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University Accreditation Program Achieves New Recognition

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The CIA’s University Accreditation Program (UAP) has achieved a new landmark: it has gained recognition from the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS).


The UAP, which is already being supported by 10 universities across Canada, has now been approved by the CAS board of directors, who agreed that the exam waivers granted by the Institute would be valid for CAS preliminary examinations.


Announcing the decision this month, the CAS said it had completed a comprehensive review of the program, and its backing of the UAP was the culmination of a multi-year process that involved working with and monitoring the CIA’s development of policies, procedures, academic standards, and evaluation of universities and individual courses to ensure that the standard for exam waivers would be at least as rigorous as an actuarial exam.


As part of the program, students who have successfully completed specific courses at approved universities will have the option of applying to the CIA for exemptions from writing CAS Exams 2, 3F, 3L, and C. To gain exemptions, students will submit official transcripts to the CIA showing they have achieved the minimum grade requirement (which varies by university), along with an application and 80 percent of the corresponding CAS exam fee.


The UAP, which came into effect this month in accredited universities, was launched in a bid to ensure that the profession continues to evolve and meets the needs of future generations of actuaries in Canada. Its foundations lay in research carried out several years ago under the banner of the Future Education Model (FEM), built upon by the current CIA Accreditation Committee, and in consideration of the changing actuarial landscape. While the CAS and SOA initially became involved in the FEM, they later withdrew from the project, and the CIA proceeded alone to create and implement its own Canadian university accreditation program.


Proponents of the UAP worked to create a system by which the Institute could offer students exemptions for some preliminary examinations while maintaining the strong standards of the exam-based entrance to the profession. The CIA believes that the UAP will allow for a rich and rewarding university experience that will make travel time to the FCIA designation more predictable and produce stronger, more capable actuaries for the future.


The following universities have been accredited for courses beginning in, or after, September 2012:


  • Concordia University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Université Laval
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Regina
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo (Undergraduate and Graduate Program courses)
  • University of Western Ontario.
CIA President Simon Curtis said: "During the long process that led to the final accreditation program, many people identified that recognition from our education partners—the CAS and SOA—was a key step towards the UAP’s long-term success.

"We are delighted that the CAS has acknowledged the efforts we made to ensure that the profession would continue to evolve while never allowing standards to fall. This is a landmark decision and a vote of confidence for all those involved in developing this initiative, which will give a new generation of actuaries enhanced options for entering the profession."


Questions or comments about the UAP may be directed to: accreditation@actuaries.ca
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