Validation by Educational Experience (VEE) Frequently Asked Questions
Updated March, 18 2016
For more information please see the VEE Home Page on the SOA website.
Validation by educational experience (VEE) was added to the Associateship requirements beginning in 2005. The topics of economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics are not tested on the four preliminary exams. These topics are validated through the VEE process. Validation through the VEE process is appropriate for topics that are either best learned in a classroom environment (applied statistics) or are considered important, but not core to actuarial work (economics and corporate finance).
Applied statistics requires the analysis of data and the ability to draw appropriate conclusions from those analyses. These skills are extremely difficult to verify with a traditional multiple-choice examination. Economics and corporate finance are sufficiently important building blocks to require some verification of learning.
How does the VEE process work?
Candidates seeking to attain membership with the CIA and/or SOA are required to complete the VEE requirements in three different topics - economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics. This is in addition to passing exams and other membership requirements.
Most candidates can receive VEE credit by showing that they have successfully completed (grade of at least B- or accepted equivalent) VEE-approved university courses or alternate educational experiences found in our VEE Directory of Approved Courses and Alternate Options.
What are the requirements to apply for VEE credit?
A candidate is eligible to submit a VEE Candidate Credit Application once credit for at least two of our actuarial exams appear on the SOA online transcript. While unofficial pass/fail results are available at the conclusion of CBT exams, the results are official only when added to your SOA online transcript. More information on the process and the applications can be found on the VEE Home Page.
VEE Online Order Questions
I’m applying online and have come across some glitches in the system and can’t complete my order, what should I do?
We’ve found that candidates come across glitches in the system when they have multiple browsers or tabs open. Please close out of all browser windows and tabs and start again. Do not keep any other SOA website windows open during the checkout process, as the information may get crossed in the system and cause information to be displayed incorrectly.
Also, please do not keep SOA websites open across different browsers, such as Google Chrome and Internet Explorer, as this will also cause errors to occur.
Can I only checkout with one VEE topic at a time?
Yes, that’s correct, you may only submit one VEE topic at a time. You will have to click on each VEE topic link to create and complete an order. Remember to apply for only one VEE topic at a time so you don’t come across any errors in the system.
Can I pay with a check if I’m entering an order online?
No, at this time we don’t have that payment option available online. You must submit a paper application if you will be paying by check.
VEE Application Questions
After I submit my application for VEE Candidate Credit, how long will it take to get a response?
A confirmation email will be sent once we process your payment. It generally takes four weeks to verify grades. After that, the candidate will receive another confirmation email to inform them that VEE credits will appear on their transcript within 24 hours. However, there may be longer processing times due to potentially larger volume of applications received during peak times such as just after the release of preliminary exam grades.
I’ve received a confirmation email, why don’t the VEE credits appear on my SOA transcript yet?
Candidates receive two confirmation e-mails. The first one is sent once we’ve received the application and the payment has been processed. The second will go out after the VEE credit has been verified and approved. The candidate will get notification that their VEE credit will appear on their SOA transcript within 24 hours. The verification process generally takes about four weeks.
Why do I have to wait until I have credit for two SOA before I can submit my application for VEE Candidates Credit?
Many candidates pass only one actuarial exam and then decide not to pursue an actuarial career. Reducing the volume of requests by limiting the process to those with credit for two or more exams helps to keep the review and response time at a reasonable level.
What kind of documentation is needed to receive VEE Candidate Credit for a VEE topic?
Candidates may place an online order for VEE credit or mail a completed VEE Candidate Credit paper application along with payment to the address noted on the form. Original official transcripts must be mailed as we cannot accept transcripts that have been copied, scanned, faxed, printed from the school’s Web site or received electronically. VEE status updates are emailed to candidates after the application and documentation have been reviewed.
I am applying for all three VEE topics using courses taken at the same university. How many transcripts do I need to send?
One transcript is sufficient. All transcripts should be mailed to: Society of Actuaries, VEE Administration Committee, 475 North Martingale Road, Suite 600, Schaumburg, IL 60173.
VEE Approved Courses/Experiences Questions
Can I combine courses/experiences from more than one institution to complete a VEE topic requirement?
Yes. Candidates may combine approved courses/experiences to complete a VEE topic requirement. Courses may be offered at the same school, different schools, or an alternate VEE option provider.
In the VEE Online Directory of Approved Courses and Alternate Options, what do the “Begin Date” and “End Date” mean?
The time between the Begin and End Dates, is the time period for which a course is approved. You may only apply for VEE credit with the specific course if you have taken the course during that time.
What does the information mean in the last column of the VEE Online Directory of Approved Courses and Alternate Options?
The last column indicates what the course in that specific row is approved for. It may be approved for only the Microeconomics component or the Macroeconomics component; therefore, you would need one of each approved component to fulfill the VEE Economics requirement. If it states, “No Additional Requirements”, that indicates that the course fulfills the complete VEE requirement and no additional courses are needed.
You may also see, “Courses must be completed in the Combination shown.” This means that all courses under the main approval code must be taken in order to satisfy the VEE requirement. Usually you will see this in VEE Corporate Finance. Any other combinations will need to be applied for VEE course approval by completing the VEE Course Approval Application. Please review the Guidelines for Course Approval before submitting an application to make sure all necessary requirements are met.
