The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday that it has filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to streamline competency exams and facilitate opportunities for professionals seeking to enter or re-enter the securities industry.
“This new approach would give individuals seeking to enter the securities industry the opportunity to demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of regulatory requirements prior to joining a firm, potentially providing firms a larger pool of qualified candidates,” said FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook, in a statement. “It would also provide enhanced flexibility and efficiency in our qualifications programs, while maintaining important standards and investor protections.”
FINRA rules currently require individuals who work for a FINRA-regulated firm in various capacities to demonstrate their qualifications by passing specific exams.
These individuals must be associated with a FINRA-regulated firm to be eligible to take FINRA qualification exams. In 2016, FINRA said that it had more than 90,000 representative-level exam candidates.
FINRA proposes to revise its current exam structure to eliminate “duplicative testing and barriers to demonstrating and maintaining qualifications.”