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Enhancements to the Associate Status in the Institute

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By Jason Vary, FCIA

Over the past year and a half I have had the pleasure of leading a group of dedicated volunteers looking at potential ways to enhance the perceived and actual value of acquiring Associate status in the Institute. Here is an update on our activities.


Since the mid-1990s, there has been a constant decline in the number of Associates in the CIA. Based on our research, the primary reason for this decline is the low value of the benefits of being an Associate as compared to the level of dues. In addition, we were surprised by the pervasive lack of awareness on the part of actuarial students as to the ability to become a member of the Institute prior to Fellowship. For example, at the 2010 Practice Education Course—typically one of the final steps before becoming an FCIA—less than 20 percent of the candidates were enrolled as Associates in the CIA.

Future Fellows

Associates are very important to the Institute, as many will go on to become tomorrow’s Fellows. Increased participation by Associates at earlier stages of their careers will strengthen the CIA as an organization and provide Associates with the critical professional framework that will help shape their future.

Enhancements for Associates

A number of changes are now in the process of being implemented (most with an effective date of June 1, 2012) in order to enhance the value for Associates, including:
  • An official ACIA designation for Associates—subject to confirmation by members on June 29, 2011;
  • Voting rights for Associates who have been enrolled for five or more years—subject to confirmation by members on June 29;
  • Harmonized eligibility criteria with the SOA and CAS—if you qualify to be a ASA, ACAS or CERA, you will now qualify to be an Associate in the CIA assuming you have the appropriate Canadian professionalism course;
  • Lower dues for the first five years as an Associate;
  • A requirement to be enrolled as an Associate while obtaining the Canadian experience required to become a Fellow; however, the period is reduced to 12 months from the current 18-month requirement; and
  • More services specifically targeted for Associates, as championed by a new committee reporting to the Member Services Council.
Actuarial Networking Group

There is a clear need for the CIA to carry out additional marketing and communication programs to counteract the lack of awareness among university students and exam-writing candidates regarding Associateship and the CIA in general.

One key element of this initiative will be the establishment of an actuarial networking group. This group would have an e-mail listserver created for it to facilitate regular communication. University students, and other individuals interested in becoming or remaining connected to the Institute, would be invited to join this group.

For More Information

The first two enhancements for Associates outlined above require changes to the CIA Bylaws and a membership vote. Please refer to our March 30, 2011 memo for further details.

More information will follow, including official notice of the proposed bylaw changes, an article in next month’s (e)Bulletin and a webcast, as we approach the Annual Meeting on June 29–30, 2011.

Feedback Requested

We encourage you to provide feedback on the above enhancements for Associates to associatechanges@actuaries.ca.

Jason Vary, FCIA, is Chair of the Associateship Implementation Task Force.


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