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Series 99 – Operations Professional Exam

The Series 99 exam — the Operations Professional Exam — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as an operations professional.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an operations professional, including customer onboarding; financial control; receipt and delivery of securities and funds and account transfers; and collection, maintenance, reinvestment and disbursements of funds.

Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 99 exam to obtain the Operations Professional registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 99 exams, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(3).

COVID-19 Guidance on FINRA-Administered Exams

FINRA and Prometric take the health and well-being of our community as a top priority. In response to the recent guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) related to the growing concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Prometric is closing its testing centers in the United States and Canada for a period of 30 days, starting March 18, 2020. Candidates who have an existing appointment will receive an email from Prometric with instructions on how to reschedule their appointment to a future date; rescheduling fees will not be applied. To change an existing appointment scheduled over 30 days (April 16 or later) or to schedule a new appointment, please access the Prometric website.

Additionally, FINRA is aware of the challenges that COVID-19 is presenting for our candidates who want to take exams. FINRA will extend all enrollment windows that are currently open and scheduled to expire by the end of May. Each FINRA-administered exam enrollment end date will be extended through the same end date of May 31, 2020. 

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


Content Outline

The Series 99 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the two major job functions of an operations professional. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function.

Major Job Functions Number of Exam Items
(F1) Knowledge Associated with the Securities Industry and Broker-dealer Operations 35
(F2) Professional Conduct and Ethical Considerations 15


Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA representative-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the Series 99 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 99 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the Operations Professional registration.

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate.

Permitted Activities

  • Customer on-boarding (customer account data and document maintenance)
  • Collection, maintenance, reinvestment (i.e., sweeps) and disbursement of funds
  • Receipt and delivery of securities and funds, account transfers
  • Bank, custody, depository and firm account management and reconciliation
  • Settlement, fail control, buy-ins, segregation, possession and control
  • Trade confirmation and account statements
  • Margin
  • Stock loan/securities lending
  • Prime brokerage (services to other broker-dealers and financial institutions)
  • Approval of pricing models used for valuations
  • Financial control, including general ledger and treasury
  • Contributing to the process of preparing and filing financial regulatory reports
  • Defining and approving business requirements for sales and trading systems and any other systems related to the covered functions, and validation that these systems meet such business requirements
  • Defining and approving business security requirements and policies for information technology, including but not limited to systems and data, in connection with the covered functions
  • Defining and approving information entitlement policies in connection with the covered functions
  • Posting entries to a member's books and records in connection with the covered functions to ensure integrity and compliance with the federal securities laws and regulations and FINRA rules

Key Questions

1. Which registration categories will allow me to register as an Operations Professional without passing the Series 99 exam?

If you hold any of the following registration categories (each an “eligible registration”) or have held one within the two years immediately prior to registering as an Operations Professional, you are permitted to qualify as an Operations Professional without taking the Series 99 examination:

Please note that if you qualify for the exception based on having held an eligible registration within the two years immediately prior to registering as an Operations Professional, you must first reactivate your eligible registration prior to requesting Operations Professional (Series 99) registration. Additionally, the exception does not apply to persons whose eligible registrations are revoked pursuant to FINRA Rules 8310 (Sanctions for Violation of the Rules) or 8320 (Payment of Fines, Other Monetary Sanctions, or Costs; Summary Action for Failure to Pay), suspended or otherwise deemed inactive.

2. Will I be charged a fee for registering for the Operations Professional (Series 99) registration if I hold an eligible registration?

No. You will not be charged a fee for requesting the Operations Professional (Series 99) registration if you use an eligible registration to register as an Operations Professional.

3. If I am registered as an Operations Professional, will I be subject to the Continuing Education Firm Element?

Yes. Under FINRA Rule 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements), every person registered as an Operations Professional will be subject to the Firm Element and Regulatory  Element.