Announcement: SOA congratulates the new ASAs and CERAs for May 2022.

Webcast Questions and Answers

Education Webcast

May 2, 2012


Questions and Answers

Chartered Enterprise Risk Management (CERA) questions

  1. What are the requirements for an FSA to earn a CERA?
  2. The Enterprise Risk Management module must be completed and the Enterprise Risk Management exam must be passed. Those who complete the Operational Risk module (even if after July 1, 2012, when the ERM module is released) receive credit for the ERM module and those who have passed the Advanced Finance and ERM exam receive credit for the ERM exam. Note that the July 1 2012 deadline for completing the Operational Risk module only applies to non-FSAs wanting to earn a CERA under the old rules

  3. What is the CERA global treaty?
  4. Several actuarial organizations signed a treaty that allows qualifying members to offer the CERA designation. A common set of learning objectives has been adopted, but organizations are free (within the terms of the treaty) to select their own source material and testing methods. More information is at

  5. What does an ASA have to do to earn a CERA?
  6. That depends on what was done to earn the ASA. All credits earned must first be translated to the current system and then all missing components of the CERA pathway need to be completed. If you need assistance in determining what you currently have, contact Brett Rogers, SOA Registrar at

  7. Will the GI-track case study for the ERM exam be ready for the Fall 2012 exam administration?
  8. Yes, the GI portion of the case study, the GI-specific readings and the option of choosing the GI extension will all be available for the Fall 2012 exam.

  9. When is the track-specific portion of the ERM exam elected?
  10. The selection is made at the time of exam registration. Prior to that date candidates will have had access to the ERM case study and the reading extensions for all tracks.

  11. By June 2012, I will have completed all the (old) requirements for the CERA but the AFE. I want to know if the new CERA requirements will still apply to me if I write the new ERM exam in Fall 2012 or spring 2013.
  12. Yes, all requirements must be met by July 1, 2012 in order to use the old requirements. You will have to complete the Corporate Finance VEE and the Fundamentals of Actuarial Practice Course to earn your CERA. Your completion of the Operational Risk module will transfer to the ERM module.

  13. If the operational risk module is submitted before July 1 and graded as passed after July 1, does it count towards the new ERM module?
  14. Yes, but you will be held to the new CERA requirements.

  15. Can a candidate who completed the old FAP modules still obtain a CERA?
  16. Yes, credit will transfer. The ERM material in FAP has been updated, but there was a substantial amount of such material in the previous version. If you are in the process of working through the prior version of FAP, you can finish it and transfer the credit to the new version.

  17. Does the Operational Risk module provide enough background for the ERM test, or will the ERM module be much better preparation?
  18. The Operational risk module should be sufficient.

  19. If a candidate has credit for a 6-hour exam at the time of the FSA transition, they will get credit for the corresponding 5-hour exam and the specialty two-hour exam. My question is how long will the necessary ERM exam be to become a CERA for this candidate?
  20. The four-hour full version of the ERM exam must be completed. Because the granting of the CERA is governed by the global treaty, all recipients must demonstrate knowledge of the full set of learning objectives.

  21. Does the ERM Exam include the content of the alternative 2 hour FSA exam?
  22. No. Each track’s two-hour exam is specially designed for that track. Most tracks will include some risk management on that exam, but it will likely be more tailored to risk management in that track.

  23. Will the new ERM exam be accepted by the CAS?
  24. That is up to the CAS to decide. Under the CERA global treaty, each organization determines the pathway to its CERA (with approval of the CERA Global Association). The CAS has the option to submit this exam for approval as part of its pathway to CERA.

  25. The ERM exam has a practice-area specific portion. What are the implications of switching tracks after passing this exam?
  26. There are no restrictions on the practice-area extension selected for the ERM exam. It does not need to match the track selected for fellowship. However, all other components of fellowship must meet the requirements of a single track.

    General Insurance Track questions

  27. For General Insurance track, will non-SOA members be used to develop the syllabuses and exams?
  28. Yes, the SOA has rules about who can work on curriculum and exams. Non-members with appropriate background/designations may contribute.

  29. Can you provide recommendation to ASA interested in GI-track (in terms of exam-taking in 2012)?
  30. With the curriculum begin unsettled, we cannot be certain which current components will be used. One option is to complete the ERM module and ERM exam and earn a CERA. The module most likely to be used in the new track is the Financial and Health Economics module.

  31. What would it take (under this new path) to earn the practice rights/ability to sign reserving opinions? I was told that currently, ACAS + CAS Exam 7 are what are needed for those at my company to earn these practice rights. What would be the equivalent to this under the new SOA General Insurance Track option? Also, is this a recognized/credible option for those who were originally pursuing the CAS route?
  32. The SOA is committed to ensuring that FSAs completing the GI track will be qualified to sign opinions. Whether it will be the full track or specific portions is yet to be determined. The decision of which route is best is a personal decision.

  33. Where (if any) would nation-specific material be placed in GI syllabus, given the driver of GI is international development?
  34. This is yet to be determined.

