How did the actuarial profession begin


The actuarial certification and examination The process usually requires passing a rigorous series of professional exams, most of which take several years, before one can be recognized as an actuarial actuary. In some countries, such as Denmark, most of the study takes place at a university. In other countries like the US, most of the study takes place through a series of exams while you are employed. There is a hybrid structure for university exams in the UK and countries based on this process.

Directives of different countries [edit]

Australia [edit]

The educational system in Australia is divided into three components: an exam-based curriculum; a professionalism course; and work experience (IAA-Ed 2013) Harv error: no target: CITEREFIAA-Ed2013 (help). The system is administered by the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.

The exam-based curriculum consists of three parts. Part I is based on exemptions from an accredited Bachelor's degree from Monash University, Macquarie University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University or Curtin University (IAA Part I 2013). Harv error: no target: CITEREFIAA-Part_I2013 (help). The courses cover topics such as finance, financial mathematics, economics, contingent liabilities, demographics, models, probability, and statistics. Students can also get exemptions by passing the exams of the Institute of Actuaries in London (ILO Part I 2013). Harv error: no target: CITEREFIAA-Part_I2013 (help). Part II is the actuarial control cycle and is also offered by each of the universities mentioned above (IAA Part II 2013). Harv error: no target: CITEREFIAA-Part_II2013 (help). Part III consists of four half-year courses, two of which are compulsory and the other two enable specialization (IAA Part III 2006).

To become an Associate, you must complete Part I and Part II of the accreditation process, have 3 years of recognized work experience and complete a professionalism course.

To become a Fellow, candidates must complete Part I, II, III and complete a professionalism course. However, professional experience is not required as the Institute believes that those who have successfully completed Part III have a sufficient level of professionalism.

Bangladesh [edit]

The Actuarial Society of Bangladesh is the unique professional organization of actuaries in Bangladesh. The Actuarial Society of Bangladesh follows the curriculum of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK. Some universities, including the University of Rajshahi and Jahangirnagar University, offer actuarial courses. Since 2015, the University of Dhaka and East West University have offered master’s degrees in actuarial science.

Canada [edit]

The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) recognizes fellows from both the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuary Society if they specialize in Canadian actuarial practice. For SOA scholarship holders, this is achieved by attending the CIA Practice Education Course (PEC). For scholarship holders of the Casualty Actuarial Society, this is fulfilled by taking the country-specific exam 6-Canada instead of exam 6-USA (CAS 2011b). In addition, it takes the CIA three years of actuarial practice within the past decade and 18 months of Canadian actuarial practice within the past three years to become a fellow (CIA 2004). The CIA offers both fellowship and associate names.

Denmark [edit]

In Denmark it usually takes five years at the University of Copenhagen to become an actuary with no work experience. The focus is on statistics and probability theory as well as the requirement for a master's thesis (Norberg 1990). Under Danish law, responsibility for running a life insurance business must be assumed by an officially recognized and licensed actuary. Approval as a formally responsible actuary requires three to five years of professional experience (Haastrup & Nielsen 2007).

Germany [edit]

According to the applicable regulations of the German Actuarial Society, an actuary must pass more than 13 exams. (DAV 2011)

Greece [edit]

In Greece the only specialized school for actuaries are the Institute of Statistics and Insurance Science of the University of Piraeus and the Mathematics of Statistics and Actuarial Finance of the University of the Aegean in Samos. The duration of study is four years, including a practice period, and the certificate is a bachelor's degree. The Actuarial Diploma is awarded by the Actuaries Union of Greece after successful examinations within the Union. Other schools providing actuarial instruction are located in the remaining statistics departments at the various universities in the country, notably the Athens University of Economics and Business (OPA / ASOEE), which is also the main business university in Greece.

