Up to Code nanCY beHrens
New Year’s Resolution
aCCorDIng to tHe websIte ProaCtIve CHange, about 45
percent of us make new Year’s resolutions every year. and by the end
of January, 36 percent of us have already failed to keep those resolu-
tions. I have a friend who, wishing to avoid the disgrace of yet again
failing to achieve the goals she set for herself in those heady last mo-
ments of the old year, vowed this year that she would go for something
achievable—perfecting the pear-shaped body form.
Regardless of your success in keeping
resolutions, the beginning of a new year
is still a great time to ponder your professional development. Think about what
the year may bring for you—a change in
direction for your actuarial career, additional responsibilities in your current area
of practice, or another year in the same
job with rapidly changing requirements.
Setting aside time each year to review qualifications and establish a plan
of action for continuing education (CE)
should be as automatic as scheduling
your annual physical. It may be helpful
to have this regular review coincide with:
■ ■ Your company budgeting process,
in case you will need to travel to any
■ ■ Year-end;
■ ■ Your birthday.
Use whatever works for you in order to make this a regular part of being
This is a perfect time to think about
your responsibilities and the knowledge
you expect to need in effectively performing your duties. And don’t forget
to factor in your current level of expertise. The gap between these two bodies
of knowledge should form the basis of
your professional development plan. In
addition, you must reflect on the requirements of your member organization(s).
A good starting point for your pro-
fessional development checklist is a
thorough review of the U.S. Qualifica-
tion Standards. Since most U.S. actuaries
who are still active in the profession
express opinions while performing ac-
tuarial services—and expect others to
rely on those opinions—they are sub-
ject to the U.S. Qualification Standards.
You should examine your professional
responsibilities and determine whether
you are subject to the general Qualifica-
tion Standard and also if you are subject
to any additional requirements under the
specific Qualification Standards.
The general Qualification Standard sets out
the actuarial CE requirement as follows:
To satisfy the General Qualification
Standard, actuaries are required
to complete and document at least
thirty ( 30) hours each calendar
year of relevant continuing educa-
tion of which at least three ( 3)
hours must be on professionalism
topics and at least six ( 6) hours
must be “organized activities” ….
The standard then discusses specific
applicable professional situations, such
as issuing opinions in more than one area
of practice and statements of actuarial
opinion issued by more than one actuary.
Each year, the Actuarial Board for
Counseling and Discipline (ABCD), along
with other committees, receives a number of queries about CE requirements
under the U.S. Qualification Standards.
Here’s a sampling that may help you as
you go through your own checklist:
My company has a rigorous system
of training experienced actuaries in
new topics. Can these training sessions
count toward my 30 hours?
Yes, though they would generally not
count as organized activities unless an
outside speaker is used.
Due to an illness, I was unable to
complete my required CE in the
calendar year. Can I still sign a
statement of actuarial opinion (SAo)?
Yes, as long as you complete the required
number of hours before issuing an SAO.
Also, those hours that you use toward
the previous year’s requirement cannot
count toward your current year.
16 CONTINGENCIES JAN | FEB. 13