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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

  • KSS event in Glasgow: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson, Glasgow 20 Waterloo St, Glasgow
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Stirling: Public Sector Pensions

    M&G Prudential, Stirling Craigforth Campus, Stirling
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • KSS event in Edinburgh: Public Sector Pensions

    Hymans Robertson 1, Exchange Place, Semple St, Edinburgh
    30 January 2020

    Spaces available

    – the unappreciated key assumption, the resulting unsustainable promises, the unmanaged risk and the unrecognised debt? 

    Speaker: Allan Martin will present this talk on 30 January in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh. If you wish to register for another location please return to the Events Calendar.

  • The Great Risk Transfer – Breakfast briefing and launch event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn London WC1V 7QJ
    31 January 2020

    Fully booked.

     

    Launch of the IFoA’s 2020 thought leadership campaign The Great Risk Transfer. The campaign will examine the trend of the transfer of risk from institutions to individuals, and how people can be better equipped to manage the financial risks they now face. At this breakfast event the IFoA will launch a call for evidence on this topic.

  • Joint IFoA and SOAT Professional Skills Training event - Bangkok

    Thai Life Insurance PCL, 13th Floor, Meeting Room 13/2, 123 Ratchadaphisek Road, Din Daeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand  
    7 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This session is jointly organised by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and the Society of Actuaries of Thailand (SOAT).

    Video case studies will be selected from the IFoA’s 2019/2020 online content which covers a range of topics under an overarching theme of “A Trusted Profession”. This session is suitable for actuaries working in any area (i.e. it is not specifically aimed at Life, GI or any other technical discipline) and is interactive, so you should come along prepared to take part in the discussions.

     

  • Cyber Risk Event

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ
    10 February 2020

    Spaces available

    What do good cyber practices look like and, to what extent, can we as an industry implement these operationally and recognise these for underwriting?

  • KSS event: Where now for pensions?

    Royal London Group, 1 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DG
    18 February 2020

    Spaces available

    With a single party government at Westminster holding a comfortable majority, and with the first phase of Brexit complete, the potential for radical reforms of the pensions landscape is increased. 

    Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb discusses what changes we can expect to see in pensions including in state pensions, pension tax relief, automatic enrolment and the workplace pension landscape.

  • Sessional: Impact of E-cigarettes Working Party

    Royal College of Physicians, 9 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ
    24 February 2020

    Spaces available

    This sessional meeting will be of direct interest to actuaries and others working in the in the Health and Care, Life or Pensions sectors or indeed actuaries with an interest in morbidity or mortality. Note: Registration is from 17.30 in time for the sessional to begin at 18.00.

  • KSS event: How is Scotland’s population changing and what are the implications?

    New Register House, 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh
    5 March 2020

    Spaces available

    The National Records of Scotland (NRS) collects, preserves and produces information about Scotland's people and history to inform current and future generations - work that underpins the fabric of Scottish society and tells the story of our nation. This KSS talk will explore the following and other areas impacting Scotland’s changing population, and assess the potential implications of the changes:

  • Highlights of the Life Conference 2019 - London

    America Square Conference Centre, 17, One Crosswall, America Square, London EC3N 2LB  
    11 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will cover the highlights from the Life Conference 2019 held in Dublin.. The Conference Committee has reviewed session feedback and has put together a high-quality technical programme featuring the best sessions from the Life Conference 2019.  Book now to ensure your place.

  • Board agenda: Why Responsible Investing, ESG, and Climate Change matters to Pension Funds, Companies

    Staple Inn, 4 High Holborn, Holborn, London. WC1V 6DR, UK
    19 March 2020

    Spaces available

    Recent years have seen ESG, Climate Change, and Responsible Investing thrust onto the corporate agenda in every boardroom. The same also be said for pension funds. Expectations of how companies should respond are high and NEDs on Boards are expected to adapt and adjust their guidance to companies accordingly. What does this mean for Actuaries serving as NEDs and Trustees?

  • KSS event: A Cashless Society- Benefits, Risks, Issues and Developments

    Deloitte, 4th Floor, Saltire Court, 20 Castle Terrace
    19 March 2020

    Spaces available

    Speaker: Iain Collier, Chair of the CSWP

    The talk will look to cover the following: Progression towards a Cashless Society • Developments home and overseas • Benefits, Risks and Issues • Crypto Currencies and Central Bank Digital Currencies.

    There will be an extended Q&A session at the end of the event.

  • Spring Lecture 2020, Edinburgh - Vicky Pryce

    Assembly Rooms, 54 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming at Staple Inn - Vicky Pryce

    Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1 V 7QJ
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    This event will be live streamed from Edinburgh. 

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us for our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • Spring Lecture 2020: Live Streaming

    Webinar
    25 March 2020

    Spaces available

    What next in Economic Policy? Please join us on 25 March 2020 for the live stream of our annual Spring Lecture presented by Vicky Pryce in Edinburgh. Vicky is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

  • SIAS Event: CMI Update

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

    Spaces available

    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.

  • 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

    Join us at the IFoA Asia Conference 2020 at CCEC Nexus, Kuala Lumpur where intellectual thought leaders, senior industry players, opinion formers, academics, actuaries and non-actuaries from across Asia and beyond are expected to attend. This year's landmark conference promises to an exciting one as our first Asian President-elect, Tan Suee Chieh will, as newly appointed president of the IFoA, use his presidential address to highlight the two key pillars of the IFoA’s emerging strategy:

    • the reinvention of the profession in terms of its skillsets and mind-sets so that we can thrive in an increasing range of domains in a digital age;
    • the widening application of actuarial science in achieving social impact and sustainability goals.

    We are also delighted to announce that the Honourable Mr. Lim Guan Eng, Minister of Finance, Malaysia, will be the guest of honour at this year's conference.

    Early bird registration is now open until 1 March.  10% group discounts are offered to a minimum of six IFoA members booking in a single transaction.  Limited spaces are available, so please sign-up early to avoid disappointment.