South African actuarial qualifications acknowledged by Europe

11 March 2014 Mike McDougall, Actuarial Society of South Africa

The high standard of South Africa’s actuarial qualifications has been acknowledged by the European actuarial profession through the signing of a Framework Agreement for Mutual Recognition with the Actuarial Society of South Africa. The agreement with the Actuarial Association of Europe (AAE) came into effect on March 1.

Mike McDougall, CEO of the Actuarial Society of South Africa, says the signing of this agreement allows individual member associations of the AAE to enter into bilateral mutual recognition agreements with South Africa.
The agreement paves the way for the Society to enter into mutual recognition agreements with any of the AAE’s 37 member associations in 35 European countries, representing over 20 000 actuaries.
McDougall says this holds considerable benefits for members of the Actuarial Society working, or wanting to work, for global organisations with operations in a number of different jurisdictions. Mutual recognition agreements are already in place with actuarial organisations in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
"Our discussions with the AAE included a thorough review of standards of professional governance and education and this will form the basis for further discussions with associations in countries relevant to South African actuaries.”
He says the first negotiations will be initiated with some associations during meetings of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) in Washington at the end of March.
According to McDougall mutual recognition agreements reflect the high regard in which other professional bodies hold the South African qualification, and the profession.
"The mutual recognition agreements aim to facilitate global trade in actuarial services and the mobility of individual actuaries by recognising appropriately qualified actuaries from other organisations.”
Malcolm Campbell, chairperson of the AAE, says: "This agreement is a step towards creating a true global actuarial profession. It will give the opportunity for individual actuaries of member associations of the AAE to become fully qualified members of the ASSA when working in South Africa.”
The Actuarial Society introduced the South African actuarial qualification in 2010, ending 126 years of South Africans having to turn to foreign countries to qualify as actuaries, with the majority having qualified via the UK system. The South African qualification carries the approval of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) as a primary qualification.

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