Professionalism Outreach, May 2016

May 13, 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.