PPD frequently asked questions

PPD stands for Personal and Professional Development, and it is the practical work experience requirement that all students must complete alongside their exams. To become an Associate or Fellow you need to successfully complete PPD to the required standard as well as the IFoA (Institute and Faculty of Actuaries) examinations and professionalism components.

A PPD year is the unique date that your PPD runs from and to. The date is calculated from your joining date so is different for all students. It is your responsibility to complete your PPD each year by the deadline date. For example, if you joined the IFoA on 1 April then your PPD year will run from 1 April to 31 March, and you must have completed your records by midnight (GMT) on 31 March.

There are three objective categories.

  • Effective Communication
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Professionalism

It is important to ensure the learning outcome is a self-reflective piece of writing describing what learning or development was taken from the activity and not the specific details of the activity itself (as this should be included in the activity description), reflecting on what went well, how things could be done differently and any development requirements that may have been identified.

We have helpful mini guides for ideas on how to write your activity descriptions and learning outcomes and would encourage full use of these. It is important to explain how the activity has contributed to your personal development, what were the key factors of success or development. The links are below for ease of reference.

No, you are only required to complete the mandatory competencies once during your PPD submissions and not every year.

Whilst we do not state that you cannot, it is expected that competencies will not be duplicated for the same activity year on year. If a competency is repeated, this must be for a different activity and learning outcome. We are looking for a range of activities which are applied in the workplace

You are required to record a minimum number of PPD credits and formal learning hours whilst you are a student/associate member of the IFoA. The minimum amount per year is 3 credits and 2 formal learning hours.

When you have completed all the required examinations and professionalism components you will need to ensure you have recorded the following PPD requirements:

The PPD requirements are as follows If you joined the IFoA before 2 January 2019: Associate: minimum of 10 credits and 2 formal learning hours over the course of 12 months. Fellow: minimum of 20 credits and 6 formal learning hours over the course of 3 years (minimum of 2 hours per year).

The PPD requirements are as follows, if you joined the IFoA after 2 January 2019 Associate (must be obtained before progression to Fellow): minimum of 15 credits and 2 formal learning hours over the course of 24 months (minimum of 2 hours per year). Fellow: minimum of 5 additional credits and 2 formal learning hours over the course of 12 months.

When completing your PPD, we recommend that you complete this using a word document as there is a limit of 250 characters for the Activity Description (The task) and 1024-character limit for the Learning outcome with a minimum of 600 characters. We recommend the learning outcome is a self-reflective piece of writing describing what learning or development you took from the activity.

If you need to record a PPD exemption, you should contact member services to inform us of your situation as soon as possible. Students cannot record exemptions themselves and it is your responsibility to inform the IFoA if you cannot meet your annual PPD requirements. Exemptions can only be recorded for specific reasons such as parental leave, unemployment, further education, and career breaks, for example.

The IFoA conducts monthly PPD audits to ensure the quality and standard of PPD is maintained. You may be selected for a PPD audit at any time during your student journey. You should keep evidence of how you met the competencies and any discussions you have had with your supervisor until you qualify. The IFoA may ask you for this as part of your PPD audit and may contact your supervisor to confirm the accuracy of your records.

All students will need a manager or supervisor to discuss their PPD records with. They do not need to be a qualified Actuary. The IFoA may contact your supervisor who is supporting your work experience to confirm the accuracy of your records.

You may have more than one manager or supervisor to support you in achieving the different objectives and competencies, but they must not be a friend or relative to avoid any conflict of interest. You should discuss your submissions with your supervisor as part of your professional development, and record on each submission that you have discussed it with them. Please keep the contact details of your supervisors throughout your PPD journey as they may be requested by the IFoA before you qualify.

If you are self-employed then you will still be able to complete the PPD requirements, but you need to make the IFoA aware of this in order that appropriate support can be provided. We will ask you to complete an additional form to record your working contracts so we can ensure you have met the minimum amount of work experience.

You may cover some of the objectives and competencies of PPD while you undertake work that is confidential or commercially sensitive. In these cases, if you are unable to fully describe how you have met these competencies, please include as much detail of the activity and learning experience as possible and note the reason for any gaps in your submission. Our reviewers may confirm this with your supervisor so please ensure you have discussed this with them before submitting your PPD.

If you are changing jobs, you should complete PPD as usual for both your existing and new employment. You need to make sure that you have discussed your PPD with your supervisor before you leave as we may follow up on any queries with your submissions with them. You should also keep their contact details. If you are having a break in employment between your 2 roles, you may contact us to record an exemption if you are not able to meet the minimum PPD requirements for that year.

As part of the audit process, the IFoA will identify those students who have not completed the minimum amount of PPD and will contact them. It is your responsibility to keep your PPD and contact details updated.

You will be given a three-month extension to complete your PPD recording from your missed PPD deadline. A £50 admin charge will apply which will unlock your PPD account for the previous year. You will have seven days from paying the admin charge to complete your previous years PPD recording or apply for an exemption.

If at three months from your new PPD compliance deadline (three months from your original PPD deadline) you have not resolved your PPD recording, you will be unable to book onto IFoA exams until your PPD recording is up to date. If you complete your PPD requirements or apply for an exemption from PPD recording at any time after your PPD deadline has passed you will be charged a £50 administration fee to update your PPD record and restore your eligibility to sit IFoA exams.

If your PPD remains non-compliant for more than 12 months, you will still be unable to book onto IFoA exams. You may resolve your PPD and exam booking ability, with the admin charges listed above; however, the period for which you remained non-compliant will not be taken into consideration and you will not later be entitled to rely on experience gained either before or during this period for the purposes of satisfying your PPD requirements.

If you have transferred to Associate and do not intend on studying for Fellowship, you will need to contact us so we can update your record making you exempt from PPD. You will not be able to book or sit any IFoA exams.

Depending on the amount of time since you qualified as an Associate and the work you have been doing since qualifying will depend on how much PPD you need to complete. You should contact us to discuss your individual requirements and to allow us to update your records so you can record your PPD and book onto examinations.

Please contact Member Services in the first instance who will assist you with any questions.