Derek Cribb explains how the Quality Assurance Scheme will benefit all concerned
Public confidence in the quality of actuarial work is vital to both commercial and professional success. That confidence is not just determined by individual actuaries, acting in isolation, but also by the environment in which they work. Organisations have a crucial influence on that environment, and therefore on the ability of our members to deliver high quality work, in accordance with their professional obligations.
A key objective for the IFoA this year will be delivering the new Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) - a voluntary scheme that will accredit organisations meeting the objectives set out in a new standard, APS QA1. This focuses on good practice in the development and delivery of actuarial work. By engaging at an organisational level, we open up a two-way dialogue and are giving employers a greater opportunity to influence regulatory developments.
I believe that the QAS will play an important role in delivering our public interest duties. The independent assurance the scheme provides will not only help organisations demonstrate their commitment to good practice to clients, and indeed the wider public, but will also enhance their presence in what is a highly competitive market. Although the scheme is voluntary, we hope that employers will recognise its relevance and the benefits it offers to their business. Proportionate, targeted regulation is a key principle for the IFoA, and we must continue to ensure we take a balanced approach, mindful that disproportionate or unjustified regulatory intervention serves neither the public nor our members. I believe the QAS will help us to tread this fine line.
This really is the time to act. I am proud of our self-regulatory status. I believe that this model, exercised responsibly, and subject to independent controls, allows us most effectively to serve the public interest relevantly and appropriately, in partnership with our membership. It is by engaging in projects such as the QAS that we are able to maintain our collective credibility and relevance as a modern and forward-thinking professional body, and profession, that properly places the public interest at its heart.
To help refine our proposals we will be launching a pilot in June, and I look forward to reporting back the outcome to members.
Should you have any queries about this initiative, please email [email protected]