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Education: Standardized Testing for the Industry

David Lykken
May 22, 2015

On the May 11 episode of the Lykken on Lending radio show I hosted, David Stevens of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) discussed with us the need for standardized testing across the mortgage industry. Many industries have certifications that qualify professionals to work in those industries. While there are certifications that mortgage professionals can get, there doesn't seem to be agreement on any kind of standard license.

What's wrong with that? Do we really need standardization? Perhaps having such certifications would just bog the industry down with further rules and prevent us from being nimble. Isn't it more important that professionals can do their jobs than it is that they have the appropriate credentials? Do we even want to have standardized testing for professionals in the mortgage industry, like other industries have for their professions?

In short, yes, I think it would be a good idea. Why? Because I think a standard certification can instill confidence in the industry. While adding licensing requirements does add more red tape, unlike many regulations, it comes with an added bonus: certifications carry an aura of legitimacy. People like doing business with professionals and organizations that are professionally licensed, because they know what they're getting. It's the difference between getting your taxes done with a "CPA" versus simply a "tax preparer." People know what they're getting when they're dealing with people who have credentials. We need a more standardized approach to testing and certifying individuals in the mortgage industry. Because, if there's one thing our industry needs right now, it's the confidence of consumers.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]


May 22, 2015