The National Association of Federal Credit Unions is starting a certification program for compliance officers.

The program, scheduled to begin in June, will feature five tests that compliance officers can complete at home during any six-month span. The exams will cover all regulatory areas, including the Community Reinvestment Act, real estate lending, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act.

The trade group also will offer a weeklong compliance school in 1997. No date or site has been determined.

Banking groups have offered compliance certifications for decades.

"We've had people asking us to do this for years," said Jane Pannier, the trade group's federal regulatory counsel. "It provides a method for compliance officers to obtain a certain level of professionalism within the industry. And it gives peace of mind to their chairmen as well."

The certification will last for two years, after which compliance officers can take the test again.

Officials at the credit union group said the price for the self-paced program will range from $250 to $300. For more information, call 1-800-336- 4644.

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