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Continuing Education

NASD Membership and Registration Rule 1120
 Continuing Education Requirements

This Rule prescribes requirements regarding the continuing education of certain registered persons subsequent to their initial qualification and registration with the Association. The requirements shall consist of a Regulatory Element and a Firm Element as set forth below.

(a) Regulatory Element

(1) Requirements

No member shall permit any registered person to continue to, and no registered person shall continue to, perform duties as a registered person unless such person has complied with the requirements of paragraph (a) hereof.

(A) Each registered person shall complete the Regulatory Element on the occurrence of their second registration anniversary date and every three years thereafter, or as otherwise prescribed by the Association. On each occasion, the Regulatory Element must be completed within 120 days after the person's registration anniversary date. A person's initial registration date shall establish the cycle of anniversary dates for purposes of this Rule. The content of the Regulatory Element shall be determined by the Association and shall be appropriate to either the registered representative or principal status of person subject to Rule.

(B) Persons Exempted from the Rule--Persons who have been continuously registered for more than 10 years on July 1, 1998, shall be exempt from participation in the Regulatory Element programs for registered representatives, provided such persons have not been subject within the last 10 years to any disciplinary action as enumerated in paragraph (a)(3). A person who has been continuously registered as a principal for more than ten years on July 1, 1998, shall be exempt from participation in the Regulatory Element programs for registered principals, provided such person has not been subject within the last ten years to any disciplinary action as enumerated in paragraph (a)(3). In the event that a registered representative or principal who was exempt from participation in Regulatory Element programs subsequently becomes the subject of a disciplinary action as enumerated in paragraph (a)(3), such person shall be required to satisfy the requirements of the Regulatory Element as if the date of such disciplinary action is such person's initial registration date with the Association.

(C) Persons who have been currently registered for 10 years or less as of July 1, 1998, shall participate in the Regulatory Element within 120 days after the occurrence of the second registration anniversary date, or every third year thereafter, whichever anniversary date first applies.

(2) Failure to Complete

Unless otherwise determined by the Association, any registered persons who have not completed the Regulatory Element within the prescribed time frames will have their registrations deemed inactive until such time as the requirements of the program have been satisfied. Any person whose registration has been deemed inactive under this Rule shall cease all activities as a registered person and is prohibited from performing any duties and functioning in any capacity requiring registration. A registration that is inactive for a period of two years will be administratively terminated. A person whose registration is so terminated may reactivate the registration only by reapplying for registration and meeting the qualification requirements of the applicable provisions of the Rule 1020 Series and the Rule 1030 Series. The Association may, upon application and a showing of good cause, allow for additional time for a registered person to satisfy the program requirements.

(3) Re-entry into Program

Unless otherwise determined by the Association, a registered person will be required to re-enter the Regulatory Element and satisfy all of its requirements in the event such person:

(A) is subject to any statutory disqualification as defined in Section 3(a)(39) of the Act;

(B) is subject to suspension or to the imposition of a fine of $5,000 or more for violation of any provision of any securities law or regulation, or any agreement with or rule or standard of conduct of any securities governmental agency, securities self-regulatory organization, or as imposed by any such regulatory or self-regulatory organization in connection with a disciplinary proceeding; or

(C) is ordered as a sanction in a disciplinary action to re-enter the continuing education program by any securities governmental agency or self-regulatory organization.

Re-entry shall commence with initial participation within 120 days of the registered person becoming subject to the statutory disqualification, in the case of (A) above, or the disciplinary action becoming final, in the case of (B) and (C) above. The date of the disciplinary action shall be treated as such person's initial registration date with the Association.

(4) Reassociation in a Registered Capacity

Any registered person who has terminated association with a member and who has, within two years of the date of termination, become reassociated in a registered capacity with a member shall participate in the Regulatory Element at such intervals that may apply (second anniversary and every three years thereafter) based on the initial registration anniversary date rather than based on the date of reassociation in a registered capacity.

(5) Definition of Registered Person

For purposes of this Rule, the term "registered person" means any person registered with NASD as a representative, principal, assistant representative or research analyst pursuant to the Rule 1020, 1030, 1040, 1050 and 1110 Series.

(6) In-Firm Delivery of the Regulatory Element

Members will be permitted to administer the continuing education Regulatory Element program to their registered persons by instituting an in-firm program acceptable to the Association.

The following procedures are required:

(A) Principal/Officer In-Charge. The firm has designated a principal to be responsible for the in-firm delivery of the Regulatory Element.

(B) Site Requirements.

(i) The location of all delivery sites will be under the control of the firm.

(ii) Delivery of Regulatory Element continuing education will take place in an environment conducive to training. (Examples: a training facility, conference room or other area dedicated to this purpose would be appropriate. Inappropriate locations would include a personal office or any location that is not or cannot be secured from traffic and interruptions.)

(iii) Where multiple delivery terminals are placed in a room, adequate separation between terminals will be maintained.

(C) Technology Requirements. The communication links and firm delivery computer hardware must comply with standards defined by the Association or its designated vendor.

(D) Supervision.

