Changes to the Actuaries Code are due to come into force from 1 October 2013
On its introduction in 2009, the code became the touchstone of the IFoA's public interest function and of its commitment to promoting the highest of ethical standards in its members. It has been well received by members and the feedback received by the IFoA suggests that it is viewed in a largely positive light.
In order to ensure that the code remains relevant and reflects any changes within the profession or its regulatory landscape, provision was made for the code to be reviewed within a certain period of time. The recent changes follow such a review of the code.
The review was described by the Actuaries' Code Review Working Party as having a 'light touch'. This reflects the general view that the code is a good example of a practical, principles-based document and that changes should not be made unless there is good reason.
Following their review, the working party made a number of recommendations for change, which aimed to:
(1) amend the code to reflect the merged body of the IFoA and the replacement of the Board for Actuarial Standards with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC);
(2) bring honorary fellows within its scope;
(3) amend the impartiality provisions to reflect the conflicts of interest guidance published by the IFoA; and
(4) introduce provisions to reflect the ethical code of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) in relation to actuaries taking responsibility for their own work.
The proposals were consulted upon in March and April and the results published on the IFoA's website. There were around 270 responses to the consultation and a large majority of respondents agreed with the proposed changes. There was specific engagement with relevant stakeholders including the IAA and the FRC.
The changes were approved by the Professional Regulation Executive Committee (now the Regulation Board) and will come into force on 1 October 2013, which is exactly four years after the original code came into effect. Additional resource material to assist with understanding the new changes will be added to the IFoA's website in the course of the next couple of months.
It is anticipated that a more substantial, review of the code will take place in 2015.