Qualifications Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)—Operations Professional


Examination/Registration—General

  1. How many questions are on the Operations Professional examination (Series 99)?
  2. How much does it cost to take the Series 99 examination?
  3. Will the fees for cancelling/rescheduling an examination apply to the Series 99 examination?
  4. Where can I find more information about registering for the Series 99 examination, including test center locations?
  5. What are the test center protocols and policies for Series 99 examination sessions?
  6. If I fail the Series 99 examination, is there a waiting period before I can take the examination again?
  7. What is the Central Registration Depository (CRD®) position code for the Operations Professional registration category?
  8. If I have been fingerprinted by my current firm and continuously employed by that firm, will I have to be re-fingerprinted in order to register as an Operations Professional?
  9. Can firms submit “batch” Form U4 filings to request Operations Professional registration for individuals who are required to register?
  10. Are persons registered as Operations Professionals subject to BrokerCheck®?

 

Initial 60-Day Rollout Period for the Series 99 Examination

  1. If I take the Series 99 examination during the 60-day rollout period, when and how will I be notified of my score?
  2. If I take the Series 99 examination during the 60-day rollout period and fail it, how long do I have to wait before I can take the examination again?
  3. If I schedule an appointment to take the Series 99 examination within the 60-day rollout period but do not show up to take the examination, will I be able to retake it for free once the test results are posted?

 

Day-One Professionals

  1. What is the time frame for identifying Day-One Professionals to FINRA?
  2. If I am a Day-One Professional and I submit a Form U4 requesting registration on December 1, 2011, to take the Series 99 examination, will my examination window be open for a year (until November 30, 2012)?
  3. If I am a Day-One Professional and I fail the Series 99 examination on my first attempt, will the next examination window that opens be for the remainder of the 12-month registration period?
  4. If I am hired by a firm in a position that requires Operations Professional registration after October 17, 2011, and I need to pass an examination to qualify as an Operations Professional, will I have one year to take and pass the Series 99 examination or other eligible registration examination?

 

Exception to the Series 99 Examination Requirement

  1. Which registration categories will allow me to register as an Operations Professional without passing the Series 99 examination?
  2. If I hold an eligible registration, how do I register for the Operations Professional registration category?
  3. Will the option to obtain an eligible registration and rely on that registration to qualify as an Operations Professional without passing the Series 99 examination be available long-term?
  4. What steps should I take if I want to obtain an eligible registration and use that registration to register as an Operations Professional?
  5. Will I be charged a fee for registering for the Operations Professional registration if I hold an eligible registration?
  6. If I have extensive experience in the operations area of my firm, will I be eligible to be “grandfathered” into the Operations Professional registration category?

 

Prerequisites

  1. Does the Series 99 examination meet the prerequisites for any other FINRA examination?
  2. Does the Series 99 examination have any prerequisites?
  3. Does the Series 99 examination meet the prerequisites for registering as a broker-dealer agent with a state?

 

Continuing Education

  1. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to Firm Element continuing education?
  2. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to Regulatory Element continuing education?
  3. When will the S901 Regulatory Element Program become available?

 

Examination/Registration—General

 

1. How many questions are on the Operations Professional examination (Series 99)?
The Series 99 examination has 100 questions, with an additional 10 unidentified “pretest” questions that are not included in a candidate’s score. Candidates have 2.5 hours to complete the examination.
2. How much does it cost to take the Series 99 examination?
The fee for the Series 99 examination is $125.
3. Will the fees for cancelling/rescheduling an examination apply to the Series 99 examination?
Yes. These fees apply to the Series 99 examination. See FINRA’s Cancellation and Reschedule Policy for the applicable fees.
4. Where can I find more information about registering for the Series 99 examination, including test center locations?
For more information about registering for an examination, see the Qualifications guidelines.
5. What are the test center protocols and policies for Series 99 examination sessions?
The test center protocols and policies applicable to all testing and continuing education sessions apply for the Series 99 examination. For more information, see the Test Center Security Guidelines.
6. If I fail the Series 99 examination, is there a waiting period before I can take the examination again?
Yes. Under NASD Rule 1070(e), you must wait 30 calendar days before you can retake the examination. If you fail an examination three or more times in succession, you must wait until 180 calendar days have elapsed from the date of your last attempt before retaking the examination.
7. What is the Central Registration Depository (CRD®) position code for the Operations Professional registration category?
The CRD system position code for the Operations Professional registration category is “OS.”
8. If I have been fingerprinted by my current firm and continuously employed by that firm, will I have to be re-fingerprinted in order to register as an Operations Professional?
No. If your firm has submitted your fingerprints to the CRD system, the fingerprints on file can be used to register you as an Operations Professional.
9. Can firms submit “batch” Form U4 filings to request Operations Professional registration for individuals who are required to register?
Yes. Firms that are Web EFT Form Filing subscribers may submit batch Form U4 filings to the CRD system. See the Web EFT section of FINRA’s website for additional information regarding the Web EFT batch filing process.
10. Are persons registered as Operations Professionals subject to BrokerCheck®?
Yes. Information about persons registered as Operations Professionals will be released through BrokerCheck pursuant to FINRA Rule 8312 (BrokerCheck Disclosure).

