CAS Modifies Its Proposed CERA Requirements

There have been recent developments regarding the CAS application for CERA award signatory status that warrant an announcement to CAS members at this time.

As background, in 2009 the CAS joined 13 other actuarial organizations across the globe in signing a treaty to establish a new enterprise risk management (ERM) designation.  The credential CERA, or Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst, will identify actuaries who meet stringent education requirements in ERM and are governed by a strong code of professional conduct.  Per the treaty, the CERA Review Panel was formed to ensure that each treaty organization’s proposed CERA program meets the treaty standards. As each organization applies to become an Award Signatory (i.e., obtains permission to award the CERA designation) it must first be reviewed by this panel, which then makes its recommendation to the CERA Treaty Board.

The CAS submitted its application to become an Award Signatory to the CERA Review Panel last year and has been engaged in an on-going dialogue with the Panel regarding the proposed CAS program, which was first described in the August 2010 issue of The Actuarial Review.  As part of that dialogue, the CAS has made revisions to its application, which have been approved by the CAS Board and resubmitted to CERA Review Panel. We are now awaiting feedback on our revised proposed requirements.

Although the CAS application has not yet received final approval, we are announcing the changes to our proposed requirements so that CAS members have the most up-to-date information regarding the potential paths to CERA through the CAS.

The CAS is now proposing the following criteria to qualify an individual for the CERA designation: CAS Associateship requirements plus credit for CAS Exams 7 and 9, or attainment of the CAS Fellowship designation, plus participation in a rigorous three-day seminar (described below) and successful completion of the U.K. ST9 Enterprise Risk Management Specialist Technical Exam.

Pending approval of the CAS application by the CERA Treaty Board, the CAS Vice Presidents for ERM and Admissions will develop a three-day ERM Seminar that will cover the ERM learning objectives covered in the U.K. ST9 Enterprise Risk Management Specialist Technical Exam and corresponding syllabus materials. The seminar is planned to be rigorous and intended to prepare candidates for successful completion of the ST9 Exam. The seminar is subject to CAS Board approval.

CAS members should note that the proposed CERA requirements no longer include successful completion of Exam ERM 57 – Enterprise-Wide Risk Management offered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

In addition to the exam pathway, the CAS will continue to develop a second path, called the Experienced Practitioners Pathway (EPP), that will allow the CAS to award the CERA designation to members who are leading practitioners and who are considered, by virtue of their experience, to have demonstrated a level of knowledge and understanding of ERM comparable to that achieved by other designees (by colleen at The CAS EPP requires a separate approval that follows approval for award signatory status, and more details on the timing and process will be released when they are available.

The CAS is strongly committed to becoming a CERA award signatory and strengthening the actuarial profession by increasing the role of actuaries in enterprise risk management internationally.  More information about the CERA credential can be found on the global CERA web site.

I look forward to sharing additional developments regarding the CAS application for award signatory status as soon as they are available.  In the interim, if you have comments or feedback to share regarding the CERA designation, please post a comment to the blog.


About Ralph Blanchard

Ralph S. Blanchard III is the current President of the CAS and a Vice President and Actuary for The Travelers Companies, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut. Ralph earned his Fellowship in the CAS in 1983. Prior to serving as President and President-Elect, Ralph served a two-year term on the Executive Council as Vice President-International from 2007-2009. In addition to his past service on numerous committees, Ralph fulfilled a three-year term on the CAS Board of Directors from 2000-2003 and on the American Academy of Actuaries Board of Directors for the same years. Ralph has been recognized twice for his volunteer service to the CAS, receiving the organization’s Above and Beyond Achievement Award for volunteerism in 2004 and 2007. He earned a B.A. in Mathematics from Dartmouth College.

12 Responses to CAS Modifies Its Proposed CERA Requirements

  1. avatar Jim Lynch says:

    More, including link to ST9 syllabus and past exams, at

  2. avatar Pat Teufel says:

    Thanks for providing the link, Jim.

