Policies and Procedures Related to CAA Affiliate Discipline

The SOA Center for Certified Actuarial Analysts (“SOA Center”) has established the following policy and procedures (“Policy”) for investigations of and/or disciplinary action involving potential violations of the SOA Center’s Code of Conduct for Affiliates (the “Affiliate Code”). The SOA Center reserves the right to amend this Policy as it deems necessary, provided that no substantive change will apply to any pending case. All CAA Affiliates of the SOA Center are subject to this Policy.

Under Principle 5.2 of the SOA Center’s Affiliate Code, every CAA Affiliate has, at all times, a duty to respond promptly, truthfully and fully to any request for information, and to cooperate fully with, the SOA Center in connection with any investigation or disciplinary proceeding under this Policy or the Affiliate Code.

  1. DEFINITIONS
  2. CAA Affiliate – A person who has completed the education pathway and has been awarded the Certified Actuarial Analyst (CAA) qualification by CAA Global and has been granted affiliation with the SOA Center.

    Affiliate Code – The SOA Center’s Code of Conduct for Affiliates.

    Committee – An ad hoc committee appointed under this policy to consider disciplinary action against the Subject Affiliate.

    Complainant – The party who files a Complaint with the SOA Center.

    Complaint – A written statement received by the SOA Center from an identifiable Complainant containing allegations that a CAA Affiliate has acted in a manner that may constitute a violation of the Affiliate Code.

    Information – Any other statements or materials received by the SOA Center (including published articles or publicly available information) containing allegations or reporting facts that a CAA Affiliate has acted in a manner that may constitute a violation of the Affiliate Code.

    Investigation – An inquiry by an Investigator appointed pursuant to Section II.

    Investigator – The individual, or individuals, appointed pursuant to Section II.

    SOA – The Society of Actuaries.

    SOA Center Rules – The Affiliate Code, and the policies, rules and regulations adopted by the SOA Center from time to time.

    Staff – SOA staff providing support and resources to the SOA Center.

    Subject Affiliate – A CAA Affiliate who is the subject of a Complaint, Information, Investigation and/or disciplinary proceeding hereunder.

    Tribunal – An ad hoc appellate tribunal appointed under this Policy to consider and render a final decision on the disciplinary determination and penalty imposed by a Committee against the Subject Affiliate.

  3. SCREENING OF COMPLAINTS AND/OR INFORMATION
    1. Receiving Complaints or Information
    2. The SOA Center will consider all Complaints and Information alleging or suggesting potential violations of the Affiliate Code.

      A Complainant who wishes to file a Complaint about a Subject Affiliate should submit a written statement that includes the following information:

      • The circumstances underlying the Complaint;
      • A description of each act and/or omission believed to constitute a violation of the Affiliate Code; and
      • Any supporting documentation that may assist the SOA Center in determining whether the Subject Affiliate has failed to comply with the Affiliate Code.

       

      As soon as reasonably possible, the SOA Center will notify the Subject Affiliate that it has received a Complaint or other Information about him/her and that the matter is being reviewed under this Policy. The SOA Center will provide a copy of the Complaint and/or Information to the Subject Affiliate.

      All information and documentation received pursuant to this Policy will be subject to the confidentiality provisions in Section V of this Policy.

    3. Preliminary Evaluation of Complaints or Information
    4. Staff will perform an initial review of the Complaint or Information to determine the nature of the possible Affiliate Code violation(s). Staff may follow up with the Complainant for further information or clarification, or with any other individual who may have knowledge of facts relevant to the matter. Staff may also ask the Subject Affiliate to respond to the Complaint or Information.

      • If the Complaint or Information, together with any further information gathered during the initial review, does not provide sufficient information to proceed, or if it appears that no material violation of the Affiliate Code has occurred, the matter will be dismissed. In notifying the Subject Affiliate of the dismissal, Staff may offer guidance1 as appropriate.
      • If the matter under consideration appears to involve a material violation of the Affiliate Code, the matter will be referred to an Investigator pursuant to Section II(C).

       

    5. Investigation
      1. Appointment of the Investigator
      2. If Staff determines that a matter under consideration should be investigated, the SOA Executive Director will appoint an Investigator to inquire into facts of the matter.

