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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

FINRA Wants Regulatory CE Requirement Satisfied Annually

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What You Need to Know

  • The Regulatory Element of CE courses would need to be completed annually instead of every three years.
  • FINRA's plan amends Rule 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements).
  • The plan would also let brokers who are out of the industry keep their qualifications for longer if they fulfill the CE requirements.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority wants registered reps to complete the Regulatory Element of their continuing education courses annually instead of every three years.

The broker-dealer self regulator filed the proposed change to amend Rule 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements) with the Securities and Exchange Commission for approval.

The plan also provides a path through continuing education for individuals to maintain their qualification following the termination of a registration.

Previously, registered individuals could keep their qualifications for two years after their registration was terminated. The rule filing, if approved by the SEC, would allow individuals to maintain their qualifications for five years while out of the industry if they complete the annual CE requirements.

If approved, FINRA will announce the implementation dates of the proposed rule change in a Regulatory Notice to be published no later than 90 days following SEC approval.

The Regulatory Element, which is administered by FINRA, focuses on regulatory requirements and industry standards.

Rule 1240(a) (Regulatory Element) currently requires a registered person to complete the applicable Regulatory Element initially within 120 days after the person’s second registration anniversary date and, thereafter, within 120 days after every third registration anniversary date, FINRA explains.

FINRA may extend these time frames for good cause.

Based on changes in technology and learning theory, the Regulatory Element content “can be updated and delivered in a timelier fashion and tailored to each registration category, which would further the goals” of the CE requirement, FINRA said.

FINRA proposes amending Rule 1240(a) to require registered persons to complete the Regulatory Element annually by Dec. 31.