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. 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. Refer to Information Notice 8/1/12 for further details regarding the LEP criteria.

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

FINRA has revised the process for candidates with LEP to request additional time when registering through CRD (Note: The process for unsponsored (U10) candidates has not changed). See Information Notice 07/10/14 for additional information.

Questions regarding the LEP process should be directed to FINRA's Field Support Services at (800) 999-6647, Option 3 or you can review answers to LEP Frequently Asked Questions.

 

New CRD System LEP Process
Effective September 8, 2014, firms must submit requests for additional time based on LEP directly through the CRD system. FINRA no longer accepts 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 has not changed.

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 must submit all requests for additional time based on LEP through the CRD system. See the LEP Request User Guide  for detailed instructions.
  3. LEP-eligible candidates and their firms must complete the hard copy LEP Request Form, retain a copy in their records and produce the form upon regulatory request. There is no longer a need to send the form to FINRA.
  4. Firms now 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
     

LEP Process for Unsponsored (U10) Candidates
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 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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

 

Last Updated: 9/8/2014