Institute of Credit Union Management inc. Association of Credit Union Compliance Officers
The Reasons for the Institute of Credit Union Management and Association of Credit Union Compliance Officers
There are many sources from which it is possible to obtain credit union knowledge and direction. Many of those sources who lay out the knowledge and direction also test the acquisition and retention of it. These processes are a test of memory and written responses to set questions. They are not a test of operational competence and trading skills, a lack of both is often the cause of ailing, failing and sterile credit unions.
Operational Competence Testing – The Institute
The Institute will test the operational competences of officers, Directors, Supervisors, Committee Members or aspiring ones and the professional advisers of credit unions, by asking all applicants for membership to respond in “bullet point” form to “real time” questions to stimulate as much as possible the daily circumstances of a real live credit union situation. In this type of situation there are never exact right or wrong answers only competent ones.
Operational Competence Testing – The Association
It has been found by experience that many professional advisers to credit unions might be experts in their own core disciplines, but know little of the laws, regulations, corporate governance and operational issues that govern credit unions. Sadly often this void has been the underlying (although in some instances a well-meaning cause) of the deep rooted systematic failure of credit unions.
The Association will test the operational competences of Supervisors, Money Laundering Prevention and Reporting Officers, External Auditors, other professional advisers (although bound by their professional performance codes) in exactly the same way as noted for the “Institute” above.
Qualifications - both bodies
Applicants can become members of both bodies by qualification and these last for three years, when retesting will be required.
An entrance subscription will be required (amount to be advised) to cover the cost of testing, maintenance of the website facility, the maintenance of a public register of those qualified. In due course other benefits of use to professionally qualified individuals available for purchase will be added.
Those achieving the qualification are permitted to state they are members of the appropriate body for the period of the qualification and use the designated letters after their names, i.e. The Institute “M.I.C.U.M” and the Association “M.A.C.U.C.O”. Fellowships can be awarded by further qualification in due course.
There is no set syllabus to be studied. All sources for credit union knowledge acquisition are either already in the public domain or available upon subscription from other organisations. It is assumed that all of those applicants wishing to become members of either/both bodies will have acquired knowledge and operational skills by being involved with at least one credit union.
On a set date at a set time, different for the Institute and Association (to facilitate qualification for both), a set of “real time” circumstances will be posted on the Institute’s website, via "Moodle". There will be a choice of questions that will simulate real life credit union situations, each one giving a different credit union challenge. Candidates will answer at least one or more during the time frame of say 90 minutes, after which the onscreen questions will disappear, just as a paper would be removed in an exam room. Unlike an exam, there are no right or wrong answers, only competent ones. Applicants will be informed of results within two working weeks.
Test questions - The Institute
Candidates will take on the persona of an “Approved Person” and be presented with a set of documents on screen describing an impaired credit union; they will have available the minutes and audited accounts, approved at the last Annual General Meeting. Based upon the facts presented or omitted in those documents, candidates will recommend remedial processes and explain reasons for their recommended actions.
Test questions – The Association
As the “External Auditor” or other qualified professional engaged by the same impaired credit union and presented with the same documentation as above, draft a management letter to be presented to the Board of Directors together with the draft Accounts, pointing out the systemic weaknesses discovered during the course of the Audit and recommended remedial actions to be taken by them. Also to draft the Auditors or Advisers Report to be presented to the owner-members at the next Annual General Meeting.
What do you do next?
Inform the Institute/Association office by email of your interest in applying for membership of either or both bodies. Applicants will then be informed of the testing day and time at which stage a formal Application Form will be completed and the required fee paid – account details will be made available.
Do contact this office on any matter regarding the Institute and Association.