Skip to main content

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

CE Transformation Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) provide guidance on the amended continuing education (CE) rules. FINRA will publish additional operational-related FAQ on the CE webpage.

Section 1: Regulatory Element

1.1 If I complete my Regulatory Element in 2022 based on the current requirements, will I be required to complete annual Regulatory Element in 2023 based on the amended rules?

Yes. You must complete the prescribed 2023 Regulatory Element content by December 31, 2023.

1.2 If my 120-day CE window end date is July 1, 2022, based on the current requirements, and I fail to complete it by that date, when will I be designated as CE inactive?

You will be designated as CE inactive after July 1, 2022.

1.3 If my 120-day CE window opens in 2022 with an end date of February 1, 2023, based on the current requirements, and I fail to complete it by that date, will I be designated as CE inactive after February 1, 2023?

No. On January 1, 2023, your CE requirement will be reset to run until December 31, 2023, to complete the prescribed Regulatory Element content before being designated as CE inactive.

1.4 If my firm terminates my General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category on August 15, 2023, but I remain registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) after that date, what will be the Regulatory Element due date for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category if I reregister as a General Securities Principal (Series 24) on November 15, 2023, and have not completed my 2023 Regulatory Element for that registration category?

Your Regulatory Element for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category would be due on December 31, 2023. This would be in addition to your prescribed 2023 Regulatory Element for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category, which would also be due on December 31, 2023.

1.5 If I complete my prescribed 2023 Regulatory Element content on October 15, 2023, when is the soonest and the latest that I can take my prescribed 2024 Regulatory Element content?

Your 2024 Regulatory Element content will be available beginning on January 1, 2024, and you will have until December 31, 2024, to complete it. You should note that your firm may require you to complete the Regulatory Element by a date specified by the firm.

1.6 How long will it take to complete the annual Regulatory Element content compared to the current Regulatory Element content?

The answer will vary depending on the individual, the number of registrations they hold and the amount of prescribed content. In general, the amount of content that you will be required to complete in a three-year, annual cycle for a particular registration category is expected to be comparable to what you are currently completing every three years. In some years, there may be more required content for some registration categories depending on the volume of rule changes and regulatory issues. In addition, if you hold multiple registrations, you may be required to complete additional content compared to someone who holds a single registration because you will be required to complete content specific to each registration category that you hold. However, if you hold multiple registrations, you will not be subject to duplicative regulatory content in any given year. The more common registration combinations will likely share much of their relevant regulatory content each year. For example, individuals registered as General Securities Representatives (Series 7) and General Securities Principals (Series 24) will receive the same content as individuals solely registered as General Securities Representatives (Series 7), supplemented with a likely smaller amount of supervisory-specific content on the same topics. The less common registration combinations may result in less topic overlap and more content overall.

1.7 How much will the annual Regulatory Element cost?

The FINRA Board has approved the filing of a proposed rule change with the SEC to establish an annual fee of $18 for the Regulatory Element, which FINRA will file with the SEC shortly. The proposed annual fee would be a flat fee, regardless of the amount of Regulatory Element content that individuals would be required to complete (that is, an individual who holds multiple registrations would be subject to the same $18 annual fee as an individual who holds a single registration).

1.8 What will be the format of the annual Regulatory Element?

The content, in addition to being accessible online, will be accessible via smartphones and other mobile devices and will be presented in a variety of instructional formats.

1.9 Who should I contact if I have accessibility issues relating to the annual Regulatory Element?

If individuals have accessibility issues or challenges following the implementation of the annual Regulatory Element in 2023, they may contact the FINRA Call Center at (240) 386-4040. FINRA will provide additional information as we get closer to the implementation date.

Section 2: Firm Element

2.1 What is the Firm Element content catalog and when will it become available?

FINRA is currently working on the development of a centralized Firm Element catalog that firms may optionally leverage for administering education and training for their Firm Element programs. The vision for the catalog is to include content developed by third-party training providers, FINRA and the other SROs participating in the CE program. Both firms and individuals will be able to purchase content from the catalog. The catalog will be launched in phases. We are looking to launch the first phase of the catalog in the second half of 2022. We will provide more information regarding courses, pricing and how to access the catalog prior to the launch of the first phase.

Section 3: Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP)

3.1 My firm terminated my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on August 1, 2020. When and how must I notify FINRA of my election to participate in the MQP?