How can I get credit for a course taken before or after the approved timeframe?
The time frame for an approved course may be extended if its content is the same as the syllabus previously reviewed/approved. Please ask someone in the university’s department who is familiar with the course content to contact email@example.com for extension instructions.
If the content is not the same, the syllabus must be evaluated for the time period when you took, or plan to take, the course. In this case you will need to apply for VEE course approval by completing the VEE Course Approval Application. Please review the Guidelines for Course Approval before submitting an application to make sure all necessary requirements are met.
Can I use a course that seems to fulfill Vee credit, even though it doesn’t appear in the online directory of approved courses?
Candidates whose courses are not listed in the Directory may apply to have their courses approved by the VEE Administration Committee at any time. In this case you will need to apply for VEE course approval by completing the VEE Course Approval Application. Please review the Guidelines for Course Approval before submitting an application to make sure all necessary requirements are met.
I’ve applied for a Course Approval, can I use that course to apply for VEE credit?
No. Not until a course has been approved can it be used to apply for VEE credit. If you have submitted a Course Approval Application, please wait for a response before submitting your VEE Candidate Credit Application.
Can I submit my Micro course now and my Macro course later when I’ve completed it?
No. Candidates may not submit VEE credit applications for partial credit (e.g., an approved regression course may not be submitted alone, but must be accompanied on the same application by an approved time series course). Candidates may not submit an application for VEE credit for a topic until they have completed all requirements for that topic.
Can I use transferred courses for VEE credit?
Transferred courses may be used for VEE credit if the accepting university has applied for and received VEE approval for the course(s) for which you were given transfer credit. When submitting an online VEE Candidate Credit Application, please use the grading scale equivalents used by the accepting university. The following documentation is required:
The acceptable grade options do not reflect the scale used at my university. How do I place my VEE candidate credit order?
The grading scale requirement can be updated if we receive documentation published by the university or an email from a university representative (faculty or Office of the Registrar). Email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I took a course as Pass/Fail or Credit/No Credit. Can I use it for VEE?
A candidate who has passed an approved VEE course on a credit/no credit basis may receive VEE credit if they provide a letter from the instructor stating that the candidate actually scored a B- or better (or accepted equivalent) in the course, in addition to the original official transcript .
I applied for VEE credit last year, so you already have a transcript from my university. Do I need to send another transcript with my current application or do you still have it?
Due to the high volume of candidates applying for VEE credit, we are not able to retrieve supporting documentation from previous VEE candidate credit application submissions. A transcript must be provided each time you send a VEE candidate credit application.
What score on standardized exams is required for VEE credit?
The required score for each approved standardized exam is posted on the Standardized Exams and Other Educational Experiences list.
Can I use AP Exams to receive VEE credit?
Yes, the AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams are approved for VEE Economics credit. The accepted scores are a 4 or 5. The exams are located in the VEE Directory under “Alternate VEE Options”.
Do I have to go back to school to get VEE credits?
No, there are other options such as standardized exams and online courses have been approved for VEE credit. You may take a look at these in the VEE Directory of Approved Courses and Alternate Options.
Do I need to fulfill the VEE requirements before taking the preliminary exams?
No. VEE topics are not prerequisites for the preliminary examinations. They need not be completed prior to writing any of the preliminary exams or beginning the FAP. In fact, a candidate may not submit an application for VEE credit until at least two exams have been passed and appear on the SOA online transcript.
Can courses from the pre-2000 system be used for VEE?
If you have credit for pre-2005 Course/Exam 2 or Course/Exam 4, the 2005 transition rules will apply. Also, if you have unused PD credits earned from passing the pre-2000 Course 120/CAS 3A they were applied as VEE credit for applied statistics. These credits may not be used to satisfy PD or any other requirements.
I have credit for Courses/Exams 1 through 4 from the pre-2005 education system. Do I have to worry about VEE?
No. Candidates who obtained credit for Course/Exam 2 in the pre-2005 system received credit for VEE-Economics and VEE-Corporate Finance automatically. Candidates who obtained credit for Course/Exam 4 in the pre-2005 system received credit for VEE-Applied Statistics automatically. No VEE Candidate Credit application is needed in these cases.
Why do my VEE credits not appear on my transcript from the pre-2005 education system?
VEE credits will appear on a transcript or grade slip for candidates who attained VEE credit in 2005 or later. However, a grade slip will show only credit attained by the date of the most recent exam taken.
For candidates with credit for Course 2 and/or 4 earned prior to 2005 SOA grade slips and transcripts will show credit for Course 2 and/or 4 only. The VEE credit earned as part of these courses is included in the Course 2 and/or 4 credit. It will not appear as separate VEE credit.
Can an Independent Study course be used for VEE credit?
An independent study for a course that has received VEE approval is acceptable for VEE credit. The independent study course number must be the same as that of the actual approved course and a grade of B- or better must be documented. If the course number varies from that of the approved course, a separate course approval evaluation process will be required before credit can be applied.
Can I get credit for any of the exams by the VEE process?
No, only the requirements for economics, corporate finance, and applied statistics may be fulfilled through validation by educational experience.