What new credentials are being offered for professionals in Catastrophe Risk Management?
The Certified Specialist in Catastrophe Risk (CSCR) and Certified Catastrophe Risk Management Professional (CCRMP) are new professional credentials in the field of catastrophe risk with application to insurance and risk management. These credentials are designed to recognize the knowledge, practical applications and ongoing proficiency of professionals in this field. The CSCR credential is the base level and the CCRMP credential is the advanced level.
Who has developed these new credentials in Catastrophe Risk Management?
These credentials have been developed and are offered through a partnership of the International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ISCM) and The CAS Institute, (iCAS). ISCM has provided the leading experts in the field of catastrophe risk and iCAS has provided the expertise to bring professional credentials to the marketplace.
Why were these new credentials developed?
These credentials were developed to meet an industry need by employers and business executives to access qualified talent who meet industry standards of knowledge, expertise and skill to understand and apply the highly specialized tools used to manage catastrophe risks. The specialists and experts who obtain these credentials are required to maintain and advance their knowledge in the field through continuing education programs and professional development in order to use these credentials. These credential holders are also held to ethical standards apropos for professionals being relied upon by business decision makers. These credentials are awarded based on satisfying knowledge and competency standards accepted in the industry.
Who is The International Society of Catastrophe Managers?
The International Society of Catastrophe Managers (ISCM) is a professional association that promotes catastrophe management professionalism within the insurance industry. The ISCM is a global organization with members in over 25 countries and provides forums for exchange of ideas, understanding current catastrophe management issues, and networking among catastrophe managers. More information about ISCM can be found on the website, www.catmanagers.org
Who is The CAS Institute?
The CAS Institute, (iCAS) was formed in 2015 as a subsidiary of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) that provides credentials and professional education needed by specialists in fields where specific quantitative skills are needed to meet industry and public needs. For more information about iCAS follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn or sign up to receive iCAS communications to stay informed with updates about specialty credentials offered. www.TheCASInstitute.org
Who can join The CAS Institute and ISCM? Why should I join?
Both ISCM and iCAS have open memberships, so anyone can join either or both organizations. You do not have to hold a credential to join. ISCM provides various benefits to its members globally, including educational, social and networking, and industry relations. The CAS Institute offers membership worldwide to those who have interests in any of the areas of specialty offered through iCAS, including both Predictive Analytics and Data Science and Catastrophe Risk Management.
Those who are awarded either of the new catastrophe risk credentials pay a $350 credential fee that includes membership in both organizations. These memberships provide an opportunity to be a part of a professional community with others in their industry. In the area of catastrophe risk, ISCM and iCAS have partnered to provide professional activities, forums and other opportunities to enhance their members’ network and provide enhanced access to current industry developments. Members are encouraged to volunteer to promote the further developments within the practice community as well as help in the advancements most relevant to catastrophe risk management practitioners.
Whom can I contact for additional information on Catastrophe Risk credentials?
More information about the catastrophe risk management credentials can be found at CatRiskCredentials.org. If you have further questions or need additional information, please email us at CatCredentials@catmanagers.org or reach us by phone at +1 (703) 678-2679 Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm (U.S. Eastern Time).
Does iCAS or ISCM offer other specialty credentials?
iCAS does offer other specialty credentials designed for professionals around the world seeking recognition through a credential in specialized quantitative practice areas, for example in predictive analytics and data science. While iCAS is affiliated with the CAS, an actuarial organization, it is structured to provide professional credentials and offer membership to many other professionals beyond actuaries.
ISCM does not offer other credentials. ISCM has partnered with iCAS to help meet its educational goals, which are part of its mission to serve the catastrophe risk management industry.
How does credentialing process work?
The credentialing program follows a process similar to those used by other respected, well-recognized credentialing bodies, including the Casualty Actuarial Society and The Institutes (formerly the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters). Candidates for credentials in catastrophe risk will study relevant technical material, based on a rigorous course of study that meets specified learning objectives in the subject matter area of catastrophe risk. Knowledge and competency assessments are generally required to earn the credentials, based on a series of comprehensive examinations.
