Looking Ahead


By Angelita Graham, FCIA

In my last article, we were looking ahead to the CIA 50th anniversary celebration in Ottawa. Well, the verdict is in! The celebration was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of the Committee on Continuing Education (CCE), its subcommittees, the 50th Anniversary Task Force and the Head Office staff, who put in many hours planning this event. We had 600 in attendance.

The CCE committee was able to find the right balance between content and entertainment. There were many firsts, and memorable moments, including the signature "I am a Canadian Actuary" speech from our President, Jacques Tremblay, and of course, the top hat. The recognition that we had left the era of the slide ruler was evident when we found ourselves inundated with numerous selfie requests from our new Fellows as they crossed the stage to accept their certificates from our President.

On a more serious note, it was a proud moment for the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) to see the first recipient of the CIA Graduate Scholarship Program cross the June 2015 Annual Meeting stage to collect his cheque for $10,000. Thanks to the hard work of the Academic Relations Committee, which was the driving force behind the creation of the program, as they too recognized that "whoso neglects learning in his youth, loses the past and is dead for the future".

What’s on the Horizon for the EEC?

"There are no guarantees or crystal balls for the future, and there's no absolute way to know if you are or aren't making the right decision. Give tomorrow the best possible chance that you can." Kennedth Dino, The 12 Commandments: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

There are a number of initiatives underway by the EEC and its committees. Below is a brief update on two of the activities which we expect to complete over the next few months.

1. CIA Education Syllabus

We are excited to announce that the CIA is expected to publish its first education syllabus for both the associateship and fellowship level over the next few months. The CIA education syllabus will be the document against which all of our education partners will be evaluated. Similar to the International Actuarial Association's (IAA) education syllabus outline, the goal of the CIA syllabus is to present high-level learning objectives and the associated Bloom taxonomy. Detailed information such as reading material will be left to our education partners. This step continues to support our goal of having "greater accountability and responsibility for the education of actuaries in Canada, including having the appropriate level of control over syllabus content in outsourced situations".

2. University Accreditation Program

Bob Taft once said, "we must ensure our system of higher education offers world-class quality for a world-class economy". We at the EEC believe this too. Hence, we continue to examine, review, and enhance our existing education system and processes where necessary, as we strive to produce actuaries of the highest calibre.

The University Accreditation Program (UAP) first principles review, which started in 2014, has been completed. The Accreditation Committee’s report and recommendations will be presented to the Board for approval in November 2015, and shared with the membership over the coming months. We are pleased that the preliminary results of the review show that the UAP has been very successful since its inception three years ago. The recommendations coming from the Accreditation Committee, when implemented, will continue to build awareness and enhance what has been a successful CIA initiative to date.

In addition, one of the outcomes of the first principle review process was the formation of the Task Force to Review the Merits of Program Accreditation for UAP, with a mandate to review the advantages and disadvantages of program-based accreditation. As we explore this avenue, we note that other major actuarial associations, such as the UK’s Institute of Actuaries, currently use a program-based accreditation system. The task force is being chaired by Bruce Jones. The EEC eagerly awaits the work of this task force as we continue to strive to build and improve upon what has been a successful three years of offering UAP.

Angelita Graham, FCIA, is Chair of the Eligibility and Education Council.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires