Share Your Thoughts on the Proposed Changes to the Joint Disciplinary Process

by Don Segal, SOA President, 2010-2011

Don Segal Blog Photo Last week you received an email from me outlining proposed changes to the U.S. actuarial profession’s joint disciplinary process.

Your input on the proposed changes is an important part of efforts to improve the efficiency and consistency of our disciplinary process. We believe the proposed changes will result in a more streamlined discipline and appeals process.

In short, for members of multiple U.S. organizations, the current process has an abundance of burdensome and costly hearings, which can lead to different outcomes. Under the proposal, future disciplinary recommendations will be submitted for determination to a single, representative joint disciplinary panel; all appeals will be considered by a joint appeal panel. This streamlining will reduce the number of hearings and help create greater consistency regarding outcomes.

To implement these revisions, each organization will need to make changes to its bylaws and will submit the new discipline process to a vote of its members.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll be receiving more information on this proposal, including a draft bylaws amendment and the full text of the agreement among the participating organizations implementing the new process. We are also scheduling two webinars in early June to discuss the proposed changes and to answer your questions.

The SOA Board of Directors is asking for and values the input of members. The Board will carefully consider member comments on the bylaws amendment and the draft agreement as it determines whether to put the matter before the members as part of the summer 2011 election process.

We realize that no one among us expects to be the subject of a disciplinary proceeding. However, we urge you to be informed on this issue and provide your feedback.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to review the details and share any questions or thoughts you may have with us. You can send your comments to membercomms@soa.org.

We have also scheduled two free webinars, with plenty of time for Q&A, for those who would like to learn more about the proposed changes. One will be on June 2 at 12:00 EDT and the other will be on June 6 at 12:00 EDT.

Thank you for your comments and questions on these proposed changes.

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One response to "Share Your Thoughts on the Proposed Changes to the Joint Disciplinary Process"

  • Ken Hohman says:

    This proposal represents a four year development/negotiation process among the leaders of the five U.S.-based actuarial organizations (who, not coincidentally, share a single Code of Conduct). This collaboration is what each of us should demand of our respective organizations in order to advance our profession. In my mind the proposal provides three significant benefits:

    (1) The demand on our volunteer resources is reduced – while the disciplinary process is essential to our profession, we need to continually find ways to use our volunteers’ time more efficiently.
    (2) We will have greater uniformity of disciplinary outcomes between the five organizations – under our current system it is relatively common for the same offense to be treated differently by the organizations. While the differences might be well-reasoned, it is difficult to explain the rationale to actuaries and impossible to explain to non-actuaries who use or rely on our services. This disparity in outcomes holds a very real reputational risk for the U.S. actuarial profession.
    (3) The proposal maintains the sovereignty of the five organizations over the disciplinary process. This single issue required tremendous negotiation and collaboration skills of the four generations of leaders that worked on the proposal.

    Nothing is ever perfect. The leaders of the profession saw the flaws in the current disciplinary process and have made significant improvements. Maintaining our standards and ethics is evolutionary. It is time to take this major step in advancing our procedures and then never stop looking for ways enhance the process further.

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