CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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October 2013

SOA Decision Reached on Recognition of the CIA UAP

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On October 19 the board of directors of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) voted to decline the CIA’s request for recognition of our University Accreditation Program (UAP) exemptions towards the ASA and FSA designations. While we understand that the practical considerations of a university-based education system are significant for the society’s international strategy, we are naturally disappointed in the SOA’s decision not to recognize Canada’s program.

The CIA leadership strongly believes in the added value that UAP brings to the actuarial profession in Canada, and it is committed to continuing with the university education route as an alternative method of completing some of the preliminary education requirements for the Associate (ACIA) and Fellow (FCIA) designations. With the first year complete and the program well into year two, the CIA continues to evaluate the UAP and the accredited universities. Our belief remains strong that university education is effective for preliminary exam credits but it will not replace Fellowship-level education and exams, nor can it ever replace the practical and Canadian work experience requirements of the FCIA designation.

Ultimately, the CIA’s goal is to provide the best education and assessment methods for the qualification of actuaries in Canada, and to this end we will continue to offer various education options:
  • Regardless of the SOA’s recent decision, the society remains an important education provider to the CIA. Therefore, an existing administrative agreement with the SOA allows UAP candidates to travel seamlessly through the society’s education system to complete all additional ACIA and FCIA requirements including Fellowship-level examinations and the SOA Fellowship Admissions Course, which form part of the CIA’s eligibility requirements.
  • To satisfy eligibility requirements for ACIA and FCIA, UAP candidates can  also travel through the education paths of the following education partners who recognize CIA exemptions towards their respective designations: the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the UK Faculty and Institute of Actuaries.
  • The FCIA designation continues to be recognized by the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) towards the MAAA designation requirements for work in the U.S., when combined with the appropriate U.S. experience.
  • CIA candidates can still choose to complete the preliminary exams of the SOA and CAS, which the CIA will continue to recognize subject to the CIA’s ongoing monitoring.
The CIA is committed to the UAP as a key component of the Institute’s strategic direction on education. In fact, the Institute is continually strengthening its position on education and taking greater accountability for developing Canadian actuaries. The CIA Board recently approved four long-term strategic goals, one of which is dedicated to education:
"The CIA is viewed as an educational body, not just an accreditation body. It takes full accountability for the educational path to FCIA (which may involve outsourcing) with the FCIA recognized as being a high-quality stand-alone educational designation (i.e., not having to be aligned to another designation)."
As an important aspect of the Canadian Education System, the UAP will be continually evaluated through university and student data collection, as well as feedback from education partners, members, employers, students, academics, instructors, Accreditation Actuaries, and External Examiners, all of which leads to the overall strengthening of the program.

For more information on the UAP or the CIA’s eligibility requirements, visit: Questions or comments may be directed to

Jacques Lafrance, President

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