Continuing Education Requirement for Membership
Revised Required Continuing Education Program
Adopted by the Board of Directors 10/20/07 - On this date, the Board adopted the Continuing Education (CE) component of the Qualification Standards (QS) that were promulgated by the American Academy of Actuaries' Committee on Qualifications and are effective January 1, 2008 (http://www.actuary.org/qualstandards/qual.pdf), with the following three modifications to the Standards' requirements:
(1) The Conference requires the 30 CE hours be met annually, regardless of signing a Statement of Actuarial Opinion (SAO) or not, for all persons performing one hour or more of actuarial services each calendar year (the individual takes retired status in years where no actuarial services are preformed and appends a - R to his/her designation during that year).
(2) No exemption is applicable to Enrolled Actuaries, as described in Section 2.2.8 of the QS; and
(3) There is no reduced 24-hour continuing education requirement prior to 2009, as described in Section 2.2.3 of the QS; therefore, the number of required hours of continuing education each year is 30 hours.
Description of the CCA's Continuing Professional Education/Development Program (Effective 1/1/08)
What are the general requirements of this new program?
To retain the status of FCA or ACA, Conference members are required to satisfy the annual Continuing Education Requirement.
The Continuing Education Requirement is satisfied if the Conference member earns a minimum of 30 hours for that year (inclusive of 6 hours in organized activities and 3 in professionalism). The 30 credits may be satisfied with a combination of general, professionalism and organized activities credits, as long as a minimum of three professionalism and 6 organized credits are included in the total credits.
This revised Continuing Education Requirement is an annual requirement commencing for calendar year 2008.
How do I demonstrate compliance?
It's simple. Conference members satisfying the requirement for a particular year by payment of dues which confirms compliance with the requirements. As stated on the dues notice: By payment of these dues, I confirm that I currently meet, or have met during the past 12 months, the 30 hour Continuing Education Requirements, as outlined in the Qualification Standards promulgated by the American Academy of Actuary's Committee on Qualifications (effective January 1, 2008), regardless of whether or not I have issued any Statement of Actuarial Opinion and without regard to the exemption applicable to Enrolled Actuaries described in Section 2,2,8 of the Standards. Dues statements will be issued in December of 2008 for 2009. Dues must be paid by the close of business on the last business day in February of the year for which the dues apply.
What qualifies as credit under the program?
Credits are accumulated for relevant education if it (1) broadens or deepens an actuary's understanding of one or more aspects of the work an actuary does; (2) the material expands an actuary's knowledge of practice in related disciplines that bear directly on an actuary's work; or (3) it facilitates an actuary's entry into a new area of practice. Ultimately, the actuary must make a good-faith determination of what opportunities will enhance an actuary's ability to practice in a desired field.
Will the Conference provide specific rules on qualifying credits?
No. The actuary must make a good-faith determination of what opportunities will enhance an actuary's ability to practice in a desired field.
Actuaries are frequently asked to use their professional judgment, and, in doing so, are bound by the Code of Professional Conduct. Accumulating credits under the program represents yet another area where our members are asked to exercise sound judgment.
Anyone needing clarification as to whether or not specific materials or activities are acceptable should submit a brief explanation as to the relevance of the materials or activities to the American Academy of Actuaries at email@example.com.
In general, what activities qualify for credit?
Examples follow. These are examples and not limits:
(50 minutes equals one credit/one hour)
- Technical topics in the actuary's area of practice
- Business and Consulting Skills, i.e., client relationship management, presentation skills, communication skills, project management, personnel management (A maximum of 3 credits is allowed annually.)
- Professionalism topics, i.e., studying, reviewing, or providing input on an Exposure Draft of an ASOP, studying or reviewing the Code of Professional Conduct, and serving on the ASB or a professionalism committee (A minimum of 3 credits is required annually)
- Organized activities that involve interaction with actuaries or other professionals working for different organizations, i.e., conferences, seminars, audiocasts, webcasts, in-person or on-line courses, committee work that is directly relevant to the area of practice of the subject of the Statement of Actuarial Opinion (A minimum of 6 credits is required annually)
- Other activities, i.e., reading actuarial literature, statutes, or regulations, reading books, papers or articles on relevant technical or professional topics, writing professional papers or articles, listening to recordings of actuarial meetings or other relevant seminars or conferences, relevant in-house meetings, studying for actuarial exams, drafting actuarial exam questions, preparing to speak or lead a discussion at a continuing education activity.