  3. avatar Kevin Burke says:

    “The CAS is strongly committed to becoming a CERA award signatory and strengthening the actuarial profession by increasing the role of actuaries in enterprise risk management internationally.” (emphasis added)

    Why is this focus on ERM solely at the international level? Shouldn’t we be trying to increase the role of actuaries in ERM domestically as well? The AICPCU has a strong reputation in the US P&C insurance industry and partnering with them should help CERA get a foothold in the US. We should insist on ERM57 or the ST9 route. Those options serve ALL CAS members, not just the international members.

    Is there any concern for cost? ERM57 study materials and exam combined runs about $700 and chances are there’s a Prometric site near your employer. There are 3 us centres (NY, Chicago, and Seattle) where ST9 is offerred and it costs 275 pounds plus travel. Add to that the costs to travel to and attend the 3 day seminar and, in an era where travel budgets are tight, you’re asking an awful lot from companies to pony up, especially when they’re unfamiliar with the UK system and the CERA credential.

  4. avatar Pat Teufel says:


    Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on ERMA and on CERA. We are really trying to engage in dialogue among our members through this blog, and I for one appreciate your willingness to register your views. I am prompted to respond, but please accept my comments for what they are — the thoughts of one member.

    I did not read the CERA announcement in quite the same way as you did, but I’m glad that you commented, as others of our members may have taken the announcement as you did. When I read the word international, it does not preclude a domestic agenda. To me, the word “international” includes both domestic and non-domestic jurisdictions.

    As you know, with the most recent changes to the CAS syllabus, the CAS has greatly strengthened its incorporation of risk management concepts into all aspects of basic and continuing education. In fact, there is currently an on-line course entitled “Introduction to Enterprise Risk Management” scheduled for early September. I believe that integration of risk management concepts strengthens the educational content for ALL of our members, regardless of where they reside or work.

    The CERA designation is intended to further cement the position of actuaries to take leadership roles, in the US and elsewhere, on risk management opportunities. By collaborating with other actuarial organizations in the development of the learning objectives for this designation, the CAS hopes to enable our members to position themselves successfully in the ERM space both in the US, or anywhere in the world. For those members who work for multi-national or global enterprises, the global CERA provides a credential that demonstrates their ability to integrate risks of all types, with consideration to jurisdictional issues affecting the management of those risks.

    The decision to modify our application to include a preparatory seminar and successful completion of the ST9 examination was not made lightly; many of our members have worked diligently to assess the effectiveness of ERM57 against the CERA learning objectives and to advocate for its use. The decision to forego ERM57 was a decision of expediency; our application likely would not have been approved without substantive modification of the ERM57 examination, and possibly further modification of our basic education examinations and testing processes. Isn’t it more important that the CAS be recognized as a CERA award signatory, with our members able to compete, both within the US and elsewhere, for ERM opportunities?

  5. avatar Ray Nichols says:

    On May 14, 2009, I wrote to Chairman David Terne, Margaret Sherman and Mary Francis Miller of the ERM Committee urging that the CAS devise its own ERM designation. I did so because I did not believe the SOA was being fair in its evaluation of the experience of our actuaries. Now the CAS Board is proposing that our seasoned Fellows pass ST9, a foreign actuarial exam, to be qualified to practice in the ERM field. The CAS is eminently qualified to be the sole master of its own examination process. We should not use a foreign actuarial examination to determine our member’s qualifications.

    The actuarial content of enterprise risk management is closely related to non-life actuarial science. To the extent that actuaries work in enterprise risk management, to that extent CAS members are likely to have the most complete experience and professional training to tackle the majority of risks that enterprises face. Our members have a long history of quantifying risks and risk mitigation wherever and whenever it arises. The CAS is best qualified to determine who among us is qualified as non-life risk actuaries.

