In May of 2014 the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries opened registration for the new Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification. This is big news for the actuarial industry as it offers a route to an actuarial qualification other than the Fellowship. The CAA qualification is suitable for those working in technical roles alongside actuaries in departments such as pricing, data analysis and marketing. The main function of this qualification is to provide professional certification for those providing support to actuarial teams. Is this a good idea though? There have been some mixed reviews so far. In the current market we have seen an increased number of employers looking to fill junior pricing roles with non-actuarial staff. This is seen as more cost effective way of filling these roles. However, the current decrease in investment in junior actuarial roles will cause further strain on demand of qualified actuaries in the future and this is already apparent in the availability of qualified non-life actuaries in particular. The CAA is an alternative route to a professional actuarial qualification for those who do not want complete Fellowship exams. The process takes two to three years to complete and consists of an entry exam, 5 modules and an online professional awareness test. Exemptions are also available for those who have taken 3rd level actuarial studies. The CAA will recognize the level of those working in actuarial support roles enabling employers to put in appropriate reward structures and career paths for these individuals. The CAA is different from Diploma in Actuarial Techniques (DAT) certificate, which is awarded after passing CT1-9. The DAT certificate is seen as a stepping stone towards full actuarial qualification whereas the CAA is seen as a complete qualification in its own right. Time will tell how the job market will react to this new qualification. If you have any opinions on this, do email them to me at jacqui.vanteutem@raretec.ie