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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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The Actuaries’ Code — spreading the word

With the introduction of the Actuaries’ Code, how do we ensure that all members are aware of it and, just as importantly, have had an opportunity to think through what it means for them? That is what the Professionalism Awareness Committee has been addressing, and we have planned a range of activities to communicate with as many members as possible. We hope that we have designed activities which will address the needs of all of our members in one way or another, but we are always open to practical new ideas, so if you have an idea then please let us know.

The response has various aspects. At the very basic level, (and not really due to any work by the Committee) we know that all the members have been advised of the new Code, normally by e-mail, but also by other means where no e-mail address is held. The website has also contained this information, and we hope to include reference to the Code in the sessional meetings occurring in the near future. The professionalism courses and events for newly qualified and experienced actuaries have already been changed to include the Actuaries’ Code and discussions on what this means for individual actuaries.

In October we will introduce a simple and easy-to-use training module with an accompanying quiz on the website (similar to those which many of us use at work for topics like health and safety or money laundering and so on). Awareness means more than simply telling of the Code’s existence. We also need to enable members to think through what the Code means for them, and how, if at all, behaviour needs to change. Let me stress that as the Code is principles-based, our role is not to provide further guidance on the Code but to act as a catalyst for members to develop their own thoughts on this. Our activities have been arranged with this in mind.

We have been provided with plenary session opportunities by the Life and GI convention organisers but, given the logistics involved, this will not extend to discussion sessions — which we know from recent experience are a very popular and successful way of helping us to think through issues. We hope to have something approaching inter-actuary discussions at our meetings with local actuarial societies, where we are offering to attend a meeting and lead a discussion on the Code. We can also offer this to any actuarial group within a company. If your group has not been contacted by us concerning this opportunity, do not be shy. Contact us through Fiona Goddard (address below) and we will do what we can to provide a speaker.

We will write some articles on the Code for publication in The Actuary and, while the full details have still to be determined, these will probably be in the form of case studies.

We are conscious that we have a large overseas membership to whom the Code applies, and hence we should offer them similar opportunities to UK-based members. This has its own additional challenges, and we will work with local actuarial organisations to deliver activity in this capacity.

By early 2010, we aim to have provided all members with at least one opportunity to have considered the Code and what it means for them. We believe we will achieve this in the ways I have described, but please let us know if there are alternative activities which would be a possibility for a group of members with whom you are involved. Contact us through Fiona Goddard at fiona.goddard@actuaries.org.uk