FINRA and Prometric Provide Updates on Online Testing and Test Center Solutions

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and Prometric Testing Centers have announced additional accommodations and updates for individuals seeking to take exams for the Securities Industry Essentials (“SIE”) and Series 6, 7, 65, 66, and 63 Exams, and fulfillment of continuing education (“CE”) requirements:

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  • FINRA and the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) are continuing to work on validation of an online testing service for test-takers seeking to sit for the SIE and Series 6, 7, 65, 66, and 63 Exams during COVID-19;
  • FINRA and Prometric have announced that select testing centers in limited geographic centers are now open on and after May 1, but in-center testing will only be available for essential service programs; and,
  • FINRA will extend deadlines for individuals with CE Regulatory Element requirements.

 

FINRA and NASAA Online Testing

In April 2020, FINRA and NASAA announced steps towards the creation of an online testing service that would allow test-takers to sit for the SIE and Series 6, 7, 65, 66, and 63 Exams remotely. The tests will be proctored by Prometric staff through various online tools and will utilize the test-taker’s personal or firm-issued computer and video equipment.

On May 10, FINRA and the NASAA announced that while progress continues to be made, additional time is necessary in order to complete validation of the online testing system. In light of the challenges that COVID-19 is presenting for test-takers, both FINRA and the NASAA have extended expired and about-to-be expired exam enrollment windows from March 16 through June 2020.

Additionally, all FINRA, NASAA, and Municipal Securities Rules Board (“MSRB”) exam enrollment dates have been extended through June 30, 2020, all of which have been systematically updated to reflect the change on the Web CRD.

Read the updated guidance here.

 

Prometric Testing Centers

Beginning on May 1, 2020, Prometric, the official testing center vendor for FINRA, NASAA, and the MSRB, began to open certain strategic testing centers in limited geographic locations.

Because the health and safety of test-takers and Prometric staff are of paramount importance, testing will only be available for essential services, including financial services exams. 

Furthermore, space and availability of test times will continue to be limited due to social distancing measures. Due to the limited space, exam enrollment dates may be impacted.

Read the updated guidance here.

 

Regulatory CE Updates

Lastly, due to challenges related to COVID-19 and the completion of CE Regulatory Element requirements for certain license holders, FINRA is extending the deadline for expired and about-to-be expired CE Regulatory Element windows between March 16 and May 2020, automatically extending all deadlines to May 31, 2020. The extended deadlines have been automatically updated in the Web CRD.

Read the updated guidance here.

 

What Do These Updates Mean for Me?

Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) and Supervisors should be sure to communicate the updated deadlines to any employees planning to sit for the SIE and/or Series 6, 7, 65, 66, or 63 Exams, and those employees that are required to complete their CE Regulatory Element. Additionally, CCOs should review the job responsibilities of each employee to determine if the employee needs to be licensed and to coordinate with the employee to schedule an exam while being mindful of the scheduling complications due to COVID-19.

 

Should you or your firm have questions regarding FINRA’s updated exam windows, questions regarding the SIE and Series examination enrollment process, and/or guidance on registration requirements for investment adviser and registered representatives, please contact us at (619) 278-0020 to schedule a consultation. Our legal and compliance experts are standing by to help during this difficult time.