What is the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)?

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries is the professional body of the UK actuarial profession. The aim of the IFoA is to support actuaries throughout their careers so they have the skills, attributes and knowledge appropriate for the evolving needs of the UK financial sector, primarily as risk professionals.

In addition, it has the twin roles of regulating and representing members to the outside world. It achieves this through:

  • Education of new entrants who wish to become actuaries and the continuing professional development of existing actuaries.
  • Cooperation with government, business, regulators and other professions.
  • Innovation through research and debate, to expand the horizons of actuarial knowledge.
  • Promotion of the work of actuaries in general (but not of individuals or firms).
  • Regulation of members by enforcing adherence with the ethical standards and the technical standards produced by the Board for Actuarial Standards (BAS), an independent body under the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

IFoA has a strong tradition of encouraging community and companionship among its members, locally and internationally. There is close cooperation between actuarial societies around the world through mutual recognition agreements with the organisation, enabling qualified actuaries to obtain full membership status in another country. IFoA is governed by a council elected by the membership helping to set its strategic direction.

Members are encouraged to sign up for practice areas and member interest groups, and to volunteer to help with other working parties or committees. It is through this work that they seek to influence government, regulators and thinking in the actuarial profession.

IFoA Highlights

IFoA is the UK’s only chartered professional body dedicated to educating, developing and regulating actuaries based both in the UK and internationally.

IFoA represents and regulates 29,000 members worldwide for the benefit of the outside world and oversee their education at all stages of qualification and development throughout their careers.

Professional qualifications

There are a number of different membership classes, as follows:

  • Affiliate
  • Student
  • Associate
  • Fellow
  • Honorary Fellow.

In order to qualify as either an Associate or Fellow, students have to pass examinations, demonstrate satisfactory completion of certain modules and acquire a satisfactory level of work-related experience.

Chartered Enterprise Risk ActuaryQualification (CERA)

With the increasingly complex and changing business environment, organisations are seeking enterprise risk management professionals to join their teams. A new and exciting global risk management qualification, CERA, was launched to develop the skills of those professionals. In order to obtain the CERA qualification students need to pass a subset of the actuarial examinations including a specialist technical subject Enterprise Risk Management (ST9).

Continuing Professional Development

All Fellows and Associates who are in work and are fully regulated by the IFoA are required to demonstrate that they have undertaken appropriate and sufficient Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The CPD Scheme demonstrates commitment to the protection of the public interest through the provision of sound and appropriate actuarial advice delivered in a professional fashion. It is important for actuaries to be seen to clearly demonstrate that they have maintained their skills through relevant development. It is clear that the development of professionalism is every bit as important as technical skills.

Certified Actuarial Analyst

The Certified Actuarial Analyst is a qualification offered by CAA Global, an organisation developed by the IFoA and the Society of Actuaries (SOA) in the US. It provides an internationally recognised professional qualification, proven technical and professional skills and a gateway to a career in financial services. The qualification takes 2-3 years to complete and you can study and sit exams around the world while continuing to work full-time.

Prospective candidates for the qualification could include:

  • Post-A level school leavers.
  • Graduates working in financial services who wish to differentiate their skill set.
  • Actuarial analysts who want an alternative to the Fellowship route.
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