This month the revised Actuaries Code comes into force.
Since the Code first came into effect in 2008, the actuarial profession has moved into more diverse fields and the number of members working outside the UK has increased.
To make sure the Code remains relevant and appropriate for the profession today, we have reviewed and updated it.
Why is the Code important?
The Actuaries' Code is the ethical code of conduct for IFoA members. It is designed to support members in adhering to high standards of professional and personal conduct, while protecting the public interest and assuring trust in the profession.
The Code sets out six principles that IFoA members must abide by:
- Competence and care
- Speaking up
Each principle has a number of amplifications that give examples of the behaviour expected. You can find further details and guidance at here.
The Code applies to all members, in their capacity as an actuary and when their behaviour in their personal lives could reflect on the profession.
Changes to the Code
The revised Code has simplified language. The words 'must' and 'should' are used to clearly demonstrate the nature of obligations under the Code. 'Must' denotes a mandatory requirement. 'Should' indicates a requirement that members are expected to follow but in some circumstances non-compliance will be justifiable.
The requirement to speak up has been redrafted as a standalone principle reflecting how important it is for members to voice concerns. It asks that members "speak up if they believe, or have reasonable cause to believe, that a course of action is unethical or is unlawful".
The requirement to speak up is much broader than the traditional concept of whistleblowing. Members are expected to raise issues with clients, peers and colleagues, as well as report serious concerns through the appropriate channels in their workplace or to the relevant regulator or body.
To support members in understanding the obligations and applying the Code in practice, the IFoA has produced Guidance to the Code. It provides more information on each of the principles and has helpful pointers for members, employers and users of actuarial work.
The Guidance draws on several other IFoA Guides such as the Conflicts of Interest Guide, which has also been revised and updated.
The Guidance has been published online as a dynamic, interactive tool for members. The IFoA hopes this will make the document easy to access and navigate, and ultimately easier to digest. The Revised Code and Guidance are now available on the IFoA's website.