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.
The Council on Professionalism updated two sections of the 2004 discussion paper, Structural 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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
In the March “Professionalism Counts” column, Ken Kent, vice president of the Council on Professionalism, underlines objectivity and independence as central in maintaining credibility and public trust.
“Addressing Ethical Concerns” is the latest addition to the Academy’s Actuarial eLearning Center. This thought-provoking course takes a deeper, more interactive look at the ethics survey report presented by the Council on Professionalism last spring, focuses on the top perceived ethical concerns facing actuaries in the profession, and provides a decision-making framework for addressing them from the perspective of maintaining the high standards of the actuarial profession. See the upcoming March Actuarial Update for additional coverage.
In the February “Professionalism Counts” column, Academy General Counsel and Director of Professionalism Paul Kollmer-Dorsey offers his first impressions of U.S. actuarial professionalism, concluding that the Academy has established the right set of values, the right set of standards, and the right set of institutions to guide the profession.
Actuaries embrace a high standard of professional conduct, one that requires a combination of competency, integrity, objectivity, and a commitment to serve the public interest. These traits are appropriate to a self-regulated profession; these traits also are necessary elements to support the application of sound actuarial judgment regardless of practice area, type of employment, or type of employer. Actuaries and their employers, clients, and the public rely upon the Academy to maintain the profession’s integrity, competency, and reputation. Through its boards and committees, and working in concert with each of the U.S.-based actuarial organizations, the Academy has worked successfully to advance both actuarial practice and actuarial professionalism. This document shows how the Academy works to fulfill its mission to promote and enforce high professional standards of actuarial qualification, practice, and conduct. Read more here.
In the January “Professionalism Counts” column, learn how to find answers for your questions regarding actuarial qualifications, including the Committee on Qualifications’ frequently asked questions hub.
The Academy has launched the U.S. Qualification Standards Attestation Form, which was developed to help actuaries voluntarily demonstrate how they meet the U.S. Qualification Standards (USQS) specific requirements for signing NAIC annual life, health, and property & casualty statements of actuarial opinion (SAOs). If you do not issue NAIC annual statements, you can still use the Attestation Form to attest to the general qualifications of the USQS. Read more about the Attestation Form here. To go directly to the form, click here.