Education: By Popular Demand


ICBA serves up in-depth professional development programs

By Runay Olson

The demand for professional development opportunities for community bankers has never been greater. Because of the rapid changes and increasing competitive pressures shaping our industry, the in-depth certification programs offered by Community Banker University®, ICBA’s comprehensive curriculum for community bankers throughout the industry, have never been more popular.

Last year Community Banker University’s eight certification programs provided more than 4,000 community bankers with highly tailored training.

These in-depth and timely professional development programs are designed exclusively for community bankers and led by nationally recognized industry experts who know the issues community banks grapple with. Community Banker University certification programs offer real-world, useful advice that community bankers can use immediately.

These classroom-based programs are designed and continually updated by experienced, nationally recognized instructors and meet the criteria established by community bankers serving on serving on ICBA’s certification board. Certification through ICBA and Community Banker University ensures that a pivotal community banker has the necessary knowledge and understanding in critical operational areas. Each certification course is designed to prepare bank professionals to handle essential tasks and responsibilities.

For example, the Auditing Institute, which leads to a Certified Community Bank Internal Auditor designation for those who successfully complete the coursework, covers topics such as the steps to establish an internal audit function, the phases of a complete audit cycle, and the use of risk assessment to develop an annual audit plan. The Compliance Institute, which is six days of classroom instruction, leads to the Certified Community Bank Compliance Officer certification. It teaches bankers how to develop a compliance program, meet lending compliance requirements, and comply with deposit and marketing regulations.

Another important dimension of certification programs is the continuing education resources available to community bankers from Community Banker University. These resources provide a range of options, from online courses to annual conferences, that allow community bankers to remain current in their operational responsibilities and maintain their certification, as ongoing industry change continues to require new learning.

Moreover, Community Banker University’s certification instructors are banking veterans who have solid, practical experience dealing with the issues community bankers encounter. They are industry consultants who spend countless hours working in banks and assisting the industry. Many have been bankers themselves and sometimes industry regulators or attorneys. They are always available to answer questions during the courses and afterward.

The bottom line is that the ICBA’s certification programs help community bankers do their jobs well and be prepared to adapt to change today and in the future.


Education Resources

Community Banker University®
Community Banker University offers educational opportunities through live, in-person seminars and webinars, publications, audio conferences, self-study programs and videos. It also offers online training available 24/7.
For more information, visit

Online Education Center
The ICBA Online Education Center offers more than 300 training courses, which are designed to help community bankers build a strong foundation in eight key areas of bank operations: compliance, security, management, information technology, customer service and sales, teller training, human resources and health and safety. For more information, visit

Lead FWD Summit
The ICBA Leadership Development Conference will take place Sept. 11–14, 2016, in Denver. It is the only nationally recognized leadership event designed especially for middle- and upper-level community bank executives. In addition to participating in inspiring and motivating educational sessions, attendees enjoy the opportunity to network with their peers across the country and explore products and services designed to drive bank growth.

This year ICBA President and CEO Cam Fine will attend the conference and take any and all questions directly from community bankers. For more information, visit

Bank Director Program
The Bank Director Program helps new and seasoned community bank board members increase their banking knowledge. Information:

Professional Development Certification
ICBA certification programs are designed to raise the standards of professionalism in the industry,and give consumers a consistent stamp of approval to look for when selecting a banker.
For more information, visit

Community Banking LIVE®
The next annual ICBA Community Banking LIVE convention will take place March 15–19, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. The largest gathering of community bankers in the world, ICBA’s convention features inspiring and motivating keynote speakers, a huge trade exposition, dozens of workshops, many networking opportunities and access to hundreds of product and service presentations.
For more information, visit

ICBA Certification Programs
Here is Community Banker University’s certification program schedule for the rest of this year. Look for next year’s schedule of certification courses this fall. For more information, visit

Community Bank IT Institute
Aug. 8–12 in Minneapolis

Credit Analyst Institute
Aug. 14–17 in Minneapolis

Bank Security Institute
Sept. 11–13 in Minneapolis

Auditing Institute
Sept. 12–16 (week one) in Minneapolis
Sept. 19–23 (week two) in Minneapolis

Consumer Lending Institute
Sept. 18–21 in Minneapolis

Compliance Institute
Sept. 25–30 in Denver

Annual Current Issues/Certification Conference
Oct. 4–7 in Minneapolis

Annual Current Issues/Certification Conference
Oct. 17–20 in Orlando, Fla.

Commercial Lending Institute
Oct. 23–28 in Phoenix, Ariz.

BSA/AML Institute
Nov. 7–9 in Dallas


Runay Olson ( is ICBA’s vice president of Community Banker University–Seminars.