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Employers FAQ – Chartered Actuary proposal

How will this proposal affect how you recruit within our organisation?

Following discussions with actuarial employers and other industry representatives, we understand that there will always be a demand for the Fellowship qualification and regulated specialist professionals. However, we now know that employers need a more flexible qualification framework, which ensures that employees are working to the level that is needed for the roles that they are undertaking.

The Chartered Actuary/Associate will be an initial general qualification, aligned with the global standard for a qualified actuary, which (if required) could be built upon to achieve any required level of further skills and knowledge.

The Fellowship will have the same core skills at the Chartered Actuary/Associate but then further exams and experience needed for professionals to gain their specialist skills.

Why should my staff carry on to Fellowship?

The specialism that is associated with Fellowship may be a desired competency that your business requires, especially if there is a requirement in legislation to hold a Practising Certificate.

What will happen to my existing employees who are Fellows?

Nothing. Fellows remain fully qualified and regulated members of the IFoA. Fellowship will remain the IFoA's most senior qualification and membership category.

Does this change CPD requirements?

No. CPD requirements remain an important feature of our regulatory environment that helps to bring confidence in the work of actuaries. We will continue to review the specific CPD requirements to ensure that they remain appropriate, including to take account of these proposed changes.

Will it make it easier/quicker for my employees to qualify?

We are not making it easier to qualify. The proposal will help to reduce the time it takes to qualify with core generalist actuarial skills, but we are not reducing the rigour of our examinations.

Will this change the quality of the people we recruit?

Absolutely not. The IFoA prides itself on the quality of its qualifications and the quality of the actuaries it accredits. These proposed changes will not change this focus on quality, but reinforce it.  It will enable us to attract a broader range of graduates to the profession. Employers will have more flexibility and options to ensure their staff have the right level of qualification to suit the role.

Are the entry requirements to the profession going to change?

No. The entry requirements will remain unchanged.

How does this fit with the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA)?

The CAA is a completely separate qualification.  However, for those who qualify as CAAs and wish to continue with their actuarial studies, the IFoA will be building a bridge to enable them to transfer over to the Chartered Actuary track.

Are Chartered Actuaries generalists or specialist?

The Chartered Actuary will become the formal exit qualification for fully qualified generalist actuaries who will possess 'core actuarial competencies'.

Will specialists still be available?

Yes. The ability to specialise as a Fellow will still remain.

Are you expecting a different type of actuary to be produced as a result of this?

Yes. We understand that there will always be demand for the high levels of specialism demonstrated by Fellows; particularly in established areas of actuarial employment such as pensions and insurance. 

Yet in order to remain relevant and broaden the profession, the IFoA needs a qualification framework that responds to the changing needs of industry. We must develop actuaries with a broad generalist skill-set who can adapt to a wide range of corporate roles, as well as actuaries who have a deeply specialist skill-set to fulfil highly regulated roles.

We believe that the proposals will change actuaries into more general, relevant and more agile professionals who will better fit the needs of your company and the wider industry.

Where can I find out more?

A dedicated email address (consultation@actuaries.org.uk) has been set up where you can send us any questions you might have about the proposal.  We will respond to any queries within five working days, and will refresh the FAQ section on the website regularly in light of queries received.

Please also spend some time giving us your feedback via our consultation survey

We will also hold two interactive webinars during the consultation period on 11 December at 9.00 and 17.00 (GMT). You can register for the consultation webinars here.