Education Strategy Review – An update

The key focus of the last Institute Council Meeting was the Education Strategy Review. The goal is to improve our qualification education system, starting with Part III, which is provided by the Institute. Here, President Jenny Lyon outlines where the review is up to.

At the Council Meeting on 7 June 2017 Daniel Smith, the Convenor of the Education Strategy Review Committee, briefed Council on the Committee’s recommendations.  His report followed a year of investigation and detailed analysis, as well as input from our key stakeholders including, most importantly, members.

Council has now taken the next major step and asked the Committee to prepare an implementation plan, which it will consider at the September Council meeting.  Our assessment will be rigorous, making sure that the plan for the new education model can be properly funded and implemented.  Only then will Council make a final decision on a new approach to qualification education. 

We are also continuing our discussions with our university partners.

The education model that Council considered at its June meeting will phase in changes to the current education system over five years from 2018-2022, as described below.

Fellowship program

The key changes will occur around the delivery method and content of the current Part III (to be retitled Fellowship) program.  It will be delivered by the Institute under a new professional education model, by a dedicated faculty.  This will address significant concerns raised by members about the quality of the current Part III program.

The Fellowship program will be implemented in a staged process.  Students starting the program in 2022 will have a completely new curriculum.  The staging will start with two subjects in 2019 (subjects yet to be decided). 

The content of the new syllabus is still at an early stage of development, and there will be further consultation.

Online delivery is an important part of the new education model.  Face-to-face learning will continue as part of a blended learning platform.

University accreditation

This will be unchanged until 2022 during which time we will develop a simpler and more efficient accreditation process, for example, program-level accreditation.  Universities will need to meet the International Actuarial Association’s syllabus and mutual recognition requirements with other actuarial associations.  Recognition of prior learning will continue as currently offered. 

Alternate pathway

An alternate pathway for Part I examinations will continue through the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Associate program

This program (currently Part II) will continue to be delivered by accredited universities until at least 2019.  We remain in discussions with universities about the best way to deliver the Associate program.

Work experience and preparing for Fellowship

There will be a transition to a one-year work experience requirement (currently three years) for Associates.  The details of how and when this will occur are to be finalised.  Once this transition is implemented there will be a new requirement that students will need to complete the Associate program before progressing to the Fellowship program. This will ensure that prospective Fellows have completed a solid year of relevant work experience and will be equipped to handle the demands of the Fellowship program. 

Next steps

If Council agrees to implement changes to the qualification education system following its consideration of the implementation plan in September, the Institute will commence hiring the first members of the teaching faculty.  Their job in 2018 will be to prepare the curriculum, teaching materials and method of delivery for the first Fellowship subjects to be offered in 2019, and support the current program of Part III subjects.  They will work with our dedicated and valued education volunteers to achieve this.

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