Derek Cribb outlines some of the key changes to the new IFoA strategy
It's been five years since we published the last IFoA strategy. In that time, while the IFoA's mission as an organisation has not changed, the world has moved on. Some developments were highlighted in last month's issue. I am delighted that Council has now signed off the refreshed strategy that sets the direction for the next five years; this will position us and our members as relevant professionals in an uncertain future.
I look forward to discussing our strategy with you face to face across the regions in the coming months. Until then I'd like to highlight some of the key changes here.
Our strategy follows our Charter, serving the public interest, advancing actuarial science and regulating and promoting the actuarial profession. It also reflects the importance of agility in a rapidly changing environment.
As an organisation we have established ourselves as a leading professional body in the field of quantitative risk: we now seek to establish ourselves as a leading professional body by any measure. We best serve the Charter and our members as a strong and focused organisation; this is what you, our members, expect and it is what you deserve.
The IFoA is a global organisation, with a proud UK heritage. With a growing 60% of our learners based outside the UK, and an increasing number of non-UK qualified members, we have developed a strategy that will serve all our members wherever they are based. By blending the best of technology and local representation, we will deliver increasingly high-quality support, ensuring our members have the greatest chance of success.
The actuarial world is still relatively small, and while global markets are at different stages of development, demand remains strong for professionals qualified at all levels in actuarial science. The speed of evolution in these global markets is beyond what might have been perceived in the past, and for us to keep pace we must be nimble in our offering to all members. We also owe a duty to the users of actuarial services to ensure that they know what to expect from our members. As such, we will be looking at how our members qualify at different levels, maintaining standards and rigour while being more flexible in routes to qualification. We will also look to serve our members and their employers by developing new accreditations in specific business areas.
We need clarity on our members' qualifications. The Certified Actuarial Analyst continues to gain global traction, amongst those working both alongside actuaries and in new business areas. Fellowship is, and remains, the pinnacle of actuarial expertise, with Fellows being known for deep knowledge and experience in their chosen areas of actuarial science. Many members and employers, however, do not fully understand the Associate level.
As IFoA actuaries, they have achieved the Charter level of qualification, and fully meet qualification requirements of the International Actuarial Association to be an actuary. With this in mind, we will be seeking to revitalise our Associate level of membership, recognising the status of Associate members in a way that is both familiar to employers and professionals everywhere, and consistent with our proudly held Royal Charter.
We believe that having knowledgeable members who are proportionately regulated and working in a profession with sufficient public profile serves the public interest. Knowledge requires content, and we continue to invest in research through our volunteers and, increasingly, through external funded programmes. By continuing to develop relationships with leading academic and professional bodies around the world, we can access the best thought leadership for our members. Disseminating this research allows us not only to increase the capabilities of our members in an increasingly competitive and evolving landscape but also to help the global profession gain access to policymakers and raise our profile.
We will be bolder in our public affairs activity, building a higher profile to help us promote actuarial science. This is a core tenet of our Royal Charter. With greater awareness of the profession and the work of its members, our reputation becomes more exposed, and we will carefully monitor and manage how our stakeholders perceive us. Our regulatory status helps us to proportionately regulate our members, manage risks to the profession and continue to build our reputation. We will continue to use this status to champion professionalism, not just of our members but also across the industries in which our members work, now and in the future.
I am personally excited by our strategy. It will ensure that we maintain and broaden our relevance as a profession, attracting new talent into actuarial science. By delivering on our commitments we will create a virtuous circle whereby our increasing membership permits us to invest ever more into delivering our Charter and its objectives, while maintaining value for our members.
Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries