Series 99 - Operations Professional Exam (OS)

Exam Restructuring

The Series 99 exam—the Operations Professional Qualification Examination (OS)—assesses the competency of an entry-level representative to perform his or her job as an operations professional.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possess the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an operations professional, including client on-boarding; financial control; receipt and delivery of securities and funds and account transfers; and collection, maintenance, reinvestment and disbursements of funds.

Given the diversity of job functions covered under the operations professional registration category, the exam will test candidates’ knowledge at a basic level of understanding and application.

The Series 99 consists of 100 scored questions and an additional 10 unscored pretest questions. Candidates are given two hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 68 percent.

Please see FINRA Rule 1230(b)(6) Operations Professional for more information.

Content Outline


The Series 99 - Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. It includes sample questions to acquaint a candidate with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam.

The outline consists of three sections pertaining to the job functions of an operations professional.

  • Section 1—Basis Knowledge Associated with the Securities Industry
  • Section 2—Basic Knowledge Associated with Broker-Dealer Operations
  • Section 3—Professional Conduct and Ethical Considerations

Download: Series 99 - Content Outline

Eligibility


The Series 99 does not have a prerequisite exam.

Please see Register a New Candidate for more information on the registration process.

Permitted Activities


  • Client on-boarding (customer account data and document maintenance)
  • Collection, maintenance, re-investment (i.e., sweeps) and disbursement of funds
  • Receipt and delivery of securities and funds, account transfers
  • Bank, custody, depository and firm account management and reconciliation
  • Settlement, fail control, buy ins, segregation, possession and control
  • Trade confirmation and account statements
  • Margin
  • Stock loan/securities lending
  • Prime brokerage (services to other broker-dealers and financial institutions)
  • Approval of pricing models used for valuations
  • Financial control, including general ledger and treasury
  • Contributing to the process of preparing and filing financial regulatory reports
  • Defining and approving business requirements for sales and trading systems and any other systems related to the covered functions, and validation that these systems meet such business requirements
  • Defining and approving business security requirements and policies for information technology, including, but not limited to, systems and data, in connection with the covered functions
  • Defining and approving information entitlement policies in connection with the covered functions
  • Posting entries to a member's books and records in connection with the covered functions to ensure integrity and compliance with the federal securities laws and regulations and FINRA rules

Taking the Exam


The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each section of the exam.

Section Number of Questions
Section 1—Basic Knowledge Associated with the Securities Industry 32
Section 2—Basic Knowledge Dealing with Broker-Dealer Operations 48
Section 3—Professional Conduct and Ethical Considerations 20
TOTAL 100

Key Questions


1. Which registration categories will allow me to register as an Operations Professional without passing the Series 99 examination?

If you hold any of the following registration categories (each an “eligible registration”), or have held one within the two years immediately prior to registering as an Operations Professional, you may qualify as an Operations Professional without taking the Series 99 examination:

Please note that if you qualify for the exception based on having held an eligible registration within the two years immediately prior to registering as an Operations Professional, you must first re-activate your eligible registration prior to requesting Operations Professional registration. Additionally, the exception does not apply to persons whose eligible registrations are revoked pursuant to FINRA Rules 8310 (Sanctions for Violation of the Rules) or 8320 (Payment of Fines, Other Monetary Sanctions, or Costs; Summary Action for Failure to Pay), suspended or otherwise deemed inactive.

2. Will I be charged a fee for registering for the Operations Professional registration if I hold an eligible registration?

No. You will not be charged a fee for requesting the OS registration if you use an eligible registration to register as an Operations Professional.

3. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to Firm Element continuing education?

Yes. Under FINRA Rule 1250 (Continuing Education Requirements), every person registered as an Operations Professional will be subject to Firm Element continuing education.

4. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to Regulatory Element continuing education?

Yes. Under FINRA Rule 1250, every person registered as an Operations Professional will be subject to Regulatory Element continuing education. If you hold only an Operations Professional registration, you will be subject to the S901 Regulatory Element Program. If you registered as an Operations Professional by using an eligible registration, you will take the Regulatory Element Program appropriate for the eligible registration. For example, if you registered as an Operations Professional by holding a General Securities Representative (Series 7), you will be subject to the S101 Regulatory Element Program in lieu of the S901 Regulatory Element Program.

Using Reference Materials


The test administrator will provide whiteboard/dry erase marker and basic electronic calculators to the candidates, which must be returned to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Some test questions involve calculations. Only the provided calculators may be used during the examination.

The examination may contain questions that require the use of exhibits (e.g., charts, graphs, tables). If so, the questions will indicate when to refer to an exhibit.

Candidates are not permitted to bring any reference materials to testing sessions. Severe penalties are imposed on candidates who cheat or attempt to cheat on FINRA administered examinations.

To learn more about logistics and protocols for your exam day, please see On The Day of Your Exam.