Derek Cribb explains how partnering with the US Society of Actuaries has enabled promotion of the CAA qualification globally
You will have read in Colin Wilson’s president’s comment column about a joint venture with the US Society of Actuaries (SOA) to promote the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification on a global scale. We are proud to introduce the new enterprise, CAA Global, to the actuarial community. Its arrival has been the culmination of many months of hard work between the volunteers and Executive, and we're all very proud of the outcome.
CAA Global is a great example of our strategy in action. Globally, the actuarial profession is a small one, with fewer qualified actuaries across all the world's bodies than in any one of the larger UK accounting bodies.
It follows, therefore, that to ensure the sustainability of our profession, we are best when working together, across geographic boundaries. This is particularly evident when we can work together to broaden opportunities for the application of actuarial science in the workplace.
I am delighted that all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes in establishing this not-for-profit, joint-venture organisation has helped it materialise officially. We had always planned that the CAA would be a recognised qualification globally, and, with North America possessing the largest proportion of qualified professionals within the profession, finding a regional partner was key to success. So we are delighted that the SOA has joined us as that partner.
The CAA is designed to give those working alongside actuaries, and in the broader financial services sector, a path to acquire sound technical skills and membership of a professional body. It brings those who are using actuarial skills into a regulatory framework that will help them develop in their careers, and assure public confidence in the work that they are doing. The CAA has also been promoted by the World Bank and non-governmental organisations as a key tool in growing actuarial capacity in emerging markets. In the two years since the CAA was launched, we have grown to having 400 candidates spread across 40 countries, and with this new venture we hope to further strengthen the CAA community.
Key to delivering on our public interest promise is our future sustainability. With initiatives such as CAA Global, we can look forward to a future where we are opening up new opportunities to promote actuarial science and to regulate its practitioners at all levels. Having an actuarial-based qualification will be an attractive option, not only for those that wish to specialise but also for those working across the business world - from technicians to CEOs.
CAA Global is an independent entity, with its own board of directors at the helm, who will run the company independently from the shareholders - the IFoA and SOA. The joint venture is not, however, a new professional body. It is a qualifying body to ensure that we can maintain a global standard for those professionals reaching CAA status. Wherever you are in the world, as a CAA your level of qualification will be of a guaranteed standard and not subject to the variances seen at other levels.
We have learnt from the Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA) experience, and have set up CAA Global in such a way as to enable, indeed encourage, other actuarial bodies to join and help promote the profession together. The next step will be to accredit a number of other high-quality actuarial associations to be able to provide homes for those who have passed the requirements to claim the CAA title, and hope that in time these associations will join CAA Global as full partners.
The creation of CAA Global sends a powerful message that, in our small profession, collaboration and consistency in our offering is key to success. This must be heard not just through the actuarial world but also more widely by business and stakeholders. If we are to keep the profession in good health, we must all work hard to promote the profession, and the business and technical skills that those with actuarial training can bring.
As your professional body, we are stepping up our promotional activity. But it is you - our members - who are best placed to carry this message. I would encourage you to advocate actuarial skills as widely as possible; engage your HR directors, CFOs and CEOs in discussion as to where else actuarial skills can be applied.
The IFoA has recently invested in capability to develop new opportunities for our members to apply their skills. If you would like to help your profession grasp these opportunities, please contact us at
Derek Cribb is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries