Free CPD

In this thread, I’ll accumulate sources of free CPD, with a focus on trying to find free Organized/Structured CPD.

The Actuaries’ Club of Boston/Actuarial Club of Hartford/Springfield are hosting free sessions these next couple weeks (Week 1 is over alas)

Week 2
Monday, November 9: (Life/Annuities) Introduction to Product Taxation for Life Insurance and Annuities
Tuesday, November 10: (General) Panel Discussion with IABA and OLA
Wednesday, November 11: (Life/LTC) Hybrid Life and Long-Term Care Market Issues and Opportunities
Thursday, November 12: (General) An Overview of R Markdown
Friday, November 13: (General) Professionalism

Week 3
Monday, November 16: (Pension/EA) Panel Discussion: Recent Developments in Pension Risk Mitigation
Tuesday, November 17: (Life/Annuities) Product Development and Pricing Considerations in 2020
Wednesday, November 18: (Health) Supplemental Health Insurance Products 101
Thursday, November 19: (General) Panel Discussion: Agile for Actuaries

Just email them to get the Zoom link:

The sessions are 11am-noon ET.

I’ve gotten >3 credits so far in this series.

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But how will I know that I have developed professionally if I haven’t had to fork out $650/year + $150/credit hour like I do with the SOA?

Seriously, the ACB/ACHS CPD opportunities this year (they also had some in July & August) have been amazing. They’ve really gone above and beyond to provide CPD & networking opportunities to the community during these interesting times. But it really makes the SOA/AAA offerings look abysmal (and that’s putting it kindly) in comparison.

I hope ACB & ACHS continue with the online webinars once things return to normal – while there’s value to the in-person Spring/Fall meetings, there’s a lot to be said for not cramming it all into one long day and not having to choose between competing concurrent sessions.

In the Before Times™, I had no issue with their day-long meetings, mainly because I was working only a few blocks from the convention center in Hartford.

Having been a person on SOA webcasts, I will not comment about their quality.

Let me know when there’s free CBD

I wasn’t commenting so much on the quality of SOA/AAA webinars (which varies quite a bit) as on the cost-benefit calculus. CPD is probably the most tangible benefit provided by the SOA, but membership only entitles you to pay a slightly-less-egregious price for CPD. (I would argue that most services provided by the SOA/AAA benefit the employers/industry far more than individual actuaries. Which is fine when employers pay for dues, but there seems to have been a distinct trend away from that.)

But then I’m a former academic. I used to give talks for free, just content to have a captive audience to inflict my nonsense upon.

[Edit: Not to imply the speakers are profiting off this. But if you have volunteer organizers gathering volunteer speakers then the only significant cost is the infrastructure, and how much does that really cost spread over the entire membership?]

I can share some of the info on who profits from the SOA webcasts (don’t know about AAA): basically, the SOA. Many of the webcasts are sponsored by sections, and they get a cut of the take… but only when the webcast is live. All sales of recordings go to the SOA. SOA members who volunteer don’t get paid for speaking.

That said, a lot of the recordings are free to SOA members: all the recordings from the major meetings are free to SOA members (you have to “buy” them, but it’s free) and if you’re a section member, you have free access to their webcast recordings a year after they were done. These don’t count as “organized” sessions as they’re recordings, not live. Still, they’re free to members.

For AAA members, many(most?) of their webcast recordings are free. All their professionalism webcast recordings are free – that’s how I get almost all my professionalism credits, other than reading ASOPs.

That’s what I expected. It’s the degree of profiteering by the SOA/AAA on organized credits that really irks me. (Might as well call organized credits “indulgences”. Members are paying to comply with a CPD requirement; the SOA is selling a de facto solution. As long as the credit sticks, how concerned is either side about the quality?)

That’s relatively new, though, isn’t it? The AAA’s been doing that for years, but until recently (last year or so?) I thought the SOA was still charging an arm and a leg for recordings. (And it doesn’t really help to counter the argument that what they’re really selling is a way to comply with the organized credit requirement.)

Hmm. I should probably change my sig to just say “Feel free to ignore me, I’m just a cynical bastard.”

The SOA has been doing it for a few years now, but they haven’t been promoting the free stuff (I have, though).

October 2017:

In that post, I mentioned that SOA had been providing them for free for some years at that point. Unfortunately, my prior items on that free CPD was at the dead Outpost. So I forget how long it had been going on.

Are SOA podcasts “countable” as CPD? I’m short 30 minutes but haven’t counted any of the podcasts I’ve listened to. Or I could watch another AAA professionalism recording…

I use SOA Podcasts for CPD all the time, but that’s for the non-structured/-organized stuff.

If you ask whether it counts for structured/organized CPD, I think the answer is no. But you’d have to ask the SOA folks.

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Most of my CPD is structured this year so that works for me.

This is what I dug up late in the year to fill some holes:

free recordings of the health seminar. so like 20 hours of recorded webinars.

Would it be a stretch to call these ‘organized activities’, or do you need to be there live?

You’re supposed to be there live, but maybe we can beg for a pandemic exception for this (and maybe next) year.

That’s what I thought.

I actually got out to some local in person seminars early in the year pre-covid, so I really only need like 1 hour to finish the year…

I was doing so good, knocking out requirements in feb!

The Academy made a new website just on professionalism

There are links to Up to Code (monthly feature in Contingencies):

And Professionalism Counts (monthly feature in Actuarial Update):

You can get professionalism credits (albeit not structured/organized) from reading these articles. It’s more fun than re-reading the ASOPs, reading ASOP comment letters, etc.

I did the CIA’s Professionalism on-line compulsory module this weekend. It wasn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be. Mebbe I’ll check out AAA’s link too!!! :+1: :angel:

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Just a reminder. I’m having to do a few more today to round out the year…


The Actuarial Club of Hartford/Springfield (SOA-associated) is having two weeks of lunchtime sessions on Zoom:

When: May 10-21, 2021. Sessions are 11am-12pm EDT except as noted.

Location: Zoom (email us for the meeting link and password)

Price: Free!

Current Schedule:

Week 1
Monday, May 10: (General) Actuarial Transformation: Trends & Insights across Data, Processes, Models, and People

Tuesday, May 11: (Life) Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Changes to IRS code Section 7702
Wednesday, May 12: (General/Professionalism) Emerging Professionalism Issues in 2021
Thursday, May 13: (Investments) Macro Economic & Market Update

Thursday, May 13, 4pm EDT: (General) Networking Session
Friday, May 14: (Health) The Role of Behavioral Health‐Now and in the Future

Week 2
Monday, May 17, 9am EDT: (General) Actuaries Working in International Landscape
Tuesday, May 18: (Health) Health Technology, Consumerism and the Explosion of Telehealth
Wednesday, May 19: (Pension) New Pension Relief under ARPA: Its Implications for Pension Plans
Thursday, May 20: (Life/Annuities) Mortality Differential by Socioeconomic Categories in the US
Friday, May 21: (Life/Annuities) Life Reinsurance 101 Panel Discussion

Email: to get an invite – it’s free!


For those who really need it:

there is a Professionalism session on May 12 – so this may be a useful professionalism credit for any U.S. actuaries (and maybe even non-U.S. actuaries)