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Additional Information on CRC

Preparing for CRC

RMA provides several tools and resources to help applicants prepare for the exam. The CRC Steering Committee recommends 40 to 80 hours of examination study time.

Body of Knowledge

The Body of Knowledge contains the minimum material you should 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. Your on-the-job experience and knowledge will be necessary to add depth to the Body of Knowledge material.

To give you a preview of the Body of Knowledge, here are the abbreviated versions for the U.S. and Canada.

RMA Courses

RMA offers courses that are beneficial throughout your career or as a refresher to help prepare you for the CRC exam. Although taking courses may help, on-the-job experience and knowledge will be necessary to add depth to the tools offered by RMA. Learn more about RMA's courses or view our event calendar for upcoming courses. 

Sample Questions

Curious about the types of questions on the exam? Click here to view some sample questions. 

Study Strategies

  • Develop a study plan that includes day of week, allocated hours, and study location. Create learning reinforcements, such as periodic glossary review and discussions with skilled colleagues.
  • Simulate the exam experience; go through the CRC Sample Questions, which will familiarize you with the question styles. Take courses and/or review materials from previous training as identified by your feedback.
  • Thoroughly understand all material in the Body of Knowledge. Mark the areas where you have gaps, then do research and study to fill those gaps.

Test-Taking Tips

  • Try to relax the night before the exam.
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Allow enough time to get to the testing center. Plan for unexpected events along the route.
  • Know where the testing center is located.
  • Take the computer tutorial before the exam; ask questions of the exam administrator before you begin. (The administrators will not answer specific questions about the exam; however, they can answer questions regarding navigation through the exam, taking a break, etc.).
  • Before you begin the exam, be sure you know how to use the buttons for the glossary, calculator, and supporting exhibits. There will be no printed materials available during the exam.
  • Remember that each question has only one correct answer.
  • If you are not sure of an answer, make an educated guess. There is no penalty for incorrect answers.
  • Before the test begins, write difficult-to-remember concepts on the white board provided.
  • Answer easy stand-alone questions first.
  • Answer all the scenario questions in sequence.
  • Mark difficult stand-alone questions for further review if time allows.
  • Don't go too fast; read each question thoroughly.
  • Watch the remaining time clock provided on the computer screen.
  • Often, your first answer may be your best answer. Be cautious about changing an answer.
  • The examination is based on industry standards.
  • Be mindful that other people will be taking tests other than the Credit Risk Certified examination. Their allotted time and guidelines may be different from yours.
  • Be sure you are comfortable with all the material in the Body of Knowledge and glossary.

Exam Details

Exam Fee

  • $495 is due with your application for the initial exam.
  • If you are a no-show to the exam, this fee is not refundable.
  • The change fee to move your exam to the next exam window is $150.
  • Cancelling more than one week prior to the exam window opening entitles you to a full refund.
  • If you do not pass the exam the first time, you can re-take the exam - the fee for this is $250.
  • A recertification fee of $100 every three years must be paid to keep the CRC designation. 

What does the exam cover?

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:

  • Evaluate client industry, markets, and competitors.
  • Assess management's ability to formulate business and financial strategies and execute them.
  • Complete accurate, ongoing, and timely financial assessments of the client and its other credit sponsors.
  • Assess strength and quality of client/sponsor cash flow.
  • Evaluate collateral values and conduct periodic inspections of collateral.
  • Identify repayment sources and appropriately structure and document credit exposures for their intended purpose (loan structure and documentation).
  • Be aware of problem loans and the appropriate actions to take

Exam Format

The 120 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. An additional 10 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 (five years recommended) of credit risk experience.

The exam is composed of stand-alone multiple-choice questions of varying length and complexity, but which all 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 five-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 four hours and 50 minutes (290 minutes) for the exam, plus five minutes for the tutorial and five minutes for a survey. 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.

Industry Feedback

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. 

Exam Logistics

Results Notification

You will receive initial results on-site, immediately following the certification exam. After confirmation of results, RMA will send official results letters by U.S. mail approximately 30 working days after the close of the examination window. Questions concerning the results should be directed to the RMA Credit Risk Certification Specialist at 800-677-7621.

