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Enhanced Recognition for CIA Members

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By Jason Vary, FCIA

This article marks my first as Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC), a role I assumed at the Annual Meeting in June. I would like to offer my thanks to Dave Dickson, who ably served as council chair for the past few years and now continues his volunteering activities as a member of the Member Services Council and Committee on Professional Conduct, among others.

My main topic will be the recently adopted education strategy, but I will also touch on some good news related to our University Accreditation Program, a reminder regarding changes affecting new FCIAs starting June 1, 2013, and a call for more ACIA volunteers.

The CIA’s Education Strategy

Earlier this year, the EEC identified a need to examine the Institute’s education and qualification processes for the ACIA and FCIA designations to ensure a cohesive and rigorous approach to education in Canada that recognizes multiple sources of education and which enhances the positive recognition of FCIAs internationally.

Many aspects of the education strategy were already being addressed by various EEC committees and task forces. Therefore, the strategy exercise merely ensures that any and all activities undertaken support the overall education objectives and lead towards a common goal, which is identified by the following education vision statements which were confirmed by the EEC in February 2012 and approved by the Board a month later:
Education Vision 2012–2022
The CIA takes active responsibility for the education of actuaries in Canada, and protects Canadian interests related to their education and qualification requirements.
The CIA’s education strategy maintains and enhances the positive recognition of FCIAs internationally.
In support of this vision, the CIA identified two pathways for education and qualification processes in Canada:
  1. Offering sustainable, relevant, and timely Canadian actuarial education for Associateship and Fellowship qualification in the Canadian Institute of Actuaries; and
  2. When deemed appropriate, recognizing the education and examination systems of other actuarial organizations through active co-sponsorship and mutual recognition agreements.
By adopting a multi-faceted approach to education, the CIA does not necessarily need to choose a pure independence model, nor does it place itself in the position of being solely reliant on the education and examination systems of other actuarial organizations. The Institute may choose one pathway or the other to achieve a specific goal, depending on how well each solution meets a particular need.

Of course, the main route to ACIA or FCIA involves the education systems of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS), of which the CIA is a co-sponsor. These have been the two traditional routes for some time now; however, since last month CIA credit for four out of five of the preliminary exams may be obtained through the CIA’s University Accreditation Program (UAP). In addition, since 2000 the CIA has administered the Practice Education Course for FCIA candidates who take the SOA route.

Another significant path to Fellowship in the Institute is through one of the existing mutual recognition agreements with the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Society of Actuaries in Ireland, and the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

Finally, the last route to Fellowship in the Institute is the so called "Affiliate Route". This is a process of enrolment for fully qualified foreign actuaries who wish to practice in Canada and who are not covered under a mutual recognition agreement. Enrolment as an Affiliate of the Institute requires an initial assessment of the candidate’s individual qualifications to determine the equivalency of the education and experience to the requirements of the CIA. The result is a customized program for each individual outlining the additional educational requirements needed to become an FCIA.

With our education strategy clearly defined, we have begun a process to define the Canadian education and eligibility criteria to become an ACIA and FCIA, and determine how the requisite knowledge will be taught and tested. Angelita Graham is leading a task force to tackle this very important assignment. Once we have our education and eligibility criteria documented in first principles, it will allow the CIA to more efficiently and consistently evaluate requests for recognition, such as those from the SOA with respect to its upcoming General Insurance track, and a new mutual recognition agreement with the Actuarial Society of South Africa.

External Recognition of the UAP

I am excited to report that both the CAS and the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries have confirmed their recognition of the CIA’s UAP for credit under their eligibility and education systems. The SOA continues to review the UAP and we remain optimistic that recognition will be granted in due course.

FCIA Eligibility Changes Effective June 1, 2013

As noted prominently on the CIA website, candidates considering becoming a Fellow of the CIA should be aware that as of June 1, 2013, to become an FCIA a candidate must have been enrolled with the CIA as an Associate for a minimum of 12 months while obtaining their Canadian work experience. Therefore, candidates planning to apply for Fellowship in the Institute on or after June 1, 2013, should consider enrolling as an Associate of the CIA when first eligible.

ACIA Volunteers Wanted

I would also like to personally encourage any new or existing Associates to consider volunteering with the CIA. The Institute has a strong desire to involve members at all levels in the Institute’s activities and given the recent introduction of the ACIA designation there is an increased demand for ACIA volunteers. In fact, I am interested in recruiting one or two ACIAs to serve on the EEC, so please contact me directly at jason@actuarialsolutionsinc.com if you are interested.

Jason Vary, FCIA, is Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council.


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