How to Qualify to Become a Fellowship/Associateship through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) and Become a Professional Actuaries in Malaysia
- 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 can study at top private universities in Malaysia with full exemptions from IFOA in order to become an actuary faster
- Find out how to qualify as an Associate and a Fellow
- Subjects covered in the IFoA curricu
- Top Private Universities in Malaysia with Full Exemptions from IFoA (UK)
The education pathway to become an Actuary in Malaysia requires students to go through a well-structured plan and takes about 3-6 years. This would include Pre-University (Pre-U), university-level education and post-university examinations, as well as other requirements. The first step for students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels is to take a Pre-University Course such as the Foundation in Business Administration and then enter into the Actuarial Science degree at a private university that has full exemptions from IFoA. This will greatly shorten your time to qualify as an Actuary in Malaysia. Upon completion of the degree, you can then start taking the professional papers.
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 can study at top private universities in Malaysia with full exemptions from IFOA in order to become an actuary faster. A degree with Full IFOA Exemptions means that 6 papers are exempted which are – CS1,CS2,CM1,CM2,CB1 & CB2. Students need to take 4 more papers plus 2 years PPD to qualify as an Associate. To qualify as a Fellow, you will be required to complete 1 year of PPD, Specialist Principles (2 exams) & Specialist Advanced (1 exam).
Typically, it takes about 3 to 6 years to complete the exams, depending on the extent to which you can claim exemptions. There are 13 exams in the IFOA that need to be passed in total an they are split across 4 areas:
- Core Principles exams (7 exams) – covering fundamental actuarial techniques in mathematics, statistics and business
- Core Practise exams (3 exams) – covering actuarial risk management, financial modelling and communication skills
- Personal & Professional Development (PPD) – Minimum 3 years actuarial work
- Specialist Principle (Choose 2 of 9 subjects) – bringing technical skills and knowledge to a more advanced level
- Specialist Advanced exams (Choose 1 of 6 subjects) – through which you will improve your ability to apply both technical skills and professional actuarial judgement in real world situations
You might also be interested to read:
- 4 Top Private Universities in Malaysia Best for Actuarial Science Studies Courses
- Pathway to Become an Actuary in Malaysia through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Curriculum 2019
- Actuarial Science in Malaysia – Job, Salary, Education Pathway & Professional Papers
- Which are the Top Private Universities Best for Actuarial Science Malaysia
- Top Universities in Malaysia for Actuarial Science Best for Preparing You for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Exams
- How to Become a Professional Actuary in Malaysia through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)
- Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia & the Best Pathway to Become a Professional Actuary
- Studying Actuarial Science in Malaysia can get you a High Salary Career
- Best Pathway to Becoming an Actuary in Malaysia through the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Professional Exams
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How to Qualify to Become a Fellowship/Associateship through the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA)
What is the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA), UK?
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.
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)
The Core Principles cover three main areas. These are:
- Actuarial Statistics (CS)
- Actuarial Statistics (CS1)
- Risk Modelling & Survival Analysis (CS2)
- Actuarial Mathematics (CM)
- Actuarial Mathematics (CM1)
- Financial Engineering and Loss Reserving (CM2)
- 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:
- Actuarial Practice (CP1)
- Modelling Practice (CP2)
- 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.
In Actuarial Statistics, emphasis is placed on being able to apply statistical methods to actuarial problems using real data sets and the open-source software environment R. This area comprises of two separate modules, each with two elements of assessment. Each module can be sat in different exam sessions but the two assessments which cover the module must be completed during the same exam session.
Actuarial Mathematics provide students with core knowledge on areas such as how to price different financial products, such as bonds, and insurance products, such as life insurance. This area comprises of two separate modules, each with two elements of assessment. Each module can be sat in different exam sessions but the two assessments which cover the module must be completed during the same exam session.
There are 3 business subjects
- Business Finance
- Business Economics
- Business Management (case studies and simulation). This comprises business strategy and law, and includes a business simulation
Core Practices subjects
The Actuarial Practice subject builds on knowledge and skills learned in the Core Principles, to apply these principles to real actuarial problems. The material also covers risk management techniques and processes required by actuaries.
In Modelling Practice, you learn to model data, document the work (including maintaining an audit trail for a fellow student and senior actuary), analyse the methods used and outputs generated and communicate results and conclusions to a senior actuary.
The Communication Practice subject helps ensure that you can communicate actuarial concepts to a non-technical audience. Students are encouraged to reflect on their communication style and become effective communicators.
Specialist Principles subjects
To progress to Fellow membership, you will need to pass two of the subjects below to demonstrate your understanding of the concepts in your chosen subjects and application of principles to the various sectors.
- Health and Care: the provision of health and care business
- Pensions and Other Benefits: financial management of pensions and other benefits.
- Investment and Finance: management of investments
- Financial Derivatives: the types, usage and valuation of financial derivatives in trading markets
- General Insurance: Reserving and Capital Modelling
- General Insurance Pricing: mathematical and economics techniques for general insurance operations
- Enterprise Risk Management: qualitative and quantitative aspects of risk management, how these risks are aggregated and risk management frameworks.
Specialist Advanced subjects
The Specialist Advanced subjects require you to pass one of these subjects below, to show that you can apply principles of actuarial practice to an advanced area.
- Health and Care
- Life Insurance
- General Insurance
- Pensions and Other Benefits
- Investment and Finance
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:
- Effective Communications
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
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:
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 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.
Top Private Universities in Malaysia with Full Exemptions from IFoA (UK)
At Asia Pacific University, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Actuarial Studies students will also receive credits for all the 3 Validated by Educational Experience (VEE) papers from SOA as long as they receive a minimum mark of 70% in the APU equivalent papers.
In addition, the Actuarial Science degree at Asia Pacific University (APU) has been awarded full accreditation from the IFoA (UK). APU is among the 7 universities in Asia to receive such worldwide recognition.
APU graduates who perform to the required standard can be eligible for exemption from CS1, CS2, CM1, CM2, CB1 and CB2. This is a 6-paper exemption out of 7 papers of the Core Principles Professional Papers for the new IFoA Curriculum 2019, which is the maximum paper exemptions.
In addition, the university has competent teaching staff with professional or specialized academic qualification, possessing working experience from actuarial industries/academia.
APU’s Actuarial Science course syllabus is comprehensively structured in tandem and compliance with the 2 biggest actuarial bodies, the IFoA (UK) and the SOA (US).
Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s team of leading academics is internationally recognised for research, scholarship and teaching in mathematical and actuarial sciences. The Actuarial Science degree at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia receives the same exemptions from the VEE papers from SOA.
HWUM Bachelor’s degree mirrors the highly successful BSc Actuarial Science degree offered in the UK, which is accredited by the UK Actuarial Profession. This can significantly reduce the time taken to qualify as a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Good performance in examinations means exemptions from all Core Technical subjects, CT1 to CT8, of the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) which can be converted to CS1 and 2, CM1 and 2 and CB1 and 2 under the new system of examinations, giving prospective actuaries an advantage over those in other mathematics programmes.
The degree is accredited by the Royal Statistical Society.