Exam Extensions

You may re-take the exam if you do not pass. RMA provides this option at a reduced fee. The reduced-fee option can be exercised one time only in the next testing window. 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. 

Exam Enrollment

Full payment—by credit card only—must be submitted at the time of registration. Applications must be completed and submitted online. Online registration is accessible only during the open enrollment period.

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. 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.

RMA will email the results of your application review. If you are accepted, you will receive information on accessing the Body of Knowledge study material and the Web-based sample questions. You will also receive an Authorization-to-Test letter. 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 will accept email from RMA.

Scheduling Your Exam

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 Authorization-to-Test 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 877-378-8378 or log on to the Pearson VUE website, www.pearsonvue.com/rma. Be sure to schedule your exam several weeks before your desired date to avoid disappointment. Pearson VUE Call Center hours are outlined in the ATT letter.

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 testing 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 877-378-8378. Be sure to take your Pearson VUE confirmation material to the exam.

Special Circumstances

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 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 Credit Risk Certification Specialist will review all requests on an individual basis. All responses from RMA will be in writing and 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.

Special Accommodations

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as amended, (in Canada the Employment Equity Act, Canada) candidates with disabilities who require special arrangements at the exam site will be accommodated. 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 RMA for a form to complete. 

If the request for special accommodations is approved, the Certification website will list the authorization-to-test (ATT) information noting the approved accommodation. For further ATT details, see the Authorization to Test section below. There is no additional fee for this service. Accommodations at the test site will be made to provide the special-needs candidate an environment equal to the testing environment of all other candidates.

Test Provider

The CRC exam is administered by Pearson VUE. As part of Pearson, the international media company, Pearson VUE implements innovative testing solutions that enhance the performance reliability and security of licensing and certification programs throughout the world.

The Authorization-to-Test (ATT) information is included in the document you use to contact the Pearson VUE testing center to schedule your examination. The information in this document—which has been sent to Pearson VUE—will confirm the examination availability dates and the contact information for the Pearson VUE Call Center. It will also contain instructions for scheduling and taking the examination.

The exam is offered at Pearson VUE Professional Centers (200 locations in the United States and its territories and over 115 Pearson VUE Authorized Testing Centers in Canada). To avoid disappointment, you are encouraged to contact Pearson VUE as soon as possible to obtain your first choice of testing centers and times. Pearson VUE offers examinations for many clients.

Maintaining the CRC

The Credit Risk Certification is valid for three years. 

 

To maintain your credential, you must earn a total of 45 continuing-education credits within those three years. 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 testing window ended April 2014, your continuing-education period would start June 1, 2014, and end June 30, 2017.

 

Before the certification period ends, you will need to report your credits and how you obtained them and remit the $100 Recertification fee. Only those credits earned during the recertification cycle will be accepted for the reporting period.

 

Reporting Guidelines

You must 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.

To enter credits:

  1. Please visit http://www.rmahq.org/mytranscripts
  2. Login using your RMA user name and password.
  3. On your account page, click on the “My Transcripts” link under MyMembership.
  4. On the “My Transcripts” page you can add CRC credits.
  5. Email rmacertification@rmahq.org when you have completed your 45 credits, so that RMA can approve your credits and bill you directly.

Recertification Credits Guidelines

  • You may earn any number of credits each year. However, RMA encourages you to earn your credits evenly throughout the renewal cycle.
  • Be aware that some activities have maximum credits per recertification cycle.
  • Report only qualified educational activities in approved subject areas.
  • List the program’s title exactly as it appears on the brochure.

Recertification Notification

RMA will send your continuing education certificate confirming your recertification via email or U.S. mail. At that time you will begin your next continuing education recertification cycle.

Expiration

If by the appropriate deadline you have neither reported the required 45 credits, nor requested (or qualified for) an extension, your certification will expire. Should you wish to earn the CRC credential in the future, you will be required to resubmit a CRC examination application, remit the full registration fee, pass the CRC exam, and submit continuing-education credits in accordance with the recertification policy in effect at the time.

Obtaining Continuing Education Credits

Re-take the CRC exam.

