In September 2016, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) launched its Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS), a voluntary accreditation scheme for UK-based firms that employ actuaries. The scheme, which was a first for an actuarial professional body and has recently been extended globally, accredits firms on the quality of their business policies and processes that underpin their actuarial work. With a track record and reputation for high quality services, OAC was delighted to achieve QAS accreditation in 2016. This article explains why we saw this scheme as essential to our business and for innovation within our services.
Now with 33 accredited firms, the QAS framework promotes effective quality controls and, in turn, confidence for actuarial teams. Their clients too will have the added confidence of knowing that the actuarial work they receive is of high-quality.
Clients of an accredited firm are reassured that:
- The quality of actuarial work is promoted at an organisational level.
- There are policies and procedures that identify and manage/avoid conflicts appropriately, whether they arise between existing clients or between existing clients and potential new clients.
- Policies and procedures within the firm are drafted to promote a culture in which any errors/quality issues that do arise are addressed openly with a view to improving systems going forward.
- The actuaries within the firm are encouraged to develop their skills, and development and training opportunities are provided.
- The firm has procedures in place so that any concerns raised by a client (or the IFoA) are addressed appropriately and, where possible, resolved.
- The firm has a direct line of engagement with the IFoA as a regulatory body and is therefore kept abreast of both regulatory and actuarial developments relevant to the QAS as they arise.
As part of the ongoing accreditation process, all of the above areas are supervised both within the firm and externally by the IFoA.
For OAC’s clients, the QAS accreditation should provide the reassurance that our work conforms to the highest actuarial standards and our actuaries are actively developed and supervised to maintain a consistently high quality level. In addition, we use the QAS to identify new opportunities to innovate and enhance working methods, practices and techniques within the services our clients receive.
We can also advise and provide guidance, through training and mentoring, to firms and their actuarial teams on how to achieve ‘best practice’ using the QAS framework to develop their in-house capabilities and quality of work.
We look forward to continually demonstrating to our clients our commitment to the highest working practices and how they benefit from those. The QAS has enabled us to further evidence our commitment to quality actuarial work and also to clear and appropriate communication with our clients, which is embedded in our culture of relationship driven consulting.
For more information about how we can help you, please contact one of our Senior Quality Assurance Representatives: Darren Richards (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Philip Staunton (email@example.com).
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Chief Executive Officer
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