India [edit]

The Actuarial Society of India (now converted to the Institute of Actuaries of India) offers both membership and scholarship classes. However, potential candidates must be accepted into society as undergraduate students prior to receiving an associate ship or scholarship. The exam sequence is similar to the UK model with core and specialty exams for technique and application. The exams are held twice a year in the months of May to June and October to November (ASI 2006). From January 2012 the institute will conduct the entrance examination. Only those applicants who pass the entrance test can appear for the technical core papers.

Italy [edit]

Italian actuaries also receive their training through the university as well as a single state examination (Esame di Stato). The studies usually last a total of five years, three (Triennial) plus two (Magistrale), as students must pass at least 30 exams (the exact number depends on the university and the curriculum), many of them with written and oral components on actuarial and economic subjects. After university, students must pass the exam to qualify to sign actuarial statements Esame di Statowhich is offered twice a year in Rome and Trieste; the Esame di Stato consists of two written sections, a practical part and an oral exam. The association of qualified actuaries is called “Ordine degli Attuari” (“Order of Actuaries”).

Mexico [edit]

Unlike in the US, actuarial training in Mexico consists of a four- or five-year bachelor's degree. Only a few universities in the country offer the degree. Some of them are the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), the Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP), the Universidad Anahuac, the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) and the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UAG). , Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) and Iberoamerican University (Universidad Iberoamericana).

Norway [edit]

In Norway, training to become an actuary takes five years. The training usually consists of a bachelor's degree (three years) and a master's degree (two years). The bachelor's degree must contain a certain number of courses in mathematics and statistics. The master’s degree usually consists of a year of course and a year of completing a master’s degree on a topic related to the actuarial profession. The University of Bergen and the University of Oslo offer actuarial training in Norway (University of Bergen 2011). To become an internationally qualified actuary, a person with a Norwegian actuarial education must also take two courses in economics (macroeconomics and accounting) and one course in ethics. The ethics course, which lasts one day, is offered by the Norwegian Society of Actuaries (Norwegian Society of Actuaries 2011).

Portugal [edit]

In Portugal, the only school offering an actuarial degree is the Instituto Superior de Economia and Gestão (ISEG) at the University of Lisbon, which offers a two-year Masters degree fully integrated into the Bologna regime. The program has been accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries in the UK since 2017/18, resulting in exceptions based on the student's overall performance during the course or exceptions to individual exams based on the student's performance in certain modules from the Masters.

South Africa [edit]

Actuaries in South Africa are supported by the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA). Until recently[when?] The prerequisite for qualifying as an actuary in South Africa was to pass the exams organized by the UK authorities. As of 2010, an actuarial qualification organized by ASSA in South Africa has replaced this regulation. Key changes include exam curricula based on South African content. However, the UK actuarial bodies continue to support UK qualification. Recognized universities may exempt students from part of the qualification exams. The South African qualification is mutually recognized by many international actuarial bodies and the curriculum is approved by the International Actuarial Association.

The Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA) can be obtained through the ASSA.

Sweden [edit]

Actuarial training in Sweden takes place at Stockholm University. The five-year master’s degree (for those with no prior knowledge of mathematics or without a bachelor’s degree in mathematics) includes the subjects of mathematics, mathematical statistics, actuarial mathematics, financial mathematics, insurance law and insurance economics. The program works under the Department of Mathematical Statistics (Stockholm University 2006). For those with a bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics or with a master's degree in mathematics, a two-year full-time master's degree in actuarial programs has been offered since 2002 at Stockholm University, which has a long history of research in actuarial mathematics.


The qualification in Turkey consists of a series of exams conducted by an Examination Board composed of representatives from Turkey's Actuarial Society, the government and universities. The exams are divided into three levels: first level (Fundamentals of Insurance and Economics, Mathematics, Statistics and Probability, Financial Mathematics); second level (accounting and financial reporting, actuarial (life and non-life), risk analysis, actuarial modeling); and third level (investment and risk management, non-life insurance, life insurance, health insurance, pension systems). Upon completion of the first level exams, a candidate becomes an “Actuarial Trainee”, after the second level an “Assistant Actuary”, and after the third level and 3 years of related work experience, the candidate becomes an “Actuary”.

