ERM Exam Ushers in New Era in SOA Risk Management Education

May 15, 2012

The new Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Exam reflecting the considerable strides made in the ERM arena in the last few years will be offered for the first time in Fall 2012. The exam is positioned to be accessible to any actuary seeking the Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA) credential, as a stand-alone credential or as part of any fellowship track. With this new exam, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is also enhancing the study materials package for the exam by introducing a new courseware component.

Study Materials and Courseware

Candidates ordering the ERM Exam Study Notes package are provided with specially designed courseware that will assist them in their study of the core readings for the exam. This exciting new development will improve candidates’ ability to navigate the syllabus and draw connections in the material.

The study material for the ERM Exam has four required components:

  1. Core learning objectives and readings (study notes and books)
  2. Courseware (guide to the core readings)
  3. Reading extension (candidate chooses one of the six extension options listed below)
  4. Case study (a single case study used for all six extensions)

Reading Extensions and Case Study

A unique feature of the new ERM Exam is that it includes a case study and set of readings that that relate a specific practice area. The case study involves a firm with several subsidiaries. In-depth questions that allow candidates to apply risk management principles to specific situations will be based on relevant portions of the case study and the readings assigned to the selected extension. Candidates will choose from among six reading extensions at the time of registration. For candidates proceeding to fellowship, the extension does not have to match the track selected for fellowship.1

The ERM Exam extension options for candidates are:

  • General Corporate ERM2
  • General Insurance (property and casualty insurance)
  • Group and Health
  • Individual Life and Annuities
  • Investments
  • Retirement Benefits

ERM Exam Points Distribution

  • 75% of the exam points (60 of 80) will be based on the core reading. These questions will be the same for all candidates.
  • 25% of the exam points (20 of 80) will relate to the selected extension. These questions will ask the candidate to apply risk management principles and techniques within the selected extension, using the assigned readings and often in the context of the case study. While the core reading will not be the focus of these questions, material from those readings may be needed to provide a complete solution.

ERM Exam Eligibility

The ERM Exam may be taken at any time, though it is assumed that candidates have acquired some basic ERM knowledge through completion of the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice (FAP) Course and the Operational Risk Module (available through June 30, 2012) or the Enterprise Risk Management Module (available beginning July 1, 2012).

More on CERA/FSA requirements and transition rules.

Questions about the ERM exam can be sent to


The rule that all track-required exams and modules be from a single track remains in place.

The General Corporate ERM extension does not relate to any particular practice area. It is designed for candidates on the Finance/ERM track (to be renamed Corporate Finance and ERM on July 1, 2013) as well as for those who have yet to select a practice area or those who believe they are not in a position to apply ERM principles in a particular practice area.