Actuarial Science

How to Become a Professional Actuary in Malaysia through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)

How to Qualify to Become a Fellowship/Associateship through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Become a Professional Actuaries in Malaysia

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One of the pathways to become a professional actuaries in Malaysia is taking the professional papers from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) UK. Students from Asia Pacific University (APU) would receive 6 paper exemptions from IFoA which is the maximum.

As a professional body the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has a responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, up-to-date and reflects the skills, knowledge and attributes required of actuaries in an ever-changing global business environment. At the same time the IFoA, as a full member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA), must ensure that its curriculum reflects the international standards set by them. This we have done by ensuring that the core subjects align themselves to the agreed 2017 IAA syllabus.

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How to Qualify to Become a Fellowship/Associateship through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)

To become an Associate member you need to complete the following:

  • Core Principles subjects (CS1-2, CM1-2 and CB1-3) either by examination or exemption
  • Core Practices subjects (CP1, CP2 and CP3) either by examination or exemption
  • Personal and Professional Development (PPD) – A minimum of 2 years of PPD
  • Professional Skills Course (PSC)
  • Online Professional Awareness Test (OPAT)

To qualify as a Fellow you need to complete the following:

  • Core Principles subjects (CS1-2, CM1-2 and CB1-3) either by examination or exemption
  • Core Practices subjects (CP1, CP2 and CP3) either by examination or exemption
  • Two Specialist Principles (SP1, SP2, SP4, SP5, SP6, SP7, SP8 and SP9) subjects either by examination or exemption
  • One Specialist Advanced (SA1, SA2, SA3, SA4 and SA7) subject by examination or dissertation
  • Personal and Professional Development (PPD) A further minimum 1 year of PPD
  • Professional Skills Course (if you have not yet taken this course you must do so within 12 months of becoming a Fellow)
  • Online Professional Awareness Test (OPAT). Must take OPAT before taking CB3

Core Principles (7 Subjects)

General Structure

The Core Principles cover three main areas. These are:

  1. Actuarial Statistics (CS)
    • Actuarial Statistics (CS1)
    • Risk Modelling & Survival Analysis (CS2)
  2. Actuarial Mathematics (CM)
    • Actuarial Mathematics (CM1)
    • Financial Engineering and Loss Reserving (CM2)
  3. Business (CB)
    • Business Finance (CB1)
    • Business Economics (CB2)
    • Business Management (CB3) – Pre-requisite in OPAT

Within each area there are a number of subjects shown opposite. The Core Principles therefore comprises seven subjects.

Assessments for Core Principles

All Core Principle subjects will be assessed. Actuarial Statistics and Actuarial Mathematics have two elements of assessment. For each subject there will be a 3 hours 15 minutes written paper and a 1 hour 45 minutes problem-based assessment. For these subjects both elements of assessment must be taken at the same examination sitting. The two papers will be weighted (70% for the written paper and 30% for the problem based assessment). A single aggregate mark will then be calculated. Failure to reach the overall pass mark will require both elements of assessment to be retaken. The problem-based assessments will be computer based and taken at home or in your office.

Core Practices (5 Papers)

The Core Practices cover three areas. These are:

  1. Actuarial Practice (CP1)
  2. Modelling Practice (CP2)
  3. Communications Practice (CP3)

Assessments for Core Practices

All three will be assessed using written and computer-based examinations. For CP1 and CP2 there will be two elements of assessment for each subject. Each assessment carries equal weighting. A single aggregate mark will then be calculated. Failure to reach the overall pass mark will require both elements of assessments to be retaken. For CP3 there will be a single paper.

Specialist Principles (Choose 2 out of 9)

The Specialist Principles (SP) subjects require individuals to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of specific specialist areas. Each subject will be assessed using a 3 hours and 15 minutes paper-based examination. These will be taken in an examination centre. Those who have obtained an alternative qualification have the option of applying for SP0.

This is normally through a Level 7, Master’s Thesis in an actuarially relevant subject. The Specialist Principle subjects are:

  • SP0: Master’s Level Thesis
  • SP1: Health and Care
  • SP2: Life Insurance
  • SP4: Pensions
  • SP5: Investment and Finance
  • SP6: Financial Derivatives
  • SP7: General Insurance: Reserving
  • SP8: General Insurance Pricing
  • SP9: Enterprise Risk Management

Two of these SP subjects have to be passed to be eligible to qualify as a Fellow. You do not need to take any SP subjects to qualify as an Associate.

Specialist Advanced (Choose 1 out of 7)

The Specialist Advanced (SA) subjects require individuals to apply specific knowledge and principles of actuarial practice to the provision of specific practice areas.

Subjects SA1 – SA7 will be assessed using a 3 hours and 15 minutes paper-based examination. These will be taken in an examination centre. Those who are planning to undertake some original research on an actuarial topic can apply to take the SA0 route. The research should be at MPhil or PHD level and is likely to require at least 2 years of study. The IFoA must be involved from the start of the project and agree the objectives of the research.