        Where, in the judgment of the SOA Executive Director and the Investigator, appointment of additional persons to assist in an Investigation would be appropriate, the SOA Executive Director may, in consultation with the primary Investigator, appoint one or more additional Investigators.

      3. Notice to the Subject Affiliate
      4. The Subject Affiliate will be notified in writing that the matter is being referred to an Investigator and of the identity of the Investigator.

        The Subject Affiliate may object to any person appointed as an Investigator on the basis of conflict of interest, bias or prejudice. Such an objection must be made in writing, clearly setting forth the basis for the objection, and must be received by the SOA Executive Director (A) within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of the person’s appointment as Investigator, or (B) if an appointed Investigator discloses a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice at a later date, within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of such disclosure.

        Objections to an appointed Investigator will be resolved by the SOA Executive Director. If, in the judgment of the SOA Executive Director, a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice would preclude the appointed Investigator from acting impartially and fairly, the person will be excused and the SOA Executive Director will appoint another Investigator in accordance with these procedures. The decision of the SOA Executive Director will be final.

      5. Investigating the Potential Violations of the Affiliate Code
      6. The Investigator will use reasonable efforts to establish the facts and circumstances concerning the potential violation(s) of the Affiliate Code. The Investigator may contact the Complainant (if any), the Subject Affiliate, as well as any other persons who may possess relevant information.

        In the course of an Investigation, the Investigator may require the Subject Affiliate to produce books, records, documents or other relevant items, subject to Section V. The failure by the Subject Affiliate to comply with such requests during an Investigation conducted pursuant to this Policy may lead to an inference and also constitute an independent violation of Principle 5.2 of the Affiliate Code, which may be included as part of the disciplinary proceeding.

        The Investigator may also seek professional opinions from subject matter experts on the potential violations of the Affiliate Code during the course of the Investigation, and any such opinions will be included in the Investigative Report.

        If the Investigator discovers evidence of other possible violations of the Affiliate Code by the Subject Affiliate other than what is set forth in the original Complaint/Information, the Investigator may expand the scope of the Investigation to inquire into the additional possible violations as if they had been originally included.

        The Investigator may obtain legal advice and counsel in connection with the conduct of the Investigation and the preparation of the Investigative Report.

      7. Investigative Report
      8. The Investigator will prepare an Investigative Report which will contain the following information relating to the violations in question:

        • Relevant facts and documents;
        • Summaries of statements of individuals interviewed;
        • Citations to the applicable Affiliate Code sections; and
        • Such other information, material, and opinions as the SOA Executive Director may request or the Investigator deems appropriate to assist the SOA Executive Director in determining whether to dismiss the matter or recommend referral of the matter to a Disciplinary Committee.

         

      9. Notice and Opportunity to Respond
      10. Staff will provide a copy of the Investigative Report to the Subject Affiliate. The Subject Affiliate will have an opportunity to respond within 28 days of the date the Investigative Report is delivered. The response should be in writing and should clearly set forth the basis for any objections to or disagreements with the contents of the Investigative Report:

        • A statement of any facts which, in the Subject Affiliate’s opinion, rebut or explain any adverse findings of the Investigator;
        • An explanation of why, in the Subject Affiliate’s opinion, any activities cited in the Investigative Report did not violate the Affiliate Code, or why such activities were irrelevant or immaterial;
        • A statement of any circumstances which the Subject Affiliate wishes the SOA Executive Director to consider when evaluating the Investigative Report; and
        • Copies of any relevant supporting documentary evidence which has not previously been submitted, subject to the provisions in Section V of this Policy.

         

      11. Action by the Executive Director
      12. The SOA Executive Director will review the Investigative Report and any materials submitted by the Subject Affiliate, and will determine whether to dismiss the matter, provide guidance to the Subject Affiliate, obtain additional information, or refer the matter to a Committee pursuant to Section III. If the SOA Executive Director determines that the matter should be dismissed, the SOA Executive Director may offer guidance as appropriate. If the matter is referred to a Committee, any statement and/or supporting documentary evidence provided by the Subject Affiliate in response to the Investigative Report will be provided to the Committee.

