Future Pursuits Could Lead to Key Developments

By Jason Vary, FCIA

Given that this is my last (e)Bulletin article as Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC), I am tempted to recount the significant accomplishments over the past few years. This would include the creation of the ACIA designation, the launch of our University Accreditation Program (UAP), a revised mutual recognition agreement with the UK institute, implementing annual continuing professional development (CPD) compliance audits, negotiating a memorandum of understanding with the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) on education, the creation of the Academic Relations Committee, and the launch of a pilot mentoring program. Not to mention the delivery of our "regular programming", such as the annual Practice Education Course (PEC), the Professionalism Workshops, the Annual Meeting, plus the countless webcasts and the specialty seminars.

Instead, I would like to focus on the future pursuits of the EEC.

Task Force on Canadian Eligibility Requirements

The task force is well underway on defining the specific Canadian education and eligibility criteria to become an ACIA and FCIA, and to recommend how the requisite knowledge will be taught and tested. Angelita Graham is leading a multi-disciplinary task force to tackle this very important assignment and its initial report was well received by the EEC and the Board in early 2014.

The task force has identified some areas where education can be improved, such as modelling, communications, and business acumen. Next steps include confirming with our education partners what gaps actually exist and exploring options for closing them, revisiting the future of the PEC, working on a preliminary banking curriculum, and developing an implementation plan.

University Accreditation Program

The UAP continues to gain momentum with more and more candidates seeking exemptions from CAS and Society of Actuaries exams. The EEC’s focus has now shifted to enhancing the level of awareness of the UAP among employers and existing FCIAs.

Continuing Professional Development Requirements

The 2013 CPD compliance review revealed that 13 percent of members are claiming exemption from the CPD Qualification Standard. A member who does not meet the standard cannot perform professional services, but can still use their credentials and present themselves as fully qualified actuaries (FCIAs).

The Eligibility Committee and the EEC are of the opinion that the FCIA designation should be restricted to members who fully comply with the qualification standard (with the exception of retired members and certain other limited exceptions) and who file an annual CPD compliance statement.

The EEC is now undertaking a complete review of the CPD requirements in an effort to make CPD applicable to all ACIAs and FCIAs, even if they are not strictly performing services of an actuarial nature. The EEC may propose changes to any element of the CPD requirements, including the mix of structured and unstructured hours, the definition of relevant technical hours, and reporting requirements. Ultimately, this may involve proposing bylaw changes, as well as changes to rules, the qualification standard, and associated policies.

50th Anniversary

Planning is well underway for a special Annual Meeting in Ottawa on June 17–18, 2015, to celebrate the CIA’s 50th anniversary with the theme Actuaries: The Professionals of the Future. I hope to see you there!


It has been my pleasure to serve on the EEC for the past five years, with the last two as Chair. We have accomplished many things with a dedicated group of volunteers who are supported by tireless staff at the Head Office. I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish next!

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

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires