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15-08 Changes to Qualification Examination Fees

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Qualification Examination Fees

Effective Date: April 1, 2015

This Notice was updated on 3/26/15 to clarify the fees charged for examinations sponsored by the MSRB and administered and delivered by FINRA.

Regulatory Notice
Notice Type

Rule Amendment
Suggested Routing

Compliance
Continuing Education
Legal
Registered Representatives
Registration
Senior Management
Key Topics

Qualification Examination Fees
Referenced Rules and Notices

FINRA Rule 1230
NASD Rule 1021
NASD Rule 1022
NASD Rule 1031
NASD Rule 1032
NASD Rule 1041
NASD Rule 1050
Section 4 of Schedule A to the FINRA By-Laws

Executive Summary

Effective April 1, 2015, FINRA is increasing qualification examination fees.1 The text of the amendments to Section 4(c) of Schedule A to the FINRA By-Laws is set forth in Attachment A.

Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to John Kalohn, Vice President, Testing and Continuing Education Department, at (240) 386-5800.

Background and Discussion

As described in further detail below, FINRA has filed for immediate effectiveness amendments to Section 4(c) of Schedule A to the FINRA By-Laws to increase qualification examination fees.

Persons engaged in the investment banking or securities business of a FINRA-regulated firm who function as principals or representatives are required to register with FINRA in each category of registration appropriate to their functions.2 The individuals must pass an appropriate qualification examination before their registration can become effective. These mandatory qualification examinations cover a broad range of subjects regarding financial markets and products, individual responsibilities, securities industry rules and regulatory structure. FINRA develops, maintains and delivers all qualification examinations for individuals who are registered or seeking registration with FINRA. FINRA also administers and delivers examinations sponsored (i.e., developed) by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and other self-regulatory organizations, the North American Securities Administrators Association, the National Futures Association and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

FINRA currently administers examinations electronically through the PROCTOR® system3 at testing centers operated by vendors under contract with FINRA. FINRA charges an examination fee to candidates for FINRA-sponsored and co-sponsored examinations to cover the development, maintenance and delivery of these examinations. For qualification examinations sponsored by a FINRA client and administered by FINRA, FINRA charges a delivery fee that represents either a portion of or the entire examination fee for the examination.4

FINRA regularly conducts a comprehensive review of the examination fee structure, including an analysis of the costs associated with developing, administering and delivering each examination, so that FINRA may better understand whether pricing changes are warranted and evaluate the financial condition of each qualification examination program. In this regard, the most recent review revealed that certain operational costs have increased and, based on current information, will continue to increase over the next few years. In particular, these increased costs consist of: (1) fees that vendors charge FINRA for delivering qualification examinations through their networks of test delivery centers; (2) staff labor associated with the development and maintenance of the qualification examinations; and (3) PROCTOR system maintenance and enhancement expenses.5 FINRA is increasing qualification examination fees to better align the fees with these increased costs.

FINRA is increasing qualification examination fees as follows:

Series Examination Title Current Fee New Fee
Series 4 Registered Options Principal $100 $105
Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative $95 $100
Series 7 General Securities Representative $290 $305
Series 9 General Securities Sales Supervisor—Options Module $75 $80
Series 10 General Securities Sales Supervisor—General Module $120 $125
Series 11 Assistant Representative—Order Processing $75 $80
Series 14 Compliance Official $335 $350
Series 16 Supervisory Analyst $230 $240
Series 17 Limited Registered Representative $75 $80
Series 22 Direct Participation Programs Representative $95 $100
Series 23 General Securities Principal Sales Supervisor Module $95 $100
Series 24 General Securities Principal $115 $120
Series 26 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal $95 $100
Series 27 Financial and Operations Principal $115 $120
Series 28 Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal $95 $100
Series 37 Canada Module of S7 (Options Required) $175 $185
Series 38 Canada Module of S7 (No Options Required) $175 $185
Series 39 Direct Participation Programs Principal $90 $95
Series 42 Registered Options Representative $70 $75
Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal $95 $1056
Series 52 Municipal Securities Representative $120 $1306
Series 53 Municipal Securities Principal $105 $1156
Series 55 Limited Representative—Equity Trader $105 $110
Series 62 Corporate Securities Limited Representative $90 $95
Series 72 Government Securities Representative $105 $110
Series 79 Investment Banking Qualification Examination $290 $305
Series 82 Limited Representative—Private Securities Offering $90 $95
Series 86 Research Analyst—Analysis $175 $185
Series 87 Research Analyst—Regulatory $125 $130
Series 99 Operations Professional $125 $130

The new qualification examination fees will apply for examination requests made in the CRD® system on or after April 1, 2015.


1 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 74568 (March 24, 2015) (Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of SR-FINRA-2015-006).

2 See NASD Rules 1021(a) and 1031(a), and NASD Rules 1022 and 1032. See also NASD Rules 1041 and 1050 and FINRA Rule 1230(b)(6) regarding the qualification and registration requirements for Order Processing Assistant Representatives, Research Analysts and Operations Professionals, respectively.

3 PROCTOR is a computer system that is specifically designed for the administration and delivery of computer-based testing and training.

4 The delivery fee represents a portion of the entire examination fee when a FINRA client has established an additional fee for an examination that it sponsors. For example, the fee to take the Series 51 (Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal) examination will be $255. Of this amount, $105 is the FINRA administration and delivery fee, and $150 is the development fee determined by the FINRA client, the MSRB. See MSRB Rule A-16.

5 While delivery costs for qualification examinations have increased over the last three years, delivery costs for examinations are scheduled to stabilize in 2015 and 2016 based on FINRA's recently negotiated agreements with vendors that deliver the qualification examinations through their networks of test delivery centers.

6 See note 4 supra regarding the fees charged for examinations sponsored by a FINRA client and administered and delivered by FINRA.


Attachment A

Below is the text of the amendments. New language is underlined; deletions are in brackets.

*   *   *   *   *

Schedule A to the By-Laws of the Corporation

*   *   *   *   *

Section 4—Fees

(a) through (b) No Change.
(c) The following fees shall be assessed to each individual who registers to take an examination as described below. These fees are in addition to the registration fee described in paragraph (b) and any other fees that the owner of an examination that FINRA administers may assess.

Series 4 Registered Options Principal [$100] $105
Series 6 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative [$95] $100
Series 7 General Securities Representative [$290] $305
Series 9 General Securities Sales Supervisor—Options Module [$75] $80
Series 10 General Securities Sales Supervisor—General Module [$120] $125
Series 11 Assistant Representative—Order Processing [$75] $80
Series 14 Compliance Official [$335] $350
Series 16 Supervisory Analyst [$230] $240
Series 17 Limited Registered Representative [$75] $80
Series 22 Direct Participation Programs Representative [$95] $100
Series 23 General Securities Principal Sales Supervisor Module [$95] $100
Series 24 General Securities Principal [$115] $120
Series 26 Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Principal [$95] $100
Series 27 Financial and Operations Principal [$115] $120
Series 28 Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal [$95] $100
Series 37 Canada Module of S7 (Options Required) [$175] $185
Series 38 Canada Module of S7 (No Options Required) [$175] $185
Series 39 Direct Participation Programs Principal [$90] $95
Series 42 Registered Options Representative [$70] $75
Series 51 Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal [$95] $105
Series 52 Municipal Securities Representative [$120] $130
Series 53 Municipal Securities Principal [$105] $115
Series 55 Limited Representative—Equity Trader [$105] $110
Series 62 Corporate Securities Limited Representative [$90] $95
Series 72 Government Securities Representative [$105] $110
Series 79 Investment Banking Qualification Examination [$290] $305
Series 82 Limited Representative—Private Securities Offering [$90] $95
Series 86 Research Analyst—Analysis [$175] $185
Series 87 Research Analyst—Regulatory [$125] $130
Series 99 Operations Professional [$125] $130
(1) through (4) No Change.
(d) through (i) No Change.
*   *   *   *   *

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