SOA Strategic Initiatives
The SOA Board uses initiatives to focus its work to achieve the objectives in the strategic plan. The current initiatives under the Strategic Plan focus on short-term and long-term changes to the roles of actuaries and their employers. The goal is to improve the SOA’s understanding and react to the changes that actuaries and the businesses they serve are experiencing today, and to maintain the preeminence of SOA education, research and other services to members and candidates.
Long Term Growth Strategy
Objective: Respond to environmental changes driven by AI, data science, the changing nature of work, and the changing nature of insurance. Determine how those changes can lead to new opportunities and challenges for the actuarial profession. The Long-Term Growth Strategy initiative began with an analysis of the marketplace and the Board identifying the following environmental factors requiring SOA response:
- Rise of data science
- Transformation of professional work by AI and automation
- Changing nature of credentialing and skill development
- Evolution of candidate and member engagement
- Future growth opportunities outside of North America
The Long-Term Growth Strategy initiative led to the creation of four new strategic initiatives, described below: International Expansion, Modularized Education System, Professional Development Redesign & Virtual PD, and a new Research Strategy.
Modularized Education System
Objective: Adapt the prequalification education system to make it more attractive to future candidates and provide options with greater international appeal. The initiative will consider how best to 1) incorporate data science 2) provide opportunities for candidates to demonstrate EQ (Emotional Quotient) and AQ (Adaptability Quotient) skills (e.g. creativity, persuasion, communication) 3) enhanced professionalism education and 4) credentialing options with greater appeal to international members. A modularized credential pathway could offer more opportunities to enter and exit the system with identifiable market-valued skills at each level.
Professional Development Redesign & Virtual PD
Objective: Produce professional development (PD) programs to meet the needs of members and employers of actuaries. The PD Redesign & Virtual PD initiative was accelerated to respond to the needs for more virtual education. Through this initiative the SOA will develop alternative virtual delivery methods, shape content to match just-in-time learning needs, focus on skills acquisitions (e.g. through certificates) and provide a variety of learning formats to engage attendees.
Objective: Renew the SOA research strategy, focusing on new tools and techniques, integrating research findings into PD, and creating research for non-North American members. The Research strategy will consider how to help actuaries meet the technology changes, including the rise of data science, AI and automation, and how best to provide data and tools to members to meet those challenges. Rapid technology changes also create greater need to integrate research directly into PD, including potentially changing to how research results are communicated. Finally, research must continue to support members outside of North America by producing research that considers differences in risks, regulatory structures, and common products outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Objective: Expand services to our members and candidates outside of North America by expanding the SOA’s presence in other parts of the world. A local presence facilitates the SOA’s ability to serve members and candidates, through outreach to local universities, tailored membership services (including PD events), stronger employer relationships, partnership with local actuarial associations, and research that responds to local market needs.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Objective: Expand SOA programs and services to champion a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive SOA and actuarial profession. The SOA is uniquely positioned to have positive an impact on structural racism through our role as an education and research organization. The SOA will advocate eradication of structural barriers to diversity in the profession, offer actuaries opportunities to understand how structural racism negatively affects insurance and other industries in which actuaries work, and use research to consider how to better meet insurance needs of diverse communities.
Volunteer & Membership Engagement
Objective: Strengthen volunteer and member engagement by creating new opportunities for member engagement, particularly for actuaries in the early years of their career. This initiative has three components: 1) the Local Actuarial Partnership program, 2) Young Profession Advisory Council, and 3) transforming the SOA community engagement model.