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Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP)

Pursuant to FINRA Rule 1240(c), Supplementary Material .01 and .02, effective March 15, 2022, FINRA has established a program providing 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 continuing education (CE). The rule change provides individuals who elect this option a maximum of five years in which to reregister with a member firm without having to requalify by exam or having to obtain an exam waiver.

The rule change does not eliminate the two-year qualification termination period. Rather, it provides participants an alternative means of staying current on their regulatory and securities knowledge for up to five years following the termination of their registration(s).

For additional information, refer to Regulatory Notice 21-41.

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How to Prepare: Important Dates

Individuals Who Terminate Their Registration(s) on or Before March 15, 2022

Subject to the eligibility conditions, individuals who meet the following criteria and want to maintain their qualification(s) must enroll via FinPro between Jan. 31 and March 15, 2022:

  • Individuals who terminated one or more registrations between March 15, 2020, and March 15, 2022.
  • Individuals currently participating in the Financial Services Affiliate Waiver Program (FSAWP) who have fulfilled the FSAWP requirements through March 15, 2022.

Starting in November 2021, FINRA will send notifications to eligible individuals who have an email address in CE Online or FinPro, or who have provided an email address to FINRA as part of FSAWP. FINRA will also mail postcard notifications to eligible individuals using the residential address listed in CRD.

If an individual’s registration(s) were terminated but the firm has not yet submitted a Form U5 to FINRA, the individual may notify FINRA of their intent to participate in the MQP by sending an email to [email protected] by March 15, 2022.

Individuals Who Terminate Their Registration(s) on or After March 16, 2022

Individuals who terminate on or after March 16, 2022, and meet the eligibility conditions below must enroll within two years of their termination date.

Eligibility Conditions

To be eligible for the MQP, individuals must meet the following conditions:

  1. have terminated the registration category on or after March 15, 2020;
  2. have been registered in the terminated registration category for at least one year immediately prior to the termination of that category;
  3. elect to participate within two years from the date of termination of the eligible registration(s) (except for individuals who terminate their registration on or before March 15, 2022); and
  4. complete all CE requirements by their due date(s).

The following conditions will preclude participation in the MQP:

  1. An individual has been CE inactive for two consecutive years or becomes CE inactive for two consecutive years during their participation.
  2. An individual is subject to a statutory disqualification during the one year immediately prior to the termination of the registration category or becomes subject to a statutory disqualification following the termination of their registration or during their participation in the MQP.

If either of these events occurs before or during an individual’s participation in the MQP, they will not be eligible to participate or continue participation.

Participating in the MQP

An eligible individual may elect to participate in the MQP immediately after a registration category is terminated via a full or partial Form U5. They may also elect to participate later, within two years from the termination date of the registration(s).

An eligible individual must take the following steps to enroll in the MQP:

1. Sign Up or Log In to FinPro: This will allow individuals to review and enroll eligible qualification(s), receive notifications from FINRA and monitor their CE completion date(s) and status(es).

2. Complete Required Coursework: Individuals must complete all prescribed CE content annually by Dec. 31 of each calendar year they remain in the MQP. Coursework for the first year of the MQP will become available July 1, 2022.

CE Content Requirements

Once an individual is enrolled in the MQP, they are required to complete all assigned coursework by the date(s) specified in FinPro. MQP-enrolled individuals must complete two elements of CE:

1. Regulatory Element, which consists of courses targeting rules, current issues and regulatory concerns relevant to each registration category

2. Practical Element, which consists of courses reminding individuals of products, services and strategies relevant to the job functions they would be qualified for upon return to the industry as a registered person

Individuals will then be required to complete their CE requirements annually for each year that they remain in the MQP. Failure to complete the required CE by the date(s) specified in FinPro will render the individual ineligible to continue participation in the MQP.

Frequently Asked Questions

MQP FAQ are available in the CE Transformation FAQ.

Questions regarding the MQP should be sent to [email protected]