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 email@example.com. 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
Quality Assurance Scheme
QAS Team, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Level 2 Exchange Crescent, 7 Conference Square, Edinburgh, EH3 8RA
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