Initial 60-Day Rollout Period for the Series 99 Examination

 

1. If I take the Series 99 examination during the 60-day rollout period, when and how will I be notified of my score?
FINRA will not immediately release the results for any Series 99 examination taken during the initial 60-day rollout period (October 17 – December 16, 2011). Instead, FINRA will notify you and your firm of your test results (including an informal breakdown of your performance on each section of the examination, along with your overall score and pass/fail status) on or shortly after December 16, 2011, at which time the test results will be posted to the CRD system.
2. If I take the Series 99 examination during the 60-day rollout period and fail it, how long do I have to wait before I can take the examination again?
The waiting period under NASD Rule 1070(e) applies regardless of when you take the Series 99 examination. You may take the examination again no earlier than 30 calendar days after the date that you initially took the examination. If you take and fail the Series 99 examination within the 60-day rollout period, you will have one opportunity to retake the examination at no additional cost.
3. If I schedule an appointment to take the Series 99 examination within the 60-day rollout period but do not show up to take the examination, will I be able to retake it for free once the test results are posted?
No. Only those people who actually sit for the examination during the 60-day rollout period will have one opportunity to retake it at no additional cost if they fail.

Day-One Professionals

 

1. What is the time frame for identifying Day-One Professionals to FINRA?
Firms must identify all Day-One Professionals within the 60-day identification period (October 17 – December 16, 2011). Firms identify a Day-One Professional by submitting a Form U4 and requesting the Operations Professional (OS) registration for the individual.
2. If I am a Day-One Professional and I submit a Form U4 requesting registration on December 1, 2011, to take the Series 99 examination, will my examination window be open for a year (until November 30, 2012)?
No. The examination window to take the Series 99 examination will close on October 17, 2012, for all Day-One Professionals regardless of the date within the 60-day identification period (October 17 – December 16, 2011) on which they request registration.
3. If I am a Day-One Professional and I fail the Series 99 examination on my first attempt, will the next examination window that opens be for the remainder of the 12-month registration period?
No. If you fail the Series 99 examination on your first try, the next examination window that opens (and any subsequent examination window) will be for the standard 120 days. However, you will still have until October 17, 2012, to pass the examination and you may still function as an Operations Professional through that date without having passed the examination.
4. If I am hired by a firm in a position that requires Operations Professional registration after October 17, 2011, and I need to pass an examination to qualify as an Operations Professional, will I have one year to take and pass the Series 99 examination or other eligible registration examination?
No. If you are hired as an Operations Professional after October 17, 2011 (or transfer into a position that requires such registration after October 17, 2011), you are not eligible for the 12-month transition period to pass an examination. You are considered a non-Day-One Professional and the amount of time you will have to pass the Series 99 examination (or other eligible registration examination) will depend on when you come into a position that requires Operations Professional registration, as follows:
  • If you are required to register as an Operations Professional between October 18, 2011, and December 16, 2011, you must request Operations Professional (OS) registration via Form U4 in the CRD system and you will have until April 14, 2012, to pass the Series 99 examination (or other eligible registration examination). During this period, you may function as an Operations Professional. Any non-Day-One Professional who must register between October 18, 2011, and December 16, 2011, will have until April 14, 2012, to pass the Series 99 examination (or other eligible registration examination), regardless of when they request OS registration during this time period.
  • If you are required to register as an Operations Professional on or after December 17, 2011, you will have 120 days beginning on the date that you request Operations Professional (OS) registration via Form U4 in the CRD system to pass the Series 99 examination (or other eligible registration examination). During this 120-day period, you may function as an Operations Professional.
Further information regarding the implementation schedule for non-Day-One Professionals can be found on FINRA’s rule filing with the SEC.

