NAPERVILLE, Ill. (3/10/11)--More than 20 individuals from Illinois credit unions are participating in the REAL Solutions Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP), as a result of support from the Illinois Credit Union (ICU) Foundation. As the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Financial Counseling Certification Program, FiCEP allows credit union employees to become more confident in helping members build stronger financial futures. Modeled after the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools, FiCEP includes two parts with four learning modules each. When participants successfully complete the proctored exams for the eight modules they are designated as Credit Union Certified Financial Counselors. In addition to the self-study materials, the program includes eight webinars, which will review the printed materials and add real-life experiences, and two in-person meetings, which will feature networking, education and proctored exams. Module topics include: introduction to financial counseling; financial counseling essentials; special issues in financial counseling; using communication skills during financial counseling; taxes, insurance, and investments; controlling living expenses and understanding consumer credit; matching values to money; and retirement and special issues. The webinars will be held at 10 a.m. CT on select Tuesdays from March to July and will be recorded. Two in-person meetings with proctored testing sessions will be held at the ICU System Center in Naperville, Ill. An orientation webinar will also be offered. “The end result of the training will be numerous credit union executives who will be equipped to help members attain their financial goals and provide another example of how the movement is fulfilling its mission,” said Vicki Ponzo, executive director of the ICU Foundation.