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Continuing Education (CE)

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

After reviewing the information on this page, visit the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education (CE Council) website. It contains a wide range of CE information and publications regarding the Regulatory Element and Firm Element.

If you have questions about FINRA Rule 1240, the CE Program, or otherwise require assistance after reading FINRA and the CE Council's resources, please contact the FINRA Support Center. (See the Contact Us section for more information.)

On This Page


Announcements

  • 2024 Regulatory Element Topics Published: FINRA and the CE Council have published the 2024 learning topics for each registration category. The 2023 learning plans can still be accessed through this link as well. 
  • NASAA’s Exam Validity Extension Program: The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)’s membership approved model rules for programs similar to FINRA’s MQP, called the Exam Validity Extension Program (EVEP) for Broker-Dealer Agents (AG) and for Investment Adviser Representatives (IAR). The programs allow eligible individuals to maintain the validity of their Series 63 exam and/or the validity of their Series 65 exam for up to five years for states that adopt the model rules by completing annual CE requirements. For more information about the model rules, participating jurisdictions and FAQs, visit NASAA's EVEP page. For more information about availability dates and how eligible individuals can enroll, visit the FinPro (Financial Professional Gateway) page.  
  • 2024 Q1 Firm Element Needs Analysis Quarterly Highlights (formerly named the Firm Element Advisory) is now available on the CE Council website.
  • Apply Regulatory Element CE to IAR CE Products & Practices Requirements in Firm Settings: Effective June 30, 2022, firms may opt in to a new Firm Setting in FINRA Gateway to automatically apply Regulatory Element CE to associated individuals who also have an IAR CE Products & Practices requirement. For more information about IAR CE requirements, see the IAR CE page on iard.com.
  • Track Regulatory Element CE Email Reminders With New FINRA Gateway Report: Effective April 5, 2022, firms can use the Notifications Tracking Report in FINRA Gateway to monitor auto-generated system email notifications, including FinPro's optional Regulatory Element CE email notifications. The report includes many data points requested by firms, including email addresses, email subject, date sent, and the date an email was opened.

     For more information about CE email notifications, see the Firm Settings Guide.

  • Regulatory Element CE Email Reminders: Firms can enable an optional feature in FINRA Gateway's Firm Settings. Once enabled, registered securities professionals with FinPro accounts will receive auto-generated email reminders about their Regulatory Element requirement.


Regulatory Element

FINRA Rule 1240 requires registered persons to complete the Regulatory Element annually by Dec. 31 for each registration that they hold. The Regulatory Element provides training on significant rule changes and other regulatory developments relevant to each registration category. 

To provide sufficient time to review the Regulatory Element topics for each upcoming year, FINRA and the CE Council publish the learning topics for each registration category by Oct. 1.

Participants must satisfy their CE requirement through an online CE platform annually by Dec. 31. The platform is available by logging in to FinPro (Financial Professional Gateway).

Support for FinPro and the CE platform is available during core business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Notice will be provided on FINRA’s Systems Status page when the systems are unavailable.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CE IN FINPRO

CE FAQ

Testing Accommodations

FINRA has made every effort to make CE 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 platform.

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

Learn more about Accommodations for CE Participants

Regulatory Element Learning Plan Extension Requests

FINRA Rule 1240 requires registered persons to complete the Regulatory Element annually by Dec. 31 for each registration that they hold. If a registered person experiences circumstances that prevent them from completing the assigned CE by their due date, FINRA may—upon written application, with supporting documentation, and a showing of good cause—allow for additional time for the registered person to complete their CE. Please note that good cause and related documentation must demonstrate that substantive circumstances beyond the registered person’s control prevented them from completing their CE by the due date. Regulatory Element learning plan extension requests provide a formal process for firms to submit such requests to FINRA so that FINRA is able to determine whether an extension may be granted.

To submit a request for a Regulatory Element learning plan extension, the registered person’s firm must complete the Regulatory Element Learning Plan Extension Request Form (linked below) and email the completed form and supporting documentation to: [email protected]. As this submission may contain confidential information, please do not include additional FINRA email addresses on this submission.

access the regulatory element learning plan extension request form


Firm Element

The Firm Element of the FINRA CE Program requires broker-dealers to establish a formal training program to keep registered persons, including individuals who maintain solely a permissive registration consistent with Rule 1210.02, up to date on topics related to professional responsibility and to the role, activities or responsibilities of the registered person. 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 CE 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 Needs Analysis Quarterly Highlights (formerly known as the 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.

See also: E-Learning Courses from FINRA


IAR CE

A registered representative who is also registered as an investment adviser representative (IAR) may be subject to IAR CE requirements.

IARs can apply Regulatory Element training to the Products and Practice requirement through their FinPro (Financial Professional Gateway) accounts. If a firm would like to cover the Regulatory Element reporting fee for all individuals registered with their firm, they can opt in to the new IAR CE Regulatory Element/Products and Practice (PP) Fee firm setting in FINRA Gateway. More information is available in the Firm Settings Guide.

For information about IAR CE, please visit NASAA’s IAR CE page.


Maintaining Qualification Program (MQP)

This program provides eligible individuals who terminate any of their representative or principal registrations with the option of maintaining their qualification for certain terminated registrations by completing annual CE.

This program is relevant to both current and former industry professionals, and certain enrollment deadlines will be imposed. Eligible individuals will be able to enroll and complete required training through FinPro. We encourage firms to communicate to their securities professionals about this program and advise them to create and maintain a FinPro account.

SEE THE MAINTAINING QUALIFICATIONS PROGRAM PAGE FOR MORE DETAILS

  • FINRA Amends Rules 1210 and 1240 to Enhance the Continuing Education Program for Securities Industry Professionals
    11/17/2021
  • FINRA Gateway – Changes to Form U4 User Interface and Access to Continuing Education
    06/25/2020
  • FINRA Requests Comment on a Proposal to Implement the Recommendations of the CE Council Regarding Enhancements to the Continuing Education Program for Securities Industry Professionals
    02/18/2020
  • Media Center
    A few new deadlines from the ongoing securities industry Continuing Education Transformation are right around the corner. On this episode, we hear how the Maintaining Qualifications Program is progressing and what firms can expect in with regard to changes to the Continuing Education Regulatory Element in the months ahead.
    October 04, 2022
  • Podcast
    The CE Council, FINRA and other CE Council members are working together on the biggest change to continuing education for broker dealers in 25 years. On this episode, we hear both the firm and regulatory perspective as we learn what will be changing in the years ahead.
    March 03, 2020
  • Compliance Tools
    FINRA Gateway Reports, previously referred to as Dynamic Reporting, helps firm staff answer common questions and make informed decisions using FINRA data. Choose from templates for firm, branch, individual, or filing data to create your own custom reports.
    October 04, 2019
  • 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