Series 99 - Operations Professional Exam

The Series 99 exam — the Operations Professional Exam — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as an operations professional.

The Series 99 exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses 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.

Effective October 1, 2018, candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and a revised Series 99 exam to obtain the Operations Professional registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 99 exams, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(3).

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Series 99 at a Glance


Number of Items 50
Format Multiple Choice
Duration 90 minutes
Passing Score 68%
Corequisite SIE exam
Cost $40

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. The outline is comprised of the two main job functions of an operations professional. The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each main job function.

Major Job Functions Percentage of Exam Questions Number of Questions
(F1) Knowledge Associated with the Securities Industry and Broker-dealer Operations 70% 35
(F2) Professional Conduct and Ethical Considerations 30% 15
TOTAL 100% 50

Eligibility


Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA qualifications exams. For more information on eligibility requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1220(b)(3).

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

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the revised Series 99 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 99 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the operations professional registration.

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

Key Questions


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

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 are permitted to 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 reactivate your eligible registration prior to requesting Operations Professional (Series 99) 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 (Series 99) registration if I hold an eligible registration?

No. You will not be charged a fee for requesting the Operations Professional (Series 99) 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 the Continuing Education Firm Element?

Yes. Under FINRA Rule 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements), every person registered as an Operations Professional will be subject to the Firm Element.

4. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to the Continuing Education Regulatory Element?

Yes. Under FINRA Rule 1240, every person registered as an Operations Professional will be subject to the Regulatory Element. If you hold only an Operations Professional (Series 99) 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) registration, you will be subject to the S101 Regulatory Element program in lieu of the S901 Regulatory Element program.

5. My firm opened my Series 99 exam window on August 1, 2018. I scheduled my exam for November 1, 2018. Which exam will I take?

Your exam window opened prior to October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the 100-question Series 99 exam to receive an Operations Professional (Series 99) registration.

6. My firm opened my Series 99 exam window on August 1, 2018. I took my Series 99 exam on September 1, 2018, but failed. If I retake the exam, which exam will I take?

In order to retake your exam, a new exam window must be opened. Your new exam window will open on or after October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the SIE and revised 50-question Series 99 exam to receive an Operations Professional (Series 99) registration.

7. My firm opened my Series 99 exam window on October 2, 2018. I scheduled my exam for November 1. Which exam will I take?

Your exam window opened after October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the SIE and revised 50-question Series 99 exam to receive an Operations Professional (Series 99) registration.