The Times They Are A-Changing
Christopher S. Carlson
In case you were wondering, your latest copies of the CAS Forum and the CAS Yearbook/Proceedings have not been lost in the mail. As the Internet and electronic publishing have become a routine part of our daily lives, the CAS has introduced the E-Forum, which will replace the traditional paperback Forum. And the information included in the CAS Yearbook/Proceedings will now be available only online.
Call me old school but I, for one, will miss the appearance of the Forum in my mailbox. We are moving from a world where the CAS “pushes” information to our members via the postal service to one where more and more the members need to “pull” the information from the Web Site. This change may result in some of us overlooking a research paper or two along the way. These papers are those that we have occasionally run across when that light blue paperback copy of the Forum arrived. We will all need to be more aware of the many educational and research-related items available on our Web Site and learn to review in more depth the weekly e-mails from the CAS Office.
This need to remain aware of available information is now more important than ever. As a result of the new Qualification Standards approved by the American Academy of Actuaries Board of Directors, nearly all CAS members who perform actuarial work in the United States are now making statements of actuarial opinion (not to be confused with Prescribed Statements of Actuarial Opinion such as Loss Reserve Opinions). Furthermore, as of January 1, 2008, effectively all U.S. actuaries are subject to the expanded continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. It is essential to fulfill these requirements in order to remain qualified to practice in the U.S. The revised Qualification Standards apply whether you are a dues-paying member of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) or not. (Please refer to the AAA Web Site for specific details.) Our members practicing in Canada and those who have been making Prescribed Statements of Actuarial Opinion in the U.S. are already accustomed to this process.
For members practicing exclusively outside the United States, please don’t feel left out of the discussion. A task force of the CAS Board is currently studying the question of whether to maintain the historical practice of requiring members to comply with the CPD requirements, if any, of the local authority in their geographical area of practice (e.g., the AAA or CIA) or establish CPD requirements for all CAS members.
In order to meet the revised U.S. and other jurisdictional CPD standards, CAS members can search the CAS Web Site for papers and documents related to their areas of practice or to other practice areas, including the emerging practice areas. Our Web site contains a wealth of educational information. There are also links to many other sites useful in locating educational material, including sites of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the Institute of Actuaries in Australia, and the ASTIN Bulletin. I would be remiss if I failed to mention Variance, the new peer-reviewed journal of the CAS, available at www.variancejournal.org. It is important to remember that your CPD hours need not come solely from organized events. Self-study hours earned by reading research papers and educational materials are allowed and encouraged in meeting the CPD requirements.
So, welcome to the “pull technology” world and the revised U.S. Qualification Standards. Becoming accustomed to one can help you fulfill the other!