The regulation certainly does not mandate a self-assessment process. However, given the potential impact of an adverse CRA PE it would be very prudent to maintain some type of self-assessment program. Without a self-assessment program how can you recognize and correct performance shortcomings and how can you respond to examiner questions about your performance meeting the need for credit services in the community? A bank that is passive about CRA is much more vulnerable to criticism. Moreover, a genuine self-assessment program incorporates market data that should be used by the bank for improved market performance as well as better compliance ratings. In fact a good CRA self-assessment program can be a profit center, not a cost center because you will know more about your loan markets and competition and you will be better prepared to capture more of your market share.
Technically, you don't have to have a self-assessment program, but you really should have one.
CRA Exam Preparation, CRA Performance Evaluations, Key Performance Benchmarks, & maps