Professionalism News and Events

The Committee on Professional Responsibility (COPR) of the Academy’s Council on Professionalism has released a new discussion paper, Considerations of Professional Standards in International Practice. As actuarial work crosses national borders, actuaries are becoming exposed to a variety of laws and professional standards from different jurisdictions. Consequently, questions frequently arise about the professional requirements that apply in international situations. This discussion paper identifies and explores some of these issues. (July 08, 2016)
The Council on Professionalism updated two sections of the 2004 discussion paperStructural Framework of U.S. Actuarial Professionalism—Concepts on Professionalism. The two sections, “U.S. Actuarial Standards of Qualification” and “U.S. Actuarial Standards of Practice” were updated to reflect developments that have occurred in those areas since the original date of publication. (July 01, 2016)
In a new department in Contingencies, Academy President Tom Wildsmith examines the infrastructure of actuarial professionalism, beginning with the Code of Professional Conduct. The Code is at the center of what Wildsmith terms a “web of professionalism”—the key elements that the Academy developed to support the U.S. actuarial profession. (Contingencies, July/August 2016) (July 01, 2016)
The June “Professionalism Counts” column examines the trove of professionalism webinars that date back to 2007. These webinars have provided an easy way for Academy members to earn professionalism continuing education (CE) credits free of charge. They remain relevant and of perennial interest in many areas of practice. (June 30, 2016)
Council on Professionalism member Mike Ward co-presented a session on “Professionalism and the AAA Qualification Standards” at the Actuaries’ Club of the Southwest’s Spring Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday. The presentation provided insights into the definition of a profession and the personal commitment necessary to be a professional, as well as general and specific qualification requirements under the U.S. Qualification Standards. (June 17, 2016)
In the May “Professionalism Counts” column, Academy President Tom Wildsmith looks at the personal responsibilities actuaries bear, and how each individual’s commitment to ethical behavior provides the foundation for the public’s trust in the entire profession. (May 31, 2016)
The Committee on Qualifications has added a question on qualifications to issue statements of actuarial opinion with respect to long-term care policies to its frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the U.S. Qualification Standards (USQS). For more detail, see question 48 of the FAQs on the USQS webpage. (May 20, 2016)
Academy President Tom Wildsmith presented a professionalism session and delivered after-dinner remarks at Tuesday’s meeting of the Actuaries Club of Philadelphia. The session, “Ethical Challenges to the U.S. Actuarial Profession: Insights from the Academy” delved into the question of what it means to be a professional, the specific meaning of actuary as professional in the United States, and how the professionalism structure housed in the Academy serves to both qualify actuaries and guide them when facing ethical challenges. In his after-dinner remarks, Wildsmith discussed the origins of the professionalism structure at the Academy, focusing on how it developed in response to the needs for standards and institutions necessary to gain and sustain the public’s trust in the profession.

“This professionalism structure is essential to maintaining the public’s trust, but it’s not what makes you and me professionals,” Wildsmith said. “Professionalism is not just mechanical compliance with a checklist of technical rules; the essence of professionalism is our personal commitment to doing the right thing. The standards and institutions are tools that help us, both individually and collectively, to live up to that commitment. (May 13, 2016)
In the April “Professionalism Counts” column, Keith Passwater, chairperson of the Academy’s Committee on Qualifications, outlines the “look in the mirror” test in determining professional qualification to accept and complete an actuarial assignment. (April 30, 2016)
A column by Academy President Tom Wildsmith is featured in the April newsletter of the International Actuarial Association. In “Meet the American Academy of Actuaries,” Wildsmith lays out the framework of professionalism that is central to the Academy’s charge as the national association for actuaries in the United States. (April 29, 2016)