how to plan for the assessment Remember Anna, she’s head of actuarial
services at a successful consultancy and the last time we saw her she was busy
filling in the application form for the Quality Assurance scheme run by the
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. She’s a member. Since then, Anna has submitted the
application and had a phone call from the independent Assessors who’ll be
reviewing the policies, processes and culture at her firm.
The call was just to talk through the application and arrange a time for the
Assessors to attend a detailed planning meeting. Once they have something in the
diary, Anna and her team prepare for the meeting by inviting the right people,
collating the right documents and ordering the right biscuits. But they’re still a little
nervous when the day arrives. The Assessors soon put them at ease. They
kick off by explaining that the aim of this planning meeting is to give them an
initial idea of Anna’s firm culture and to arrange the logistics of the
assessment itself. Then they explain that once the assessment gets underway their
role is to support Anna’s firm in getting accredited and not to try and trip them up.
But they won’t let anyone wriggle off the hook either and they’ll be as flexible as
they can and tailor everything they do to the firm. Next, the Assessors ask some
questions to flesh out the answers in the application form. Things like, how Anna’s firm is structured, how many people it has and
where and exactly what kind of work it does. They also ask about how it runs
it’s Quality Assurance processes, where it stores its policies and how people
know where to find them and Anna’s pleased to see the Assessors are already
giving some informal feedback on how her firm compares to others.
Finally, they all agree when and where they’ll hold the assessment, who the
Assessors need to speak to and how long the process will last. The idea is to
cause as little disruption to the firm as possible. After nailing all that,
everyone’s earned a biscuit.