WASHINGTON (3/2/11)--A National Credit Union Administration ( NCUA) official noted the agency has hired a “boatload” of new examiners in the last two years and is working to put tools in place to bring them up to speed. Melinda Love, director of the office of examination and insurance at the NCUA, said the agency is creating a nationwide training manual, forming a mentoring program, and creating a matrix that leads to better decision making by new examiners. “We try to bring them up the curve as quickly as possible, but it takes time to build a good examiner,” Love said. Love was answering an inquiry during a panel discussion on examinations during a challenging economic environment at the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference. She said the agency tracks where it sends examiners, so younger examiners aren’t consistently sent to the same credit union. “We have to step up our game, especially at larger credit unions,” Love said. Other panel members included Thomas Candon, chairman of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors and deputy commissioner of the Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration in Vermont; Mary Ann Clancy, senior vice president and general counsel for the Massachusetts Credit Union League and Credit Union Association of Rhode Island; and Rod Staatz, president/CEO of SECU CU, Linthicum, Md. Staatz and Clancy are members of the CUNA Supervisory Issues Working Group. Love also said that, coming out a difficult economic cycle, the NCUA is focusing on consistency in the examination process. At the same time, the NCUA is more diligent in asking credit unions to report the ways they identify, measure, monitor, and manage risk, she said. Clancy said the examination process has become more transparent in the past decade with roundtables between credit unions and examiners, and guidance from examiners. “Overall, without question, our examinations have been healthy and they’ve been a positive experience, but if it were a perfect world I wouldn’t be sitting up here,” Clancy said. Staatz described a study done by the CUNA Supervisory Issues Working Group where 200 respondents provided answers to a series of questions on their examination's experiences. Staatz said one in five credit unions was dissatisfied with the examinations. When asked about the use of the supervisory appeals process, 3% said they used it, 76% said they didn’t feel the need to, and 21% didn’t take the time to do it. Staatz and Clancy both stressed that CUNA offers a wealth of examination resources developed in large part by the CUNA Supervisory Issues Work Group with the help of regulatory and legal professionals.