    I prepared for and passed ERM57. I also purchased and reviewed the Core Readings for the foreign actuarial examination ST9. I do not see the Body of Knowledge used in ST9 as better as or more complete than the Body of Knowledge used in ERM57. What using ST9 will do is require existing FCAS to pass an actuarial exam given by a foreign actuarial body. This ST9 exam has a 30-40% pass ratio and our Fellows will be competing against foreign actuaries in an examination that includes some questions involving life and health risks as they exist in foreign countries. This guarantees that most seasoned Fellows will opt out of the process. Such a result will not be good for the CAS, not good for the international actuarial community, nor will it be good for the business community that needs our professional services.

    I urge the CAS Board to reconsider using ST9.

    Raymond S. Nichols, FCAS, FCA, MAAA, CPCU, ARe, AIC, CIDM

  6. avatar Kartik Patel says:

    Why doesn’t CAS offer it’s own ERM exam? (Just like what SOA & IOA have done).

    • avatar Barry Franklin says:

      Kartik –

      The CAS considered creating its own ERM exam previously and for a variety of valid reasons chose to use the RM-57 exam to supplement the ERM materials that had already been added to the CAS syllabus in support of the CAS centennial goal.

      It is entirely possible that we will ultimately have our own ERM exam in place of the ST-9, but adopting the ST-9 exam now will enable the CAS to achieve CERA Award Signatory status in the near term. It is anticipated that once approval is granted we will begin working toward a longer term solution that might involve a CAS-specific ERM exam or one that is jointly sponsored with one or more other organizations and complements our overall syllabus and educational approach.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Barry Franklin

  7. avatar Kevin Burke says:

    That’s great. We have two members of the Executive Council that value speed over other considerations:
    “The decision to forego ERM57 was a decision of expediency; ” – Pat Teufel
    “…adopting the ST-9 exam now will enable the CAS to achieve CERA Award Signatory status in the near term.” – Barry Franklin

    As actuaries we’re usually the ones at our companies asking others to stop and think through what they’re proposing. I guess when the proposals come from other actuaries taking our time and doing it right isn’t an option. This proposal does nothing but further the goals of international actuarial consulting firms. If you’re a company actuary working in the US, you’re out of luck.

  8. avatar Ray Nichols says:

    Has the English Institute of Actuaries agreed to administer and grade ST-9 with FCAS participants? How will their candidates feel about competing with our members on this exam? The ST-9 path to a CERA designation for experienced FCAS members is slated to be available for a limited time. Will that time be extended so that experienced FCAS member can opt for the CAS-specific ERM exam?

  9. avatar Ray Nichols says:

    How one path for CAS members to the CERA designation will operate is not yet clear. According to the August 2010 issue of The Actuarial Review there is a path for experienced practitioners.

    “The [CERA Treaty] Board may choose to approve an arrangement whereby an Award Signatory may…award the Treaty Designation to a number of its members who are leading practitioners and academics and who are considered, by virtue of their experience, to have demonstrated a level of knowledge and understanding of ERM comparable to that achieved by other Designees.”

    The SOA has awarded the CERA to about 40 FCAS members under their program. Is there a common thread to these FCAS’s experience and what is the CAS now proposing as criteria for practitioners under our own program?

  10. avatar Pat Teufel says:

    Kevin: If expediency means that CAS members will have a seat at the table for ERM opportunities, and the alternative could mean that CAS members are disadvantaged relative to other actuarial professionals, I vote for expediency. The CAS is not done with this discussion, however; we will continue to look for paths that meet the CERA Treaty learning objectives and advance the risk management specialty designation for our members.

    Ray: To your question on experienced practitioner, the CAS has announced that an experienced practitioner route is envisioned. That being said, we need to become an award signatory before that route will be considered by the CERA Review Committee and activated by the CAS. We have had conversations with the Institute, and will be working with them to ensure that our members have reasonable routes for taking the ST9 exam. The Institute currently offers ST9 in several North American locations. Once the CAS becomes an award signatory, I would anticipate that those FCAS members who are SOA CERAs could be recognized by the CAS as CERAs.

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