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Student FAQ – Chartered Actuary proposal

Why are you proposing changes to the qualification framework?  

Council has been considering the ever increasing pace of change in the actuarial profession and how we can best support you.

We engaged with actuarial employers and other stakeholders who advised us that, in order to keep up with these challenges, we need to create a more contemporary, relevant qualification framework: one that ensures qualifiers are equipped to meet the changing priorities of employers and remain fit for the future. As a result of these conversations we have developed a proposal that will have the explicit aim of improving the long-term employability of those who qualify as actuaries through the IFoA.

What changes are being proposed?

The key features of the proposed framework would be:

  1. The level of Fellowship would remain unchanged
  2. Qualification as a recognised actuarial professional would focus initially on the generalist actuarial skills which are developed in the core part of our current and future Curriculum 2019
  3. This initial qualification would be established around the current IFoA Associate level
  4. The qualification would be re-titled 'Chartered Actuary' (CAct) 
  5. The curriculum for CAct would be aligned to the new International Actuarial Association (IAA) syllabus to ensure it is globally recognised, with the additional requirement for one year’s supervised work-based Personal and Professional Development (PPD): this PPD requirement would be identical to that currently required for IFoA Associateship
  6. After the launch date of the proposed framework, any new Student member would be required to complete the CAct qualification before taking any further examinations towards Fellowship. Current Student members who meet the CAct standard can, if they wish, transfer to this membership category.
  7. Chartered Actuaries would use the post-nominal ‘CAct’, with members who subsequently qualify as Fellows entitled to use both their Fellowship and CAct post-nominals.

Will it change the exams I am taking?

No changes are intended at this point. If you are a current Student of the IFoA then the changes will not be applicable to you; they will only apply to those Students who join the IFoA after the implementation date in 2018 if the proposal is agreed by our membership, Council and the Privy Council.

Current Student members who meet the CAct standard can, if they wish, transfer to this membership category.

What else is required of me aside from the exams I have to take to reach Chartered Actuary/Associate level?

It is important to note the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) and Professional Skills requirement that is needed alongside your exams.  

These elements develop your workplace skill-set to enable you to work effectively as an IFoA qualified actuary through:

  • Practical application of the knowledge and skills you have gained through the IFoA examinations
  • Developing your understanding of the business environment, and how to work within a professional and ethical framework
  • Understanding the need for continuing development of yourself and your skills, and to reflect on the quality of your work and how you can improve in the future
  • Ensuring you have a good understanding of the Actuaries' Code and your obligations under it as a member of a professional body.

Will it matter if I don’t become a Fellow?

No.  The Chartered Actuary qualification will be the initial qualification for fully qualified actuaries, enabling you to practice globally as a qualified actuary with the IFoA.

After the launch date of the proposed framework, any new Student member will be required to complete the CAct qualification before taking any further examinations towards Fellowship. Current Student members who meet the CAct standard can, if they wish, transfer to this membership category.

Our current framework trains people to be highly competent actuarial specialists. While it is clear from talking to businesses that there will always be a need for such specialists, they also need highly competent generalists with a core actuarial skill-set. 

Will the cost of qualifying change?

The cost of exams up to Chartered Actuary/Associate will remain consistent with the cost of the exams to the current Associate level.

Why is the Chartered Actuary qualification the new initial qualification? Why can’t I continue as a Student up to Fellowship?

Following discussions with our stakeholders, 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.

You can continue up to Fellowship if you wish to and it is necessary for your role. After the launch date of the proposed framework, any new Student member will be required to complete the CAct qualification before taking any further examinations towards Fellowship. Current Student members who meet the CAct standard can, if they wish, transfer to this membership category.

Would these changes impact on my exemptions?

No.  Students will still be able to apply for exemptions for their academic qualifications.

How is this going to improve my employment chances?

The proposal supports employers’ feedback that although there will always be a need for Fellows, companies also need highly competent generalists with a core actuarial skillset. This reflects the growing relevance of the actuarial skill set within the wider professional services and will enable actuaries to achieve a highly recognised qualification more quickly, enabling them to compete for non-specialist roles alongside other professionals.

Why won’t I get a vote on this change?

Under the current IFoA Bye-laws, Students do not have the right to vote. However, the IFoA is very keen to hear the views of current Student members during the formal consultation period.