Please note that if you are a non-Day-One Professional and request the Series 99 examination within the 60-day identification period (October 17, 2011, to December 16, 2011), a 12-month examination window will open. Nevertheless, you must pass an examination on or before April 14, 2012, because you are not eligible for the 12-month transition period afforded to Day-One Professionals. Your firm is responsible for tracking and monitoring all of its associated persons to ensure that they are registered and conduct their activities in compliance with the appropriate time frames.

Exception to the Series 99 Examination Requirement

 

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:
  • Registered Options Principal (Series 4)
  • Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative (Series 6)
  • General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • General Securities Sales Supervisor (Series 9/10)
  • Compliance Officer (Series 14)
  • Supervisory Analyst (Series 16)
  • United Kingdom Securities Representative (Series 17)
  • General Securities Principal (Series 24)
  • Investment Company Products/Variable Products Principal (Series 26)
  • Financial and Operations Principal (Series 27)
  • Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal (Series 28)
  • Canada Securities Representative (Series 37 or 38)
  • Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal (Series 51)
  • Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53)
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. If I hold an eligible registration, how do I register for the Operations Professional registration category?
You may register by submitting an amended Form U4 to request the Operations Professional registration (i.e., by selecting the “OS” CRD system position code).
3. Will the option to obtain an eligible registration and rely on that registration to qualify as an Operations Professional without passing the Series 99 examination be available long-term?
Yes. Persons seeking registration as an Operations Professional going forward may elect to obtain an eligible registration and use that registration to register as an Operations Professional.
4. What steps should I take if I want to obtain an eligible registration and use that registration to register as an Operations Professional?
You may register as an Operations Professional by newly qualifying in an eligible registration in either of the following ways:
  • You may submit a Form U4 and request: (1) the OS registration and the eligible registration you would like to rely on in Section 4 of Form U4, and (2) the examination for the eligible registration only in Section 7 of Form U4; or
  • You may submit a Form U4 to request the eligible registration only. After you have passed the qualification examination, you may then submit a Form U4 amendment to request the Operations Professional registration. If you are a Day-One Professional and are going to use this option, please keep in mind that all Day-One Professionals must request registration as an Operations Professional before December 16, 2011.
Please note that if an individual seeks to qualify for the Operations Professional registration using an eligible registration, the standard 120-day examination window for the relevant qualifying examination will open even if the request is made during the 60-day identification period. Notwithstanding the opening of this 120-day window, Day-One Professionals who are identified during the 60-day identification period will still have 12 months to qualify as an Operations Professional and be able to function in that capacity during the 12-month transition period without having passed the examination.
5. 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.
6. If I have extensive experience in the operations area of my firm, will I be eligible to be “grandfathered” into the Operations Professional registration category?
No. There is no option to be “grandfathered” into the Operations Professional registration category.  The various options for registering as an Operations Professional are described above and in Regulatory Notice 11-33.

Prerequisites

 

1. Does the Series 99 examination meet the prerequisites for any other FINRA examination?
No. The Series 99 examination does not meet the prerequisites for any other FINRA examination.
2. Does the Series 99 examination have any prerequisites?
No. There are no prerequisites for taking the Series 99 examination.
3. Does the Series 99 examination meet the prerequisites for registering as a broker-dealer agent with a state?
No. The Series 99 examination will not satisfy the requirements for state broker-dealer agent (AG) registration. You must pass the Series 7 examination or another examination that is recognized by the relevant state for qualifying for the AG registration.

Continuing Education

 

1. 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.
2. 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 registration (Series 7), you will be subject to the S101 Regulatory Element Program in lieu of the S901 Regulatory Element Program.
3. When will the S901 Regulatory Element Program become available?
The S901 Regulatory Element Program will become available during the fourth quarter of 2013.