  4. DISCIPLINARY HEARING
    1. Appointment of a Committee
    2. If the Executive Director determines based on the Investigative Report and Subject Affiliate’s response that the Subject Affiliate may have committed a material violation of the Affiliate Code, then the matter will be referred to a Committee appointed by the SOA Executive Director.

      1. Discipline Committee Composition
      2. The Committee will be comprised of three persons, including one person designated as the Committee Chair. All members of the Committee are voting members. The Committee must contain at least two SOA members, either Associates or Fellows. All members of the Committee may be Staff, but may also include, or be comprised exclusively of, non-Staff SOA members in good standing.

      3. Objections to Discipline Committee Appointments
      4. The SOA Executive Director will strive to appoint a Committee that avoids undue bias in favor of, or prejudice against, the Subject Affiliate. The Committee should include individuals who have experience and perspective relevant to the issues raised or to the areas of practice of the Subject Affiliate, as well as individuals who provide a broader perspective. Persons asked to serve on the Committee will disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest, bias or prejudice existing at the time of the appointment or that arises or becomes known at any time before the matter is determined.

        The Subject Affiliate may object to any person appointed to the Committee on the basis of conflict of interest, bias or prejudice. Such an objection must be made in writing, clearly setting forth the basis for the objection, and must be received by the SOA Executive Director (A) within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of the person’s appointment to the Committee, or (B) if an appointed person discloses a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice at a later date, within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of such disclosure.

        Objections to the Committee appointments will be resolved by the SOA Executive Director. If, in the judgment of the SOA Executive Director, a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice would preclude the appointed person from acting impartially and fairly, the person will be excused from the Committee and the SOA Executive Director will appoint another person to the Committee.

    3. The Purpose and Scope of the Hearing
    4. The Committee will conduct a Disciplinary Hearing to determine if the Subject Affiliate committed a material violation of the Affiliate Code and, if so, to determine what (if any) disciplinary action is warranted.

      The Committee may rely on the Investigative Report to establish the underlying facts regarding the matters under consideration, but need not accept the findings or conclusions of the Investigator. The Committee will also take into account any response to the Investigative Report by the Subject Affiliate and any additional statements or information accepted by the Committee during the course of the hearing. Based on the record presented to the Committee and developed during the Disciplinary Hearing, the Committee will reach its own conclusions as to the material facts of the matter and whether the Subject Affiliate committed a material violation of the Affiliate Code. If the Committee determines the Investigative Report is incomplete, it may request additional information from the Investigator or the Subject Affiliate, subject to the provisions of Section V.

    5. Notice of the Disciplinary Hearing
    6. The Committee Chair will schedule a date, time, and place for the Disciplinary Hearing. Notice of the hearing will be sent to the Subject Affiliate (at the last known address of the Subject Affiliate as shown in the records of the SOA Center) at least thirty (30) days before the scheduled hearing date.

      The Notice of Hearing will include a statement of the disciplinary charges to be considered by the Committee, which may be satisfied by including a copy of the Investigative Report.

      The Committee Chair, in his or her discretion, may reschedule the date, time or place of the Disciplinary Hearing as necessary or appropriate to accommodate the Committee, or at the request of the Subject Affiliate for good cause shown.

    7. The Conduct of the Disciplinary Hearing
    8. The Subject Affiliate will have the right to present a defense to the disciplinary charges being considered by the Committee, including the right:

      • To submit, in advance of the Disciplinary Hearing, a written statement relating to the disciplinary charges or the Investigative Report.
      • To appear at the Disciplinary Hearing (at the expense of the Subject Affiliate) and to address the Committee in person. If the Subject Affiliate exercises the right to address the Committee, the Subject Affiliate is also required to answer questions that may be posed by members of the Committee.
      • To be represented by legal counsel at the expense of the Subject Affiliate. Legal counsel may provide advice and counsel to the Subject Affiliate relating to the Disciplinary Hearing procedures, the Subject Affiliate’s submissions or presentation to the Committee, and any questions posed by members of the Committee; legal counsel is not allowed to present the Subject Affiliate’s argument or to address or question the Committee directly, except at the discretion of the Committee Chair.