  35. Is there any thought of giving credit for exams in the general insurance track for upper level CAS exams?
  36. The SOA gives credit for equivalent exams offered by other actuarial organizations. It is likely that the SOA will give credit for portions of the CAS system that are deemed equivalent.

    New FSA Exam Structure questions

  37. Would you please give me more information about what the Courseware is?
  38. Courseware is a study aid, but not a study module. It will help you work through the various readings in a proper order and help you understand how each reading relates to the learning objectives. There will also be some supplemental material that can be tested on the exam. Courseware does not replace your obligation to read the source material.

  39. Will the amount of reading material decrease for 5-hour exam vs. 6-hour exam?
  40. Yes, curriculum committees are instructed to make the amount of reading proportional to exam time.

  41. In the ILA track, why does the ERM module have to replace the financial reporting module? Why not one of the other modules?
  42. The curriculum committee determined that this was the best choice to leave out for those desiring a CERA.

  43. Is spring 2013 the final offering of retirement exams DP and CSP?
  44. Yes, for all tracks the last offering of the 6-hour exams will be spring 2013.

  45. Will the 5 hour FSA exams be split up into a morning and afternoon session, or will they be single 5 hour exams?
  46. There will be three-hours in the morning and two-hours in the afternoon, each preceded by a fifteen minute read-through. The ERM exam will be in one session, with a read-through.

  47. Considering all updated tracks except for the Corporate Finance and ERM Track, the ERM Exam is recommended to be taken after the two 5-hour exams. Are there any drawbacks to taking it before?
  48. The slides indicated that the ERM exam can be taken at any time. This is difficult to display in a diagram. We recommend that FAP and the ERM module be completed prior to taking the ERM exam. Those on tracks other than Corporate Finance and ERM can take that exam when it best fits their plans.

  49. Can we get more details about the nation specific, not nation specific exam? What does that mean?
  50. The Retirement Benefits and Individual Life and Annuity tracks will continue to offer some exams with Canadian and U.S. versions. Starting in fall 2013, the Group and Health track will also do so.

  51. When are candidates eligible to sign up for SOA Modules? After ASA? Can they be taken concurrently with FAP?
  52. For most of its exams and modules, the SOA does not enforce pre-requisites. So FSA modules can be taken at any time. Our recommendation is to first complete FAP.

  53. What is the difference between the old ILA DP exam and the new life products and life risk management exam in terms of content?
  54. A major difference will be that the Life Products (LP) and the Life Risk Management (LRM) will not be country distinct, that is, there will be only one version for use in both Canada and the US. The LP exam will still cover products and features, but with less focus on the product development process. The LRM exam will cover asset liability management and other risk evaluative and management approaches.

  55. By implementing this change, do you envision the requirement of obtaining FSA to become easier or more difficult or stay relatively the same? Similarly, please answer the same question for obtaining CERA?
  56. The FSA requirements will be similar, though there will be one more examination to pass. For actuaries who were planning to complete the VEE requirements and the FAP course, the CERA pathway is shorter with the six-hour AFE exam being replaced with the four-hour ERM exam.

  57. Which exams will have case studies besides ERM?
  58. All exams of four-hours or longer will have case studies.

  59. Can we number the exams to make the exam process easier to understand by non-actuaries?
  60. It is not clear to us how numbering exams makes the process easier to understand. What number would the ERM exam get? How will modules be numbered or fit in. We could certainly assign numbers to each component, but that would provide less information.

  61. For ILA with CERA path the option of ERM or financial reporting module still holds good or ERM module is a must?
  62. Those seeking a CERA must always complete the ERM module (or its predecessor). The option is only for candidates seeking an FSA but not a CERA.

  63. Does the old Financial Economics Module transition into Financial and Health Economics Module? If so does this expire?
  64. Yes, and there is no expiration date.

  65. For retirement FSA track, should I take EA exams first or take DP or CSP exam first?
  66. Under the current system, the recommended order is to take the DP exam prior to the CSP exam. There is no specific recommendation as to when the EA exams should be taken under the current system, i.e. the EA exams can be taken at any time. DP and CSP exam questions are set with the intent of being completely independent of the content on the EA exams. For the system in effect in fall 2013, the recommended order is EA-2L, EA-2F, and then the five-hour Design and Accounting exam.

  67. Should we expect similar aggregate costs to reach the FSA, or will the additional exam result in additional costs?
  68. The SOA Board has yet to approve a fee structure for the new exams.

  69. Group/Health question - old recommendation was to take first 2 modules before FSA Exams, now we should only do Financial/Health Econ and wait for Pricing/Reserving. Pre July 2013 should we follow the old recommendations or the new recommendations?
  70. The current recommendation is Financial and Health Economics module, Health Foundations module, the two exams, then the Pricing, Reserving and Forecasting module. The new recommendations are the same except that the ERM module may be substituted for the Health Foundations module, and, whichever is selected, the ERM or the Health Foundations module may be taken at any time.