An International Perspective of the CAS

As many CAS members know, one of the three pillars of the new CAS Strategic Plan is “Expanding Globally.” Currently, 17% of the candidates taking CAS exams are from outside of North America. As the supply of CAS credentialed members is currently not sufficient to support the insurance industry in the regions experiencing rapid growth, we are increasing our investment in becoming more global. We will be expanding our footprint to serve our members working in these growing regions, to raise awareness of our credential with key stakeholders, and make our credentials more accessible for those who seek the premier General Insurance actuarial education.  

With this renewed prioritization and emphasis on the international leg of the strategic plan, I thought it would be helpful to get a perspective on the CAS from one of our international candidatesAubrey Chewe is a CAS candidate based in Botswana who spoke with me on some of his thoughts on the CAS and our exam process below. 

What sets CAS apart in the insurance credentialing industry?
I found the access to diversity of thought on various topics across CAS platforms made studying for exams motivational and is a differentiating factor among other organizations.  

Is cost an important factor when choosing an actuarial organization?
When choosing the CAS, material availability and the organization’s reliance on original research produced by its own members (the majority of which is provided at no cost as source material for exams) were two determining factors for me. In addition, the Exam 5 e-book was available at no cost to candidates. Overall, the CAS goes out of its way to help candidates prepare for the exams.

How was the transition to online preparation for exams? 
I was relieved to find a high frequency of preliminary online exams that fit in well with work schedules, unlike other actuarial examining bodies.

Beyond the exams, what was the credentialing process like for other requirements?
With the Course on Professionalism available online, CAS credentials are easier to obtain after relevant exams; a definite plus for international students. 

How did you apply your gained knowledge to the working world?
The knowledge is practical and can easily be applied to many non-traditional finance and business engagements. Using CAS research we have built credit loss reserve models for a wide variety of entities for IFRS 9 reporting. There is great scope for the CAS to shape the developments in risk modelling beyond the insurance sector.   

How do you see the CAS expanding internationally?
I see great opportunity for the CAS to expand its presence outside the US to support developing economies.

I encourage all members to learn more about our international initiatives in the CAS Strategic Plan and our new international exam offering.