Diagnostic Assessments

Assessing Your Resources – How the Diagnostic Assessments Benefit Your Bank

Are you making the most of your training resources? Is your staff receiving appropriate training for their skill level? Are you wondering how to assess the skill level of your staff so that you can accurately answer these two questions? 

RMA’s Diagnostic Assessments of Credit and Lending Skills and Commercial Real Estate Credit and Lending Skills establish a skills baseline and identify training needs. Both assessments facilitate the development of employees who make sound lending and credit decisions, while developing a consistent credit culture within the bank.

RMA devotes significant time and resources to create valid and rigorous assessments. Not everything called a Diagnostic Assessment in the industry is created with the same high standards that RMA demands. So you can be assured that our assessments are accurate and reliable indicators of proficiency. 

Furthermore, the assessments contribute to your bank’s profitability and productivity by targeting limited training dollars in the most needed areas.

How the Assessments Were Developed – Built by Bankers for Bankers

Over the past twenty years, tens of thousands of bankers have trusted RMA to test the competency of credit and lending professionals. Who better than your professional peers to set the standards for RMA’s Diagnostic Assessments?

Under RMA’s direction, separate panels of experienced commercial bankers and bank training directors developed specific questions reflective of the content and intent of each assessment’s competency or testing area. Respondents’ answers to the questions serve as a measure of their skills—their competency in each area, and, therefore, in the entire discipline of commercial lending and credit risk or commercial real estate lending and credit risk.

Periodically, RMA engages a team of specialists to revise the competencies and questions. Pilot sessions with different banks consistently show an extremely high level of both reliability and validity. In other words, the Diagnostic Assessments will do precisely what they are intended to do and in a consistent, dependable manner.

Available in RMA University Online

Both Diagnostic Assessments are components of RMA University Online, RMA’s portal to comprehensive, online industry research and training, which also features:

  • eMentor®
  • Self-paced, award-winning online courses:
    • The Lending Decision Process.
    • The Commercial Real Estate Lending Decision Process.
    • Structuring Commercial Loans.
    • Commercial Loan Documentation.
    • Ethics and Commercial Lending.

Upon completing an assessment, each participant will receive a result of acceptable, moderate, or significant, based on the needed level of training. Each participant, regardless of result, will receive performance tasks for incorrectly answered questions and links to eMentor’s Best Practices within RMA University Online. For moderate training needs, these links may serve as remediation. For significant needs, the most effective training is instructor-led or online courses, along with the aforementioned eMentor links.

In addition, your bank’s administrator will have access to reports that aid in assessing training needs for an individual or
group. Because each individual’s and bank’s needs differ, RMA recommends that individuals and/or training administrators contact the appropriate RMA Regional Manager for a consultation about suggested training solutions.

The C&I Credit and Lending Skills Assessment

The purpose of the Diagnostic Assessment of C&I Credit and Lending Skills is to identify training needs specific to core
competencies in commercial credit and lending skills. The assessment is designed for professionals actively engaged in
the commercial credit and lending functions in a bank with a suggested minimum of 18-24 months experience. This level of experience will vary by type of institution and may, in some cases, relate to someone with as little as 12 months experience to as much as several years of experience.

The C&I Diagnostic Assessment provides feedback in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities. It identifies the current
level of competency and provides an opportunity to enhance individual performance and contribute to improved institutional performance. Individuals will receive a competency assessment measure and detailed feedback on specific credit risk concepts. The Assessment consists of seven separate modules, ranging from 20 to 30 questions, each with a separate score.

The assessment will help you determine what training, if any, is required to bring personnel up to prescribed levels of knowledge.

Additionally, the assessment:

  • Can be used regardless of your institutions size
  • Can be taken by one individual or by thousands
  • Can be taken by C&I lenders with at least 18 to 24 months of experience.

Now There Is One Exam Available for both the U.S. and Canada (English/French)

The Diagnostic Assessment measures your staff members' training needs, based on their responses to multiple choice questions in the core credit competency areas:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Risk Assessment
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Cash Flow Analysis
  • Loan Structuring
  • Legal and Documentation Issues
  • Problem Loan Management

The Commercial Real Estate Credit and Lending Skills Assessment

The Diagnostic Assessment of CRE Credit and Lending Skills consists of 60 test questions designed to probe for commercial real estate competency of your commercial real estate lenders. The assessment will help you determine what training, if any, is required to bring personnel up to prescribed levels of knowledge.

Additionally, the assessment:    

  • Can be used regardless of your institution's size.
  • Can be taken by one individual or by thousands.
  • Can be taken by credit and lending professionals with at least 18 to 30 months of commercial real estate experience who have command of standard credit skills: cash flow, balance sheet and income statement analysis, and tax returns.

Available in U.S. Version

The Diagnostic Assessment of CRE Credit and Lending Skills measures your staff members' training needs based on their responses to multiple-choice questions in six major testing areas:

  • Types of CRE Loans, Risk Areas, and Performance Drivers
  • CRE Underwriting Process
  • Financing and Monitoring Different Types of Properties
  • Understanding and Evaluating Leases, Appraisals, and Environmental Assessments
  • Loan Structure and Documentation Considerations
  • Construction Lending

We invite you to look over the Diagnostic Assessments brochure (PDF). To find out more about RMA’s Diagnostic Assessments contact your regional manager.