Personal and Professional Development (PPD) is the practical work experience requirement that applies to all IFoA students on the path to becoming either an Associate or a Fellow. It is a key component of the IFoA qualification. As IFoA students, you are required to submit a minimum amount of credits and formal learning hours each year, in order to sit exams and maintain your student membership.
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PPD: What do you need to know?
PPD is designed to make the work-related element an integral part of your ongoing learning experience.
To work effectively as an IFoA qualified actuary, you need to develop your skills in the workplace.
- PPD allows you to demonstrate how you have applied in practice the knowledge and skills you have gained through the IFoA examinations.
- It develops your understanding of the business environment and how to work within a professional and ethical framework.
- Gives understanding to the need for continuing development of yourself and your skills, and to reflect on the quality of your work and how you can improve in the future.
You will need to submit a minimum amount of credits and formal learning hours annually to be able to sit exams and maintain your student membership. There are three elements to completing PPD:
- Satisfying a number of core competencies under three key objectives
- Maintaining a record of formal learning activities undertaken
- Demonstrating the learning gained from completing these activities
PPD: What do you need to do?
Each year you are required to submit PPD. You will have a unique date to submit your records by, this is usually the date you joined the IFoA and is known as your ‘annual PPD deadline date’. You will need to submit a minimum amount of PPD per year. There is also an annual requirement to record formal learning activities in addition to the competencies.
For each PPD record, you must complete a detailed log that refers to work-based activities which you have completed. You should select your topic choice from the 30+ competencies available. Those 30+ competencies are split up into three objective categories. The three objective categories set the minimum standards which you need to demonstrate in the workplace:
- Effective Communication
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
Each of the objectives contains a range of competencies, including certain mandatory competencies which you must complete before you qualify. You may select which to complete, however, we expect at least one from each objective. Ideally, you will have a range across all three. You may complete the same competency more than once, however, it must relate to a different activity and learning outcome. Each competency carries a value of 1 or 2 credits. These weightings reflect the importance attached to each objective. You will need to complete a minimum amount of credits per year and overall in order to qualify.
There are certain mandatory competencies that you must complete before you qualify. These are the following:
- 1.1: Present the results of actuarial work to informed but non-technical audiences
- 2.1: Analyse and prioritise stakeholder needs when designing solutions
- 3.1: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of professional and ethical standards in an actuary’s work
- 3.2: Demonstrate an understanding of the role of peer review in professional work
If you do not complete the mandatory competencies, your application will be returned to you for further amendments.
Please note – If you transfer to become an Associate, you would have needed to complete the 4 mandatory competencies listed above however you will not need to repeat the mandatory competencies if you chose to later transfer to Fellow.
Further details on the competencies available, alongside the credit value and appropriate examples, can be found in the Objectives and competencies mini-guide.
Each PPD record requires:
1. An activity description
The description should be a concise overview of the activity you are referencing. You should avoid jargon and abbreviations and it should be able to be understood by someone who is not familiar with your work. There is a limit of 250 characters for the activity description. If you are preparing your draft submission in Microsoft Word, the IFoA recommends using Microsft Office packages from 2010 onwards for an accurate character limit.
Download the activity description mini guide
2. A learning outcome
The learning outcome is where we expect to see the main body of the submission. It should be a descriptive and self-reflective piece of writing describing what learning or development have taken from the activity and how you will use this in the future. This ‘reflection’ is an important business skill that you need to develop throughout your professional career. There is a limit of 1024 characters for the learning outcome. We would expect to see a learning outcome of between 900 to 1024 characters. The minimum requirement is 600 characters. If you are preparing your draft submission in Microsoft Word, the IFoA recommends using Microsft Office packages from 2010 onwards for an accurate character limit.
Download the learning outcome mini guide
3. An activity date
This must be the date you undertook the activity within the PPD year. It is not possible to retrospectively add activities to previous years or edit information once the year has reset.
4. Confirmation that you have discussed the PPD record content with your supervisor or line manager
This is indicated by ticking the appropriate box and is a mandatory requirement of submitting your PPD. We may contact your supervisor for confirmation of the activity you are describing.
In addition to recording your credits, you will also need to record at least two hours of formal learning and development activities each year. These must be unconnected with the actuarial exams and activities you have completed for CPD. Such activities can include attendance at meetings of local actuarial societies, technical and business presentations, company arranged training and actuarial related seminars.