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What is the mission of the Credit Risk Certification program?
The mission of the Credit Risk Certification program designation is to acknowledge the individual recipient as the "Best in Class” for his or her exemplary commitment to the field and achievement in passing this challenging examination. Through industry experience and diligent study, the recipient is distinguished from non-certified peers. To retain the certification, the recipient will demonstrate continued industry commitment by completing 45 continuing education credits over three years. It is recommended that 15 credits be completed per year. These education and industry activities ensure that the recipient stays current and aware of credit risk trends and regulations.
What is the history of the CRC certification?
In 2002, in response to member inquiries, RMA initiated the creation of a professional certification program in order to create a designation which would recognize those excelling in the credit risk field. Based on RMA’s role as an industry leader, it was thought our organization would be best positioned to develop a credit risk credential.
How were the seven areas of expertise defined?
RMA created a Certification Steering Committee, composed of members from U.S. and Canadian regional, national, and community banks, whose first task was to describe a credit and lending position. This Job Task Analysis (JTA) was originally comprised of 100 tasks, divided into seven general topic areas. A psychometrician (one who assures the veracity of the data, analytical methods and test results) guided question development, approval, and the test-delivery process. Of foremost concern to the Steering Committee and authoring team was the development of an examination having the scope and content to assess the knowledge of a sufficiently skilled credit risk professional.
All scored questions are reviewed after every test window under the guidance of a psychometrician. All the examination case material is fictitious. Any similarity to existing institutions or individuals is coincidental.
How were the exam questions created?
All questions have been created by active professionals in commercial credit and lending, predominantly by those holding the CRC credential. Every year groups of CRC designees are called upon to volunteer their expertise, and under the guidance of a psychometrician, create new questions for pilot testing, and eventual inclusion on the CRC exam. All CRC designees are eligible to become item writers for the CRC exam.
Why is there a Continuing Education requirement?
The CRC program, like all professional certification designations, indicates a broad commitment to the profession, in this case, commercial credit and lending. An integral part of this commitment is staying current in your field. There is a broad variety of ways to maintain your credentials. For more information, please consult the document: Maintaining Your CRC Credential.
What are the Guiding Principles for Business Conduct?
The CRC, like all professional certification designations, indicates that each designee upholds a set of ethical standards for a profession, in this case, commercial credit and lending. RMA, in conjunction with our Steering Committee, has articulated a code of conduct for CRC designees. For more information, please review the Guiding Principles that can be found on the Am I Ready? page.
Who is eligible to take the examination?
Candidates applying for the Credit Risk Certification examination should be banking professionals with a minimum of three years (five years recommended) of credit risk experience.
How do I submit my application?
How do I track the progress of my application?
RMA will email the results of your application review. If you do not receive the letter within three weeks of your application date, contact RMA immediately, at 215-446-4013. It is your responsibility to ensure that the email and mailing information you provide on your application is accurate and that your system can accept email from RMA.
How will I know if my application is accepted?
RMA will process your application within 10–14 business days of receipt. Within three weeks of receiving your application, RMA will notify you of the results.
If you are accepted, you will receive information on accessing the Body of Knowledge study material and the Web-based sample test. You will also receive an Authorization to Test letter.
Will applications be accepted after the deadline?
Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline. If you miss an application deadline, you must wait until the application process begins for the next testing window. Refer to the application deadlines section.
What is the best way to prepare for the exam?
There are several recommended strategies:
The Steering Committee recommends 40 to 80 hours of examination study time. It is recommended that you review the sample questions. It will help familiarize you with the style and difficulty of questions on the actual examination. You will also be able to review rationales for the correct answers as well. Most importantly, you should review the Body of Knowledge, which will help refresh your credit risk fundamentals.
Are there recommended study strategies?
Are there additional test-taking tips?
On the evening before your exam day, prepare all the documentation you will need to take with you—your personal identification, Authorization to Test letter, and the Pearson-VUE confirmation letter with directions to the testing center. In addition:
How do I access the CRC Example Question Exams?
CRC Example Question Exams are provided to you so that you may be exposed to the types of questions and concepts that are part of the CRC Exam. It is not intended to be a complete inventory of all types and concepts, nor represent a mirror image of the CRC Exam itself. Recommended remediation is provided where necessary. When your application is approved, you will receive information on how to access the Web-based practice quiz.
Approved candidates may review the example questions at no charge. You will receive a confirmation with a username and password.
The example questions are administered through RMA University Online. Once assigned, you will receive an email with access instructions. The RMA University Online website is at https://rmau.org.
