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Changes Coming to Course on Professionalism
By Dan Tevet, FCAS, Member of the Committee on Professionalism Education 

The Course on Professionalism is undergoing a significant makeover in 2012, with structural changes reducing the in-person course time from two days to one and a half days.

The previous course structure consisted of several components: presentations on various Actuarial Standards of Practice (ASOPs) and similar professionalism documents; several interactive case studies; a mock trial; and a movie called The Billion Dollar Bubble. Beginning in 2012, however, many of the presentations will be pre-course assignments and will only be covered briefly during the actual course. These changes will now reduce the course by one half day.

Before coming to the course, candidates will be required to watch presentations on each of the ASOPs and similar documents that used to be presented during the course. These presentations, termed e-modules, consist of a series of slides with audio guides. Questions are placed throughout the slides that candidates will need to answer correctly in order to proceed. Every candidate is expected to be familiar with each professionalism document before coming to the course.

While the Course on Professionalism consistently receives very favorable reviews from participants, the ASOP presentations are generally the least liked component of the course. These unfavorable reviews are the primary motivation for this change. The ASOPs are fairly dense documents with many details and nuances that are better tackled over a period of time as pre-work rather than presented one after another during the course. The Committee on Professionalism Education believes that moving this material to a pre-course requirement will improve the course experience by allowing candidates to tackle the ASOPs and related documents at their own pace and focusing the course on the more interactive sessions and presentations. As an added bonus, this shortened in-person aspect of the course will help candidates (and facilitators) book travel home following the course.

The CAS Committee on Professionalism Education, which is charged with running the Courses on Professionalism, is always looking to improve the course experience. If you have any questions about the course in general or about the changes being implemented, or have any suggestions for course improvements, please let us know by filling out a form online.

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