CFPB Watchdog: Bureau Rushing Unprepared Examiners Into Training

In response to needs for more qualified examiners, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is sometimes rushing unprepared examination staff through the agency’s examiner commissioning program, according to a report today from the independent inspector general for the bureau.

The report found that “management may have encouraged examiners to proceed through certain components of the ECP before being fully prepared in an effort to fulfill workforce needs.” To remain with the bureau long-term, examiners must complete the ECP within five years of reaching the highest non-commissioned examiner grade. But even though examiners are incentivized to proceed through the ECP, the inspector general found that managers pressured examiners to proceed before they felt ready — which resulted in lower pass rates.

One stumbling block in particular was completion of an examiner-in-chief case study, which had a pass rate of less than 50 percent in the summer of 2016, “suggesting that candidates may be moving to the EIC case study before they are fully prepared.” The report found that the “ineffective controls” contributing to pushing unprepared examiners through the ECP was harming employee morale and taking time away from examinations as examiners make multiple attempts at completing the program.