When you receive your acceptance letter, you will be provided with the web address for the example exam. You may practice with these questions as often as you wish.
Although the Web-based exam is not timed, be sure to allocate enough time to review the questions without interruption. Some candidates have taken up to two hours to review.
The example questions will expose you to the variety of question types which you may encounter on the actual exam. The example questions simulates the actual CRC questions and their difficulty; however, your results do not guarantee that you will pass or fail the actual exam.
What are the major examination topics?
The 120 scored examination questions will focus on the following seven topics:
Please note: Additional pilot items may appear in random locations throughout the exam. Pilot items are new items that are being field tested for future exams. Pilot items are NOT used to calculate an examinee’s score.
What is the Body of Knowledge?
RMA recommends review of the downloadable Body of Knowledge. This document contains the minimum material a sufficiently skilled candidate is expected to know to successfully pass the examination. It outlines the exam blueprint, including each of the seven topic areas. Each area in the Body of Knowledge highlights key topics, additional skill-enhancing resources, and detailed topic-related content. In addition, on-the-job experience and knowledge will be necessary to add depth to the Body of Knowledge material. Access to this document will be made available upon approval of your application. This process will be available to you in the password-protected portion of RMA’s Certification Website.
What is the glossary?
Upon acceptance of your application, instructions to access the glossary (RMA's Credit and Lending Dictionary) will be on your password-protected portion of RMA’s Certification Website.
Keep in mind, however, that this glossary, although thorough, is presented only as a guide. You will need on-the-job knowledge and industry experience to pass the Credit Risk Certification examination and prove yourself qualified for designation.
A significantly reduced version of the glossary will be available during the exam.
Is there a review course?
There is no review course specifically designed as preparation for the CRC exam. However, candidates should review all training materials relevant to the seven topic areas. As a refresher, the Risk Management Association offers the fundamentals exam free of charge to any individual registered for RMA's Credit Risk Certification. The fundamentals exam does NOT simulate the actual complexity of the CRC test questions. Instead, the fundamentals exam can be used as an additional study guide for the CRC body of knowledge, which is drawn from the Best Practices in eMentor.
In addition, we also offer any of our Lending Decision Process (LDP) series of courses to registered CRC candidates. Please follow the link below for descriptions of our LDP courses:
What is the Authorization-to-Test information?
The Authorization-to-Test (ATT) information is included in the document you use to contact the Pearson-VUE testing center to schedule your examination. This authorization allows you to choose a date and location for your CRC exam. Generally, Pearson Vue receives the authorization list approximately one month prior to the opening of a test window.
Where is the exam offered?
The exam is offered at Pearson Professional Centers (200 locations in the United States and the U.S. Territories and over 115 Pearson Authorized Testing Centers in Canada).
What are the examination testing windows?
Test windows are mid-March through mid-April and mid-October through mid-November each year.
When do I choose the date and test center for my examination?
Approximately one month before the examination window begins, you will be able to schedule your date and place online. Please refer to your Authorization-to-Test letter for specific dates. Your letter will also contain specific registration information.
To avoid disappointment, you are encouraged to contact Pearson-VUE as soon as possible after the opening of the registration period to obtain your first choice of testing centers and times.
What is the change policy?
A transfer fee will be assessed for cancellations, rescheduling, refunds, no-shows, and transfers.
Changes for cancellation (two-step process)
All cancellations or rescheduling of the exam must be made by noon (12:00 p.m. Central Standard Time) within two business days prior to the scheduled exam date by calling Pearson-VUE at 1-877-378-8378. For example, to cancel an exam scheduled for Friday, you must notify the exam administrator by noon (CST) on the Wednesday before the scheduled exam. Do not call the testing center and do not call RMA. A call to Pearson-VUE at 1-877-378-8378 is the only cancellation procedure that will be accepted. Any other point of contact is unacceptable and will result in forfeiture of the full examination fee. The candidate who does not follow this procedure has forfeited the exam date and all fees and must submit a new application with full application payment. (Note: Candidates from outside North America must cancel or reschedule seven calendar days in advance.)
The second step is to complete the CRC Cancellation Form by email or fax to RMA.
Changes for "no-shows”
If you miss your appointment, cancel too late, or arrive too late (less than 30 minutes before your scheduled exam appointment) you will be considered a no-show and will not be allowed to reschedule your exam within the current testing window. In addition, you will forfeit your entire examination fee. If you wish to take the examination during the next exam cycle, you must reapply and submit the new application with fee.