What if I have already met/surpassed the new requirements of the proposed Associateship?

If you have already surpassed the requirements of the re-positioned qualification, you will be able to apply for the Chartered Actuary credential. 

What do I get if I was to qualify as a Chartered Actuary?

You will be invited to attend a Qualifiers ceremony, obtain a certificate and formal post-nominals to indicate that you have attained the status of a fully qualified actuary. 

Once qualified as a Chartered Actuary, will I still be able to use the Associate title?

Yes. Chartered Actuaries will still be able to refer to themselves as Associates to aid comparison with actuaries from other qualifying bodies.

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.

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Events calendar

  • SIAS Event: CMI Update

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    1 April 2020

    Spaces available

    We are sorry. This event has now been cancelled.

    Following the release of the updated CMI Mortality Projection Model, CMI_2019, the CMI Mortality Projections Committee will lead a discussion on future mortality improvements.

  • Spaces available

    In the webinar, Stuart Hitchcock, Head of Portfolio Management for Private Credit, within LGIM Real Assets, will provide some insight into the nature of the private credit markets. Discussion will evolve around development of the markets and lending landscape, key investment characteristics including structural and legal protections, public vs private investments, advantages and drawbacks for borrowers, and attractiveness for investors.

    The webinar will also focus on describing the investment process such as origination through execution, credit, structure, pricing, on-going asset management, portfolio construction within private markets.

  • Spaces available

    Due to the COVID-19, we will be running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 22 April.  

    CIGI is a well-established one-day seminar designed to increase awareness and encourage discussion on a variety of topical issues across the general insurance industry. 

  • Spaces available

    InsurTech headlines are often big statements, which seem impossible to many working in the sector day-to-day. How can actuaries implement new systems, keep the value from legacy systems, deliver BAU and not require the resources of three teams?

    This talk:

    • Highlights effective strategies to jump the gap to new technologies
    • Illustrates practices that provide contingency for future technical growth 
    • Introduces the concept of “technical debt” and how you can best manage it
  • Spaces available

    Pressure on organisations to address climate change risks is intensifying. But what does this really mean for insurers? In this session Adhiraj Maitra and Gareth Sutcliffe will look at the why, the what and the how of this risk through a number of different lenses including regulatory, principle and resilience.

  • Spaces available

    Update on renewal pricing outcomes for Property and Casualty markets at the latest 1/1 reinsurance renewals.

    The focus will be on capacity availability and price drivers.  These issues include but are not limited to the cat bond market, wider trends in claims outcomes, trends in Casualty RI space that affect pricing such as social inflation, yield curve and the reserving cycle.

    Finally, a note on how this may affect actuarial pricing, reserving and capital.

    Learning objectives: Business knowledge of reinsurance renewal outcomes and the main drivers

  • Spaces available

    The Ogden Discount Rate shock of 2017 brought about a period of profound uncertainty to General Insurance market.  GI Actuaries' first task was to estimate the impact of the Ogden shocks, particularly to reserving and reinsurance pricing.  Their second was to navigate a period of framework uncertainty, maintaining an agility in actuarial modelling as the Civil Liability Bill took shape. 

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (29 April 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    29 April 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (29 April 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    29 April 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • CANCELLED The Global Actuarial Profession

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    30 April 2020

    Spaces available

    We are sorry that this event has been cancelled.

    The IFoA's policy regarding COVID-19 is designed to safeguard the well-being of members and employees. As stated within the policy, the IFoA is reviewing its events programme on a case-by-case basis.

  • Spaces available

    Working party have been producing a number of deep dive papers, these include topics such as risk adjustment, impact of disclosures on how uncertainty is perceived, deferring acquisition costs over renewals, PAA eligibility and more. 

    We will select where to focus the session based on market focus closer to the time. The plan is to do a detailed session with practical examples and considerations rather than a high level educational session. Very happy to discuss further. 

  • SIAS Event: Cyber Insurance

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    4 May 2020

    Spaces available

    The talk will cover:
    • Why cyber security is regarded as the top threat to businesses (Allianz Risk Barometer 2019)
    • What is causing the shift in threat landscape
    • Who is attacking, why, and how we can stop them
    • Customer impressions of cyber security and how you can help them
    • Threats to evaluating insurable losses and responding to claims
    • How cyber insurance policies have evolved, and need to continue to do so
    • Can and should you recover ransoms under cyber insurance?
    • What is the future for cyber risk?