In order to recognize those who are already experienced and highly competent in the catastrophe risk field, the catastrophe risk credentials can also be awarded to those with deep experience in the field, particularly those who have extensive industry experience, relevant academic degrees, published professional technical papers, and/or have other clear evidence of practical specialized knowledge and experience in the field.
Currently, earning the offered credentials via exams requires four exams for the CSCR credential and two additional exams for the CCRMP credential. Additional information on the credentialing process and curriculum can be found at CatRiskCredentials.org.
How does iCAS and ISCM ensure the quality of these specialty credentials?
These credentials are designed based on the integrity and relevance of recognized, high-quality educational standards for a specialty credentialing program. The curriculum and assessment processes operate in a manner similar to the rigorous processes used by other industry experts, based on well-established global guidelines for professionals.
The catastrophe risk credentials offered are overseen by expert panels comprised of industry specialists and thought leaders in their field. Each panel is responsible for creating the curriculum, setting the competency levels, directing the selection and development of educational materials, overseeing high-quality examination and scoring and establishing eligibility requirements for every person earning a credential. There is not a single company or small group of experts that control the process or the criteria. The process and criteria are vetted and reviewed by leaders across the industry.
ISCM and iCAS utilize The Institutes (formerly the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters) to ensure that the credentialing process meets the highest standards of excellence in professional education. The Institutes provides state-of-the-art methods for delivering professional education and competency assessment (exams) for these specialty credential candidates. However, the educational content and degree of rigor for the catastrophe risk credentials is controlled by the ISCM/iCAS panel of experts.
How do these catastrophe risk credentials apply globally versus specific regional needs, for example in the United States or North America?
These credentials are designed to apply globally to those using catastrophe models and to catastrophe risk managers located in various regions throughout the world. The educational material encompasses modeling principles and risk management techniques which can be applied to the variety of catastrophe perils that exist throughout the world. For the first release of the study materials and examinations, some of the content for the first two exams refers to specific policy forms and claims handling practices as used in the U.S. and other parts of North America. However, the learning objectives for the exams, and the underlying principles, are designed to be applicable to all regions around the world. We are planning on developing alternative materials for the first two exams that will be more appropriate for those operating in international markets.
What value do these catastrophe risk credentials provide to candidates?
In any quantitative practice areas dealing with complex problems, there is a need to trust the knowledge and expertise of a professional when business executives need to make decisions that rely on understanding such professionals. The specialty credentials provide the professional with a level of recognition and evidence of their expertise and specialized knowledge. A professional who holds a specialty credential understands that they are being depended upon for their expert advice and counsel with respect to their specialized subject area.
How can an Experienced Industry Professional obtain the CCRMP credential? Can someone with sufficient experience obtain the CSCR credential? If so, when should we expect that?
Currently, an Experienced Industry Professional (EIP) can be nominated for the CCRMP credential. Once nominated, the individual will need to complete an application that provides further details about their background, expertise and experience in the catastrophe risk management field. The EIP application will be evaluated by a panel of experts who will recommend if the CCRMP credential should be awarded or if other assessments would be required in order to be awarded the CCRMP credential.
For the CSCR credential, an alternative process to recognize industry experience and other professional achievements is under consideration. However, no decision has been made about offering an alternative to the examination process to earn the CSCR credential.
Will credit be given for some CSCR exams based for those with other professional credentials or designations such as ARe, CPCU, FCAS, or ACAS? Will there be any credit given towards some of the CSCR exams for those who have other credentials or who have passed other industry exams?
A process is under consideration for the CSCR credential to waive certain exams based for individuals who have existing credentials, or who have passed other exams. For example, CPCU and ARe designations, or successful completion of CAS Online 1 and 2, and iCAS PC1 course. However, these alternatives may not be quite sufficient to waive the first exam for CSCR. Other requirements are being considered. Any decisions will be announced on our website, www.catriskcredentials.org
Are there any prerequisites for being awarded the Certified Specialist in Catastrophe Risk?