Changes for transferring examination dates to another testing window (two-step process)
Transfers are allowed once and must be completed at least two weeks before your scheduled exam date. If two weeks’ notice is not received, the request may be denied. The transfer is permitted only within the current testing window. Candidates must call Pearson-VUE at 1-877-378-8378 to cancel or reschedule.
Do not call the testing center and do not call RMA.
A call to Pearson-VUE is the only transfer procedure that will be accepted. Any other point of contact is unacceptable and will result in forfeiture of the full examination fee.
The candidate who does not follow this procedure has forfeited the exam date and all fees. A new application must be submitted with full application payment. (Note: Candidates from outside North America must cancel or reschedule seven calendar days in advance.)
The second step is to complete and submit the CRC Transfer Request Form by the transfer deadline. Refer to the fee schedule for the transfer fee that must be included with the request form. A transfer to other than the next testing window is considered rescheduling/canceling, not a transfer. Refer to the cancellation procedures.
How are special circumstances handled?
Requests for exam rescheduling due to special circumstances (i.e., medical emergencies, birth or death of an immediate family member) must be submitted in writing along with official medical documentation. Send this request to the Credit Risk Certification Specialist, 1801 Market Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA. RMA recommends you contact the Credit Risk Certification Specialist, at 800-677-7621 or 215-446-4013, as soon as the emergency is identified but no later than 72 hours after the scheduled examination date. The Certification Specialist will review all requests on an individual basis. All responses from RMA will be in writing sent through the U.S. mail. If approved, the deferral will be to the next testing window. If you do not take the exam in the approved testing window, you must begin the application process again by submitting a new application and the full fee.
How are the passing results determined?
The passing results for the Credit Risk Certification examination is determined by a criterion-referenced approach called the Angoff Modified Technique. This technique ensures defensibility for determining passing results and relies on the pooled judgments of the Steering Committee. RMA’s Certification Steering Committee reviewed each exam item to determine the probability that a sufficiently skilled candidate will answer the item correctly. The final passing results for the examination are based on the grand mean of these judgments, the pilot test results, and the standard error of the judges’ calculation. Item analysis indices for each question are also calculated as well as an overall test reliability coefficient.
Will I be penalized for incorrect answers?
There is no penalty for incorrect answers. In other words, no points are deducted for incorrect answers. An incorrect answer is simply not counted. Only correct answers are counted and tallied for your score. When a candidate reaches the cut score, he/she passes.
What are pilot questions? Do they count for my score?
On any given exam there are a set of pilot questions. All pilot questions are unscored because they are in the process of undergoing review. Pilot questions have no bearing on the final outcome of your score. All results of pilot questions are examined under the guidance of a psychometrician, and only after meeting established criteria for valid questions will they be included as a scored items on an exam.
How will I be notified of the examination results?
You will receive your results immediately after the exam ends at your test center. Questions concerning the results should be directed to the Credit Risk Certification Specialist at 800-677-7621 or 215-446-4013.
Can I take a break during the exam?
If you wish, you can raise your hand and request a break. Please be aware, however, that the clock will continue to run during the break.
What is the examination format?
The 120 multiple-choice questions are from the seven topic areas of the credit risk field as defined by RMA’s Certification Steering Committee. An additional 25 pilot items may appear in random order throughout the exam. Pilot items are new items that are being field tested for future exams. Pilot items are NOT used to calculate an examinee’s score.
The exam has been designed to assess the knowledge of a commercial credit risk professional with a minimum of three years’ active credit risk experience.
The exam is composed of stand-alone multiple-choice questions of varying length and complexity, all of which offer four options. The entire exam is based on the concepts and experiences related to the commercial credit risk field.
At the test center, before taking the actual exam, you will be offered a 15-minute computer tutorial and briefing. This is presented to familiarize you with computer-based exam procedures and the tabs you can use to access cash flow terms, ratios, and the on-screen calculator. Since no additional examination time is allocated to learn the computer, it is recommended that all applicants take the tutorial.
The total seat time in the examination room will be six hours (for the exam) including 15 minutes (for the tutorial). You may go to your locker for any water or snacks you bring. Although the clock will keep ticking, additional time has been provided so you can take a break.
Will I receive feedback on my exam?
If you are successful on the exam, RMA does not give detailed score information because all CRCs are equal in their achievement. RMA follows standard best practice in creating the passing score known as a cut score. Cut scores are used to determine whether a particular test score is sufficient for some purpose—in our case, the degree of proficiency regarding the seven topics of expertise in commercial credit risk.
