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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

CPD for non-UK actuaries

As all members of the Faculty and
Institute should know by now, new
requirements for continuing
professional development (CPD) were introduced from 1 July 2006. Their objectives are to ensure that actuaries develop and maintain the professional skills they need and to ensure that others can confidently trust that they have done so. We have had a number of questions from actuaries who live and work outside the United Kingdom about how the scheme affects them. This article is intended to clarify the position. It is not intended to cover the details of the requirements: these are available on the profession’s website (See www.actuaries

The most important point is that the requirements apply to all members wherever they live and work. Membership of the Faculty or Institute should indicate to the client, employer, or the world at large that an actuary meets certain standards of competence and behaviour; this should be true whether the member lives and works in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. These days, these standards include minimum levels of CPD.
The only exception to this general rule relates to the requirement that all category 2 actuaries basically those doing actuarial work but who do not need one of the profession’s practising certificates must attend a refresher course on professionalism approved by the profession at least once every ten years. Actuaries outside the United Kingdom do not need to fulfil this requirement. This concession was introduced for two reasons. First, the event is somewhat oriented towards United Kingdom concerns, and would be less relevant to actuaries elsewhere; secondly we thought it would be disproportionate to make actuaries travel to the United Kingdom to attend these courses. We have not made the same concession for category 1 actuaries those who have United Kingdom practising certificates as they must, to some extent, be practising in the United Kingdom. However, there are very few category 1 actuaries outside the United Kingdom.
Many members of the Faculty and Institute outside the United Kingdom are also members of local actuarial bodies, some of which have their own CPD schemes with which their members must comply. We would expect that they will count many of the same activities twice: once for their local scheme and once for the Faculty and Institute’s scheme. If members are already doing enough CPD to meet the requirements there is no intention of making them do more. The only extra requirement will be reporting their CPD to the Faculty or Institute, and we intend to make this as simple as possible.
Some of the CPD schemes run by other actuarial bodies require levels of CPD at least as great as those in our new requirements. In these cases, the United Kingdom profession will recognise the schemes as equivalent to ours, and allow non-UK members simply to notify us that they have fulfilled the requirements of the local scheme rather than provide a list of activities undertaken. At present we are looking at other schemes to identify those that will qualify. On the other hand, the recording system we have put in place on the Faculty and Institute’s website has been designed to be as simple to use as possible, and you may find that it is the best place to record your CPD activities anyway.

Attending events
Some members outside the United Kingdom are concerned that they cannot easily get to events put on by the Faculty and Institute. No doubt this is true, but, contrary to what some people seem to believe, no member anywhere needs to attend our events to meet the requirements: we expect that many members will get most or all of their CPD from events run by their employers or external providers, or from private study. We would expect members outside the United Kingdom to attend events run by their local actuarial bodies. These are likely to be more relevant to their particular circumstances, as well as being more convenient. However, we will also be making Faculty and Institute events more accessible: for example, sessional meetings will be available on the website, and other events and courses will be added. Over time, this should build into a large volume of material that is easily accessible to everyone with a connection to the internet, wherever they are in the world.
We hope that few actuaries will need to do more CPD as a result of the new requirements, either because they are already covered by another body’s scheme or else because the activities they undertake to keep abreast of latest developments are sufficient to meet the new requirements. Monitoring of all members’ CPD by the Faculty and Institute is a new requirement, but we have taken care to make this as simple as possible. Nobody should find that meeting the new requirements is onerous.