The IFoA has launched a consultation on changes to its Practising Certificates (PC) requirements.
The proposals would change the IFoA’s approach to, and process for, determining the suitability of candidates for PCs, including the criteria used in decisions to award PCs.
The IFoA’s PC Scheme sets out requirements for IFoA members to obtain a PC before being appointed to particular roles. Those roles are ones that have been identified as key UK regulated actuarial roles, such as chief actuary to an insurance company regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority, or scheme actuary to a defined benefit pension scheme.
The review of the PC Scheme is the first substantive look at the IFoA’s approach to the requirements and process for PCs since 2010 and responds to feedback received on the operation of the current scheme, including from members and PC holders.
The proposals would involve more emphasis on the PC application stage than on annual renewals, introduction of a competency-based criteria, and enhanced support for members throughout the different stages of the PC process, including the pathway to being a PC holder.
More specifically, the proposals would:
- Place a greater focus on initial applications, with annual renewals becoming a ‘lighter touch’ process and fuller renewals required every three years
- Replace the current suitability criteria, which are focused on recent relevant technical experience, with a competency based criteria, ensuring that all competent members are able to obtain a PC
- Introduce a wider range of ways to assess competence, including an option for discussions and interviews with applicants
- Change attestation requirements, either to widen the scope of who can attest to a candidate being ‘fit and proper’ so that it is not just restricted to existing PC holders, or to remove the requirement entirely
- Introduce requirements for all initial PC applicants to have sat the new UK practice modules within the two years before their PC application is made. More information on the new UK practice modules will be published by the IFoA shortly
- Place more emphasis on the pathway to becoming a PC holder, including more awareness and support for potential candidates
- Link the PC Scheme into the new IFoA Reflective Practice Discussions so that those considering applying for a PC are assisted in identifying any gaps in their skills and discuss their development plans
- Introduce more relevant PC holder specific continuing professional development (CPD), including sessions, materials and toolkits
- Improve the application and renewal processes to make them as user-friendly, fair and transparent as possible.
Views are also sought on the additional CPD requirements that apply to PC holders, as well as the potential to link the PC process with the IFoA’s Quality Assurance Scheme accreditation.
Neil Buckley, independent chair of the IFoA’s Regulation Board, said of the review: “The PC Scheme sits at the heart of the IFoA’s role regulating UK actuaries. It is the means by which IFoA members are able to take on key UK actuarial roles, influencing decisions that have significant implications for consumers. It is therefore essential, in the public interest, that the PC Scheme is effective for the consumers that it seeks to protect, as well as being appropriate and proportionate for members. We have identified a number of ways by which we believe the PC Scheme could be improved, including changes that should make the process more efficient for members.”
More information on the proposals and on how to respond can be found in the consultation package, available at bit.ly/3sA16ne. Review the proposals and share your thoughts by 1 July 2021.