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CAA frequently asked questions

What level is the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification?

The qualification equates to around Level 4/5 on the UK’s Qualification Credit Framework

What knowledge will I gain from the CAA qualification?

On passing all the exams and qualifying as a Certified Actuarial Analyst, you will have the necessary mathematical skills and understanding to enable you to carry out the calculations underpinning the determination of:

  • the premiums that need to be charged for products, schemes, contracts and other arrangements that provide benefits on contingent events;
  • the amount of reserves that providers of such benefits need to hold in order to meet future liabilities;
  • the value of the assets in which providers of such benefits invest such reserves.

What type of candidate would be suitable to become a Certified Actuarial Analyst?

  • A current employee of a consultancy or actuarial organisation – perhaps someone who is working in IT or an analytical support role or someone who has started the Fellowship exams but feels that this is no longer the right choice for them.
  • A degree level candidate – someone who has left university and is interested in actuarial work.
  • A school leaver – someone who is interested in starting their career and learning on the job without having to undertake a degree.

You can read more about the type of candidate that would be suitable for the Certified Actuarial Analyst in the CAA conceptual profiles document.

What kind of work will I be doing as a Certified Actuarial Analyst?

The main function of a Certified Actuarial Analyst is to provide professionalised technical capacity in either actuarial teams or in wider financial and analytical work where the technical application of actuarial science is beneficial.

However, the qualification will also develop wider skills in line with this technical expertise, such as communication and professionalism. Many of these skills will be assessed in the work-based skills part of the qualification. Find out more about the work-based skills requirement.

How does this qualification benefit me?

The qualification provides membership of a prestigious professional body and the associated benefits of being part of the global IFoA community, including support from the IFoA throughout your career. The skills gained from the Certified Actuarial Analyst credential will open the door to a wide range of career options such as management, technical analyst, data processing, financial IT or perhaps even moving to a different area of business such as marketing or working in an advisory role.

What would my career pathway as a Certified Actuarial Analyst look like?

The qualification supports you to gain more responsibility as you gain a better understanding of actuarial work. It is applicable in a wide range of fields such as underwriting, insurance, pensions, finance and investment management. The general nature of the qualification means that the door will be open to a wide variety of career paths, from data analytics and general management to full Fellowship – although this is not the shortest route to becoming a qualified actuary.

On completion of the CAA, if you decide you would like to become a fully qualified actuary then the IFoA’s conversion assessment will enable you to move onto the IFoA’s Fellowship pathway. This assessment will be available by 2017. We encourage you to carefully consider which of our qualifications is right for you before you start studying.

Can I be sponsored through the Certified Actuarial Analyst exams?

This is dependent on the employer. Some employers have indicated that they will be prepared to sponsor Student Actuarial Analysts through the entire process, whilst other employers will use the Certified Actuarial Analyst qualification as a benchmark for the quality of candidates in the recruitment process.

What is the difference between the CAA and other qualifications/membership categories?

See our diagram to see how our qualifications compare.

Are Student Actuarial Analysts and Certified Actuarial Analysts subject to regulation by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)?

Yes. Student Actuarial Analysts are student members and so fall within our regulatory regime as soon as they become members of the IFoA.

All members must understand and follow the ethical principles laid out in the Actuaries' Code.

Do Student Actuarial Analysts have to complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Yes. Student Actuarial Analysts have to complete the Stage 1 Professional Awareness Test within one year. Students are classified as Category 6 members under the 2016/2017 CPD Scheme and their CPD obligations are set out in full at section 8 of the Scheme.

Do Certified Actuarial Analysts have to complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

Yes. Certified Actuarial Analysts are classified as Category 4 members under the 2016/2017 CPD Scheme and their obligations are set out in full in section 6 of the Scheme.

Certified Actuarial Analysts, or Category 4 members, must complete 15 hours of learning which is relevant to their work or role and which addresses a personal development need.

Of those 15 hours:

  • a minimum of five hours must be obtained at “external events” such as conferences (defined within the CPD Scheme); and
  • a minimum of two hours must contribute to the member’s understanding of ethical behaviours in relation to their role.

In selecting learning which focuses on ethical behaviours relevant to you role, you may wish to consider opportunities which:

  • enhance your understanding of the principles of ethical behaviour and how to apply these in making professional judgements;
  • enhance understanding of what it means to act in the public interest;
  • equip you to make reasoned and justifiable decisions in resolving ethical dilemmas;
  • assist you in demonstrating ethical behaviour in conducting your professional life; and
  • enable you to recognise ethical dilemmas and take appropriate action.

All members must record their CPD activities in their online CPD record by 31 July each year and should retain evidence of their participation in the recorded activities for two years from the date of the event.

You should refer to the CPD Scheme for full details and may find the guidance on the Scheme in the CPD FAQs to be helpful.

Are Certified Actuarial Analysts subject to regulation under Actuarial Professional Standards and Technical Actuarial Standards?

Yes, Actuarial Professional Standards (APSs) (the ethical standards that apply to those undertaking actuarial work) apply to all members. The UK Technical Actuarial Standards (TASs) are set by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the IFoA’s oversight body, but again members are subject to them. However, the extent to which these standards apply will depend on the location and type of work being undertaken.

You can find out more about Actuarial Professional Standards and Technical Actuarial Standards on the Standards and Guidance page.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

education.services@actuaries.org.uk

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, 1st Floor, Park Central, 40/41 Park End Street, Oxford, OX1 1JD

+44 01865 268207

We aim to respond to all enquiries within two working days.