The Specialist Principle subjects are:

  • SA0: Research Master’s Thesis
  • SA1: Health and Care
  • SA2: Life Insurance
  • SA3: General Insurance
  • SA4: Pensions
  • SA7: Investment and Finance

One of these subjects has to be passed to be eligible to qualify as a Fellow. You do not need to take any SA subjects to qualify as an Associate.

Actuaries’ Code

Throughout their career as an actuary, individuals are expected to act within the framework of the Actuaries’ Code. The principles of which are:

  • Integrity – Members will act honestly and with the highest standards of integrity. Competence and Care – Members will perform their professional duties competently and with care.
  • Impartiality – Members will not allow bias, conflicts of interest, or the undue influence of others to override their professional judgement.
  • Compliance  – Members will comply with all relevant, legal, regulatory and professional requirements, take reasonable steps to ensure they are not placed in a position where they are unable to comply and will challenge non-compliance by others.
  • Communication – Members will communicate effectively and meet all applicable reporting standards.

To help members develop their understanding of how to apply this code in practice, the IFoA has developed different stages which need to be completed. For students these are:

Stage 1: Online Professional Awareness Test (OPAT) This is a 90 minute, mainly knowledge based, multiple choice online exam, which it is recommended you sit within your first year of membership. This must be sat and passed before applying to sit CB3.

Stage 2: Professional Skills Course (PSC) This is an online course which continues the development of professionalism through case-study discussion. These discussions explore the concepts of professionalism and business ethics. They also provide an opportunity to demonstrate judgement and decision making to resolve issues. The PSC must be completed in order to qualify at either the Associate or Fellow

Personal and Professional Development (PPD)

As part of the journey to become a qualified member of the IFoA, an individual needs to demonstrate they have the relevant skills and experience within a work environment. To do this, the IFoA requires PPD to be completed in addition to the examinations and professionalism requirements.

The PPD requirement includes three categories, subdivided into key competencies, which will carry a credit value. All credits will be recorded online and there will be a minimum annual requirement for each qualification route.

The PPD requirement will align with the CPD scheme which all members need to adhere to when qualified. The three key categories of PPD are:

  1. Effective Communications
  2. Problem Solving and Decision Making
  3. Professionalism

PPD was introduced in September 2017 and replaces Work Based Skills (WBS). There is also a requirement to complete 2hrs of formal learning each year

Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Curriculum 2019

The IFoA has released information on their new curriculum for 2019. As the needs of the actuarial profession and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) evolve, so must our curriculum.

This page contains all the exams information you need under the new curriculum. As actuarial science and the skill set of actuaries are used in wider applications in both traditional and non-traditional fields, and the IFoA increases its intake of overseas members, our curriculum must be updated to reflect these challenges and ensure that it is fit for purpose in today’s evolving world.

Further information on modules, including the syllabus and specimen papers, can be found under Curriculum 2019 V23 WEB

Why is the IFoA launching a new curriculum?

The employment opportunities available for those with an actuarial skill set
continue to develop and grow, in some cases outside the traditional areas.
As a professional body the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) has a responsibility to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, up-to-date and reflects the skills, knowledge and attributes required of actuaries in an ever-changing global business environment.
At the same time the IFoA, as a full member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA), must ensure that its curriculum reflects the international standards set by them. This we have done by ensuring that the core subjects align themselves to the agreed 2017 IAA syllabus.

Definitive core reading and sample examination papers for the new curriculum are available at:

https://www.actuaries.org.uk/studying/curriculum-2019

Changes to the Qualification Structure

On 2 January 2019, the IFoA will be delivering its new curriculum, with the first examinations being sat in April 2019. This is the culmination of an extensive consultation with a wide group of stakeholders.

Alongside these curriculum changes the IFoA will be making some changes to the qualification structure which we want to alert you to. These are as follows:

Associateship qualification All students joining the IFoA from 2 January 2019 will be required to qualify as an Associate before choosing to progress to Fellowship. You will do this after completing or gaining exemptions from the Core Principles and Core Practice subjects and a minimum of 2 years of PPD.

The pathway to Fellowship All students will still be able to take their examinations in any order but if they complete the examinations prior to becoming an Associate, they will still be required to complete a further year of PPD before becoming a Fellow.

A flexible qualification Students who wish to progress to Fellowship will be able to do so by completing their Specialist Principles and Specialist Advanced subjects, and a minimum of 1 further year of PPD. Employers will have the flexibility to support their employees in whichever pathway they deem the most appropriate.

Who is affected

Existing students who joined the IFoA before 2 January 2019 may not be affected by these IFoA changes.

The Curriculum

The actuarial qualification contains three fundamental components,
and these will not change. They are the examinations, professionalism and practical experience gained in the workplace. Whether you are aiming to qualify as an Associate or Fellow, you will need to complete all these components.

There have been changes to the names we are using for the Curriculum 2019 groups of subjects.

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