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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Faculty of Actuaries adjudication panel

Mr Stuart Macpherson Pender FFA (the Respondent)

On 15 July 2009 the Adjudication Panel considered a complaint that the Respondent:

1 For the CPD year 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 failed to declare the appropriate CPD Category as required by the Actuarial Profession and set out in the CPD Schemes contained with the CPD Handbook 2007 (version 12) at page 7; the CPD Handbook 2007 (version 13) at pages 7 and 12; and the CPD Handbook 2007/08 (version 14) at pages 8, 9 and 13.
2 For the CPD year 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008 failed to maintain an online record of CPD undertaken as required by the Actuarial Profession and set out in the CPD Handbook 2007 (version 12) at pages 10, 13 and 23; the CPD Handbook 2007 (version 13) at pages 8, 9, 10, 13, and 23; and the CPD Handbook 2007/2008 (version 14) at pages 9, 10, 11, 14, and 24.

And, in failing to do all of the above, he failed to maintain and observe the highest standards of conduct expected of a Member, contrary to paragraph 2.1 of version 2.3 of the Professional Conduct Standards and paragraphs 1.2 and 2.1 of version 3.0 of the Professional Conduct Standards, which is therefore Misconduct in terms of Rule 1.6(b) of the Disciplinary Scheme for the Faculty of Actuaries as constituting conduct falling below the standards of behaviour, integrity, or competence which other members or the public might reasonably expect of a Member.

The Panel determined that the case report and the evidence annexed to it disclosed a prima facie case of Misconduct in respect of the allegations made against the Respondent in accordance with Rule 4.2(b)(i) of the Faculty’s disciplinary scheme and that the Respondent should be invited to accept that there had been Misconduct and to accept the following sanction:

A reprimand.

The Panel’s reasons were as follows:

a) The Respondent admitted the allegations against him.
b) The Panel noted that the CPD Handbook 2007/08 (version 14) states, “... it is not the professional body’s intention that every failure to comply with the requirements of the CPD Handbook would normally be treated as grounds for complaint under the disciplinary procedures. For example, if the failure to fulfil appears to be the result of misunderstanding the requirements... then the committee will probably discuss the situation with the actuary and will want a plan to be prepared to rectify the situation.”
The Respondent claimed to have misunderstood the requirements of the Actuarial Profession’s CPD Scheme but the Panel felt that any misunderstanding could only be as a result of the Respondent not having made sufficient attempt to understand his obligations.
c) The information and reminders about the CPD Scheme in general circulars was not prominent. For example, in the 14 March 2008 circular, the item on CPD followed items on the merger with the Faculty, meetings in Edinburgh and general insurance.
E-mails sent addressed ‘BCC’ to the Respondent referred to his being “in default of the CPD Scheme” without reference to the disciplinary procedures. To understand the potential for a reference to the disciplinary procedures, the Respondent would have been required to find, download and examine the CPD scheme from the Profession’s website.
However, the e-mail of 12 March 2008 to the Respondent did give a warning of a reference to the disciplinary processes for the following year. In the situation of a member working in the UK, the Panel took the view that this was sufficient and should have alerted the Respondent to the seriousness of his obligations under the scheme.
d) The Panel was satisfied that the Respondent is now correctly classified as a category 3 actuary under the CPD scheme and, as such, is no longer required to complete a mandatory amount of CPD.
e) Considering all the circumstances of this complaint and the guidance issued by the Disciplinary Board, the Panel did not believe it appropriate to impose a fine on the Respondent.