In her first speech as president, Fiona Morrison confirmed that the IFoA will be launching a Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for organisations.
In her first speech as president, Fiona Morrison confirmed that the IFoA will be launching a Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) for organisations. The launch will be in September 2015 and follows a successful pilot scheme that took place in 2014.
This is part of a range of measures that focus on the policies and procedures that assure the quality of work produced by members. The IFoA recognises the importance of the working environment to a member's ability to produce high-quality actuarial work and that employees applying quality processes will lead to quality outputs.
"This is driving an overall improvement in standards for the profession," said Paul Bunzl, of BBS Consultants & Actuaries - one of the organisations in the pilot group.
This voluntary scheme is open to any organisation (or identifiable part of an organisation) that employs IFoA members, regardless of the type of work that they do.
Organisations must demonstrate their commitment to the quality of actuarial work. They will have to show that they maintain and apply appropriate policies and procedures. These relate to issues such as: quality assurance (including work review), conflicts of interest, the development and training of members, speaking up and the relationship with users.
The QAS is outcomes-focused and looks at whether the organisation is meeting those outcomes, rather than simply how it achieves them. The Quality Assurance Scheme Handbook also provides help and suggestions for what might constitute good practice.
What does the assessment look like?
An independent assessment team will conduct qualitative interviews with a range of staff. As well as seeing that an organisation has in place appropriate policies and procedures, they will look to understand and get a feeling for whether these are embedded within the culture and are applied by employees.
The assessors will not only assess whether the organisation is meeting the requirements for QAS status but will also recommend areas for improvement or highlight different approaches that could be taken.
Organisations that are accredited will be able to use the QAS mark and branding on their communications and marketing materials. They will also be able to join a forum where they will be able to share good practice and be part of a community that supports its members.
If your organisation wishes to apply for QAS status, then you will need to complete and submit an application form. Applications can be submitted from 1 September 2015.
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