The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Bylaws state that a member may use the designation "Fellow of the Society of Actuaries", designation "Associate of the Society of Actuaries," and credential "Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst" as applicable, or the corresponding initials, "FSA", "ASA", and "CERA."
The SOA, as described in our Mission and Vision Statement, is an education, research, and professional membership organization. Achieving fellowship or associateship status is based primarily on completing specified educational requirements, with no requirement related to a certain number of years of practical actuarial experience. The FSA and ASA designations and CERA credential signify completion of the following educational achievements:
An Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA) has demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental concepts and techniques for modeling and managing risk. The associate has also learned the basic methods of applying those concepts and techniques to common problems involving uncertain future events, especially those with financial implications. The associate has also completed a professionalism course covering the professional code of conduct and the importance of adherence to recognized standards of practice. Associates who have been members of the SOA for five or more years may also vote in SOA elections.
Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst
A Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) of the SOA has demonstrated knowledge in the identification, measurement and management of risk within risk–bearing enterprises. The CERA has also completed a professionalism course covering the professional code of conduct and the importance of adherence to recognized standards of practice. CERAs who have the Application for Admission as an Associate approved by the SOA Board of Directors will be granted membership as an Associate.
A Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) has demonstrated a knowledge of the business environments within which financial decisions concerning pensions, life insurance, health insurance, general insurance and investments are made, including the application of mathematical concepts and other techniques to the various areas of actuarial practice. The fellow has further demonstrated an in–depth knowledge of the application of appropriate techniques to a specific area of actuarial practice. Fellows may vote in SOA elections.
Rights and Responsibilities
When Associate status is achieved, the individual becomes a member of the SOA, is able to attend meetings, join in discussions, participate on committees, join sections, and is subject to the code of conduct for the profession. All fellows and five-year associates may vote in SOA elections.
While these educational accomplishments are a vital part of an actuary's progress, they must be combined with appropriate training and practical experience in order for an actuary to be qualified to practice and to give advice on a specific issue. It is important to note that the SOA's professional designations and credentials recognize educational accomplishment only. In most cases, by the time an individual reaches the Fellowship level, considerable practical experience has been acquired. The combination of educational achievement, practical experience, and formal qualification (e.g., Enrolled Actuary; Fellow, Canadian Institute of Actuaries; Member, American Academy of Actuaries) permits the actuary to practice within his or her area of expertise.
Benefits of Membership:
There are many benefits to becoming a member of the SOA, including:
- Access to a global network of skilled actuaries - 30,000 members in 78 countries and growing
- Global recognition of rigorous education that prepares individuals for risk management careers
- Global recognition of credentials by employers
- Career-long support, learning and advancement opportunities
- Ability to play a critical role in business and society
- Access and opportunity to contribute to Innovative research on a wide range of topics that inform and guide business, policy and society
- Extensive professional development resources and range of opportunities from e-learning and in-person seminars to podcasts and webcasts
- 20 Sections or professional interest groups responsive to your areas of practice or special interest throughout your career
- Volunteer opportunities to sharpen your professional and leadership skills while giving back to the profession
- Job opportunities available through the Job Center and networking opportunities with actuaries and employers
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