You can notify FINRA of your election beginning on January 31, 2022. FINRA must receive your notification by no later than March 15, 2022. You must submit your notification via your FinPro account. For guidance on how to create a FinPro account, please visit the Financial Professional Gateway webpage. If you have additional questions regarding the notification process, you may contact the FINRA Call Center at (240) 386-4040.

3.2 If my firm terminates my General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category on March 1, 2022, but will not be submitting a Form U5 to FINRA until after March 15, 2022, how do I notify FINRA of my election to participate in the MQP for that registration category?

You can make your election by sending an email to [email protected] by no later than March 15, 2022.

3.3 I have been participating in the FSAWP since 2019. If I elect to switch to the MQP, when and how must I notify FINRA?

Same answer as Question 3.1.

3.4 If I terminate my employment with a financial services industry affiliate of a member firm after March 15, 2022, while still in the FSAWP, can I switch to the MQP?

No. If you do not elect to participate in the MQP by March 15, 2022, you cannot subsequently switch to the MQP.

3.5 If my firm terminates one of my registration categories while I am in a CE inactive status, can I still join the MQP for that category?

Yes, provided that you have not been CE inactive for two consecutive years prior to joining the MQP and you satisfy the other eligibility conditions. Further, you have two years from the date you became CE inactive to complete the outstanding Regulatory Element; otherwise, you will be ineligible to continue in the MQP.

3.6 Further to Question 3.5, to remove the CE inactive status, can I complete any outstanding Regulatory Element content while in the MQP?

Yes. The outstanding Regulatory Element content will be accessible through your FinPro account.

3.7 My firm terminated my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on May 15, 2020. How do I know if I have any outstanding Regulatory Element content that I would need to complete before joining the MQP on March 15, 2022, or shortly thereafter?

In order to determine whether you have any outstanding Regulatory Element content and to complete that content, you will need to create a FinPro account. You should ensure that you complete the content before you become CE inactive for two consecutive years, otherwise you are not eligible to join the MQP or continue in the MQP.

3.8 What are the components of the annual MQP content?

The annual MQP content will consist of a combination of Regulatory Element content and Practical Element content selected by FINRA and the CE Council. The annual MQP content will correspond to the registration category for which individuals wish to maintain their qualifications.

3.9 What is included in the Practical Element content?

The Practical Element content for an MQP participant will cover topics similar to those that a registered person would typically be required to complete as part of Firm Element training. This will include, among other things, topics relating to functions generally associated with the registration category for which the MQP participant is electing to remain qualified under the MQP.

3.10 My firm terminated my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on June 15, 2020. If I join the MQP by March 15, 2022, but fail to complete the prescribed annual MQP content by December 31, 2022, can I still continue in the MQP?

Absent an extension of time granted by FINRA, you must complete the prescribed annual MQP content by December 31, 2022, otherwise you will not be eligible to continue in the MQP.

3.11 If my firm terminates my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on August 15, 2022, and concurrently submits a Form U5, do I need to make my election to join the MQP for that registration category on August 15, 2022?

No. You may make your election to participate in the MQP at the time of the Form U5 submission or within two years from the termination of the registration category, provided that you complete, within two years from the termination of the registration category, any CE that becomes due under the MQP between the time of the Form U5 submission and the date that you commence participation in the MQP. Therefore, you have until August 15, 2024, to make your election, provided that you complete any prescribed annual MQP content that becomes due between August 15, 2022, and the date you make your election.

3.12 Further to Question 3.11, if I join the MQP in 2022 without having any outstanding prescribed Regulatory Element content due but fail to complete the prescribed annual MQP content for 2022 and 2023, can I still continue in the MQP?

Yes, provided that you complete the prescribed annual MQP content within two years from the date you terminated the registration category (August 15, 2022). Therefore, you must complete the 2022 and 2023 annual MQP content by August 15, 2024, to be eligible to continue in the MQP.

3.13 Further to Question 3.12, what if I join the MQP in 2022 for my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category and complete the prescribed annual MQP content in 2022, 2023 and 2024 but fail to complete the 2025 annual MQP content?

