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Here is the text from the Qualification Standards for Actuaries paper:
2.2.7 Relevant Continuing Education — Continuing education is “relevant” if: (1) it
broadens or deepens an actuary’s understanding of one or more aspects of the work an
actuary does; (2) the material expands an actuary’s knowledge of practice in related
disciplines that bear directly on an actuary’s work; or (3) it facilitates an actuary’s entry into
a new area of practice. Ultimately, it is an actuary’s responsibility to make a reasonable,
good-faith determination of what continuing education opportunities will enhance an
actuary’s ability to practice in a desired field.
Relevant continuing education includes not only technical topics in the actuary’s area of
practice, but also includes business and consulting skills topics and professionalism topics.
Examples of business and consulting skills topics include, but are not limited to, client
relationship management, presentation skills, communication skills, project management,
and personnel management
Yes, “job-relevant” is pretty broad, not sure I would include computer programming though. I suppose you could try but I wouldn’t put that to the test if I were being audited.
CAS exam study definitely counts, and I suppose CFA and CPCU would as well. If you’re studying to be a rabbi, well….
Self-study is a great way to get continuing ed. Studying ASOPs is common among actuaries who on Christmas realize that they are falling short of their 3 hours of professionalism and need to do something about it. Variance is also a common way people get credits by reading stuff. All you need is 6 hours of organized activities and you’re good.
In a previous job I was able to claim credit by participating in Actuarial Committee meetings. If you’re in P&C I recommend Pinnacle APEX webinars – they are free and contain some good actuarial info.