Insurance actuaries have taken a major step toward becoming a truly global profession with the signing of three international agreements.

The documents will ensure members of the Faculty of Actuaries and the Institute of Actuaries in the UK will have their qualifications recognised by their sister bodies in the USA, Canada and Australia and vice versa.

Paul Thornton, president of the Institute of Actuaries, said the agreement puts the actuarial profession ahead of larger professions such as lawyers and accountants in terms of having their qualifications recognised worldwide.

Norman Crowder, president of the Society of Actuaries in the US, said: "I am delighted to sign this agreement establishing mutual recognition for more than 75% of the world's actuaries."