Initial Interest in CAS CERA Designation Appears to be Strong

A flurry of activity has followed CAS’s approval as a CERA award signatory last fall as I have worked with various committees within the CAS to implement our programs to award the designation.  As we have announced details about earning the designation and invited CAS member participation, I have been pleased with the response. The CAS leadership’s eagerness and enthusiasm to achieve CERA award signatory status on behalf of the members appears to be well-founded.

As we’ve previously announced, the CAS requirements to qualify for the CERA designation are:

  • Meet all requirements for CAS Associateship,
  • Have credit for CAS Exam 7 and Exam 9,
  • Successfully complete the three-day Enterprise Risk Management and Modeling Seminar for CERA Qualification, and
  • Successfully complete Exam ST9, Enterprise Risk Management Specialist Technical, of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (U.K.).

Fellows of the CAS are required to successfully complete the seminar and the ST9 exam.

To assist members with understanding these requirements, we are offering a complimentary webinar scheduled for January 24. Nearly 300 members have registered for the webinar, which equates to many more when you consider that many webinar connections will include multiple participants. Registration remains open for the webinar through the CAS Web Site.

The first offering of our required seminar will be held March 4-6 in Chicago. Due to the hands-on, interactive nature of the seminar, attendance is limited and we filled the seminar to capacity within a month of opening registration. We are working on scheduling another offering of the seminar later in 2012.

Registration for the April 27 administration of Exam ST9 has just opened. There is a special registration process for CAS members taking the exam to fulfill the CAS CERA requirements. The CAS registration deadline for Exam ST9 is February 9, 2012. The exam will also be offered on October 3, 2012 with a registration deadline of July 19, 2012.

Though details are not yet available, there continues to be a lot of interest in the Experienced Practitioner’s Pathway (EPP) to the CERA designation. This option would allow the CAS to award the CERA designation to existing 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.  The CAS has submitted an application for its EPP program and the application is pending.

Finally, we have received inquiries from CAS members awarded CERA through the SOA who wish to transfer administration of their designation to the CAS.  The CERA Global Treaty Board has authorized CAS to award CERA to those members and we are working on the process for that.

We have established a CERA page on the CAS Web Site to keep members informed of progress on all of these activities and we will include links in the CAS weekly email bulletin as new details are posted.

I invite your comments — please “Leave a Reply” below.


About Barry Franklin

Barry Franklin is the 2011-2012 Vice President-ERM of the Casualty Actuarial Society. He is the Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Zurich North America in Schaumburg, Illinois.

7 Responses to Initial Interest in CAS CERA Designation Appears to be Strong

  1. avatar Raymond Nichols says:


    I monitor the CAS Website almost daily and I don’t remember the registration for the March 4-6 seminar being announced a month before it closed. As I recall, the CAS website stated that registration would not be opened until early January 2012. By January 11, 2012, the website stated that registration was closed. For future seminars, maybe you should send out a more direct notice to the membership at the start of registration.

    If 300 are interested enough to fit a specific January 24th webinar into their schedules, then the actual interest in CERA may be well beyond 300. In any case, you will need more than one or two follow ups to the March 4-6 seminar to meet the October 2012 ST9 exam schedule.

    I understand that CAS members must register directly with the CAS to take ST9. Is it necessary to have the Seminar first? Will the CERA designation always depend on passing ST9, or are we in the process of developing our own examination?


    Ray Nichols

    • I appreciate your interest in CERA. The seminar was announced to all CAS members in the December 14 issue of the weekly e-mail bulletin and information about the seminar was posted on the web site just prior to the e-mail announcement.

      The timing of the CAS’s approval as a CERA Award Signatory relative to the April 2012 ST9 exam sitting presented a considerable challenge in terms of finalizing the ERMM seminar content, securing a venue, coordinating with instructors and communicating with CAS members as soon as details were available. I would agree that the 300 registrants for the January 24 webinar indicates a very strong interest in the CERA designation, and we are planning to poll the attendees of the webinar regarding demand for the seminar so that we may consider adjustments to the scheduled offerings.

      The seminar and ST9 exam are stand-alone requirements and a CERA candidate may pass the exam prior to attending the seminar. Please note that one of the goals of the seminar is to help participants understand the effort needed to pass the ST9 exam and to provide insights into the exam experience itself for those who have never taken a U.K. exam. (The exam will still require a significant amount of self-study.)

      In our effort to have the CAS granted as an award signatory, we decided to adopt the ST9 exam as a requirement because the CERA Treaty Board was familiar with the exam and had already approved other organizations’ applications for award signatory status that included the ST9 exam as a requirement. The ST9 syllabus provides a comprehensive treatment of ERM, and actuaries who complete the curriculum under the CAS CERA approach will have demonstrated a firm grasp of the subject. The CAS undertakes regular reviews and assessments of its basic education system, and our requirements for the CERA designation are no exception. While the CAS may decide to develop its own examination, there may also be opportunities to collaborate with other Award Signatories and provide additional alternatives to CAS members for earning the CERA designation. However, at this point, it would be difficult to project the timing of potential revisions to our requirements.

      • avatar Raymond Nichols says:


        Thank you for your response. I apparently miss understood the start time for registration.

        Also, thank you for all of the work on CERA that you voluntarily provide to the CAS.

        Ray Nichols

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  3. avatar Jon Evans says:

    Why is the SOA AFE exam, which forms the core of the SOA CERA, not allowed as an alternative to the UKAP ST9 ?

    • At the time it became apparent that the CAS would need to amend its original application in order to become a CERA award signatory, we were aware that the SOA was planning to revise its CERA requirements but the timing and nature of the changes were not yet finalized and therefore no details were available. Any revisions to CERA requirements must be approved by the CERA Global Treaty Board, so there would have been additional uncertainty concerning the timing and outcome of the subsequent review and approval process had we elected to adopt the new SOA exam. There was no such uncertainty regarding the acceptability of the UK ST9 exam, which was familiar to the Treaty Board and had been approved as the primary requirement for other award signatory programs. In order to achieve award signatory status on behalf of CAS members as early as possible, the CAS decided to adopt a requirement that was proven to be acceptable to the Treaty Board and that would not require subsequent review and possible additional revisions in the near term. It was also important to the CAS that an appreciable proportion of property/casualty content be reflected in the syllabus materials and exam, which the ST9 exam satisfies.

      I think it is important that CAS members realize that the decision to adopt the ST9 exam was not taken lightly, and that numerous alternatives were considered – including creating a stand-alone CAS exam or adopting the revised SOA exam. In the end it became clear that adopting the ST9 exam and seminar presented the best alternative in the near term and was least disruptive to the overall CAS syllabus structure. Now that the CAS has been granted award signatory status we will be reviewing the requirements regularly and making adjustments in a measured way as appropriate. If the revised SOA exam is found to be an attractive option it will receive due consideration as either a replacement for, or possible alternative to, the ST9 exam. We will also continue to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of offering a stand-alone CAS exam.

      • avatar Jon Evans says:

        I see Barry Franklin’s point if it was an either/or choice between SOA AFE and UKAP ST9. One other argument for ST9 in the either/or choice is that AFE is over twice as long, much harder, and overkill for someone who has already gone through the FCAS program. However, I don’t see why AFE is not allowed as an alternative option for individual candidates. It seems like now that the CAS application has been approved this option could be filed as an amendment with the CERA Global Treaty Board.

        When CERA was originally developed by the SOA, prior to being spun off into this new international entity, it was viewed as a credential built on some existing basic actuarial exams + AFE exam, which was developed specifically for CERA.

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