South African Actuarial Journal

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Authentic professional development: Key to quality service delivery

MW Lowther, WJ McMillan


The Actuarial Society of South Africa (‘Actuarial Society’) requires its  members to honour their professional promise to deliver specialist and up-to-date actuarial expertise that is ethical and subject to professional oversight. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the Actuarial
Society can encourage its members to develop and maintain the capability to deliver this professional promise through continuing professional development (‘CPD’). Current concepts of and approaches to professional development were identified from the literature and various professions’ CPD requirements. Thereafter, the opinions of South African actuaries on the insights from the literature were sought by means of an online survey. Analysis of the literature indicates that CPD is most effective when it takes place through a development cycle of planning, action, results and reflection. Further, professional development is associated with  competently completing tasks that are required in the workplace. Data from the survey supported these insights. It is concluded that the Actuarial Society’s CPD requirements should be designed to encourage members to develop and maintain their capabilities, and it is therefore suggested that members be required to engage in work-based development cycles.

KEYWORDS:Professionalism; continuing professional development; CPD; professional development cycle; professional practice; work-based learning

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