CPD Requirements for Society of Actuaries

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SOA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirement

The first compliance report on SoA’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Requirement is approaching. The first reporting cycle is from 1 January 2009 and members must report compliance as of 31 December 2010. It applies to all members (ASAs, FSAs and CERAs).

Members who comply will be shown as “Compliant” under the CPD heading of the SoA’s member directory. Those who do not comply will be shown as “Non-Compliant” and they are required to inform those who rely on their actuarial expertise about this status.

Basic requirements

The basic requirement provisions for compliance consist of 60 units of professional development credit every cycle. A cycle comprises of a two-year period. For the 31 December 2010 deadline this is the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010, for the 31 December 2011 deadline it would be from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011, and so on. A CPD unit translates into 50 minutes of continuing education.

Structured/ Self Study break-up

At least 30 units per cycle must come from structured credit. It is defined as “…any organized activity or any experience which is derived from an organized activity in which there is an opportunity for interaction among participants.” At least 7.5 units of structured credit must be obtained from a source other than the employer.

The remaining CPD units may be attained through self-study.

Credit for obtaining job relevant skills

A minimum of 45 units per cycle must relate to job-relevant skills and can either be earned from structured or self-study credit. At least 3 of these units must be structured credits pertaining to professionalism.

CPD credits can be classified as job relevant if they broaden the member’s knowledge of his/ her area of work. The knowledge is either required in the role he/ she currently has or in an area in which the member plans to practice in the future. It includes technical, nontechnical and professionalism topics.

The assessment of credit as job relevant and the balance between technical/ non technical subjects is the responsibility of the member.

Credit for obtaining business and management skills

A maximum of 15 units per cycle must relate to business and management skills which can either be obtained through structured or self-study credits.

CPD credits classified as business and management skills can be obtained on topics such as business writing, presentation, people management, negotiation, persuasion, project management and leadership, etc.

Examples of ways to earn structured credit

  • Structured credit can be earned by 1) attending the organized event, 2) listening to an audio recording of it, 3) viewing a video recording of it or 4) reading a transcript of it. However reading slides from the event would not meet the requirement.
  • Members who present at the professional meeting earn structured credit based on the length of the session as well as earn self study credit based on their prep time.
  • Volunteer activities with an actuarial or other professional organization that involve interaction with others and consist of a job relevant activity are considered structured credit. Such activities include developing syllabi for actuarial examinations; designing continuing professional development sessions; responding to changes in rules, regulations, policy, standards or other regulatory structures, etc.
  • An effective attempt (grade greater than zero) of an FSA examination will be considered a job-relevant structured credit in the year the exam was taken.
  • Members who obtained their designation without going through the FAP module system can obtain structured credit through successful completion of the FAP modules. This method can only be employed once.
  • Members can earn CPD credit on successful completion of an FSA module. This method can be employed only once every five years for a particular FSA module.

Example of ways to earn self-study credit

  • Many sources such as: reading actuarial literature, statutes or regulations; reading books, papers or articles on relevant technical or professional topics; writing professional papers or articles; studying for actuarial or other professional exams; relevant graduate level studies (e.g., MBA, finance courses); drafting actuarial exam questions; preparing presentations; research; or distance learning.
  • Preparation time for a presentation to be made at a professional meeting
  • Volunteer activities that are job relevant but do not involve interaction with others
  • Learning something new for your job

Certifying compliance

Compliance must be certified at the end of each calendar year beginning 31 December 2010 either in writing or electronically.

Members are required to keep a log of their CPD activity that includes the date of activity, a brief description of the activity, whether it was structured or self-study credit, whether it related to job-relevant topics, business and management skills or professionalism and how many CPD units were earned for the activity. This log will need to be provided to the SOA if the member is among the random sample being audited by the SOA.