and will be delivered over a period of 2 months, from mid-October to early December.

  • Spaces available

    The role of actuaries within the health sector varies considerably from one country to another, due to differences in the local evolution of health systems and the funding models for health services. 

  • Spaces available

    This paper outlines key frameworks for reserving validation and techniques employed. Many companies lack an embedded reserve validation framework and validation is viewed as piecemeal and unstructured.  The paper outlines a case study demonstrating how successful machine learning techniques will become and then goes on to discuss implications.  The paper explores common validation approaches and their role in enhancing governance and confidence.

  • Spaces available

    Content will be aimed at all actuaries looking to understand the issues surrounding mental health in insurance and in particular those looking to ensure products and processes widen access for, and are most useful to, those experiencing periods of poor mental health.

  • Spaces available

    The IFoA Policy Briefing 'Can we help consumers avoid running out of money in retirement' examined the benefits of blending a lifetime annuity with income drawdown. Panellists, including providers and advisers, will look at the market practicalities of taking the actuarial theory through into the core advice propositions used by IFAs and Fund Managers. They will share a number of practical issues such as investment consequences before and after retirement and the level of annuity that is appropriate and answer questions from the audience.

  • Speech from the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey

    Lincoln's Inn The Treasury Office, London WC2A 3TL
    1 December 2021

    The IFoA is pleased to be hosting the Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, to deliver a speech on delivering policyholder protection in insurance regulation.

    The speech will be presented to an in-person audience, and simultaneously live-streamed, at 14.00 on Wednesday 1st December.

  • The Many Faces of Bias

    2 December 2021

    Spaces available

    This webinar looks at the many types of biases, both conscious and unconscious and the impacts they can have in the workplace.  Raising our own awareness and understanding of the issues can help us avoid the pitfalls of unconscious bias in particular.  We’ve all heard the phrase ‘office banter’ but are we sure that’s how those on the receiving end perceive it and is it ok to go along with it?

  • Spaces available

    Actuaries need to take action now - but how?  With a focus on climate change, this session will provide informed insight to enable you to improve your knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, demonstrate how it will impact advice to your clients, and highlight prospective opportunities for actuaries within pensions and wider fields.

  • Spaces available

    Pension scams have become more prevalent as a result of the pandemic, and Trustees have increased responsibilities to protect members, which means that actuaries need to be in a position to provide advice in this area. Our specialist panel will include a professional trustee, an IFA and head administrator, two of whom are members of PASA.

  • Spaces available

    The covid-19 pandemic creates a challenge for actuaries analysing experience data that includes mortality shocks.  To address this we present a methodology for modelling portfolio mortality data that offers local flexibility in the time dimension.  The approach permits the identification of seasonal variation, mortality shocks and late-reported deaths.  The methodology also allows actuaries to measure portfolio-specific mortality improvements.  Results are given for a mature annuity portfolio in the UK

  • Spaces available

    In this webinar, the authors of the 2021 Brian Hey prize winning paper present a new deep learning model called the LocalGLMnet. While deep learning models lead to very competitive regression models, often outperforming classical statistical models such as generalized linear models, the disadvantage is that deep learning solutions are difficult to interpret and explain, and variable selection is not easily possible.

  • Spaces available

    The dominant underwriting approach is a mix between rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing only simple applications. The remaining applications are reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This research aims to construct predictive machine learning models for complicated applications that cannot be processed by rule-based engines.

  • Spaces available

    With the Pension Schemes Act 2021 requiring a long term strategy from Trustees and sponsors, choosing a pensions endgame strategy has become even more critical. However, it is important that the endgame options available are adequately assessed before choosing one. With an ever-increasing array of creative and innovative options available, this decision may not be straightforward.