Lifelong learning is one of the hallmarks of a professional: it demonstrates commitment to excellence, supports development and has the potential to mould us into more rounded professionals.
Lifelong learning is one of the hallmarks of a professional: it demonstrates commitment to excellence, supports development and has the potential to mould us into more rounded professionals. As members of the IFoA, your overarching Actuaries' Code obligation to maintain your competence is directly supported by the principles embedded in our continuing professional development (CPD) scheme.
In the second instalment of this series, which focuses on the practical aspects of the CPD scheme and challenges common misconceptions, our general counsel, Ben Kemp, is in conversation with fictional member Bernadette Smith, a GI practitioner nearing retirement.
Smith With nearly 40 years of experience in the GI sector, I confess that I have started to question the benefit of CPD to me at this stage in my career.
Kemp Our members' commitment to lifelong learning, as evidenced by the CPD scheme, is one of the reasons they are held in such high regard. Our experience is that we all benefit from ongoing learning and keeping up to date; it is just that the nature of that learning will naturally alter as our roles change and careers develop to different stages.
As a member of another constantly changing profession, I find that there is always something to learn, whether it's a technical development, professionalism, or even brushing up on developments in people management or running a business. Typically, members will have different roles and levels of responsibility in the later stages of their career. For me, the key is to reflect on what is really going to benefit my work and development at the stage I am at and to not simply adopt a more formulaic, tick-box approach to gaining CPD hours.
Smith Thanks - I've been focusing on mostly technical learning, but it's helpful to think more widely about what kinds of learning would actually benefit me at this stage in my career. I plan to wind down my workload over the next two years before retiring completely - will I still have to complete the full 15 hours of CPD as my workload reduces?
Kemp In general, yes. But don't look at this too narrowly. In the context of the broader skills relevant to your current and developing role, our experience is that members are often more than meeting the required number of hours in any event.
Smith Having been a member of the profession for over 40 years, I'd like to retain links to the IFoA once I retire, but membership doesn't seem sensible if it means I'd have to continue to complete CPD.
Kemp You can apply to be classified as retired under the CPD arrangements if you meet the criteria for retired status. So long as you're not in paid work that relies on your actuarial training and experience, in the widest sense, or on your membership of the IFoA - and you don't plan to return to work - you can be classified as retired. Just write to the Membership Team to apply. If you are still doing actuarial work (broadly defined), but only doing a minimal amount (less than 20 hours per CPD year) you can also apply for a full exemption from your CPD obligations.