MQP participants who fail to complete the prescribed annual MQP content for a registration category that has been terminated for two or more years will not be eligible to continue in the MQP. Therefore, absent an extension of time granted by FINRA, you will not be eligible to continue in the MQP beyond 2025. Further, if you decide to reregister with a firm as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) at any point beyond 2025, you will be required to requalify by examination, or obtain an examination waiver, in order to reregister.

3.14 Further to Question 3.13, if I reregister with a firm as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) in 2025, will I be required to pass an examination or obtain an examination waiver in order to reregister?

If you decide to reregister with a firm as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) in 2025, you will not be required to pass an examination or obtain an examination waiver in order to reregister. However, you will be required to complete any prescribed annual Regulatory Element for that registration category by December 31, 2025. If you fail to complete the prescribed Regulatory Element content by December 31, 2025, you will be designated as CE inactive beginning on January 1, 2026. In addition, you must satisfy all other requirements relating to the registration process (e.g., submit a Form U4 and undergo a background check).

3.15 If my firm terminates my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on October 1, 2022, after I completed my Regulatory Element for that category in 2022, will I be required to complete any MQP content (Regulatory Element or Practical Element) in 2022 upon joining the MQP?

No. Because you are joining on or after March 15, 2022, and have already completed the Regulatory Element for 2022, your initial annual MQP content (Regulatory Element and Practical Element) will be due by December 31, 2023.

3.16 If my firm terminates my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on February 1, 2022, after I completed my Regulatory Element for that category in 2022, will I be required to complete any MQP content (Regulatory Element or Practical Element) in 2022 upon joining the MQP?

Because you already completed your Regulatory Element for the terminated registration category in 2022, your 2022 MQP content will only include Practical Element content for that registration category, which must be completed by December 31, 2022.

3.17 If my firm terminates my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on February 1, 2022, and I completed my Regulatory Element for that category in 2021, will I be required to complete any MQP content (Regulatory Element or Practical Element) in 2022 upon joining the MQP?

You will be required to complete both the Regulatory Element and Practical Element for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category as part of your initial annual MQP content, which must be completed by December 31, 2022.

3.18 If my firm terminates my General Securities Principal (Series 24) and General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration categories on February 1, 2025, can I elect to participate in the MQP only for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category?

No. Because the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category is a corequisite representative registration category for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category, you must also complete required annual MQP content (Regulatory Element and Practical Element) for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category if you want to maintain your qualification for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category through the MQP.

3.19 If my firm terminates my General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category on February 1, 2025, and I join the MQP at that time but remain registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) after that date, will I be required to complete any MQP content for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category?

No. You will be required to complete annual Regulatory Element content for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category and MQP content (Regulatory Element and Practical Element) for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category. In addition, you will be required to complete any Firm Element training for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category as prescribed by your firm. You should also be aware that if your General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category is designated as CE inactive for two consecutive years, you will no longer be eligible to continue in the MQP for the General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category.

3.20 My most recent firm terminated my General Securities Principal (Series 24) registration category on May 15, 2021. I was registered with the firm in that registration category since November 15, 2020 (for only six months). However, prior to that, I was registered with another firm as a General Securities Principal (Series 24) for 10 years. Do I satisfy the one-year registration period for MQP eligibility?

Yes, provided that no more than 30 calendar days elapsed between the two registration periods.

3.21 What is the cost of the annual MQP?

The FINRA Board has approved the filing of a proposed rule change with the SEC to establish an annual fee of $100 to each individual who elects to participate in the MQP, which FINRA will file with the SEC shortly. The proposed annual participation fee would be a flat fee, regardless of the number of registration categories for which an individual elects to remain qualified (that is, an individual who elects to remain qualified for multiple registration categories would be subject to the same proposed $100 annual fee as an individual who elects to remain qualified for a single registration category). The proposed fee will be due at the time an eligible individual elects to participate in the MQP and thereafter annually each year that the individual continues in the MQP. Eligible individuals who elect to participate within two years from the termination of a registration category, rather than at the time of their Form U5 submission, will also be assessed any accrued annual fee.