       

      The Committee Chair, in consultation with the legal counsel and based on the facts and circumstances of each case, will establish specific procedures for the fair and efficient conduct of the Disciplinary Hearing, including:

      • The length of the Disciplinary Hearing and the amount of time allotted for presentations or arguments;
      • The order in which specific charges, evidence or issues will be addressed;
      • Provisions for recording or transcribing the Disciplinary Hearing;
      • Setting the dates by which any pre-hearing or post-hearing statements or submissions from the Subject Affiliate must be received by the Committee, and any limitations on the number or length of the same.

       

      The Committee will not be required to consider any information or evidence proffered by the Subject Affiliate that was not presented to the Investigator during the Investigation, unless it is shown by the Subject Affiliate that such information or evidence is relevant and was not available at the time of the Investigation. 2

      The Committee Chair may ask the Investigator to attend the Disciplinary Hearing for the purpose of (i) answering any questions the members of the Committee may have to clarify the Investigative Report; or (ii) responding to arguments raised by the Subject Affiliate with respect to the Investigative Report. If the Investigator is unable to attend the Disciplinary Hearing, the Disciplinary Hearing will proceed based on the record as is.

    9. The Determination of the Committee
    10. After the close of the Disciplinary Hearing, the Committee will deliberate and make a determination on the disciplinary charges, and what discipline, if any, should be imposed. If the Committee determines that the Subject Affiliate did not commit a material violation of the Affiliate Code, the matter will be dismissed. If the Committee determines that the matter should be dismissed, the Committee may offer guidance as appropriate.

      If the Committee determines that the Subject Affiliate committed a material violation of the Affiliate Code, it may impose discipline. The Committee may impose discipline only by a vote of at least 2/3 of the Committee. The following types of discipline may be imposed:

      • Private Reprimand, with or without a monetary fine
      • Public Reprimand, with or without monetary fine
      • Suspension, with or without a monetary fine
      • Expulsion

       

      The Committee will render its decision and will notify the Subject Affiliate of its determination, in writing, as soon as reasonably practical, but no later than 60 days, after the close of the Disciplinary Hearing. If the Committee determines that discipline should be imposed, the Notice of Determination will advise the Subject Affiliate of the form of discipline and his/her right to appeal to an Appellate Tribunal. No discipline will be imposed until the Subject Affiliate’s right to appeal has expired and, if an appeal is filed, while the appeal is pending.

  5. APPEALS TRIBUNAL
    1. Notice of Appeal
    2. A Subject Affiliate upon whom discipline is to be imposed may appeal the disciplinary determination of the Committee to an Appellate Tribunal of the SOA Center. The Subject Affiliate’s notice of his/her intent to appeal must be provided in writing, and received by the SOA Executive Director within 14 days after the Committee’s Notice of Determination was sent to the Subject Affiliate.

    3. Appellate Tribunal Composition
    4. The SOA Executive Director will then appoint a Tribunal comprised of three persons, including one person designated as the Tribunal Chair. At least one member of the Tribunal must be (at the time of the appointment) a member of the SOA, either an Associate of five or more years, or a Fellow. All members of the Tribunal are voting members. All members of the Tribunal may be Staff, but may also include, or be comprised exclusively of, non-Staff SOA members in good standing. No persons who served on the Committee may serve on the Tribunal for the same matter.

      The SOA Executive Director will strive to appoint a Tribunal that avoids undue bias in favor of, or prejudice against, the Subject Affiliate. Persons asked to serve on the Tribunal will disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest, bias or prejudice existing at the time of the appointment or that arises or becomes known at any time before the matter is decided.

      The Subject Affiliate may object to any person appointed to the Tribunal on the basis of conflict of interest, bias or prejudice. Such an objection must be made in writing, clearly setting forth the basis for the objection, and must be filed with the SOA Executive Director (A) within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of the person’s appointment to the Tribunal, or (B) if an appointed person discloses a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice at a later date, within 14 days after the Subject Affiliate is notified of such disclosure.

      Objections to the Tribunal appointments will be resolved by the SOA Executive Director. If, in the judgment of the SOA Executive Director, a conflict of interest, bias or prejudice would preclude the appointed person from acting impartially and fairly, the person will be excused from the Tribunal and the SOA Executive Director will appoint another person to the Tribunal. The decisions of the SOA Executive Director are final.