Great Britain and Ireland [edit]

The UK and Ireland qualification consists of a combination of exams and courses offered by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. The exams can only be taken if they have officially joined the board.[1] in contrast to many other countries where exams can be taken earlier. Most actuarial trainees study while working for an actuarial employer, using the resources of ActEd (The Actuarial Education Company, a subsidiary of BPP Actuarial Education Ltd.), which operates on behalf of Institute and Faculty Education Ltd (IFE) Tuition fees for students), a subsidiary of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.[2]

However, a candidate can provide evidence that they have dealt with previously treated subjects (to a high enough standard, usually during their studies) to be exempt from certain subjects.[3]

The exams themselves are divided into four sections:[4] Core Principles (CP), Core Practices (CP), Technical Principles (SP) and Technical Progress (SA). For students who entered the profession after June 2004, a further requirement has been introduced that the student perform a “Work-Related Skills” exercise. This involves the student submitting a series of essays to the profession listing the work they have done. In addition to exams, essays and courses, the candidate must have at least three years of experience in actuarial work under the supervision of a recognized actuary to qualify as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (FIA) or the Faculty of Actuaries (FFA) (Institute and Faculty of Actuaries 2011a).

Actuaries can also earn a portion of the Institute and Faculty of Actuarial Scholarship by earning an actuarial degree from an accredited university. In undergraduate studies, the only locally accredited programs currently are at the University of Manchester, University College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast, Heriot-Watt University, University of Edinburgh, London School of Economics, University of Southampton, City University , London, University of Leicester and the University of Kent. Full-time accredited Masters programs are only offered by the University of Kent, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Leicester and City University. Part-time accredited Masters degrees are offered by Imperial College London and the University of Leicester. Actuarial programs that provide exemption from individual professional exams are also available at City University in London, Heriot-Watt University, London School of Economics, University of Southampton, Swansea University, University of Kent and the University of Warwick available. In Ireland, exemptions are offered by the National University of Ireland, Galway, Dublin City University and University College Cork. Some South African universities are also accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. These universities include the University of Pretoria, the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, the University of the Free State, and the University of the Witwatersrand. ISEG in Lisbon, Portugal, offers the possibility of exemption from some specialist examinations of the institute and faculty for actuaries.

Note that the UK profession is currently introducing the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification to “provide valuable skills and a prestigious qualification to those working on a technical level in technical and actuarial roles around the world”.[5]

United States [edit]

In the United States, exams for life, health, and pension actuaries are conducted by the Society of Actuaries, while for actuaries, the exams are conducted by the Casualty Actuarial Society. Society of Actuaries' requirements for Associateship include passing five preliminary exams, demonstrating educational experience in business, corporate finance, and applied statistics - Validation through Educational Experience (VEE), completing a self-study series of eight modules, and taking a course on professionalism (SOA 2012a). For the scholarship, three additional modules, three or four exams depending on the subject area, and a special scholarship admission course are added (SOA 2012c). The Casualty Actuarial Society requires the successful completion of seven exams, two modules plus Business and Corporate Finance VEEs for Associateship and three additional exams for Fellowship. In addition to these requirements, actuarial accident candidates must complete vocational training and be recommended for membership by existing members (CAS 2011a). You can become a Chartered (or Certified) Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) either through the SOA or the CAS.

However, in order to sign certain actuarial statements, American actuaries must be members of the American Academy of Actuaries. Academic membership requirements include membership of one of the recognized actuarial societies, at least three years of full-time experience in responsible actuarial work, and either residency in the United States for at least three years or a non-resident or new resident of the certain requirements meet (AAA 2010). After certification, further training is required for all actuaries who sign actuarial statements (AAA 2008).

