NCUA Implements New Supervision Manual and Consistent Exam Standards
National Credit Union Administration
1775 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA – 22314
Office of Public & Congressional Affairs
National Training Conference Invests in Workforce, Comes in Below Budget
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 10, 2012) – National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) staff have completed comprehensive training that will result in more consistent supervision and examination standards for credit unions across America.
NCUA Training Focused on Implementing Greater Exam Consistency
At NCUA’s National Training Conference in April, agency trainers outlined a new National Supervision Policy Manual intended to ensure that credit unions are treated more consistently from region to region. The manual responds to the NCUA Board’s direction to remove regional differences in quality control, and implements key recommendations from federally mandated Material Loss Reviews conducted by NCUA’s Office of Inspector General. NCUA will finalize the manual in June after incorporating feedback received at the National Training Conference from staff in the field, Regional Offices, and Central Office.
Training also focused on bringing consistent approaches to interest rate risk, credit risk, and problem resolution at credit unions. Examiners hired in recent years had opportunities to learn from seasoned examiners who shared success stories and best practices in exam strategies. NCUA staff who completed “train the trainer” programs taught the vast majority of general and breakout sessions.
The nationally recognized Disney Institute provided training courses featured in The New York Times to improve customer service among all NCUA 1,190 staff, plus focused training tracks on leadership and mission support.
Also at NCUA’s National Training Conference, participants completed annual training sessions required by federal laws on ethics, diversity, and disability accommodations. All staff received security upgrades on identification systems as required by NCUA’s Inspector General and independent auditors.
“This conference was an investment in the future of NCUA. Because about 75 percent of our staff is geographically dispersed, it’s important to bring them together into one venue for training,” said NCUA Executive Director Dave Marquis. “We typically use webinars to train on shorter subjects, but the main subjects at the National Conference had to do with consistency of application. Experienced-based courses are the quickest way to build the skills of new examiners, who make up nearly 33 percent of our field staff.”
Training Saves Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars
In developing plans for the National Training Conference, NCUA sought to implement cost-effective initiatives. As a result, the conference incurred a much lower per-person cost than the agency would have realized by hosting the training near its Central Office in Alexandria. The Orlando venue saved NCUA $128 per person, per day, for a total of more than $200,000 in savings due to lower hotel costs and per diem rates. The total savings is a net figure that included the travel costs for Alexandria-based staff.
The National Training Conference replaced one of two weeks of mandatory annual training for most NCUA examiners. While the meeting spanned two weeks, most staff stayed only five nights, attending in two waves: April 15–20 and April 22–27. Each participant received approximately 30 hours of training during the conference, in addition to performing required job duties.
Because NCUA booked a sufficient block of hotel rooms at below-market rates, the conference facility provided free meeting space for both weeks, including two general session rooms and seven classrooms.
“No National Training Conference dollars were spent on entertainment, gifts, or frills of any kind,” added Marquis. “All costs were directly related to training.”
NCUA’s Office of Human Resources booked $259,500 in 2011 as a down payment on a contract for the Disney Institute training courses. The NCUA Board then approved a budget of $1.316 million in 2012 for the rest of the training costs associated with the conference. Budgets for NCUA’s Regional Offices and Central Office covered the $929,390 in airfare, per diem, and airport shuttle costs for their staff.
Actual costs of $2.424 million came in below these combined budgets of $2.505 million.
The attached table lists budgeted and actual costs of all line items associated with the National Training Conference. “To promote transparency, the NCUA Board instructed staff to release all cost information related to the National Training Conference,” Marquis explained. “We are doing this to provide full disclosure on the cost of continuing education of NCUA staff and the agency’s efforts to provide the most effective training in the least expensive way.”
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of nearly 92 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.