  • KSS event: Technology: A red-eyed Terminator or an actuary’s best friend?

     Hymans Robertson, Exchange Place 1, 1 Semple Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8BL
    4 May 2020

    Spaces available

    Despite long-running concerns that innovation could lead to widespread redundancy, technology has enabled greater productivity, created higher-value jobs and spurred us on to new heights. With artificial intelligence increasingly automating work undertaken by professionals, I look at the prospects for the actuarial profession in the era of unprecedented technological innovation.

  • Finance and Investment Conference 2020

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE
    05-05 May 2020
    Spaces available

    Due to COVID-19, we are running this programme via a series of webinars commencing 5 May.

    The environmental, social and governance (ESG) space is growing rapidly and increasingly moving centre stage. In many cases, it is now an essential part of policy and central to the way stakeholders make decisions for the long term to ensure retention of clients, manage risk better, and ensure more economically efficient and sustainable investment returns.

    ESG factors cover a wide range of areas reflecting how vital consideration of these factors are part of wider systemic risks.

    The IFoA’s policy regarding Coronavirus is designed to safeguard the well being of those who attend IFoA events. Find out more. 

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (19 May 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    19 May 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (19 May 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ         
    19 May 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • CILA 2020

    Royal College of Physicians, 11 St Andrews Pl, London NW1 4LE
    20 May 2020

    Spaces available

    CILA is aimed at practicing life actuaries from life offices, consulting firms and other employers of actuaries. It will also be of interest to all those who work in, or advise on, the life assurance market in the UK and Europe. The programme this year features a timely mix of hot topics including sessions on:

  • Protection, Health and Care Conference 2020

    The Grand Brighton, 97-99 Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FW
    02-03 June 2020
    Spaces available

    The Protection, Health and Care Conference is an annual conference aimed at all insurance professionals with a passion for harnessing insurance risk in their organisations.

  • Spaces available

    How we relate to others at work, whether they are colleagues, clients, prospective clients or other business contacts is key to individual career progression and business performance. People buy people , so considering what we are known for and how to be positively memorable are vital. This session looks at the importance of professional relationships, the psychology of personal image and impact and the three personal impact 'tools' which affect what people say about us when we're not in the room.

  • Mortality and Longevity 2020

    1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London SW1H 9JJ
    08-08 June 2020
    Spaces available

    This highly regarded seminar will provide topical and practical updates and discussion on the latest thinking and innovations in mortality and longevity.  The program is designed for life, pensions and health and care actuaries, academics, researchers, underwriters and related practitioners eager to learn about the latest developments in mortality and longevity.  The sessions are designed to be very accessible to a broad range of exp

  • Professional Skills Training - London (10 June 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ       
    10 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - Edinburgh (17 June 2020)

    IFoA (Edinburgh), Level 2, Exchange Crescent 7 Conference Square Edinburgh EH3 8RA
    17 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Professional Skills Training - London (18 June 2020)

    Staple Inn, High Holborn, London WC1V 7QJ   
    18 June 2020

    Spaces available

    A Trusted Profession

    A 2 hour CPD event designed to meet the IFoA’s Stage 3 Professional Skills Training under the IFoA’s CPD Scheme 2019/2020This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Pensions, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

  • Pensions Conference 2020

    Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel, Blackfriars Street, Manchester,M3 2EQ
    18-19 June 2020
    Spaces available

    Join us as this year’s conference that will focus on topics including  funding and savings, pension law current issues, ESG, the end game and transferring risk, investment issues, data visualisation and data science.

  • IFoA Asia Conference 2020, Kuala Lumpur

    CCEC Nexus, 7, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    24-25 June 2020
    Spaces available

    This event has been postponed. A new date will be announced.

    The IFoA's policy regarding COVID-19 is designed to safeguard the well-being of members and employees. As stated within the policy, the IFoA is reviewing its events programme on a case-by-case basis.

    To this end the IFoA and their strategic partner, the AIR, have taken the decision to postpone this year's Asia Conference. A new date will be announced pending further reviews over the following months.