Another way of looking at the score is that it is not a bell curve, where all examinees are graded in comparison to each other, and thus there are varieties of grades (A, A-, A+, B, B+, B-, etc). For the CRC, if you pass, you pass because you have met the criteria of achievement. It is like jumping a hurdle, which you may clear either by an inch, a foot, or a yard. In any case, if you clear the hurdle, you are successful.
Cut scores were set for the CRC by a group of peer bankers under the guidance of a psychometrician. The cut score reflects the judgment of the group regarding the difficulty.
If you are not successful, you will receive a high-level diagnostic of your performance on questions related to each of the seven dimensions. However, if you decide to retake the exam, our advice is for you to undertake a complete review of all seven topics.
The CRC is not made up of seven separately scored exams, but is one exam scored as one exam. The seven topic areas form a single test of 120 questions and the cut score is based on this total. Thus, the complete review is recommended.
What is the percentage of candidates who pass the exam?
The historical pass rate is approximately 65% of candidates.
Can I re-take the exam?
You may re-take the exam if you do not obtain passing results. RMA provides this option at a reduced fee. The reduced-fee option can be exercised one time only in the next testing window. Should you wish to take the exam a second time, complete the CRC Re-examination Registration Form. Complete and fax the form to the Credit Risk Certification Specialist at 215-446-4013. Refer to the fee schedule for the re-take fee. If you wish to re-take the exam beyond your second attempt, you must submit a new application and pay the full examination fee in effect at the time.
What are the examination site requirements?
Candidates must present two forms of identification, at least one being a valid government-issued photo and signature-bearing identity card, such as a valid driver’s license (with photo), a valid passport, and a valid military ID. An example of a secondary identification is a signature-bearing ID such as a credit card or an ATM card. Unacceptable IDs include library and social security cards. The names on all forms of identification must be identical to the name on the examination application.
After showing your valid ID, you will need to sign the test center log. Pencils, paper, cellular phones, coats, beverages, food, handbags, or watches, will NOT be permitted in the exam room. HP 12C and Texas Instruments BAII Plus calculators are permitted. It is suggested that you leave personal articles at home or in your car, although they can be securely stored at the test site during the exam. Smoking is not permitted in the examination room. All electronic devices are prohibited in the testing center.
While at the testing center, candidates are expected to act professionally at all times. The test personnel are authorized to remove disruptive candidates from the site. A candidate removed due to disruptive behavior will not be given a refund. No visitors, including children, are permitted at the testing center.
When will I receive my results?
Results are given on-site immediately after the exam. If you pass, you will receive a letter of congratulations, a certificate authenticating your certification, and information explaining the continuing education requirements. If you fail the exam, you will receive information about re-taking the exam.
What is the confidentiality policy?
All Credit Risk Certification materials are the sole and exclusive property of RMA, including the scenarios, questions and answer keys. RMA will not release any of this material for any reason. Results are kept confidential and will not be released unless directed by legal authority. Only those who have taken the test can request a copy of their results.
What releases will I be required to accept?
When you submit your application, you will be required to agree to 1) maintain professional conduct, 2) hold the exam confidential, and 3) answer all application answers completely and accurately to the best of your knowledge. If you cannot comply with the rules governing the exam or any information contained on the application, RMA must be informed within 60 calendar days of your non-compliance.
The right to verify any information the applicant/recipient provides, including but not limited to all forms completed by the applicant, which will become the property of RMA, shall be retained by RMA.
The applicant/recipient will provide any supporting documentation or information requested by RMA. This will then become the property of RMA.
RMA retains the right to anonymous use of any information provided on all materials submitted both for the examination and for continuing education requirements. At RMA’s discretion, this material may be anonymously used for public announcements.
The applicant/recipient acknowledges that RMA has instituted an appeals process, which is in place to resolve all certification-related disputes.
RMA, its staff, its consultants, and the Certification Steering Committee are held harmless in all certification events, claims, and activities made by the applicant/recipient.
What do I do after receiving my Authorization-to-Test (ATT) information?
Verify all your personal data. Pay particular attention to your name and address. If you have any questions or concerns, or need to make edits to your personal information, call the Credit Risk Certification Specialist at 800-677-7621 or 215-446-4013 prior to making your exam appointment. It is critical that your personal data matches the form of identification you will be presenting at the testing center. If it does not match exactly, you may not be permitted to take the exam. The name on the ATT letter is the name that will be used for verifying your identification, for your results report, and for your certificate.
To schedule your exam, call the Pearson VUE Call Center at 1-877-378-8378 or log on to the Pearson-VUE Web site, http://www.pearsonvue.com/rma . Be sure to schedule your exam several weeks before your desired date to avoid disappointment. The Call Center hours are outlined on the ATT page.
