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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Associate status

Am I the only actuary who’s a bit hacked off with the new status of the ‘associate’ qualification? Specifically the ability of that class of member to call themselves actuaries?

After spending five-and-a-half years (summer weekends at Brixton library with no air con – nice!) studying mostly irrelevant subject matter to pass the exams, I now feel the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. At the time of studying the exams I was able to rationalise the pettiness of the exams and skills it took to pass (learning endless lists/pointless derivations of formulae to recite, etc) because the qualification was a badge of honour, a gold standard – now associates are actuaries, I’m not sure this is true any more.

I fully appreciate one of the main aims of the Faculty and Institute is to promote the profession and get more graduates to join, but is lowering standards really the best way to achieve this?

As a profession actuaries are considered boring, unable to communicate, and largely responsible for various savings disasters (demise of final salary pensions, Equitable Life, etc) – now even our qualification has been watered down – well done the Faculty and Institute of Actuaries.