(i) The firm's Written Supervisory Procedures must contain the procedures implemented to comply with the requirements of in-firm delivery of the Regulatory Element continuing education.

(ii) The firm's Written Supervisory Procedures must identify the principal designated pursuant to Rule 1120(a)(6)(A) and contain a list of individuals authorized by the firm to serve as proctors.

(iii) Firm locations for delivery of the Regulatory Element continuing education will be specifically listed in the firm's Written Supervisory Procedures.

(E) Proctors.

(i) All sessions will be proctored by an authorized person during the entire Regulatory Element session. Proctors must be present in the session room or must be able to view the person(s) sitting for Regulatory Element continuing education through a window or by video monitor.

(ii) The individual responsible for proctoring at each administration will sign a certification that required procedures have been followed, that no material from Regulatory Element continuing education has been reproduced, and that no candidate received any assistance to complete the session. Such certification may be part of the sign-in log required under Rule 1120(a)(6)(F).

(iii) Individuals serving as proctors must be persons registered with an SRO and supervised by the designated principal for purposes of in-firm delivery of the Regulatory Element continuing education.

(iv) Proctors will check and verify the identification of all individuals taking Regulatory Element continuing education.

(F) Administration.

(i) All appointments will be scheduled in advance using the procedures and software specified by the Association to communicate with the Association's system and designated vendor.

(ii) The firm/proctor will conduct each session in accordance with the administrative appointment scheduling procedures established by the Association or its designated vendor.

(iii) A sign-in log will be maintained at the delivery facility. Logs will contain the date of each session, the name and social security number of the individual taking the session, that required identification was checked, the sign-in time, the sign-out time, and the name of the individual proctoring the session. Such logs are required to be retained pursuant to SEC Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4.

(iv) No material will be permitted to be utilized for the session nor may any session-related material be removed.

(v) Delivery sites will be made available for inspection by the SROs.

(vi) Before commencing in-firm delivery of the Regulatory Element continuing education, members are required to file with their Designated Examining Authority ("DEA"), a letter of attestation (as specified below) signed by a principal executive officer or executive representative, attesting to the establishment of required procedures addressing principal in-charge, supervision, site, technology, proctors, and administrative requirements. Letters filed with NASD Regulation, Inc. should be sent to Member Regulation, Continuing Education Department, 9509 Key West Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850.

Letter of Attestation for In-Firm Delivery of Regulatory Element Continuing Education

[Name of member] has established procedures for delivering Regulatory Element continuing education on its premises. I have determined that these procedures are reasonably designed to comply with SRO requirements pertaining to in-firm delivery of Regulatory Element continuing education, including that such procedures have been implemented to comply with principal/officer in-charge, supervision, site, technology, proctors, and administrative requirements.

       ______________________________
          Signature
       ______________________________
          Printed name
       __________________________________________
          Title [Must be signed by a Principal Executive Officer
            (or Executive Representative) of the firm]
       ______________________
          Date


(b) Firm Element

(1) Persons Subject to the Firm Element

The requirements of this subparagraph shall apply to any person registered with a member who has direct contact with customers in the conduct of the member's securities sales, trading and investment banking activities, any person registered as a research analyst pursuant to Rule 1050, and to the immediate supervisors of such persons (collectively, "covered registered persons"). "Customer" shall mean any natural person and any organization, other than another broker or dealer, executing securities transactions with or through or receiving investment banking services from a member.

(2) Standards for the Firm Element

(A) Each member must maintain a continuing and current education program for its covered registered persons to enhance their securities knowledge, skill, and professionalism. At a minimum, each member shall at least annually evaluate and prioritize its training needs and develop a written training plan. The plan must take into consideration the member's size, organizational structure, and scope of business activities, as well as regulatory developments and the performance of covered registered persons in the Regulatory Element. If a member's analysis establishes the need for supervisory training for persons with supervisory responsibilities, such training must be included in the member's training plan.

(B) Minimum Standards for Training Programs--Programs used to implement a member's training plan must be appropriate for the business of the member and, at a minimum must cover the following matters concerning securities products, services, and strategies offered by the member:

(i) General investment features and associated risk factors;

(ii) Suitability and sales practice considerations;

(iii) Applicable regulatory requirements; and

(iv) With respect to registered research analysts and their immediate supervisors, training in ethics, professional responsibility and the requirements of Rule 2711.

*NASD members must implement the provisions of Rule 1120(b)(2)(B)(iv) on January 26, 2004, or such date as determined by NASD*

(C) Administration of Continuing Education Program--A member must administer its continuing education programs in accordance with its annual evaluation and written plan and must maintain records documenting the content of the programs and completion of the programs by covered registered persons.

(3) Participation in the Firm Element

Covered registered persons included in a member's plan must take all appropriate and reasonable steps to participate in continuing education programs as required by the member.

(4) Specific Training Requirements

The Association may require a member, individually or as part of a larger group, to provide specific training to its covered registered persons in such areas as the Association deems appropriate. Such a requirement may stipulate the class of covered registered persons for which it is applicable, the time period in which the requirement must be satisfied, and, where appropriate, the actual training content.

 

 




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