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Continuing Education (CE)

Transforming the Securities Industry CE Program

FINRA has adopted important changes to its continuing education (CE) and registration rules to train registered persons more effectively while accommodating registered persons, particularly women and underrepresented minorities, whose personal circumstances take them away from the industry for a time.

 

Qualification Exam and CE Windows Extended for Individuals Affected by Hurricane Ian

FINRA, the MSRB, NASAA and NFA have extended exam and Regulatory Element CE windows for individuals in “major disaster” areas. Windows due to expire between Sept. 29, 2022, and Oct. 27, 2022, have been extended to Dec. 4, 2022, for individuals in these areas.

These extensions were implemented to assist individuals who may have significant difficulty taking a scheduled qualification exam or completing their CE within their defined window due to area power outages, network unavailability and property damage.

Please contact FINRA’s Gateway Call Center with any questions: (301) 590-6500

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.

 

On This Page


Announcements

  • Review 2023 Regulatory Element Topics: FINRA and the CE Council have published the 2023 learning topics for each registration category. 

  • Apply Regulatory Element CE to IAR CE Products & Practices Requirements in Firm Settings: Effective June 30, 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.

  • 2022 Q2 Firm Element Needs Analysis Quarterly Highlights (formerly named the Firm Element Advisory) is now available on the CE Council website.

  • Track Regulatory Element CE Email Reminders With New FINRA Gateway Report: Effective April 5, 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

  • FINRA published Regulatory Notice 21-41on Nov. 17, 2021. The notice announces important changes FINRA has made to its continuing education and registration rules to train registered persons more effectively.

    Changes include the new Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP), which will allow eligible individuals to maintain their qualifications for up to five years by completing annual CE requirements.

    See the Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP) page for enrollment dates and other information.

  • Regulatory Element CE Email Reminders Now Available
    Firms can now enable a new 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

The Regulatory Element of FINRA's 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. 

Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, FINRA Rule 1240 requires registered persons to complete the Regulatory Element annually by Dec. 31 for each registration that they hold. The Regulatory Element will provide 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 have published the learning topics for each registration category.

Content Outlines

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


FINRA CE Online

Participants satisfy their CE requirement through an online CE platform during a 120-calendar-day CE window. The platform is available by logging into the 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.

Testing Accommodations

FINRA has made every effort to make CE Online 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 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 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.

To learn more, 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 and the CE Program or require assistance, please contact the FINRA Call Center (see the Contact Us section for more information).

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 beginning in 2022.

The ability for IARs to apply Regulatory Element training to the Products and Practice requirement will become available June 30, 2022. Individuals can access the functionality 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.

  • FINRA Amends Rules 1210 and 1240 to Enhance the Continuing Education Program for Securities Industry Professionals
  • FINRA Gateway – Changes to Form U4 User Interface and Access to Continuing Education
  • 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
  • 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
  • FAQ
    FINRA Regulatory Notice 21-41 discusses amendments to Rules 1210 and 1240 to enhance the continuing education program for securities industry professionals. Effective Dates: March 15, 2022 (MQP (paragraph (c) of Rule 1240) and FSAWP (Rule 1210.09)); January 1, 2023 (all other rule changes). The notice includes a link to an FAQ page that will be continuously updated as we approach the launch dates.