About the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline

The Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline (“ABCD”) was established by the U.S. actuarial organizations and is housed within the structure of the American Academy of Actuaries to strengthen members’ adherence to the recognized standards of ethical and professional conduct. The board has two primary functions: It responds to actuaries’ request for guidance on professionalism issues and it considers complaints about possible violations of the actuarial Code of Professional Conduct.

  • Has nine members who are broadly representative of all areas of actuarial practice
    • The Academy Bylaws require that the members of the ABCD must be broadly representative of all areas of actuarial practice
    • A Chairperson and two Vice Chairpersons
    • Three-year term, maximum of two (2) consecutive terms
  • ABCD activities include:
    • Investigating complaints that allege material violations of the Code of Professional Conduct (including practice, qualifications, and conduct)
    • Counseling actuaries on good professional practice
    • Recommending discipline, when appropriate, to membership organizations (Membership organizations determine whether to impose discipline, using their own procedures)
  • ABCD members play an investigatory role, not an advocacy role, and do not serve or represent any individual interest group. 

Characteristics of Effective Members

  • Deliberative and Judicial Temperament
    • Deep understanding of:
      • Code of Professional Conduct.
      • Ethical obligations/challenges of practicing actuaries.
    • Integrity and objectivity
    • Ability to think through complex ethical issues
    • Collegial
    • Recognized stature in the profession

Member Selection Process

The members and the chairperson and vice chairpersons of the Actuarial Board for Counseling and Discipline are selected by the Selection Committee as required by Section 2 of Article X of the Bylaws of the American Academy of Actuaries. The Selection Committee consists of the presidents and presidents-elect of the American Academy of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and the Society of Actuaries. The president of the Academy chairs the Selection Committee. 

The process to be followed in selecting ABCD members consists of the following steps.

  • ABCD provides information to the Selection Committee regarding new members:
  • Names of members whose second term is expiring or who otherwise will be ending their terms at the end of the current year.
  • Names of members whose first term is expiring and who should be considered for selection to a second term.
  • Description of the skills, expertise, and backgrounds desired in the new member(s) in order to complement the remaining members, taking into consideration the expected range of inquiries.
  • List of the ABCD’s recommended candidates to fill the vacancies for the coming year, in order of preference.
  • Selection Committee provides an opportunity for members of the participating organizations to recommend individuals for ABCD membership.
  • Selection Committee determines its proposed candidates for new member based on the needs of the ABCD and a number of considerations, including such factors as practice area, employer type, gender, ethnicity, and more.
  • Selection Committee chairperson contacts final candidates.

The process for selecting the chairperson and vice chairpersons consists of the following steps.

  • ABCD chairperson provides recommendation to Selection Committee for coming year’s chairperson and vice chairpersons from among current ABCD members.
  • Selection Committee confirms chairperson’s recommendations or contacts chairperson for alternatives.
    • No member will serve as ABCD chairperson or vice chairperson for more than two consecutive years.

Criteria for ABCD Membership

The most important objective of the selection process is to constitute the ABCD with experienced actuaries who are recognized for exhibiting a high degree of professionalism and judgment and who have demonstrated effective service to the profession. Another objective is that the members should represent all practice areas and a range of employment experiences, such as insurance companies, large consulting firms, small consulting firms, and government.

In order to accomplish these objectives, candidates for ABCD membership should be sought who have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism as well as effective leadership within and service to the profession. These qualities may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) having served in one or more of the following capacities.

  • Significant, high-level involvement in the profession, especially in a professionalism role.
  • Leadership at a major employer.
  • Significant contributions to the profession in an academic setting.
  • Other roles that involve a high degree of professionalism, leadership and contribution to the actuarial profession.