CIA (e)Bulletin/(e)Bulletin de l'ICA
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June 2017
 
 

Improving Canadian Actuarial Education

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By Dave Dickson, FCIA
CIA President

For the CIA’s 50-year history, we have mostly depended on the exam systems of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) to educate our actuaries. Our university accreditation program was a more recent enhancement, where students can earn exam credits by achieving certain grades from accredited universities.

A few years ago, the CIA Board initiated a study of our education systems to see if there were better ways to educate actuaries in Canada. One option studied was to set up our own exam system rather than relying on the SOA and CAS. At that time, the CIA had a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the CAS as to how our partnership would work on education, but we did not have one with the SOA. The Board explored both having our own system and also negotiating an MOU with the SOA to better define and enhance our partnership with them.

Under my leadership, the Board set up a task force to determine if an MOU could be negotiated with the SOA. Its members were Alicia Rollo, Michel Simard, Sharon Giffen, Ron Stapleford, Rémi Villeneuve, Jason Vary, and Thomas Hinton. Negotiations occurred over a few months and an MOU was signed on May 10, 2017.

The MOU focuses on three areas to better define our relationship and to better allow the CIA to partner on the SOA exams:

  • Strategy. We will be more involved strategically with SOA exams. We will have periodic meetings with SOA education leadership to discuss strategic direction and any issues. As an example, if the CIA identifies additional learning objectives needed in its education syllabus or qualification requirements, the CIA and SOA will work closely together to address those needs.
  • Branding. We will work with the SOA on a communication and branding strategy to ensure that the partnership is appropriately represented and communicated to candidates.
  • Involvement. For SOA curriculum and exam committees that have Canadian content, the CIA will appoint a vice-chair. For those without Canadian content, we will appoint a member to the committee. This presence will increase our involvement in developing education material and exams. It will also create new volunteer positions for CIA members.

A lot of work went into this agreement and now a lot more work with be needed to implement it. It will result in a true partnership with the SOA on education and will benefit both the CIA and the SOA. I was honored to sign this MOU.

This project would not have been successful without the dedication of our task force and support from our Board. It also relied on support and leadership from SOA president Jeremy Brown and his team. Thanks to all for a job well done.

Dave Dickson, FCIA, is President of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

 

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