Membership & Education

FAQs on the new CIA qualification pathways

What process is the CIA following?

The CIA Board endorsed the development of the new pathways in March 2021 and approved their full implementation in June 2021 following a comprehensive financial and risk analysis. We have met with a variety of stakeholders to inform our plans and are working on implementation and transition plans.

What is the timing for the change?

Students entering an actuarial science program in fall 2021 will be the first cohort to graduate from a CIA accredited program. All 11 universities that are currently accredited by the CIA are expected to continue under program accreditation.

It is anticipated that the ACIA level exam and modules will be available in fall 2022, and the Fellow level track modules and first track-specific exams be offered in 2023.  

How will the current UAP change?

The University Accreditation Program (UAP) is expanding from a course-by-course mapping to recognition of an accredited university degree in actuarial science. The change provides greater flexibility for universities to innovate in how they educate and assess students – what they are best at. 

Most of the ACIA syllabus will be met via achievement of the degree. To become an ACIA, candidates will also need to successfully complete some ACIA modules and an ACIA capstone exam administered by the CIA. The CIA Professionalism Workshop also remains a requirement.
I am still writing exams or obtaining UAP credits and am not yet an ACIA. What happens to my current UAP credits and exams from the SOA or CAS?

The overarching principle for transition from the current system is that no candidate will be left behind and to avoid duplication of effort. Candidates with existing UAP credits and examinations of the SOA or CAS will be given an appropriate transition period to qualify as ACIA. 

Depending on how far along in the process a candidate is, the ACIA module and capstone exam may not be required. We encourage all candidates to continue their current plans. Detailed transition plans will be announced in fall 2021.   

What will the format be for the ACIA and FCIA exams?

All modules and examinations will be offered 100% online and exams will use an open-book format to allow candidates to demonstrate the practical application of the technical skills learned. Like the former Practice Education Course examination offered between 2000 and 2017, candidates will have access to the materials that they would have in the normal course of their work, rather than relying on memorization. We are currently evaluating providers for online high-stakes examinations. A fully bilingual and secure platform will be selected, allowing candidates to participate from anywhere.

The SOA recently announced a University Earned Credit (UEC) program that seems like the CIA’s current UAP model. Is the CIA involved with the SOA? Will SOA university credits be recognized by the CIA? Does this change the CIA’s plans for expanding its UAP? 

The SOA’s planned UEC is distinct from the CIA UAP. The CIA will recognize ASA and FSA designations obtained either by examination or by SOA university credit. 

The SOA’s announcement does not change the CIA’s plans.

Will the SOA recognize CIA UAP credits, either retroactively or on a go-forward basis, or recognize FCIA via mutual recognition?

The SOA’s position on recognition of CIA UAP credits has not changed. There is no (and has never been) a mutual recognition agreement in place between the CIA and the SOA.  

Will the FCIA designation via Pathway 1 still be recognized by other actuarial organizations?

Discussions are ongoing with other actuarial organizations such as the American Academy of Actuaries, Casualty Actuarial Society, Institute and Faulty of Actuaries, Australian Institute of Actuaries, Actuarial Society of South Africa, and the Society of Actuaries in Ireland with the overall goal of maintaining the International recognition and portability of the ACIA and FCIA designations.
Who will benefit from Pathway 2?

Pathway 2 is for candidates using the Affiliate route to CIA qualification from countries with which the CIA has no mutual recognition. It is also for candidates who pursued non-actuarial universities studies, or who plan to obtain an Associate designation from another organization such as the SOA or CAS, who are not pursuing Fellowship in those organizations and who want to become an ACIA/FCIA.
Who will benefit from Pathway 3?

Experienced practitioners who are fully qualified by a recognized actuarial organization will benefit from Pathway 3. Some individual assessment may be required, but the general idea is to eliminate unnecessary barriers and to give greater recognition to their Canadian experience, while still maintaining the rigor of the FCIA designation.
If I have questions on the new CIA system, to whom can I address them?

You can direct your questions to Joseph Gabriel, CIA Staff Actuary, Education or 
Alicia Rollo, CIA Director, Education and International Affairs.