Changes to the Functional Specification for Classroom Equivalent Courses have been approved by the Mortgage Testing & Education Board (MTEB). Specific changes include:
– Section 2.4 Student Authentication and Verification of Attendance were updated to better differentiate between the requirements associated with the use of a web cam and personal information.
– 2.4.2 Visually Identify – describes the use of a web cam and the need to show face and some form ID.
– 2.4.3 Personal Information as a means of Authentication – describes the employment of webinar technology and the need to request personal information that can be used to question the student during the course to verify that the student is who they say they are and to verify attendance
Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.4 have been updated. Specifically:
– 3.1 Video Feed Monitoring – has been updated to include information pertaining only to t he use of a video stream (i.e. a broadcast from one training facility to another).
– 3.2 Webinar Support Capabilities – the section has been updated to specifically address the employment of webinar technologies like GotoMeeting/GoToTraining and is intended to ensure that webinars are being delivered in a manner that requires the student to remain focused and to interact with the course.
– 3.4 verify Course Attendance and Course Completion – like section 3.2, the intent is to ensure students don’t log into the course and then walk away from the computer or go web surfing.
The updated Functional Spec has been posted under Section 2 (Course Approvals): http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx
The Functional Specification for Continuing Education (CE) Online Courses has been posted in the NMLS Resource Center. The document is in draft form and NMLS welcomes constructive comments, questions, and recommendations regarding the requirements associated with delivering education in this classroom format. As is the case with all NMLS approved education, CE courses are intended to ensure MLOs are aware of laws and regulations, emergent trends, and other information necessary to function as a loan originator in the mortgage industry (as opposed to just passing the SAFE MLO test). While NMLS has established specific criteria that must be met in order for a course to be approved, it is also our intent to provide the opportunity for course providers to develop and offer courses that are engaging and appeal to the various learning styles of adult learners.
Note: Unlike other NMLS approved classroom formats, this specification does require an end-of-course exam to be administered as a means to verify course completion. The justification for this is to ensure students achieve a certain level of competency given that lack of instructor-to-student interaction.
NMLS will accept comments regarding this Functional Specification until April 23, 2010. Comments or recommendations should be sent directly to Rich Madison, Director, Mortgage Education Programs (email@example.com). The Functional Spec is available here under Section 2 (Course Approvals): http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/courseprovider/Pages/Resources.aspx
In December 2009, the SRR Board of Managers approved a fee increase for course approval processing. The fee increase was scheduled to go into effect January 4, 2010 but was delayed. The fee increase is now scheduled to go into effect April 15. To see the updated fee schedule under Helpful Links at http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/COURSEPROVIDER/Pages/default.aspx
At the NMLS Users Conference in February we briefed attendees that the course renewal process would begin on May 1. During the conference, and in subsequent conversations, many providers expressed frustration that NMLS was starting course renewals prior to the one year anniversary date of many courses. After meeting with our IT vendor Pearson VUE, and pending final approval from the SRR Board of Managers, NMLS intends to reconfigure PULSE and switch to a rolling course renewal process so that courses will be required to be renewed annually during the anniversary month of their initial approval. For providers this means:
– The first renewals for 2010 will begin in July.
– Courses will be required to be renewed during the anniversary month of initial first approval (not initial submission).
– Think about what month your courses were approved in and plan accordingly (and for many providers, this will be a reoccurring, monthly process).
Specific details regarding the renewal process will be published in late spring.
Per the NMLS Policy on Reporting (Banking) of Student Credits, providers have seven (7) calendar days after the course end date to submit course completions to NMLS. With many state deadlines looming the timely reporting of course completions is going to become even more important (since it could result in an individual losing their license). Accordingly, and along with the generation of the of Credit Banking reports, NMLS is now verifying that course completions are being reported in accordance with NMLS policies. Providers who are found to be non-compliant will be notified. Chronic failure to report within the required timeframe may result in the Mortgage Testing and Education Board (MTEB) taking action against the provider. Please note that NMLS is less concerned about individual incidences where an MLO has failed to supply a correct NMLS ID number. We recognize this will happen from time-to-time and we will work one-on-one with providers to provide assistance as necessary.
NMLS is making available to providers a report that details their credit banking activities for the previous week. For security reasons the report are being placed in the provider’s individual area of the NMLS Course Approval Portal. The reports will be made available every week and will include information by course number the date of the credit banking, the NMLS ID number of the individuals banked, and the fees paid.
If you discover a credit banking problem, please take the following actions:
– Send an e-mail to Alan Ridenour (firstname.lastname@example.org) detailing the problem to include who was/was not credit banked properly, the NMLS ID numbers of individual(s) involved, the course ID number (not session number), the course start and end dates, and the location of the course.
– Do not attempt to re-bank credits. This will only result in double-payment and NMLS does not issue refunds.
– If you have any questions regarding the credit banking report please send an e-mail to Alan at the address above.
– For providers who have not have submitted a course for approval since January, specific details regarding how to login to the portal to access the report will be sent to you via e-mail.
Since January, providers who have submitted courses have frequently received feedback informing them that they need to include “exercises, examples, and/or case studies regarding state law and to cite references in their material.” For many providers this was a new requirement that caused frustration and resulted in a lot of questions. The intent of the requirement, particularly the requirement to cite references, is to assist MLOs to better prepare for the National and State Components of the MLO SAFE test by exposing them to the laws and statues that are contained on the test content outline. The requirement to include case studies, particularly in the case of state law, is intended to reinforce learning by providing context for how the law is applied in real-world situations.
We recognize we could have done a better job earlier of informing all providers of the requirement to include case studies and references. To help ensure providers have a clearer understanding of the type of material NMLS is looking for, the following documents have been posted in the NMLS Resource Center (under Notices & Examples in the Course Provider section):
– A model PowerPoint presentation that will include instructor notes and will explain what NMLS is looking for as well as what should not be included in the PowerPoint.
– A model syllabus that will include examples of course descriptions, objectives, and module time allocations.
We hope these documents will assist to remove some of the subjectivity inherently associated with approving education.