I am often asked, ‘What is the point of the IFoA?’ I usually reply that our role is to enable our members and future members to have professionally and personally rewarding careers and to feel part of a professional community that is making a difference.
Careers can be long, and the IFoA’s role is to ensure the qualification process sets our members up well and provides help, support and encouragement so members can go wherever their careers might take them. We want you to be able to keep pace with rapid changes in more established areas of actuarial employment, and to have the skills and mindset to adapt and lead within a wider and rapidly changing global professional environment, where actuarial skills remain sought after.
In 2021, the IFoA embarked on a Thought Leadership programme to promote innovative thinking, debate and discussion within and beyond the profession. This repositioned the IFoA at the centre of key societal issues, some of which are profoundly actuarial and some of which reach out beyond actuarial thought but may be influenced by actuaries. The programme strives to add to the debate while engaging and inspiring audiences, whether that be actuaries, politicians, regulators, academics or the public.
For those who are starting out in your careers, there will be a lot of change to adapt to during your working life and we want to ensure you are equipped to deal with it. These days, there are few clearly-defined career plans, and our role is to ensure members have the skills to be able to go wherever they find interesting, rewarding work – perhaps even into areas no one is currently contemplating. One of the ways we are preparing early-career members is by enhancing our pre-Associate curriculum to include materials on emerging domains, introducing optionality into the subjects our students study, and updating the competencies that the exams test against to ensure these are the skills that will serve them best.
We can only do this in partnership with you, our members, but you have our commitment that we will continue to develop and broaden our support to you.
Stephen Mann is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries