Clifford Friend on his passion for the IFoA’s new Learning Change Programme – our biggest investment in learning for decades – and how it will transform members’ future learning experience
What is the Learning Change Programme?
It’s the first step in modernising and broadening our qualifications and lifelong learning. It will empower members to succeed in emerging professional domains, keep pace in established areas of actuarial employment, and equip members with the skills and mindset to adapt to a rapidly changing professional environment.
It will improve learning provision for members at every stage in their careers, from students sitting their first examination to those in senior roles refreshing their knowledge. It will be delivered through projects focused on our pre-Associate learning, pre-Fellowship study, modern and digital methods of assessment, and an enhanced lifelong learning offering.
What is the background to the Programme?
It underpins Council’s Vision,Skills, Mindset and Domains strategy (bit.ly/3tt0aC7) to ‘reinvent’ the profession.
To equip members for successful, sustainable careers in future we need to deliver modern, flexible learning. The Programme will ensure this is high quality, globally relevant, responsive to an increasingly agile profession, and delivered and assessed through technologically advanced, forward-looking solutions.
We have used insight from our regular member and student surveys, and feedback from meetings and events, to understand the challenges impacting our members’ careers and their future needs for professional development. This programme responds directly to this feedback, alongside that from employers and other key partners.
“The Learning Change Programme will improve learning provision for members at every stage in their careers”
What will this mean for the IFoA’s qualifications?
The pre-Associate curriculum is being reviewed to ensure subject areas, case studies and recommended reading are current and internationally relevant. Independent research will also identify the future needs for this curriculum, including developing a new competency framework.
A broader portfolio of study will also be offered for our Fellowship, drawing on member-led work in a number of new areas; the first new modules on banking are to be launched this month.
These changes will support all student members in developing contemporary knowledge and skills that will enable them to have successful careers in a wider range of actuarial domains.
Are there plans for changes in the way examinations are delivered?
We will be procuring a new on-screen examination delivery solution to offer a more advanced service and improve candidate experience, while maintaining our examinations’ integrity and high standards. We plan to move a number of current examinations to this new system in the September 2022 session.
In the longer term, we plan to introduce ‘Objective Based Testing’ for the early mathematical modules of the Associateship, allowing us to consider offering flexible, on-demand style assessment in the future.
Will the Programme go beyond improvements to the qualifications and their assessment?
Yes. One of the central elements of the Programme is developing an enhanced portfolio of lifelong learning. We have already begun expanding this offering and are keen to build on the success of our Certificate in Data Science and the new Banking and Sustainability Lifelong Learning microsites. We will be engaging with key stakeholders to scope the IFoA’s future lifelong learning offering and develop new opportunities for members to refresh their knowledge and skills, building new competencies throughout their careers.
Will there be opportunities for members to get involved in shaping Programme outcomes?
Absolutely. It’s essential that members’ needs and aspirations continue to drive the improvements this Programme will deliver. We will produce regular updates on progress and share information resources through the Programme microsite, The Actuary, newsletters and email. Please also look out for opportunities to get involved and help shape the future of your learning with the IFoA.
You can find a more detailed description of the IFoA Learning Change Programme at bit.ly/396xpnh
Clifford Friend is director of learning and engagement at the IFoA