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  #1  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:59 PM
almost_there almost_there is offline
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Default IFoA and Acted - their relationship

IFoA and Acted's relationship is often misunderstood. Many students mistakenly think they are completely independent entities.

The IFoA own Institute and Faculty Education Ltd (IFE Ltd) who has a "significant influence or control" over Acted, as is registered on Companies House:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/c...ficant-control
This information was only updated last week. It should have been disclosed since 6th April 2016.

Acted's website explains some details of their relationship with IFoA:
https://acted.co.uk/about_acted.html
"The IFoA, through IFE, set ActEd’s prices each year. "

IFoA's website doesn't currently explain the details of their relationship. The IFoA's webpage from 2008 did and it said the following:

ActEd and the Profession
Actuaries | Students | Tuition | ActEd and the Profession
The article below is adapted from an article published in 'The Actuary' in September 1995 explaining the tuition arrangements for the profession. It is presented here to help people understand the relationships between the profession, Institute and Faculty Education (IFE), Office of Tuition Monitoring (OTM) and the Actuarial Education Company (ActEd).

In 1995 the Institute and Faculty merged their tuition services with those provided by Hazell Carr Training Limited. After legal consultation, this was done through a joint company approach. The Institute and Faculty are joint shareholders in a company called Institute and Faculty Education Ltd (IFE).

IFE is responsible for ensuring that actuarial student tuition is available. It does this through a management agreement with with a second company, the Actuarial Education Company Ltd (ActEd). ActEd is a subsidiary of BPP Actuarial Services, which is a member of the BPP Group, a publicly listed company supplying education services. The profession has a golden share in ActEd.

IFE has three main functions:

Setting prices;
Monitoring the quality of tuition;
Ownership of the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the tuition material.
The first two functions are in place so that the profession retains control in the situation of a single provider. The third function means that the supply of tuition is guaranteed.

ActEd offers a full range of tuition opportunities for students, including correspondence courses, mock examinations and face-to face tutorials. This is done directly from their office in Abingdon. Students deal with "ActEd on behalf of IFE", but all money is payable to IFE. Price controls are effected through a series of formulae to guide annual price setting at meetings between IFE and ActEd. The profession has a financial share in the profits of ActEd which are passed on to students through reduced prices. The overall position on VAT for the profession has been carefully examined, and it is necessary for IFE to charge VAT on marking services and tutorials.

The profession also has responsibility for ensuring that the quality of tuition is appropriate. For this purpose it has set up another function called the Office of Tuition Monitoring (OTM). This is led by Trevor Watkins (Head of Learning), supported by staff actuaries employed by the profession. The staff actuaries carry out a number of activities for the profession, including education development, CPD, research co-ordination, international education, some committee work, and examination support, as well as quality monitoring of tuition through OTM. Visits are made to classes, marked scripts are scrutinised, and satisfaction surveys of students are analysed. The tuition material is also reviewed.

A report on ActEd is given to IFE annually, or on other occasions if IFE requests special features to be examined.

The courses provided by ActEd contain the syllabus, core reading and tuition material to help students understand the core. OTM looks at the integration of core reading and tuition material in these courses. It is possible for any other potential tuition provider in the future to purchase core reading and to be subject to OTM quality control.

Although prices are agreed worldwide for tuition, special consideration has been given to university students on full-time degrees and diploma courses. Students in developing countries have special arrangements for tuition.

The profession entered this arrangement with the intention that it should last for a long time. Students' and employers' comments are always welcome.


Page updated: 4 August 2008

Last edited by almost_there; 01-01-2019 at 07:11 PM..
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2019, 03:35 AM
almost_there almost_there is offline
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One can peruse IFE Ltd's filings at companies house here.

This company does not accumulate any surplus. It receives students' fees for Acted services then Acted charges IFE Ltd for this entire amount. We cannot see therefore how IFE Ltd "share profits" with Acted from this arrangement but it is known there are 'license fees', presumably these are payable to IFoA but not through IFE Ltd? see this article from 2006.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:49 AM
ishamael ishamael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almost_there View Post
In 1995 the Institute and Faculty merged their tuition services with those provided by Hazell Carr Training Limited.
This brings to mind the historical background an, erm…. very experienced actuary once told me about this merger.

