Professionalism Counts is a column in Actuarial Update, the Academy's monthly newsletter.
CE CHECK FOR THE NEW USQS
As the heat of summer gives way to the crisp mornings of autumn and the crackle of leaves beneath your feet, it’s time once again to make sure you are on track to complete your continuing education (CE) requirements by the end of the year. By now, you may have earned most of the CE you need to issue statements of actuarial opinion (SAOs) in 2023. But because 2023 is the first year for which actuaries must meet the recently revised Qualification Standards for Actuaries Issuing Statements of Actuarial Opinion in the United States (USQS), it’s worth taking a closer look at the requirements.
First, the USQS requires all actuaries to earn 30 hours of relevant CE each year—and what is “relevant” depends on the actuary. You can consider CE relevant if it meets one of the following conditions:
It broadens or deepens your understanding of one or more aspects of your work.
It exposes you to new and evolving techniques for addressing actuarial issues.
It expands your knowledge of practice in related disciplines that bear directly on your work.
It facilitates your entry into a new area of actuarial practice.
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to make a reasonable, good-faith determination of what CE opportunities are relevant to you.
Of the 30 relevant hours, at least 3 hours must be on professionalism topics, one hour must be on bias topics, and 6 hours must take the form of organized activities. No more than 3 hours may be on general business skills.
The table below describes those categories and gives some examples.
General business skills
Content that assists in understanding and applying the Code of Professional Conduct, actuarial standards of practice (ASOPs), and related actuarial professionalism guidance. Examples: studying, reviewing, or providing input on an exposure draft of an ASOP; studying or reviewing the Code of Professional Conduct; attending an actuarial professionalism webinar; and serving on the Actuarial Standards Board or a professionalism committee.
Content that provides knowledge and perspective that assist in identifying and assessing biases that may exist in data, assumptions, algorithms, and models that impact Actuarial Services. Biases may include but are not limited to statistical, cognitive, and social biases. For links to opportunities to earn bias CE, see the August 2022 Professionalism Counts.
Activities that involve interaction with actuaries or other professionals working for different organizations. Examples: conferences, seminars, courses, webinars, and relevant committee work.
Content that assists in developing client relationship management skills, presentation skills, communication skills, project management, and personnel management.
At least 3
At least 1
At least 6
No more than 3
For those who are planning to sign an NAIC annual statement SAO, additional requirements apply: You must obtain at least 15 of the 30 hours on topics directly related to the SAO you plan to sign. (Those topics are listed in section 3.1.1 of the USQS for each of the NAIC opinions.) In addition, 6 of the 15 hours must be obtained through experiences that involve interactions with outside actuaries or other professionals.
Each year, the Committee on Qualifications (COQ) receives many questions related to CE. If you have questions about CE, we recommend taking a look at FAQs on the U.S. Qualification Standards and "Which CE Requirements Apply to Me?" If, after reviewing those, you still have general questions about the CE requirements, you may submit a question to the COQ. For questions specific to your situation, such as whether the CE you have taken qualifies you to perform a certain type of actuarial service, you may wish to submit a request for guidance to the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline.
 For purposes of the USQS, an SAO is an opinion expressed by an actuary who is subject to the Code of Professional Conduct by virtue of membership in a U.S.-based actuarial organization, where such opinion is expressed in the course of performing Actuarial Services and intended by that actuary to be relied upon by the person or organization to which the opinion is addressed.
Where Can I Find Bias CE?