Jenny Lyon deep dives into the lifelong learning outcomes in the Actuary Program’s exciting new Communications, Modelling and Professionalism (CMP) subject.
From 2020, the Actuary Program (previously Part II) will comprise two subjects delivered by accredited universities:
- Actuarial Control Cycle
- Data Analytics Principles
and two subjects delivered by the Actuaries Institute:
- Communication, Modelling and Professionalism (CMP)
- Asset and Liability Management
Before becoming an Associate, students must also have completed the Foundation Program (previously Part I) and have a minimum of one year of experience. Transition arrangements may apply for existing students and more information can be found on the website.
The CMP subject is an exciting new development for the Institute. It focuses on teaching some of the skills expected of actuaries which have not previously been taught explicitly or assessed. It will enable students to learn, in a structured way, how they can approach their work professionally and will emphasise the importance of being able to communicate their knowledge and explain their work to a wide range of audiences in the most appropriate way. This subject should also enable students to approach the Fellowship Program with more confidence and have the knowledge which will help them understand how to apply judgement in the real world.
After successfully completing the CMP subject, students are expected to be able to:
- effectively communicate to a range of different audiences;
- design, check and document a well-constructed model; and
- apply professionalism and ethics in decision making processes.
This subject represents the start of a lifelong learning journey where students will develop an appreciation of the importance of ethics and being a good communicator
The subject is designed to make students aware of the importance of planning any communication, thinking about their audience, the purpose of the message, and the most appropriate means of communication eg report, presentation, email. The subject also teaches students how to build effective relationships, influence and negotiate. The teaching methods include video – to help students understand how others think about communication, break down the process into simple steps and provide questions for students to consider, and test themselves on, as they progress through the material.
The subject is not designed to teach students the techniques for building a model, but how to think about designing, checking, documenting and communicating the results. The emphasis will be on having a clear purpose for building a model, which provides the insights required, a well-designed structure and clear navigation of the assumptions and output content. Again, the importance of planning and thinking about the end user will be paramount in this section of the subject.
Students will be given a framework for being a professional, learning about the importance and practice of ethics in professional decision making. They will also cover the Code of Conduct, legal and regulatory framework, how to apply critical thinking and judgement and the role of the Actuaries Institute in supporting their professional career. Students will also be given practical advice about how to manage their personal workflow, including how to deal with stress and conflict at work.
Students will not be expected to be expert communicators at the end of the subject. Nor will they be experts in either professionalism or ethics. Rather, this subject represents the start of a lifelong learning journey where they will develop an appreciation of the importance of ethics and being a good communicator. To aid in their learning, the assessment for this subject will be:
- a mid-semester assignment worth 40%;
- a multiple-choice test worth 40%; and
- an end-of-semester presentation worth 20%.
For more information, you can see the final syllabi for the university delivered subjects and draft syllabi for the Institute delivered Actuary Program subjects here (click on the subject name to see the syllabus).
The CMP subject has primarily been developed by Amanda Aitken with support from the education team and many members of the profession in particular, previous contributors to the professionalism course.
Their input has been highly valuable and is much appreciated.
Amanda will be delivering the tutorials and support for the CMP subject in both Semester 1 and 2 of 2020 and is looking forward to teaching students many practical tips to help them succeed in their actuarial careers.
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