In the retirement sector, American actuaries must pass three exams to become a registered actuary. Some pension-related filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation require the signature of a registered actuary. Many enrolled actuaries belong to the Conference of Consulting Actuaries or the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.

In 2009 the Society of Actuaries launched a high-level accreditation system for universities that recognized the best actuarial schools as recognized centers for actuarial excellence. There are two criteria that must be met: A criteria and B criteria. In addition, an on-site visit must be carried out by a team of CAE committee members who assess the university and conduct interviews with students and faculties. The designation is retained for five years. If a criterion is not met, the university must come up with a plan for how it will address the problem within a reasonable time.

Preliminary examinations [edit]

There are six to seven preliminary exams, depending on which society a student is aiming for. Most of the exams are multiple choice and are conducted on computers in Prometric test centers. Candidates are allowed to use a calculator from an approved list.[6] The exams are timed and last between three and four hours. Some tests give instant feedback on whether or not a candidate passed that particular exam (see table below). All test results (passed on a scale of 0 to 10 with a 6 or higher) are published six to eight weeks after the test. Because of the way the test is scaled, the results can range from 0 to 10. However, there are also situations where the highest grade for a test is a 9, even if every single question was answered correctly.

By the end of 2013, four of the preliminary exams (all except MLC) were jointly sponsored by CAS and SOA. At the end of 2012, the SOA announced its intention to end the joint sponsorship from the tests carried out in January 2014. CAS has not announced any plans to develop alternative forms of the co-sponsored exams. However, SOA exams are accepted for CAS credits. In 2018, the SOA revised its preliminary audits. This affected the joint sponsorship. As of June 2018, only three preliminary tests will be jointly sponsored by both companies.

SOA manages the LTAM (formerly MLC) exam, which covers topics related to lifelong contingencies. As of May 2014, MLC will include both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. SOA made this change because it believes rigorous multiple choice questions are insufficient or sufficient to test whether candidates are familiar and fluent with the material. The test lasts four hours, enables calculators and is carried out in a paper-pencil format. Multiple choice questions make up 40% of the exam and open-ended questions make up 60% of the exam. Candidates can move freely between the two sections. The two sections are assessed separately. However, because the multiple choice questions are simpler, the written answers will only be graded by candidates who have answered a certain percentage of the multiple choice questions correctly.

CAS is developing the S exam as a complete alternative to the MLC SOA exam. Exam S covers many topics within statistics, survival models and stochastic processes. Between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2015, CAS offered two intermediate exams: Exam LC, which covers many subjects related to vital necessities, and Exam ST, which covers statistical and stochastic methods. Candidates who passed 3L or MLC prior to 2014 are exempt from attending LC and ST. In addition, candidates who pass the LC exam, the ST exam and the VEE statistics by August 2016 are exempt from the S exam.

SOA auditCAS examExam titleExam topicsformatTests per yearPass / fail estimate
P.1probabilityLaw of total probability, Bayes' theorem, basic enumeration, common discrete and continuous distributions, univariate and multivariate distributions, order statistics, transformation of distributions, conditional expectation, variance and covariance, basic knowledge in insurance and risk managementcomputer6Yes
FM2Financial mathematicsBasic interest rate theory, annuities, bonds, loans, cash flows, portfolios, interest rate determinants, interest rate swaps, spot rates, forward rates, and immunizationcomputer6Yes
IFM3FInvestment and financial marketsInterest rate models, derivatives, hedges, options, capital structure, debt and equity financing, rational valuation of derivative securities and risk management techniquescomputer3Yes
LTAM– –Long-term actuarial mathSurvival models, Markov chain models, life insurance and annuities, annuity math and mortality improvementPaper and pencil2No
STAM– –Short term actuarial mathSeverity models, frequency models, aggregate models, construction of empirical models, construction and selection of parametric models, estimation of downtime and loss, determination of the acceptance of a fitted model, credibility, simulationcomputer3Yes
PA– –Predictive AnalyticsExploratory data analysis, general linear models (GLM) and communicating the results using R.computer2No
SRM– –Risk modeling statisticsBasics of statistical learning, linear models, time series models, principal component analysis, decision trees and cluster analysiscomputer3No
– –MAS-IStatistics and probability modelsStochastic processes, survival models (including concepts of finite living conditions), statistics, general linear models (including ordinary least squares), and time series[7]Paper and pencil2No
– –MAS-IIModern actuarial statistics IIIntroduction to credibility, linear mixed models, Bayesian analysis and Markov chain Monte Carlo as well as statistical learningPaper and pencil2No

