You are here

CP3 Communications Practice

In October 2016, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) announced that the current communications exam, CA3, would be replaced by CP3 in the new curriculum. While the new curriculum will take effect from 31 December 2018, a decision was taken to launch the new CP3 exam in September 2017

This page provides you with guidance on the format of the exam, an example exam paper, a sample marking guide, and examples of a good answer and a poor answer.

Format of the exam

The CP3 exam will assess your ability to communicate effectively in writing to a non-actuarial/non-technical audience. The CP3 computer-based exam will consist of a single written exam.

The presentation element has been removed from the examination and is now completed as part of Work Experience/Work-Based Skills/Personal and Professional Development (PPD).

The CP3 computer-based assessment will be split in two parts. An exam scenario paper will be available to you 3 days before the exam, with the exam question paper available from 10.00 (UK time) on the day of the exam. There is no reading time allocated to candidates in this exam.

Part 1: Scenario material

You will be provided with scenario material a minimum of  three days before the assessment is due to be taken. This could include a number of documents such as articles, written communications between relevant stakeholders, data sets, tables and charts.

This will give you the opportunity to review the materials and familiarise yourself with the scenario, and the subject area before sitting the exam. The exam question will be set around the scenario on which the advance material is based.

You are not required to undertake any research or additional reading relating to the technical material beyond what is provided in the scenario documents.

Part 2: Written paper

The CP3 exam is a three hour paper, which will have two questions

  • First question: a written communication piece such as a written report, a memo, a letter or a set of briefing notes.
    • 90% of the overall mark
  • Second question: a short reflective piece which will give you the chance to justify the style and structure of communication and the choice of charts/tables or diagrams you have used in your written answers.
    • 10% of the overall mark.

At the end of the three hour exam you have an additional 5 minutes to upload your exam submission. This must be completed within these 5 minutes to confirm your upload has been successful. You are able upload before this time if you have completed the exam question paper earlier.

Please note: your exam submission will only be accepted as a Word file. PDF submissions will NOT be accepted

Technical requirements

The CP3 Online Exam System will be compatible with all modern browsers on most modern computing platforms. This includes but is not limited to:

  • A stable internet connection (2Mbps or greater)
  • A device capable of downloading and opening PDFs, opening and creating Word, Excel and PowePoint documents.
  • Minimum resolution: 1024 x 768

Browser compatibility

  • Windows: Microsoft Edge 15, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • macOS: Safari 11, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • iPad (9+): Safari, Chrome Microsoft Surface Tablet: Microsoft Edge 15, Chrome 64, Firefox 58, Opera 51
  • iPhone: Not compatible
  • Android: Tablets running Chrome 64
  • Android phones: Not compatible

Joining instructions

As you will be sitting the exam online, joining instructions for access to the online web platform will be provided to you by email two weeks before the start of the exam session.


You will find a sample exam paper, the relevant advance material, a marking guide and examples of a good answer that would result in a pass and a poor answer that would result in a fail.

These are provided to give you an illustration of the format, and support your preparation for the exam.

We have also creates some FAQs about CP3 that you can read for more information.

Marking process

Each script will be assessed by two markers (an actuary and a non-actuary) who will mark the script according to the marking schedule.

PPD presentation element

The presentation element has been removed from the CP3 examination and is now included in the new PPD regime. However, for students who are going to qualify under the Work-based skills requirements there is a sign-off form you will need to complete.

For those students who are going to qualify under the PPD regime, you will be required to complete the 'Presentation' aspect within the Communication objective. No sign-off form is required.

To find out the details of this, and how you submit evidence, please visit the PPD Presentation page.

Contact Details

Education Services Team

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.