Specialists in predictive analytics and data science will soon be able to add credentials reflecting their expertise to their résumés and business cards, provided they meet the requirements of a new educational division of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
The CAS, through the newly launched CAS Institute—iCAS for short—is developing a program of study and certification requirements, with the first course offerings slated to begin in late 2016.
Long known for rigorous education and exam processes leading to the credentialing of actuaries as Fellows of the Casualty Actuarial Society and Associates of the Casualty Actuarial Society (and more recently as Chartered Enterprise Risk Analysts), iCAS expands the reach of the CAS educational programs to include quantitative professionals other than actuaries by offering the new set of quantitative expert credentials for both actuaries and nonactuaries, CAS announced Monday.
Robert Miccolis, the outgoing president of the CAS, officially announced the formation of iCAS during the CAS annual meeting in Philadelphia, also revealing that CAS will leverage a strategic partnership with The Institutes. The Institutes will help iCAS to provide state-of-the-art methods for delivering professional education and competency assessments. During his remarks at the business session, Miccolis and Peter Miller, president and CEO of The Institutes, also announced that The Institutes and CAS had officially formalized a long-term relationship into a strategic alliance.
For now, iCAS’s specialty credentials are focused on those quantitative professionals who apply their expertise to insurance and risk management. But the addition of quantitative professionals working in sectors outside of insurance is on the table for the future, the CAS revealed in an explanatory document on its website (The CAS Institute: Frequently Asked Questions).
And while predictive analytics and data science are first up for the specialty credentialing process, additional credentials will follow in other areas of specialization such as catastrophe modeling, capital modeling and ORSA analysis, quantitative reinsurance analysis, and others, Miccolis said.
While iCAS—a subsidiary of CAS—will focus on these specialty areas, Miccolis also said that the CAS itself will continue to offer actuarial credentials as it does today.
Explaining why the CAS board had approved the creation of the iCAS subsidiary a day earlier, Miccolis said: “The market demands proven specialized knowledge and competency in today’s competitive environment, and our new credentials will provide the solution for experts and their employers to demonstrate such domain expertise.”
“These new credentials will be designed for any practitioner looking to gain certification in a highly specialized field. Those with specialized academic degrees—advanced education in fields such as statistics, data science and predictive analytics—will be able to learn the practical applications to insurance and risk management fields and be recognized as certified specialists to complement their academic achievements.”
That includes actuaries who are already CAS members. “Those who have specialized job duties should consider the CAS Institute specialty certifications that complement your actuarial training especially in the increasing number of practices areas where data science, predictive analytics and other quantitative skills intersect with actuarial skills,” Miccolis said.
Will there be more exams to pass for the actuaries pursuing the new designations?
In his remarks, Miccolis did not specifically mention exams but did highlight the fact that iCAS, like CAS, would produce a Code of Conduct for certified professionals and guidelines for continuing professional development.
The online explanatory document, however, does specifically state that competency assessments will include examinations. It adds, however, that eligibility requirements “may grant credit” for previously completed academic courses, academic degrees, published technical papers and other evidence of specialized expertise.
What will the new predictive analytics and data science credential be called?
That’s yet to be determined, according to the CAS, which said the name will be announced when the credential is launched next year.