Validation through educational experience [edit]

Candidates for CAS and SOA membership must pass standardized tests in the areas of introductory economics and corporate finance. Candidates for SOA membership must pass an additional standardized test in applied statistics. Economy has two components: macroeconomics and microeconomics. Applied statistics has two components: regression and time series. Instead of passing exams, candidates can earn points by passing a recognized college class with a B grade or better, or taking an approved correspondence class.

CAS advanced exams [edit]

To earn Associate Membership (ACAS), a candidate must pass the VEE Preliminary Exams, two online modules, exam five, and exam six. For an employee to become a Fellow (FCAS), exams seven to nine must be passed. The exams are carried out with paper and pencil. Exam questions generally require an open answer; However, multiple choice questions are also allowed. Exam six comes in two versions: one for candidates in the US and one for candidates in Canada.

CAS exam Subject Test window[8]
Exam 5 Basic techniques for creating and estimating bad debts End of April, end of October
Exam 6 Country-specific exam: regulation and financial reporting End of April, end of October
Exam 7 Insurance liabilities appraisal, insurance company valuation and corporate risk management end of April
Exam 8 Advanced rate making end of October
Exam 9 Financial risk and return end of April

The two modules that must be completed to become an Associate are ...

module Subject
Module 1 Risk management and insurance business
Module 2 Insurance accounting, coverage analysis, insurance law and insurance regulation

The above exam schedule began in 2011. Candidates who passed the exams offered prior to 2011 will receive credit according to the schedule below. In order to get five points for the new exam, a candidate must pass the old exam five and the old exam six. Candidates who passed one the old exam five and the old exam six must pass a special exam that covers the remaining material for the new exam five.

Old exam Exchange credit
Old exam 5 Half of the new exam 5 am Basic ratemaking plus module 1 (risk management and insurance business)
Old exam 6 Half of the new exam 5 am Basic reservation plus new exam 7
Old exam 7 New exam 6 plus module 2 (insurance accounting, coverage analysis, insurance law and insurance ordinance)
Old exam 8 New exam 9
Old exam 9 New exam 8

SOA advanced exams [edit]

After passing the preliminary examination, SOA candidates complete the e-learning course Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice and the Associateship Professionalism course. FAP contains eight learning modules and two assessments. APC is a live in person seminar held in various locations across the country. This fulfills the requirements for Associate Membership (ASA).

Employees choose one of six competence areas for further training. Each area has three or four exams and three study modules. The first exam for "Retirement Benefits" has alternative requirements that are specific to Canada and the United States. For all routes other than “Corporate Finance and Corporate Risk Management”, a candidate may pass the “Corporate Risk Management” exam to replace the third exam. Upon completion of the exams and modules, candidates must pass the “Decision Making and Communication Module” and the “Fellowship Admissions Course” before they can be promoted to Fellows (FSA).

