SOA Board of Directors Decides to Continue Current Pathway to Membership
At its Oct. 19-20, 2013, meeting the Society of Actuaries Board of Directors voted to decline the Canadian Institute of Actuaries’ request regarding its University Accreditation Program. The CIA had asked the SOA to accept university course work under the UAP as part of the pathway to membership. The Board determined that continuing with its current pathway the most effective way to control and maintain the unique value of the SOA credentials consistently throughout the world.
The SOA Board has discussed and deliberated this issue for well over a year and has examined the issue in depth. We value and have deep respect for the CIA as our closest global education partner and understand their strong commitment to the University Accreditation Program. However, we ultimately decided that accepting course work under the UAP for exam credits was not in the best interests of the SOA at this time and was not something our members, candidates, or actuarial employers want the SOA to do. A majority of members, candidates and employers told us that the value of the SOA credentials is tied to the unquestioned rigor of SOA exams and to the fact that all candidates take the same, anonymously graded exams to become an SOA member.
The SOA Board will continue to consider alternative education and validation routes, including university participation. In doing so, the SOA will seek input from the CIA and other partners.
The SOA is always interested in collaborating with partners such as the CIA, universities and other actuarial organizations globally that are working to strengthen the actuarial profession. We’re working with the CIA in a number of other important areas to serve our common members and, of course, will continue to do so.
The Board and leadership discussed this issue with members, candidates and employers to determine awareness of university accreditation programs. The Board also authorized a survey of members and candidates regarding university accreditation programs in addition to conducting focus groups. The Board reviewed and discussed a variety of other aspects of this issue including its fit with the SOA’s strategic direction, educational aspects of the program, and potential implementation issues.
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