The CRC Exam covers a spectrum of topics.
The CRC program is developed and overseen by the CRC Council and several committees with specific operating responsibilities—i.e., leading credit risk practitioners govern all aspects of the credential, from the questions included in the exam to eligibility requirements. The CRC Exam benchmarks your knowledge of the major areas of credit risk analysis as they relate to the underwriting of a commercial borrower and guarantor.
The 120 scored, multiple-choice questions are from topic areas derived from the seven dimensions of the credit risk field as defined by RMA's Certification Steering Committee.
The exam has been designed to assess the knowledge of a commercial credit risk professional with a minimum of three years (five years recommended) of credit risk experience.
The 120 scored examination questions will focus on the following seven topics:
RMA Credit Risk Certified is the premier designation for the commercial credit risk professional. This credential distinguishes the certification holder from all others in the field. Not only does it validate your credit risk skills, but it identifies your exemplary achievement as a Credit Risk Certified recipient. It demonstrates that you recognize the industry's best credit practices. And it shows to your customers your commitment to expert skills, knowledge, and professionalism.
The certification designation sets you apart from other job/promotion applicants. The proven proficiencies and exemplary achievement reflect your strong commitment to the credit risk profession. The continuing education component recognizes your ongoing commitment to remaining current and informed. Although not an endorsement of future performance, certification recognizes your significant achievement and validates your skills for employers and customers.
In 2002, RMA began to explore the need for a way to recognize those excelling in the credit risk field. An industry credential seemed the best way to accomplish this. Based on RMA's position as the global industry leader, it was appropriate for us to develop the Credit Risk Certified credential.
Industry experts developed the examination questions. RMA's Certification Steering Committee, composed of members from U.S. and Canadian regional, national, and community banks, validated the questions. 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.
The examination is reviewed on a periodic schedule under the guidance of RMA's Certification Committee and a psychometrician. All the examination case material is fictitious. Any similarity to existing institutions or individuals is coincidental.
All Credit Risk Certified materials are the sole and exclusive property of RMA, including the scenarios, questions, answer keys, and rationales. RMA will not release any of this material for any reason. Scores 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 scores.
RMA's CRC is widely considered to be the industry's premier designation for the commercial credit professional. To date, more than 1,000 candidates have passed the CRC exam. Two banks,Capital One and SunTrust, use the CRC as an integral part of their training curriculum for experienced credit professionals. This excerpt, from a recent RMA Journal article, illustrates how SunTrust and Capital One have incorporated the CRC into their training curricula.
CRC Helps Capital One Create A Common Credit Culture
After Capital One acquired three banks during the 2005–08 period, creating a Capital One credit culture became a priority.
"Each bank had a long history of success in commercial banking, but each had its own culture, lending specialties, and approval process. They were very different organizations,” said Patrick Hickey, CRC, senior vice president and head of credit policy and training.
"Since then, we've done a lot of work in Capital One to create a credit culture. We've created common credit practices, we've trained people, and we've communicated our changes and practices to get everyone on the same page,” he said.
One piece of the framework used to create a common credit culture is RMA's credit risk certification (CRC).
"We decided to use the CRC as an objective, third-party measure of a person's technical skills," Hickey said. "We're spread out from New York to Texas, so it's tough to personally assess every person in the credit chain in a timely way. We think this measure allows us to jump-start that effort."
At Suntrust, CRC Is Integrated Into Credit Training
At SunTrust Banks, RMA's credit risk certification is embedded in the institution's comprehensive credit-training program.
"We have an integrated approach using the credit-training materials provided by RMA," said Thomas E. Freeman, corporate executive vice president and chief risk officer. "We start by testing our lending officers and credit officers with the RMA diagnostic materials. We identify where they have shortfalls and where their skill base is substantial, and then design individual coaching and training parameters for them using training materials primarily provided by RMA.”