The certification program is co-sponsored by the Hudson Cook law firm in Hanover, Md., where the NAF Association is based. The association is a client of the law firm, whose practice specializes in consumer financial services law.
Tracey said plans for the certification program, scheduled to start in fall, call for four training modules. The first and last training sessions likely will be in-person in a classroom or conference room, and the second and third sessions likely will be online.
Topics are expected to include federal and state law as well as a session devoted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Tracey said. Pricing has yet to be announced.
"It's probably going to take a student a year to 18 months to pass the course doing it on their own time," he said. "It's a rigorous course."
For auto lender employees, the new NAF Association certification is expected to be comparable to certification for dealership employees by the Association of Finance & Insurance Professionals, Tracey said.
Dave Robertson, executive director of AFIP, based in Colleyville, Texas, said this week that AFIP and the NAF Association were working together on the "content delivery process and support services."
Tracey said the rules and regulations governing subprime and near-prime lenders are essentially the same as those governing prime-risk lenders. But he said that content specifically aimed at subprime and near-prime lenders likely will emphasize some different aspects, such as collections.
"I think organizations will be pleased to have this available. And for employees, I think certification will carry some weight as they move from job to job," he said. "Now, a company looks for base of expertise in consumer finance, but they figure they will have to train them."