Applicability Guidelines for Actuarial Standards of Practice
Introduction to the Applicability Guidelines
Actuarial Standards of Practice. The Actuarial Standards Board (ASB) sets standards for appropriate actuarial practice in the United States through the development and promulgation of Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs). These ASOPs describe the procedures an actuary should follow when performing actuarial services and identify what the actuary should disclose when communicating the results of those services. ASOPs are authoritative guidance for actuaries practicing in the United States, and the ASB has exclusive authority to determine whether an ASOP is needed in a particular actuarial practice area.
Applicability Guidelines. The Applicability Guidelines (AGs) are not published by the ASB. AGs are published by the Council on Professionalism and Education of the American Academy of Actuaries and are intended to assist actuaries in identifying which ASOPs might provide guidance to them on more common assignments. Actuaries are not in any way bound or required to comply with these AGs. AGs are not exhaustive, are not themselves guidance, and are not definitive statements on what constitutes generally accepted practice for any particular actuarial task. Rather they are a resource for, but not guidance to, practitioners. It is ultimately the actuary’s responsibility to use their professional judgment to identify the ASOPs that apply to each assignment.
The scope of the AGs is only the ASOPs. The AGs do not include references to monographs, practice notes, or other informational resources from the American Academy of Actuaries, nor do they include references to guidance of other bodies (such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners) that may be valuable and applicable for actuaries working on particular assignments.
Comments on Use of the Applicability Guidelines. The guidelines list tasks commonly performed by actuaries in the different practice areas. Next to this list of tasks is a list of the ASOPs that may apply to each task, depending on the circumstances. Other tasks that actuaries may perform, but that do not require an actuarial background, have been excluded from this list.
Actuaries may find it helpful to review all sections of the applicability guidelines that might apply to them when performing particular tasks. For example, life actuaries performing an appraisal of a life company writing health coverages may wish to review the health section as well as the life section.
If an ASOP has been revised and is applicable only after a date subsequent to the date of publication of the Guidelines, the column for that ASOP is highlighted in light blue.
The guidelines are updated periodically. The actuary is responsible for keeping current with changes to the ASOPs and determining that professional services rendered by the actuary or under the actuary’s supervision satisfy the version of each ASOP effective at the time those services are rendered. Please send suggestions for improving these guidelines (such as additional actuarial assignments that might be covered) to the Council on Professionalism and Education at ApplicabilityGuidelines@actuary.org.
- For the current Applicability Guidelines, click here.