Section 4: Two-Year Qualification Period

4.1 My firm terminated my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on August 15, 2019, and I have not been registered in any capacity since then. What are my options if I want to reregister with a firm under the current and amended rules? Am I eligible to join the MQP?
Updated

Your terminated registration category is subject to the two-year qualification period. Therefore, you may only reregister if you pass the applicable examination(s) or if you obtain a waiver of the examination(s). Further, you are not eligible to join the MQP in order to maintain your qualification. The MQP’s look-back provision is only available to individuals who terminated, or terminate, a registration between March 15, 2020, and March 15, 2022, and individuals who are participating in the FSAWP under Rule 1210.09 prior to March 15, 2022.
Updated 12/1/21

4.2 My firm terminated my Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) registration category prior to March 15, 2020, but I remained registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) after that date. Can I reregister as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s)?

Effective January 1, 2023, the two-year qualification period will apply to all partial terminations, with the exception of a terminated registration category (e.g., Series 6) that is a subset of a broader registration category (e.g., Series 7) for which an individual remains registered or otherwise qualified under the two-year qualification period. The Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) registration category is a subset of the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category. Therefore, provided you remain registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) or otherwise qualified as such under the two-year qualification period and complete any prescribed Regulatory Element, you may reregister as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) at any point without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s).

4.3 My firm terminated my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category prior to March 15, 2020, but I remained registered as an Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) after that date. Can I reregister as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s)?

As noted in Question 4.2, effective January 1, 2023, the two-year qualification period will apply to all partial terminations, with the exception of a terminated registration category (e.g., Series 6) that is a subset of a broader registration category (e.g., Series 7) for which an individual remains registered or otherwise qualified under the two-year qualification period. The General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category is not a subset of the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative (Series 6) registration category. Therefore, you must reregister as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) prior to January 1, 2023, in order to avoid having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s).

4.4 My firm terminated my Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) registration category prior to March 15, 2020, but I remained registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) after that date. Can I reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s)?

As noted in Question 4.2, effective January 1, 2023, the two-year qualification period will apply to all partial terminations, with the exception of a terminated registration category (e.g., Series 6) that is a subset of a broader registration category (e.g., Series 7) for which an individual remains registered or otherwise qualified under the two-year qualification period. The Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) registration category is not a subset of the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category. Therefore, you must reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) prior to January 1, 2023, in order to avoid having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s).

4.5 My firm terminated my Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) registration category on June 1, 2019, and my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on August 1, 2021. Do I have until August 1, 2023, to reregister as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s)? If so, do I have the same amount of time to reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) without having to pass the applicable examination(s) or having to obtain a waiver of the examination(s)?

As noted in Question 4.2, effective January 1, 2023, the two-year qualification period will apply to all partial terminations, with the exception of a terminated registration category (e.g., Series 6) that is a subset of a broader registration category (e.g., Series 7) for which an individual remains registered or otherwise qualified under the two-year qualification period. You have until August 1, 2023, to reregister as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) without having to pass the Series 7 examination or having to obtain a waiver of the examination. However, the Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) registration category is not a subset of the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category. Therefore, in order to reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) without having to pass the Series 79 examination or obtain a waiver of the examination, you must reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) prior to January 1, 2023.

4.6 Further to Question 4.5, if I do reregister as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) prior to January 1, 2023, can I subsequently join the MQP if my Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) registration category is terminated in the future?

Yes, provided that you satisfy the MQP eligibility conditions, including the requirement that you be registered in the terminated registration category for which you elect to maintain your qualification under the MQP for at least one year immediately prior to the termination of that category.

4.7 If my firm terminates my General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category on November 15, 2023, can I reregister in that category on September 15, 2025, without having to requalify by examination or obtain an examination waiver?

Yes, provided that you have completed any prescribed annual Regulatory Element content (i.e., the 2023 and 2024 Regulatory Element) for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category prior to being approved for that registration. If you fail to complete the outstanding Regulatory Element content prior to November 15, 2025, (i.e., prior to the end of your two-year qualification period), you must requalify by examination or obtain an examination waiver in order to reregister.

4.8 Further to Question 4.7, how do I complete the outstanding Regulatory Element content?

Following the submission of the Form U4, you will be notified of any outstanding Regulatory Element content. You must have a FinPro account to access the outstanding Regulatory Element content. For guidance on how to create a FinPro account, please visit the Financial Professional Gateway webpage.

4.9 Further to Question 4.7, if I complete my 2023 and 2024 Regulatory Element by November 15, 2025, what will be my 2025 Regulatory Element due date?

You must complete your 2025 Regulatory Element for the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration category by December 31, 2025. If you fail to complete it by that date, you will be designated as CE inactive effective January 1, 2026.