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Track and Earn

Track and Earn

By Emily Kessler

The SOA CPD Requirement is here! The CPD Requirement is now effective, which means that, as an SOA member, you need to begin earning credits on Jan. 1, 2009.

One part of CPD compliance is tracking your continuing education. We all do continuing education, but we need to remember to write it down. Documentation is the key to successful compliance with the CPD Requirement.

So, what do you need to do to document your compliance with the CPD Requirement? The answer depends on how you meet it. You can meet the CPD Requirement by taking one of two paths:

  • You can meet the basic requirement provisions of Section B, or
  • You can meet one of the alternative compliance provisions of Section C.
  • More information can be found at Soa.org/cpdrequirement.

If you elect to meet the requirement by following the basic requirement provisions of Section B, you need to make sure that you keep track of the following:

  • What activity you completed (e.g., read a technical article, attended a seminar, participated in a volunteer committee, listened to a webcast recording).
  • When (on what day).
  • How much time you spent (remember, one unit = 50 minutes).
  • If it was self-study or structured credit.
  • If it was structured credit, was it from an employer or non-employer source?
  • Was it job-relevant, professionalism, or business and management skills?

If you elect to meet the requirement by following the alternative compliance provisions of Section C, you need to have enough information to support that you've met the alternative standard.

  • For example, if you are electing to follow the U.S. Qualification Standard, keep track of the number of hours you spend on organized activities, professionalism and general business courses. The U.S. Qualification Standard's Appendix 5 is a sample recordkeeping form.
  • SOA members who are also CIA members who elect to follow the CIA Qualification Standard should keep track of structured and unstructured hours, technical topics and professionalism. CIA members have a tracking tool available through the CIA Web site.
  • Members electing to follow the U.K. or Australian standards should carefully read those standards to ensure that documentation clearly shows how the standard was met.

Remember, it's up to you to keep careful documentation. If you are audited, you'll need to show your documentation. For purposes of the SOA CPD Requirement, you do not need to keep handouts, certificates of attendance or other detailed notes. However, if you are required to meet another CPD standard and are following it as an alternative compliance standard, you may keep more detailed records for the purpose of meeting that standard. Be sure you understand the documentation rules of all compliance standards which you are required to follow.

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Emily Kessler, FSA, EA, MAAA, FCA, is senior fellow, Intellectual Capital, for the Society of Actuaries. She can be reached at ekessler@soa.org.