Derek Cribb outlines the scheme that has boosted the IFoAs reputation for innovation
Innovative is not a word often applied to professional bodies, but the findings from our recent ComRes survey show that this is the reputation the IFoA now has among its stakeholders.
One innovation that is causing considerable excitement among our members and sister organisations internationally is the new Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS), which we launched on 1 September. Designed for organisations that undertake actuarial work, the QAS is the first scheme of its type that accredits the quality of the policies and processes which underpin the work of IFoA members.
This groundbreaking initiative is open to all organisations that employ IFoA members, initially in the UK.
This is the first time that we have been able to offer our members' firms the opportunity to publicise an IFoA quality stamp, something that will give both the public and clients greater confidence when looking to engage with QAS-accredited providers. Organisations that are accredited will be able to use the QAS mark and branding on their communications and marketing materials, giving their clients a new level of assurance as to that organisation's actuarial quality. It is easy to see why the QAS could become the industry standard to demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of an organisation's actuarial processes.
While it's great to have a new offering to help build public confidence in our members' firms, it is the view of others in the regulatory environment that can really add weight. That's why I am delighted that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has also endorsed the QAS, stating that it would "encourage businesses to join the Scheme" - a great endorsement from a body whose mission is "promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment".
We expect to announce the first tranche of accredited organisations in the spring of 2016, so if you want to be a part of this lead group please ensure that you submit your applications no later than 1 November.
Lastly, I would like thank the five firms that took part in our trial of the QAS: Lane Clark & Peacock, Barnett Waddingham, First Actuarial, BBS Consultants and Actuaries, and Towers Watson.
More information on the QAS can be found at www.actuaries.org.uk/QAS or by emailing [email protected]