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CRD FAQ - Qualifications

1. Where can I access a list describing the exams listed in Web CRD?

A listing of the exams available in Web CRD can be found on the Qualification Exams page.

2. How long is an exam window in Web CRD?

Exam windows are valid for 120 days.

3. Why does a new exam window appear the same day that it is opened; however, under the Individual Tab it shows as one day later than the day requested (post dated)? It will then appear under the Firm Query the day following the request.

The exam windows open the next day due to the fact that there is a nightly process that sends enrollments, via an interface, from Web CRD to the PROCTOR system. Since PROCTOR does not receive all enrollments until approximately 7:00 a.m. the following day, we add that extra day to the exam window.

4. What are the qualifications for an IA representative (RA) registration?

To be deemed qualified for the RA registration category, the system requires that an individual meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Have a passing grade for the S65 within the past two years; or
  2. Have a passing grade for the S66 within the past two years and a passing grade for the S7 within the CRD continuous registration period or two years prior to the beginning of the continuous registration period; or
  3. Have a passing grade for the S66 within the past two years and a GS/TR/TS within the CRD continuous registration period; or
  4. Currently hold one of the system-recognized professional designations; or
  5. Have held an approved RA registration with any jurisdiction within the past two years.

If the applicant does not meet one of the above criteria, the system will advise of such and post a "Developed a Need" status for a qualifying exam.

With regard to the five professional designations (CFP, CFA, CIC, ChFC and PFS), the system will check against the most recent information received from the Designating Authority to confirm that the applicant has the appropriate designation based on the Designating Authority’s list. If the applicant is not on the list, the filing will fail the Completeness Check and the system will prevent the Form U4 from being submitted. At that point, a submitter has two choices.

  • If the applicant holds the designation, he or she should call the Designating Authority and request that the Authority send an updated electronic file to FINRA (which includes that individual).
  • If the applicant does not hold the designation, the submitter should deselect the Professional Designation box and submit the Form U4. If there are no other qualifying criteria for the applicant, he/she will be advised of the need to schedule a qualifying examination and the system will post a "Developed A Need" status.

With regard to qualifying via registration in another jurisdiction, that registration would have to be posted on Web CRD. As stated above, if the applicant qualifies because he or she held an approved RA registration with any jurisdiction within the past two years, a notice of the application will appear in the state's Manual Approval Queue. The state will determine whether the qualification meets the state reciprocation requirements. If not, the state will notify the applicant that the individual will have to pass the qualifying exam for that state.

For more information, see the IARD Fiiling Online page and the IARD Bulletin.

5. Will the Series 65 window open automatically when selecting an RA registration?

The Series 65 is automatically scheduled when an individual chooses an RA registration and is not otherwise qualified as an investment adviser representative in Web CRD. If the firm has documentation that proves the individual's RA qualification, it should provide it directly to the state(s).

6. Can a firm receive a refund for the Series 65 exam if the exam was not needed?

The firm must contact the state directly and ask the state to contact FINRA to authorize the refund of the exam fee. FINRA cannot refund the exam fee without the state's authorization.

7. How far back does the exam history information go when a Form U-10/TESS exam is linked in Web CRD?

The exam history reflects all exam data available in the Proctor System. For any Form U4 Filing request submitted, Web CRD will check to see if the Series 63, 65, and 66 exams were taken outside of a Form U4 filing and convert the information onto Web CRD.

8. Does a Professional Designation waive the Series 7 for an individual seeking to be GS registered?

No. A Professional Designation does not exempt an individual from the Series 7.

9. What Professional Designating Authorities participate in the registration process of IA representatives?

CFP - Certified Financial Planner
Awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

ChFC - Chartered Financial Consultant
Awarded by the American College, Bryn Mawr, PA

PFS - Personal Financial Specialist
Awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

CFA - Chartered Financial Analyst
Awarded by the Association for Investment Management Research

CIC - Chartered Investment Counselor
Awarded by the Investment Adviser Association

10. Are Professional Designations accepted in every state as an alternate qualification requirement?

Although Web CRD currently accepts Professional Designations for every state that registers investment adviser representatives, firms should contact each state to confirm whether it accepts a given designation in lieu of the qualifying examination.

11.  I attempted to submit a Form U4 with a Professional Designation(s) and the filing is not going through. I am receiving a Completeness Check error message. What should I do?

Contact the Professional Designating Authority directly to have the Professional Designating Authority send the updated information to FINRA via an electronic file. Once Web CRD processes the information, the firm may re-submit the pending Form U4 filing with the Designation and will no longer receive the error message.

12. What information appears under "Current Professional Designations" in View Individual?

"Current Professional Designations" lists the Professional Designations indicated on the most recent Form U4 filed on behalf of an individual. Upon submission of a Form U4, Web CRD confirms that the individual is included on the most recent listing of designees from the relevant Designating Authority. The designation will continue to appear even if it is no longer valid, until a Form U4 Amendment is filed without that designation selected. Conversely, if a subsequent Form U4 omits that designation even though the individual holds it, the designation will no longer appear.

Please note: Firms and investment adviser representatives are under a continuing obligation to update their Form U4; accordingly an investment adviser representative should amend Form U4 if he/she reported holding a Professional Designation and that designation has been revoked, suspended or has lapsed.