There is no prerequisite for taking the CSCR exams, but there will be a time on-the-job requirement with relevant experience before being awarded the credential. Membership in the ISCM and iCAS is also required to be awarded and to continue to be recognized as a credential holder.
Do you have to earn the CSCR credential before you can start the process to earn the CRCMP?
Yes. The CSCR will be required before advancing to earn the CRCMP. However, the CRCMP exams, when offered, will be available to those who are dual members in good standing of both ISCM and iCAS.
Do you have additional information in how long it will take to complete the requirements for CRCMP? Is there some guideline that would be very useful.
We anticipate achieving the CRCMP credential through the examination process will take 1-2 years after achieving the CSCR credential. There will also be an additional time on-the-job requirement with relevant experience.
What is the cost of these exams/courses?
Current pricing is $846 per examination. This pricing does not include the cost of purchasing study materials. There is a reduced fee for an exam re-take within an allotted time period.
What if I am already a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), IFoA or another non-US body, or have a qualification from a non-US body, such as ACII?
We have not yet determined the equivalencies between the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) qualifications and the CPCU. That process will begin later this year. Holders of an FCIA from the IFoA who have completed the General Insurance track will have the same requirements as those who have completed the CPCU, CAS Online 1 and 2, or the iCAS PC1 course. The requirements for such equivalencies are currently under review.
How much will dual membership of iCAS and ISCM cost?
Dual membership dues are $350 annually. Current iCAS members will have dues of an additional $100 per year for dual membership. Current ISCM members will pay additional dues for dual membership based ISCM dues paid or other credits provided by ISCM.
When will additional testing windows be opened for the first exam?
Each exam will be available during four two-month long testing windows each year. The windows run Jan. 15 – March 15, April 15 – June 15, July15 –Sept 15, and Oct. 15 – Dec. 15.
Will you be incorporating any technical data skills, such as SQL, R or Python, etc.?
While these technical data skills are often employed in the managing data within cat risk management process, the credentials will not test on these technical areas. However, many catastrophe risk practitioners have the basic skills in using these tools. The CAS Institute periodically offer continuing education opportunities that cover some of these skills.
Will you be sharing your roadmap for future enhancements and plans?
Yes. The website catriskcredentials.org will be the primary resource for sharing this information. In addition, you may register to receive the iCAS monthly newsletter. Sign up at the bottom of the home page at TheCASInstitute.org
Do you have the pass scores determined for the exams? For example, will an 80% be considered a pass?
While we have not (yet) determined a definitive passing grade for these exams, in general, 80% would be a passing grade but 80% is not intended to be a minimum grade.
What are the continuing education requirements?
There will be continuing education (CE) requirements in order for someone to continue to maintain and use the credentials. However, the specific CE requirements have not yet been determined. ISCM and iCAS will offer continuing education opportunities intended to meet CE requirements.
Are there prep materials provided for each exam? Book, online content, etc.? Will there be prep materials for Exam 1 and for the other exams as well?
A syllabus with learning objectives will be provided for each exam. In some cases, a combination of outside resources will be needed. Some material can be obtained for free via internet download while other materials may be available for purchase in book form or possibly in a study packet available at a later date.
Will exams 2-4 be administered by Prometric as well?
Our current plans are to have The Institutes administer all the examinations for the CSCR through Prometric, which has testing sites around the world. If a Prometric testing site is not available in your region, The CAS Institute will work with you to find an alternate location where you can take the exam.
Are vendor cat modeling certifications (such as CCRA or CCM) being considered as part of the waiver process?
While there are elements in the material contained in those certifications that overlap CSCR learning objectives, at this time those materials are not considered sufficient to meet the CSCR requirements. In general, the CSCR is based on different objectives for educational and technical qualifications than the vendor cat modeling certifications.