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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Professionalism events for all

ou will know that actuaries who work in the UK or Republic of Ireland will in future need to attend a professionalism event at least once every ten years. This new requirement took effect from 1 July 2006 as a part of the new CPD arrangements that were implemented at the same time.
The Professionalism Steering Committee has developed the programme for these events and ran the first one in February, in good time before 1 July, so that the format could be proven to be appropriate appealing, even. The feedback from that event, attended by 60 actuaries across all practice areas, and including many senior members of the profession, was very positive and the Professional Affairs Board agreed afterwards that the events should be rolled out to the whole profession.
The new professionalism events
The new events take place over one day and contain a mixture of short presentations and longer breakout discussion groups. The presentations include those by speakers from other professions. The breakout groups debate and report back on issues relating to professionalism and business ethics, as well as analysing specialism-specific case studies. This gives everyone a valuable opportunity to share views about the interpretation of professional responsibility in different contexts. Attendees will also be able to test their understanding of the professional conduct standards by answering multiple-choice questions (MCQs) using keypads, ‘ask the audience’-style.
The presentations and the MCQs are held in plenary session. The breakouts are for groups of about 25 actuaries each. When debating issues and analysing case studies, these groups of 25 work in subgroups of five people each. We know, based on the experience we have gained over years of running professionalism courses for new fellows and experienced actuaries, that working in small subgroups, and feeding back to the larger group of 25, will be important to ensure that the events meets their objectives.

Never attended a professionalism course or have not attended for at least ten years?
Our records show there are about 3,000 actuaries who work in the UK and Republic of Ireland who have never attended a professionalism course or who have not attended one for at least ten years, and therefore are due to attend one. This includes all of us who are classified as category 1, 2, or 3 in the new CPD scheme (see panel 2), even if some of us only spend a few hours each year carrying out work that might make the recipients of the work perceive us to be actuaries, or if our work is non-actuarial.
In order to manage this ‘backlog’ of 3,000 actuaries in an orderly fashion we have drawn up a schedule of deadlines showing when you should attend based on the year that you qualified (see panel 5).
We suggest that if you are a category 1 actuary you should attend an event as soon as possible, although renewing your certificate only requires you to attend by the date in the schedule.
Those of you who are category 3 must decide whether it will be appropriate for you to attend an event in the context of your CPD needs. We recommend that you should attend and, judging from the feedback received after the events that have already been held, you may find the day surprisingly enjoyable and worthwhile.
The intention is to hold five events in the UK each year for the next three to four years, with up to 250 actuaries at each event, in order to catch up the backlog. After that, there will be an ongoing need for around 1,000 actuaries to attend an event each year in order to meet the ten-year requirement.
These events will provide a valuable opportunity for networking as well as making an important contribution to maintaining the standards of our profession.
We look forward to welcoming you to the event of your choice.