Professionalism

The Council on Professionalism encourages actuaries to achieve and maintain a high level of professionalism in their practice. It coordinates its activities with two boards that operate independently and serve the U.S. profession: the ASB and the ABCD. Joeff Williams is the Academy's vice president for professionalism issues.
 
Actuarial Code of Professional Conduct
The Code identifies the professional and ethical standards required of actuaries who practice in the United States.
 
Qualification Standards
U.S. Qualification Standards define the basic and continuing education and experience requirements for issuing actuarial opinions.
 
Actuarial Standards of Practice
ASOPs provide guidance on the techniques, applications, procedures, and methods that reflect appropriate actuarial practices in the United States.
 
Professionalism Webinars
An archive of webinars on professionalism topics including U.S. Qualifications Standards, the Code of Conduct, and Actuarial Standards of Practice.
 
Professionalism Discussion Papers
Read papers on actuarial professionalism, standards of conduct, qualification, and practice.
 
Applicability Guidelines
Guidelines on which ASOPs might apply to actuarial assignments.
 
Professionalism and the Practicing Actuary
Get an overview of the Code of Professional Conduct, the U.S. Qualification Standards, Actuarial Standards of Practice, and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline.
 
Applicability Guidelines
Request one of the Academy’s experienced and knowledgeable speakers who have volunteered to share their expertise on actuarial professionalism.
Order a Copy of the Code of Professional Conduct
Members of the Academy may order a complimentary pocket-sized copy of the Code by logging into your member account here.
Mobile-Friendly ASB Site
For instructions on adding an icon to your handheld device that directly links to the ASB’s mobile responsive website, click here.


Professionalism News & Events

Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) Vice Chairperson Frank Todisco writes about Actuarial Standard of Practice (ASOP) No. 32, Social Insurance, which is currently undergoing revision. The ASB created a task force last year to examine ASOP No. 32—which does not fall into any one particular practice area—that met in January and plans to issue a summary of changes and a full exposure draft later this year. (March 31, 2017)
The Actuarial Standards Board’s (ASB) 2016 Annual Report is now available. The report highlights the ASB’s accomplishments in 2016, including adoption of three revised actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), approval of seven exposure drafts for comment, approval of a proposal for one revised ASOP, and a final report from the ASB’s Pension Task Force. The ASB also approved the formation of a task force to revise ASOP No. 32, Social Insurance. (March 22, 2017)
Using a timely baseball opening analogy to his first Presidential Papers column, Academy President Bob Beuerlein asks, “Are You Modeling Professionalism?” He notes that actuaries have the opportunity to be teachers and role models to other actuaries, and cites the importance of the Code of Professional Conduct. “Walk the walk,” he writes, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. (Contingencies, March/April 2017) (March 1, 2017)
How are actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs) revised and kept current? Beth Fitzgerald, vice chairperson of the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB), explains the 2016 revisions to ASOP Nos. 21, 23, and 24, illustrating how the ASB continues to uphold this charge—seeking and receiving a wide range of ideas and viewpoints within the actuarial profession. (February 28, 2017)
Keith Passwater, chairperson of the Academy’s Committee on Qualifications, outlined three new FAQs about the Qualification Standards for Actuaries Issuing Statements of Actuarial Opinion in the United States on long-term care qualifications, actuaries changing practice areas, and experience under the specific qualification standard. The FAQs are a handy resource that actuaries can consult when they have questions about qualifications.
(January 31, 2017)
Academy volunteers—and individuals who are an interested party on a committee, whether an Academy member or not—must annually acknowledge the Academy’s Conflict of Interest (COI) policy, Vice President of Professionalism Joeff Williams writes in his January Actuarial Update column.
(January 31, 2017)
In the fourth and final installment of his presidential papers series “The Academy and the Web of Professionalism,” Past Academy President Tom Wildsmith writes about discipline, tracing the Academy’s early efforts in this area that led to the founding of the Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) and the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD). The ABCD, along with the ASB and the U.S. Qualification Standards, form the triad of the Code of Professional Conduct. “Dealing with disciplinary matters is never pleasant, but it is an essential part of any self-regulating profession,” he writes. (Contingencies, January/February 2017) (January 1, 2017)
“A News Year’s Worth of Professionalism Resources” highlights the Academy’s publications and professionalism webinars, continuing education opportunities, the Code of Professional Conduct, the Actuarial Standards Board’s actuarial standards of practice, the U.S. Qualification Standards, and other resources to help actuaries remain qualified to issue statements of actuarial opinion. (December 30, 2016)
More than 2,000 people attended the Academy’s Dec. 21 professionalism webinar that focused on a topic of perennial interest: actuarial communications, particularly documentation and disclosures.

Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (ABCD) Chairperson Richard Block and ABCD member Janet Carstens gave an overview of both the ABCD and Actuarial Standard of Practice (ASOP) No. 41, Actuarial Communications. Their presentation centered on responsibility for assumptions and methods, including what the actuary will typically disclose when an assumption is set by a third party or the law. They also reviewed other disclosures required by ASOP No. 41, such as conflicts of interest, reliance on sources of information, and uncertainties or risk. 

Slides and audio are available to members without charge on the Academy’s webinar page.
(December 21, 2016)
Ingrained cultural traditions—such as those found in many regions of the nation—can offer insights into developing a professional culture that can be integrated into actuaries’ daily practice, writes Joeff Williams, the Academy’s new vice president of professionalism.
(November 30, 2016)