Individuals who initially pass the CRC exam may take it a second time

Take a course.

Can be any course related to credit risk, lending, banking, economics, accounting, or finance offered at an accredited university. The course may also be taken through an organization (e.g., association, training, professional) with its own established curricula on these topics. Credits and/or credit hours must be assigned. Upon request, evidence of having achieved a passing grade may be required.

Attend professional events.

These are generally presentations and facilitated discussions in which the holder registers, attends, listens, and may or may not actively engage in discussions. Must be a credit risk and lending subject matter oriented event whose content relates to improving individual performance; the event may use internal resources and or external resources in order to accomplish the objectives. The event must be at least 50 minutes long and evidence of the holder’s participation/attendance must be provided on request.

Complete a self-study (with exam) including eCases.

Credit will be granted for independent study in banking, finance, accounting, and economics. Print, audio, and video formats (or any combination thereof) are eligible for credit. The course must include a method of evaluating work completed, such as an examination result, a written project, or a certificate of completion. Candidates should be prepared to show evidence of completion in the event they are audited.

Publish an article.

Must be risk subject matter oriented, and either published in The RMA Journal® or a similar industry or academic publication. A copy of the published piece must be provided.

Teach a course or seminar.

Can be any risk oriented subject matter related to the financial services industry in which a participant’s competency is measured (e.g. exams) and recognition of his or her completion is awarded. The course must be at least 4 hours long. A copy of the text must be provided.

Speak or present at a Web seminar or audio conference.

Must be risk subject matter oriented, and either be an RMA event or a similar industry event. The credential holder’s portion must be at least 50 minutes long. A copy of the text must be provided.

Have a thesis/dissertation on an approved topic accepted by a college or university.

Credits will be granted for a college- or university-accepted thesis or dissertation on an approved topic related to banking, finance, accounting, or economics. Finance-related MBA, DBA, or banking school theses/dissertations are acceptable. 

Perform RMA volunteer service.

Credits are granted for performing RMA volunteer service—which means membership on national and local councils, committees, and boards, as well as taskforces at the local level. (Chapter Officer – Chapter President, Vice President, Secretary, etc.)

Article Writing Competition

In any year you will receive 3 credits for the submission of the article. If the article is chosen as one of the top three in your chapter’s competition and submitted to RMA HQ, you will receive another 3 CEU's. Finally, any papers published in The RMA Journal® receive an additional 9 credits.

Other than Credit risk areas – Professional Events and or Courses

Course (instructor led or web based e learning) – can be any risk subject matter course whose content relates to the financial services industry and improving individual performance. The course should concern a credit risk impact (for example, the impact of liquidity risk on a commercial customer). The course may use internal resources and or external resources in order to accomplish the objectives. The course must be at least 50 minutes long, the holder’s competency is demonstrated, (e.g. pre/post test) and evidence of his or her completion.

Other than Credit Risk: Self Study – per hours to complete

See Other Than Credit Risk: Professional Events and Courses

Ethics: General

Course (instructor led or web based e learning) –whose content relates to the ethics of best practices in credit and lending, and/or in the financial services industry.

Active in field

Employed in a credit and lending job and demonstrates active contributions to risk management process improvements, peer-to-peer exchanges, mentoring, etc.

FAQ

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, which you can read about above, or contact RMA for more information.

 

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 if 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. 

 

How do I access the CRC Example Questions Exam?

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.

 

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 exam testing windows?

The CRC examination test windows are mid-March through mid-April, late-July through mid-August, and mid-October through mid-November each year.

 

When do I choose the date and test center for my exam?

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 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. You can find the Guiding Principles for Business Conduct here

Credit Risk Certification Policies

Confidentiality Policy

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.

 

CRC Policies

When you submit your application, you will be required to agree to:

  1. Maintain professional conduct.
  2. To hold the exam confidential.
  3. To answer all application answers completely and accurately to the best of your knowledge.
  4. Promise to abide by the Guiding Principles established by RMA for credit risk professionals.

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.

 

RMA retains 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.

 

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 Steering Committee are held harmless in all certification events, claims, and activities made by the applicant/recipient.

 

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.

 

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.