University COVID-19 update

The University of Waterloo is constantly updating our most Frequently Asked Questions.

Questions about buildings and services? Visit the list of Modified Services.

Please note: The University of Waterloo is closed for all events until further notice.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) accreditation


What is the CIA University Accreditation Program (UAP)?

Through this program, the CIA will grant exemptions to students from writing the specified SOA/Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) exams toward achieving associateship or fellowship in the CIA. This exemption is granted if a student satisfies the course and mark requirements in courses at one of the accredited universities (see below for more details). The plan is to do well enough on your transcript at Waterloo that you don’t need to prove knowledge of the material again.

How can I find more information on the CIA UAP

Learn more about UAP on the CIA website.

What exam exemptions can I get?

Currently students can get exemption for FM/2, MFE, MLC, 3LC and C/4. No exemption will be given for P/1 and 3ST.

Can I get exemptions for one exam and not another?

Yes. If you can't get high enough grades in your courses, you can still take the SOA/CAS exams for the topics you didn't get an exemption in.

If exam materials change will our courses change?

Yes. We must maintain the exam material to maintain the exemption. This can either be done by adding material to courses or changing the courses approved for a particular exam.

Isn’t this an easy route? Are we reducing the standards?

To take part in this deal we have to open our books, exams, and such to the CIA. They come here, view us, the program, and tell us how we can do things better. We will also be tracking overall performance in the accredited courses in order to prevent grade inflation. They also are forcing other schools to teach at a higher level to get this accreditation. This is really a harder route because you really have to know the material better.

Course/grade requirements

What grades do I need to qualify for a CIA exam exemption (per SOA/CAS exam)?

For new and old grades please review the CIA accreditation website.

Please note that exemption requirements to our graduate courses are listed in a separate section (see below).

Can I use courses from spring 2012 or earlier?

The CIA accreditation program began in September 2012 and so only courses taken in fall 2012 and after can be used to claim the exemptions.

What if my grades are too low?

Then you should go write the exam. Grades are set to be harder than the exams, so students who cannot get the course marks should write the exams.

What if a required course is exempt?

If you can’t take a course you won’t be eligible for the exemption.

How long is this current grade threshold valid for?

The original set began in September 2012 and is valid until August 2014. The new set is valid from September 2014 until we are told otherwise.

What if I have not completed all my requirements before the end of August 2014? Can I use courses offered from September 2014 and later?

There is no easy answer to this question. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the decision rests with the CIA. A general rule of thumb is to satisfy the more restrictive set of requirements (before and after September 2014). Please contact the CIA for guidance on any particular situation.

Claiming the CIA exemptions and professional recognition

How do I claim my CIA exemption now that I've earned it?

In order to receive your exemptions, you need to apply directly through the CIA. You can find all the necessary information about the program, fees and application forms on the CIA website. You will need to provide a copy of your official University of Waterloo transcript, which you can order through the Registrar's Office. Please know it can take up to two weeks to get a transcript and if you need it mailed out to you, it will cost extra.

You should also know that all exemptions must be approved by the Eligibility and Education Council (EEC) within the CIA. This group meets approximately every two months, so it takes some time to hear back from them about your exemption, just be patient. If you have any other questions about the process of claiming the exemptions please forward them to the CIA, as the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science is not handling the granting of individual students' exemptions.

Will the CAS recognize the exemptions?

Yes the CAS will accept them towards FCAS, they will expect P and the VEEs still. They are planning to try this for 3 years and then review how it’s been going. Credits earned in those three years however, won’t expire.

How do I claim CAS exam exemptions with the CIA exemptions that I’ve received?

After the CIA has approved someone for an exam exemption they forward the person’s information on to CAS, so that they are aware of it. When applying to CAS include a copy of the letter given to you by the CIA when you received confirmation of your exemption.

Will the SOA recognize the exemptions?

At this time the SOA has decided not to recognize the CIA accreditation program. As such, exam exemptions granted by the CIA will not be recognized toward the ASA/FSA designation of the SOA.

How will we claim our VEEs now? If the SOA requires two exams, and we only need one to be exempt from them how will that work?

The CIA has requested that the SOA accept an exemption as the second exam at least for the purposes of the VEEs. CAS has said yes to the exemptions, so it shouldn’t be an issue for them. The plan is that you would require the P exam and one exemption.

SOA VEE exemptions

I got a mark less than 70% on a course required for VEE credit. What can I do?

  • For the Economics VEE, you need a 70% in ECON 101 and a 70% in ECON 102.
  • For the Corporate Finance VEE, you need a 70% in ACTSC 372 or 70% in both ACTSC 291/AFM 272 and ACTSC 391/AFM 372.
  • For Applied Statistical Methods VEE, you need a 70% in both STAT 331/361 and STAT 929, or 70% in both STAT 371 and STAT 443, or a 70% in STAT 331/361 and STAT 443.
  • If you fail to receive a 70% in any of the courses in these three areas your best option is to either take another grouping of courses to get the credit or write the online VEE exam for that component.

For more information on VEE credits, visit ASA page on SOA website.

How do I claim the VEE credits?

To claim the VEEs you will need an official University of Waterloo transcript and will need to fill out the forms required on the applying for VEE credit page on SOA website.

Graduate program accreditation

For new and old grades please review the CIA accreditation website.

Can I use a 400-level course for one and an 800-level course for the other to claim accreditation? Such as ACTSC 445 and ACTSC 846?

Yes you can. As long as you meet the minimum grade it doesn’t matter if one or all are 800 level.