From what he told me, in the past, the Institute used to run their own tuition services for the exams but the quality was absolutely horrible.

Someone spotted this gap in the market and started Hazell Carr to run their own tuition service. The quality they provided was so much better and they won a lot of market share from the "official" tuition service.

In order to regain market share, a move made by the IOA back then to give their own tuition service a "competitive advantage" was to have one question on the actual IOA exam, happen to "coincide" with one of the questions in the study materials provided in their tuition services.

However in spite of this "advantage" their tuition services were sufficiently bad that students still stayed away from them.

In the end, the IOA admitted how bad they were and regained their market leading position by buying out Hazell Carr's tuition services.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:12 AM
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Marcie Marcie is offline
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OP, would you mind explaining, in clear English (or Welsh, if you prefer), the point you are trying to make with this thread?

Also, what is your goal with your collection of complaints against the IFoA? What's the end state you're going for here?
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2019, 09:45 AM
almost_there almost_there is offline
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Not interested in Marcie's dog-whistle group bullying/trolling.

Thanks ishamael that's interesting, wasn't aware of the IoA exam question incident.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almost_there View Post
Not interested in Marcie's dog-whistle group bullying/trolling.

Thanks ishamael that's interesting, wasn't aware of the IoA exam question incident.
I have no idea what the bold is supposed to mean or how it applies to me. You're the "whistle-blower" here. If you don't want the dogs, don't blow the whistle.

But really, it's an honest question: What point do you think you're making by pointing out this corporate relationship, and the monopoly that IFoA apparently has on everything actuarial education in the UK? And more generally, what do you hope to accomplish with your crusade?

It's not really clear to me, and you don't seem willing to engage in discussion to better explain your position. That's your choice, of course, but if you don't make your point clearly enough, don't expect anyone to be persuaded, and don't be surprised when your arguments fall on deaf ears.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:00 AM
almost_there almost_there is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcie View Post
It's not really clear to me
Nothing is. Not my problem.
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almost_there View Post
Nothing is. Not my problem.
Oh, trust me, some things are very clear to me. Your point is simply not one of them.

For example, it's very clear that you have a big beef with IFoA for some reason, that you want the rest of us to care as deeply as you about this perceived injustice, and that you are absolutely awful at attempting to communicate whatever your point might be or why we should care.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:15 AM
Hedges Hedges is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ishamael View Post
This brings to mind the historical background an, erm…. very experienced actuary once told me about this merger.

From what he told me, in the past, the Institute used to run their own tuition services for the exams but the quality was absolutely horrible.

Someone spotted this gap in the market and started Hazell Carr to run their own tuition service. The quality they provided was so much better and they won a lot of market share from the "official" tuition service.

In order to regain market share, a move made by the IOA back then to give their own tuition service a "competitive advantage" was to have one question on the actual IOA exam, happen to "coincide" with one of the questions in the study materials provided in their tuition services.

However in spite of this "advantage" their tuition services were sufficiently bad that students still stayed away from them.

In the end, the IOA admitted how bad they were and regained their market leading position by buying out Hazell Carr's tuition services.
Just came across this post....As someone who had exposure to both the Institute's education service and Hazell Carr, what you say is pretty much in line with what I, an ...erm experienced actuary, experienced. Hazell Carr were orders of magnitude better and the "buying out" was really almost everyone from Hazell Car staying and almost everyone from the Institute's own service leaving - at least that's what I heard at the time.

I've never heard the "one question in the exam" competitive advantage story and frankly I don't believe it. Apart from anything else, I highly doubt the Institute's education service would have had the ability to organise anything as advanced as that.

At the time that Hazell Carr had just started, the first guy in our company to use them, wrote off with a list of errata he had found in their notes. HC sent him back 12 bottles of champagne as a thank you. I think everyone our company switched to HC after that.

I know some people complained that HC was "spoonfeeding" but I really think it resulted in better educated actuaries.
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2019, 12:25 PM
actuary_truther actuary_truther is offline
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Their relationship is exposed even more in the recent Judgment:
https://imgur.com/a/KoSLKRP
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