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For updates and guidance related to COVID-19 / Coronavirus, click here.

Continuing Education (CE)

FINRA, in conjunction with other self-regulatory organizations and the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education, administers the continuing education program for the securities industry. (See FINRA Rule 1240.)  Continuing education consists of two mandatory programs:  the Regulatory Element and the Firm Element.

COVID-19 Guidance on Continuing Education Regulatory Element

FINRA is aware of the challenges that COVID-19 is presenting for our registrants who want to satisfy their Continuing Education (CE) Regulatory Element requirements. FINRA will extend all Regulatory Element requirements that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16, 2020 and May 2020.  Each Regulatory Element end date will be extended through the same end date of May 31, 2020. COVID-19 Guidance on FINRA-Administered Exams is also available.

Please visit FINRA’s COVID-19 Coronavirus page for complete updates and guidance.

Regulatory Element

The Regulatory Element of FINRA's Continuing Education (CE) program focuses on compliance, regulatory, ethical and sales practice standards. Its content is derived from industry rules and regulations, and accepted standards and practices in the industry. Participants must demonstrate proficiency in order to satisfy the CE requirements.  The Regulatory Element requires all registered individuals to complete a computer-based training session within 120 days of the second anniversary of their initial registration date, and every three years thereafter. 

Content Outlines and Training Material

Please see the content outlines below for information about each of the Regulatory Element programs. 

FINRA also provides the following tools to help participants prepare for their Regulatory Element sessions.


As of July 1, 2016, Continuing Education (CE) Regulatory Element programs are no longer available at testing centers. Going forward, participants must satisfy their CE requirement exclusively via the CE Online Program.

Registered persons with an open CE window are eligible to take their respective S101 or S201 program.

Please check with your firm to determine when the 120-calendar-day CE window opens.

The FINRA CE Online System™ will be available during core business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST with full support. Outside of these hours the system will be available with limited support. Notice will be provided when the system is unavailable for scheduled maintenance.

Special Accommodations

FINRA has made every effort to make the CE Online Program as user friendly as possible for all participants, regardless of physical, sensory or cognitive ability.  In most cases, participants who have required accommodations in the past will no longer need to apply for accommodations when using the CE Online Program.  

However, FINRA recognizes that some CE participants may require additional assistance beyond what CE Online provides.  Participants or firms may choose to apply for an accommodation for reader, a recorder or both, if needed.

Firm Element

The Firm Element of the FINRA Continuing Education (CE) Program requires broker-dealers to establish a formal training program to keep covered registered persons up to date on job- and product-related subjects. In planning, developing and implementing the Firm Element, each broker-dealer must consider its size, structure, scope of business and regulatory concerns.

Each broker-dealer must administer its Firm Element Continuing Education Program in accordance with its annual Needs Analysis and Written Training Plan, and maintain records documenting the content and completion of the program.

FINRA publishes the Securities Industry Regulatory Council’s Firm Element Advisory, which identifies and recommends pertinent regulatory and sales practice issues for firms to consider including in their Firm Element training plans. Learn more about Firm Element guidelines with our Guide to Firm Element Needs Analysis and Training Plan Development.

To learn more, visit the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education (CE Council) website. It contains a wide range of continuing education information and publications regarding the Regulatory Element and Firm Element.

If you have questions about FINRA Rule 1240 and the Continuing Education Program or require assistance, please contact the FINRA Call Center at 240-386-4040.

See also: E-Learning Courses from FINRA

  • FAQ

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), FINRA is providing temporary relief for member firms from rules and requirements in the Frequently Asked Questions below. The relief provided does not extend beyond the identified rules and requirements. FINRA will continue to monitor the situation to determine whether additional guidance and relief may be appropriate. As coronavirus-related risks decrease, member firms should expect to return to meeting any regulatory obligations for which relief has been provided.

    March 24, 2020
  • Interpretive Letter
    During the period a registered representative is inactive for failure to complete the Regulatory Element, a member may pay the registered representative fees or commissions earned by the representative prior to the period of inactivity unless the member has a policy that prohibits it. However, a member may not pay the inactive registered representative commissions on securities sales that occur during the period that the registered representative is inactive.
    October 02, 2001