Ready To Get Certified?
Benefits of the CRA Certified Professional Designation
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) is the most misunderstood consumer compliance regulation and its often added into compliance officers job responsibilities without any formal CRA training. CRA Today not only offers comprehensive CRA training, it also offers a rigorous certification program so all CRA practitioners can shore up their skills and are prepared to effectively run a CRA program in banks both small and large.
The CRA Certified Professional (CRACP) designation signifies that the CRA practitioner has a solid understanding on how to run an effective CRA program steeped in industry best practices, as well as many other attributes:
- Gain a competitive advantage in the banking industry
- Demonstrate your expertise as a CRA professional
- Build credibility and visibility among peers
- Shows your passion and commitment to community development
- Asserts technical skills and knowledge
- Shows industry experts you are poised to run CRA programs
Here is what you’ll want to know before you take the CRA Certified Professional (CRACP) Exam
Exam Facts, Scoring and Reporting
The exam will be divided into two sections. Section one of the exam will consist of 40 multiple choice, true/false, and fill in the blanks questions. Questions can be marked and returned to at a later point in the exam, if time permits. In other words, within the time limit, you can go back and revisit your answers to ensure you are confident with your final answers before submitting the exam for scoring. You will be given a maximum of 2 hours to complete this portion of the exam. You will know immediately after taking this portion of the exam if you have successfully passed section one with at least 80% accuracy.
Upon successfully passing section one of the exam, you will receive a second email within two business days with the details for you to complete section two which is narrative based. Since elements of the CRA can be subjective, being able to demonstrate your ability to blend quantitative and qualitative elements into documenting your community development activities is an essential skill in running an effective CRA program. Section two of the exam aims to evaluate this aptitude and your readiness to defend community development activities during critical moments like a CRA regulatory compliance examination. Narrative answers that fail to adequately demonstrate this skill will be peer reviewed by a member of CRA Today’s Advisory Committee to ensure proper grading for certification purposes. Exam results for section two will be available within 14 calendar days.
*Important Note! Schedule your exam wisely as you will be required to complete both phase one and two within a 30 day period.
Exam Cancellation or Rescheduling: If you decide not to take the exam, a full refund will be issued if you have not officially started the exam with your exam approval code. Once you receive your exam approval code (this will be emailed once you are approved to proceed after your pre-qualification factors have been validated), you must start the exam within a 30 day window and you must also complete phase one and phase two within a 30 day window.
Exam Retakes: It is highly recommended that you take the certification exam after you have had ample time to prepare as there is a $100 fee to retake the exam.
Maintain the CRACP Certification
After successfully completing the CRACP Examination you will be required to complete thirty (30) hours of continuing education credit, specific to CRA every three years to maintain your certification. Professional development classes, conferences, workshops from industry leaders like the ABA, ICBA, etc will be accepted if they are CRA specific. CRA Today also offers many options via workshops and the CRA Hub to make it easy to meet this continuing education threshold.
You will be prompted to submit your continuing education credits 30 days prior to your certification lapse as a reminder. To start the recertification process, an annual recertification fee of $295 will be collected prior to validating your eligibility. The standard turnaround time to validate the requirements for recertification will be 14 days.
To maintain your Community Reinvestment Act Certified Professional (CRACP) designation in good standing, the following are required:
- Submit an annual fee of $295 due on the one year anniversary of securing your CRACP designation. You will be prompted and billed accordingly. A $50 late fee will be charged after 15 calendar days of billing. If your CRACP certification lapses due to non-payment on an annual basis or the lack of completing the required continuing education requirements, the CRACP minimum requirements and examination will be required to secure the CRACP designation again.
- Submit evidence of completing 30 hours of CRA specific continuing education over a three year period.
Are you eligible to take the CRA Certified Professional (CRACP) Exam?
You must meet the following eligibility requirements by the time that you take the exam. CRA Today will accept your application with education/training that is scheduled and your exam will be available upon successful completion of the training modules.
The CRACP certification is based on U.S. laws and regulations and are therefore not offered outside the U.S.
Eligibility Requirements for the CRA Certification.
To earn the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) certified professional certification (CRACP) designation, candidates must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements;
- Submit completed application and fees for the exam;
- Pass the CRACP examination.
Three (3) years minimum of U.S. experience as a compliance professional involved in running a CRA program, participated in at least one CRA examination on behalf of the bank, AND completion of the following CRA-related training option, all within the last five (5) years:
- CRA Today’s CRA Fundamentals Course (offered two times each year)
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will I have after completing the CRA Fundamentals Course to apply for CRA certification?
There is not time frame requirement for you to apply to take the CRA certification designation with one exception. Once new interagency CRA rules are published, the certification exam will change and you might find it helpful to go through the CRA Fundamentals again to properly prepare.
Isn’t the CRA regulation going to change this year? Shouldn’t I wait to become certifed until the new regulation is released?
No one knows how long it will take to have a new interagency CRA rule. We estimate that it will be another two years (or longer) before we will be subject to a new CRA rule. The law is not changing, just the rules to comply with the law so the fundamentals of the CRA will stand as a foundation basis for our CRA programs. Once a new rule is instated, we will release a new version of the CRA certification exam.
Can I pay via invoice?
Credit card payments are required for certification and recertification fees. Most banks do this on a reimbursement basis for their CRA Officers. CRA Today offers invoices and ACH options for courses, workshops and CRA Hub membership. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
Will there be a study packet or guide for this?
The CRA Fundamentals course, live trainings, slides and the manual will serve as a foundation for the test. The three year and one exam minimum requirement for certification serves as additional experiences and situations that will likely render additional expertise from the field that will support questions/concepts not specifically covered in the CRA Fundamentals course. Otherwise put, the CRA Fundamentals is meant to be blended with real world experiences associated with running a CRA program, that all together, will prepare you for the CRA certification exam. As you know, the CRA is the most subjective consumer compliance regulation that requires an element of weighing bank performance in context and the narrative portion of the exam aims to measure a CRA professional’s aptitude in that regard.
Can I apply for the Certification in three years when hitting the eligibility requirement?
Absolutely-the only caveat is regulatory change-you may want to take the next version of the fundamentals (for a deep discount) to learn more about the new regulation since the test will eventually change to adapt.
Any exceptions for CRA experience?
No, direct CRA experience is an important part of the the CRACP.