Can I carry-forward unused credits to next year?
Yes. Credits in excess of the required 30 hours annually, may be carried forward one year; however, they may only be counted for one year. For example, if a member has earned 36 credits (twelve hours of which are organized) for 2008, when paying 2009 dues the member can carry forward to 2009 6 hours of organized credit that were earned during 2008.
An excess of credits may be accumulated in any calendar year and carried forward to the next consecutive calendar year. Credits used to satisfy a future calendar year (carried forward) but earned in the prior calendar year: (i) may not be used in the prior calendar year (no double counting), and (ii) may not be carried forward beyond the calendar year immediately after the calendar year in which the credits were earned.
Can I make up a deficiency in credits by accumulating extra credits the following year?
Yes. However, credits must have been accumulated during the past 12 months and may only count for one year. For example, if a member has earned 25 credits for 2008, when paying his/her 2009 dues in January 2009, the member can either: (i) commit to getting the additional five CE hours for 2008 during the first quarter of 2009, or (ii) complete the additional five CE hours for 2008 during January 2009, before paying the 2009 dues.
A deficiency in credits may be made up in the following calendar year. Confirming satisfaction of the requirement when paying dues is an attestation that you will complete the required deficit on a timely basis. Credits used to satisfy a prior calendar year deficit may not be used again to satisfy the requirements for the calendar year earned (no double counting).
What are the implications of non-compliance?
Members who fail to meet the Continuing Education Requirement during the past 12 months are dropped from Conference membership and can no longer use the designation FCA or ACA.
Can I apply for reinstatement?
Yes. Members dropped for noncompliance with the Continuing Education Requirement may apply for reinstatement according to procedures adopted by the Board of Directors.
What if I incur a hardship?
Members encountering a hardship which prevents compliance with the Continuing Education Requirement may apply for a full or partial waiver by submitting a written hardship request to the Continuing Education Recognition Committee. Each case is independently reviewed with determinations made based on the hardship encountered. Documentation from medical professionals may be requested.
When granted, hardship waivers may result in the awarding of sufficient credits to satisfy the continuing education requirements for a particular year. Carry-forward of credits to the following year are allowed, after deducting the number of hardship waiver credits approved.
If I do not sign any Statements of Actuarial Opinion, as described in the QS, do I still need to satisfy the annual Continuing Education Requirement?
Yes. All members in the Conference are expected to satisfy the annual Continuing Education Requirement, even if they are not responsible for signing Statements of Actuarial Opinion. This confirms how important we feel continuing education is to all of our active members, not just those with signing responsibilities.
If I am retired, how do I retain my membership status?
In order to maintain your membership in the Conference, including the use of the FCA or ACA designation, you must continue to satisfy the Continuing Education Requirement. This includes those individuals qualifying for a waiver of dues.
A member who is no longer engaged in work as an actuary may keep the FCA or ACA designation only if he/she satisfies the Continuing Education Requirement. Otherwise, such retired actuary continuing as a member of the Conference must use the designation of FCA-R or ACA-R.
Is there still an "Inactive" status?
No. The inactive designation indicating a waiver of dues is no longer a formal part of the professional designation. However, partial dues waiver is still available. There is no change in the partial dues waiver policy.
The Board of Directors reserves the right to revise the program and the manner of demonstrating compliance.
Here is a summary of the membership designations beginning in 2004:
1 Drop of membership occurs after an individual fails to meet the requirement within the past 12 to 24 months.
Effective September 22, 2003, under the Amended Bylaws "retired status" is defined as follows:
Retired Status: A member who was formerly an FCA or ACA, and who is no longer practicing as an actuary and who has not satisfied the Continuing Education requirement.