Professionalism News and Events

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)
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. (March 31, 2016)
“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. (March 25, 2016)
The Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline’s (ABCD) 2015 Annual Report is now available. The report highlights the ABCD’s accomplishments in 2015. The ABCD handled 125 cases, comprised of 96 Requests for Guidance (RFGs) and 29 inquiries. The 96 RFGs were the most ever in a year. As of December 31, 2015, the ABCD had 14 inquiries in progress and had completed 15 inquiries during the year. 
(March 23, 2016)
The Actuarial Standards Board’s (ASB) 2015 Annual Report is now available. The report highlights the ASB’s accomplishments in 2015, including adoption of two new actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), including its 50th ASOP, and one revised ASOP, approval of four exposure drafts for comment, and approval of four proposals for new or revised ASOPs. The ASB also approved the Pension Task Force members in March and held a public hearing in Washington, D.C., in July to discuss pension plan issues. (March 23, 2016)
The Academy’s March 17 professionalism webinar, "Questions and Answers: The U.S. Qualification Standards," featured experts from the Committee on Qualifications. Members may access the slides and audio here. (March 14, 2016)
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. (February 29, 2016)
Academy President Tom Wildsmith addressed students in Columbia University’s actuarial science master’s program on Tuesday for its Proseminar Series, which is designed to “bridge the gap between academia and today’s actuarial science industry.” Wildsmith’s presentation on “Professionalism and the Aspiring Actuary” provided the audience of 100 with a compelling account of the broad societal impact of the U.S. actuarial profession’s work and how the Academy historically has articulated, and continues to articulate, the consequent professional responsibilities of actuaries with regard to the public, employers, clients, and others. (February 19, 2016)