To complete the scheduling process, you will be asked for the examination identification number (or name) and the Candidate ID number. Identify the test as the Credit Risk Certified examination. Refer to the specific exam number found in your ATT information.
Your information listed on the ATT page was sent to Pearson VUE. If you change anything, such as your last name, address, or phone number, be sure to contact the Credit Risk Certification Specialist at 800-677-7621 or 215-446-4013. Your updated information must be available at the testing center when you take the exam.
You will be given a confirmation number when you schedule your exam with Pearson VUE. Record this number and take it with you to the test center. You will receive a confirmation letter from Pearson VUE by email within 48 hours (if you have provided an email address). The confirmation letter will state the date, time, and testing center of your scheduled appointment, along with driving directions. If you do not receive this email, contact Pearson-VUE immediately at 1-877-378-8378. Be sure to take your Pearson VUE confirmation material to the exam.
What is the appeals procedure?
All challenges to any aspect of the certification program, including application, eligibility, examination irregularities, results, and continuing education, must be submitted in writing to the Certification Steering Committee at RMA, Ten Penn Center, 1801 Market Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
What is the Non-Disclosure Agreement?
At the testing center, after you log in to the computer but before you begin the exam, you will be asked to accept the Non-Disclosure Agreement. This agreement must be accepted before you proceed to the examination questions.
What special accommodations are offered?
In compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as amended (and in Canada the Employment Equity Act, Canada), RMA will accommodate candidates with disabilities who require special arrangements at the exam site. Auxiliary services will be provided if they do not alter the exam or result in an unreasonable burden.
Candidates with documented disabilities that would prohibit them from taking the exam under standard conditions may request special examination accommodations. Contact the Credit Risk Certification Specialist, at 800-677-7621 or 215-446-4013, for a CRC Special Accommodation Form. This form must be completed and either mailed or faxed, along with your supporting documentation, to RMA.
When should I report to the testing center for the Credit Risk Certification exam?
Report to the testing center at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam start time. If you do not arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time you may be refused admission or considered a no-show and will not received a refund.
Is there a re-certification fee?
$100 per cycle
This fee is paid every three years based on the certificate holder’s recertification cycle.
Which type of RMA membership must I maintain in order to retain my certification status?
You are not required to maintain membership in RMA in order to maintain your certification status. However, RMA does encourage you to consider extending your membership in RMA to be eligible for member benefits, including discounts on events and training.
Will I receive notification that my re-certification material is accepted?
Yes, RMA will email or U.S. mail you a continuing education certificate indicating that your credits are accepted. At that time you will begin your next continuing education re-certification cycle.
What is the re-certification continuing education process?
The successful certification recipient must stay current in the credit risk field. This way the customers and employer of the recipient are assured that he or she is continuing the commitment to excellence begun with the certification examination.
For this purpose, RMA requires the completion of 45 continuing education credits every three years beginning with the year of certification and every three years thereafter. A Re-certification Form must be submitted by the end of your recertification period after the successful completion of the Credit Risk Certification exam.The three-year period begins either June 1 or January 1 following the end of your testing window, whichever comes first. For example, if your exam window ends April 2015, your continuing education period starts June 1, 2015 and would end May 31, 2018. If your exam window ends November 2015, your continuing education period starts January 1, 2016 and would end December 31, 2019.
How were the continuing education activities selected?
The RMA Steering Committee selected the approved activities for their diversity and their appropriateness to the certification. Each activity is listed along with the assigned credits. You can earn more than the required 45 credits over three years; however, the excess credits will not apply to the next re-certification cycle.
How do I report my continuing education credits?
It is your responsibility to maintain records documenting your continuing-education credits. A copy of an educational event’s registration form and program are adequate documentation. Be sure to retain this documentation for two full years after completing each three-year recertification cycle. You will need this documentation for an audit, so keep it readily accessible: Random audits will be performed.
When you are ready to verify your credits, or enter new credits,
E-mail email@example.com when you have completed your 45 credits, so that RMA can approve and bill you directly.
Will I receive a reminder to complete my Continuing Education application?
Yes, RMA will contact you at the email or U.S. mail address you provided with your certification application. This reminder will arrive approximately three months before the expiration date for your continuing education. If your postal or email address changes, it is your responsibility to inform RMA.
Will I have opportunities to communicate with the community of CRC designees?
Upon receiving your designation you will be registered in the CRC-only RMA Xchange online social forum. You will have an immediate channel for communicating with other CRCs, and benefit from shared strategies in maintaining your credential.