Candidates with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

FINRA provides candidates with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) additional time to complete a FINRA-administered qualification examination or Regulatory Element Continuing Education (CE) Session provided they follow certain protocols. Candidates with LEP are persons who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. Refer to Information Notice 8/1/12 for further details regarding the LEP criteria.

  

FINRA is revising the process for candidates with LEP to receive additional time to complete a FINRA-administered qualification examination or CE session, effective September 8, 2014 (Note: The process for unsponsored (U10) candidates will not change). See Information Notice 07/10/14 for additional information. Details of this new process are provided below.

  


  

Current Manual LEP Process (in effect through September 7, 2014)

 

Currently, LEP candidates and their sponsoring firms, or unsponsored (U10) candidates who want to request additional time to complete a FINRA-administered qualification examination or CE session must complete the following steps.

 

  1. Open the appropriate enrollment window by requesting an examination via Form U4 or Form U10.  For CE sessions, Web CRD automatically opens a CE session based on the anniversary of the individual's initial securities registration.
  2. Submit a completed LEP Request Form to FINRA's LEP Support Services Team via email (PDF format only) or facsimile to (202) 689-3487.
    • The request for additional time will apply to all of the examinations/CE sessions that are included on the LEP Request Form and have an open enrollment window.
  3. Receive confirmation from FINRA within approximately 10 business days of receipt that the LEP Request Form has been processed prior to scheduling the exam or CE session.
    • FINRA will provide notification via email that the LEP Request Form has been processed, or that the initial submission was incomplete and a new, complete form is required. Once processed, FINRA will notify its test delivery vendors that the candidate should be provided additional time for LEP to complete the examination or CE session.
  4. Schedule the examination or CE session appointment with one of FINRA's test delivery vendors:
    • Pearson VUE's National Registration Center: (toll-free) (866) 396-6273
    • Prometric's website or National Call Center: www.prometric.com/finra or (toll-free) (800) 578-6273

 

Test center personnel will no longer accept written requests by candidates for additional time based on LEP or because English is a candidate's second language, and are authorized to provide additional time to such candidates.

 

LEP-eligible candidates will receive an additional 30 minutes for an examination that is up to two hours in length, and an additional 60 minutes for an examination over two hours in length and for any CE session. The FINRA Administered Qualification Examinations Web page provides a list of examinations, their applicable costs, time allotted and number of questions. For additional information regarding the LEP process, please review the LEP Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Misrepresentation of a candidate's LEP-eligibility may result in a disciplinary action or proceeding against the firm and/or candidate by the sponsoring organization (i.e., the self-regulatory organization, state or bank regulator), as appropriate.

 

Questions regarding the LEP process should be directed to FINRA's Field Support Services at (800) 999-6647, Option 3.

  


  

New CRD System LEP Process (effective September 8, 2014)

 

Effective September 8, 2014, firms must submit requests for additional time based on LEP directly through the CRD system. FINRA will no longer accept hardcopy LEP Request Forms from FINRA-registered firms or non-FINRA firms that use CRD to register candidates with other CRD participating regulators. As noted above, the process for requesting LEP for U10 candidates will not change.

 

Under the new process, firms must complete the following steps.

 

  1. Open the appropriate enrollment window by requesting an examination via Form U4. For CE sessions, Web CRD automatically opens a CE session based on the anniversary of the individual’s initial securities registration.
  2. Firms will submit all requests for additional time based on LEP through the CRD system.
  3. FINRA will continue to require LEP-eligible candidates and their firms to complete the hard copy LEP Request Form, retain a copy in their records and produce the form upon regulatory request. There will no longer be the need to send the form to FINRA.
  4. Firms will have the ability to schedule examinations and CE sessions immediately after submitting the LEP request via CRD.
  5. Schedule the examination or CE session appointment with one of FINRA’s test delivery vendors:
    • Pearson VUE's National Registration Center: (toll-free) (866) 396-6273
    • Prometric's website or National Call Center: www.prometric.com/finra or (toll-free) (800) 578-6273

 

Questions regarding the LEP process should be directed to FINRA's Field Support Services at (800) 999-6647, Option 3.

Last Updated: 7/7/2014