    5. Decisions of the Tribunal on Appeal
    6. The Tribunal will not be required to consider any other information or evidence proffered by the Subject Affiliate that was not presented to or considered in connection with the Disciplinary Hearing, unless it is shown by the Subject Affiliate that such information or evidence is relevant and was not available at the time of the Disciplinary Hearing.

      The Tribunal may presume that the findings and conclusions of the Committee are correct. The Subject Affiliate may argue – and carries the burden of persuading the Tribunal – that the conclusions of the Committee are incorrect because the:

      • Determination was not supported by substantial evidence;
      • Committee did not interpret or weigh the evidence properly;
      • Committee improperly applied the principles of the Affiliate Code (or other SOA Center Rules) to the facts on the record; or
      • Discipline imposed by the Committee was not appropriate for the violations.

      There is no right to an in-person hearing before the Tribunal; appeals to the Tribunal will be in writing only. The Subject Affiliate may, within 28 days after receiving notice of the appointment of the Tribunal, submit a written statement of appeal.

      Members of the Tribunal will receive a complete record of the Disciplinary Hearing, including:

      • The Investigative Report;
      • Any written statements submitted to the Committee by the Subject Affiliate;
      • The transcript of the Disciplinary Hearing, if any; and
      • The Committee’s Notice of Determination.

       

      The Tribunal will review the record of the Disciplinary Hearing and the Subject Affiliate’s written statement of appeal, and will meet (in person or by teleconference) to decide the appeal. The Tribunal, by 2/3 vote, may affirm the discipline imposed by the Committee, reduce the discipline, or set aside and/or modify the determination of the Committee and set aside the discipline imposed by the Committee. The Tribunal may not increase the discipline imposed on the Subject Affiliate by the Committee. The Tribunal will notify the Subject Affiliate, in writing, as soon as reasonably practical after reaching its decision.

      All rights and privileges of membership are retained by the Subject Affiliate during the pendency of an appeal to the Tribunal. Once the Tribunal has notified the Subject Affiliate of its decision, any discipline to be imposed in accordance with the Tribunal’s decision will be carried out; the decision of the Tribunal is final.

  6. CONFIDENTIALITY
  7. Except as set forth herein, the disciplinary proceedings of the SOA Center are considered confidential and the SOA Center and SOA will make reasonable efforts to keep confidential the facts and circumstances involved in any matter being considered and the fact that disciplinary proceedings against a Subject Affiliate have been initiated or conducted.

    If the Discipline Committee imposes a form of public discipline, such a determination may be publicized in accordance with the standard practice of the SOA Center.

    The SOA Center may disclose general information about the number or the nature of disciplinary proceedings that have been or are being conducted, provided that the names of Subject Affiliates and other individuals involved are not disclosed without their permission, and reasonable care is taken not to disclose information by which their identities can be readily deduced.

    Information about a Complaint, Investigation and/or disciplinary proceeding may be disclosed:

    • To the Complainant, but only as to whether the matter is ongoing or concluded. The findings of an Investigator (if any) and the determinations of the Committee and/or Tribunal (if any), will not be disclosed unless and until a final determination involving public discipline is publicized.
    • To CAA Global, as to the progress or outcome of the matter under consideration;
    • To persons participating in a proceeding or involved in conducting or facilitating them, such as court reporters, Staff, or consultants or legal representatives of the SOA Center or of the Subject Affiliate;
    • Pursuant to subpoena, court order or other legal process.

     

    Confidentiality Restrictions on Subject Affiliate

    The SOA Center recognizes that a Subject Affiliate or other person may be prohibited by law, preexisting contractual obligation, or other circumstances beyond the control of the Subject Affiliate or other person from producing evidence sought by or on behalf of the SOA Center. Where a Subject Affiliate or other person is so prohibited, the Subject Affiliate or other person must advise the SOA Center of the nature of the prohibition and provide the SOA Center with appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the prohibition does, in fact, apply to the evidence sought. The Subject Affiliate or other person must also make a good-faith effort to produce non-confidential portions of documents and other evidence sought by or on behalf of the SOA Center.


1 Providing guidance is not considered a disciplinary action under this Policy.

2 See Principle 5.2 of the Code.

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