Art general insurance Corporate Finance and Corporate Risk Management Quantitative finance and investments Individual life and pensions Retirement benefits Group and health
Exam 1 Introduction to General Insurance Strategic decision making Quantitative finance and investment core Life prices Financing and Regulation (Canada) or Registered Actuarial Series (USA) Group and health core
Exam 2 Introduction to rate making and reserving Corporate Finance Foundations Quantitative Finance and Investment Advanced Life Financing and Valuation Design and accounting exam Group and health advanced
Exam 3 Advanced subjects in general insurance Risk management Investment Risk Management Life Risk Management Pension investment and risk management Group and health specialty
Exam 4 Financial and regulatory environment
Module 1 Risk management Risk management Risk management Risk management Risk management Risk management or Health foundations
Module 2 Finance Financial reporting Financial reporting Finance Finance Finance
Module 3 Applications of statistical techniques Advanced topics in corporate finance Financial modeling Regulation & Taxation social insurance Pricing, Reservation & Forecast

Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst [edit]

Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) is a global designation given by more than ten international actuarial bodies, including CAS and SOA. Each entity will develop its own curriculum and designation requirements, subject to approval by the international CERA entity.

CAS candidates must meet all of the requirements to become an FCAS, with the exception of the eighth exam. You will also need to take the ST9, Enterprise Risk Management Specialist Technical exam administered by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK). and the seminar for corporate risk management and modeling for CERA qualification

SOA candidates must complete all preliminary exams except for the MLC exam. Candidates must also pass VEE Economics, VEE Corporate Finance, Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice, the Corporate Risk Management Exam, the Corporate Risk Management Module, and the Associateship Professionalism Course.

Registered actuary [edit]

In the United States, the term “registered actuary” is used to refer to an individual who has passed certain Joint Board-sponsored exams for the registration of actuaries in connection with retirement plans. Admission to the Joint Board is a requirement for SOA Retirement Fellows working in the United States.

The American equivalent of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries is the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA).

Other countries [edit]

Many other countries orientate themselves on the larger societies of the USA or Great Britain. In general, these organizations' websites are often the easiest source to find out about membership requirements and resources.

References [edit]

  • “Further training needs” (PDF). Qualification standards for actuaries providing actuarial opinions in the United States. Washington, DC: American Academy of Actuaries: 5–7. 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  • “Membership Requirements”. Washington, DC: American Academy of Actuaries. 2010. Archived from the original on 09/25/2009. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  • “Actuarial Society of India”. Archived from the original on August 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
  • “2011 CAS Basic Education Summary” (PDF). Basic education curriculum. Accident insurance company. 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  • “2011 Curriculum of Basic Education”. Accident insurance company. 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
  • “Membership & Education: Canadian Enrollment Information”. Canadian Institute of Actuaries. October 2004. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-11.
  • “Content of training to / for actuary / in DAV” (in German). German actuary company. 2011. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  • Haastrup, Svend; Jens Perch, Nielsen (2007). “The historical perspective of the Danish actuarial profession”.
  • "Education". Institute of Actuaries of Australia. 2006. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  • "Part One". Courses. Institute of Actuaries of Australia. 2006. Archived from the original on April 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  • “Part II (Actuarial Control Cycle)”. Courses. Institute of Actuaries of Australia. 2006. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  • “Part III”. Courses. Institute of Actuaries of Australia. 2006. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
  • “How do I register as a student?”. college student. Institute and Faculty for Actuaries. 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  • Norberg, Ragnar (1990). “Actuarial Statistics - The European Perspective” (PDF). International Conference on the Teaching of Statistics 3, Dunedin, New Zealand. Auckland, New Zealand: International Association for Statistical Education. Pp. 405-410. Retrieved February 27, 2012.CS1 maintenance: ref = harv (link)
  • “Norwegian Society of Actuaries”. Norwegian Society of Actuaries. 2011. Archived from the original on 07/24/2011. Retrieved 2011-03-04.
  • “Society of Actuaries (ASA) Staff - Requirements”. education. Society of Actuaries. 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  • “Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) Requirements”. education. Society of Actuaries. 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  • “Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) - Requirements”. education. Society of Actuaries. 2012. Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  • “Aktuarieprogrammet” (in Swedish). Stockholm University. 2006. Archived from the original on 06/18/2012. Retrieved 2006-09-10.
  • “Aktuarstudiet” (in Norwegian). University of Bergen. 2011. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-04.

External links [edit]