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NFA postpones updating exams for security futures products

NFA recently announced that it would not be updating the Series 3 and Series 30 examinations to include security futures products as it had originally planned. New CFTC registrants, branch office managers and current supervisors may continue to qualify to engage in security futures activities by taking the Web-based training program offered by NFA and NASD or any other training program that follows the content outline posted on NFA's Web site.

"The original Interpretive Notice regarding proficiency requirements for security futures products stated that after a certain date new registrants would be required to pass an updated Series 3 exam in order to engage in SFP activities," says Tom Sexton, NFA's general counsel. "It also stated that branch office managers and supervisory personnel would be required to pass an updated Series 30 exam."

Although the Interpretive Notice did not include a deadline for updating the Series 3 and Series 30 examinations, NFA expected to offer the updated exams by January 2004. Given the low trading volume in security futures products, however, NFA decided that testing would be an inefficient option.

"We feel that the existing training program is an effective way to ensure that individuals who solicit accounts and orders from and manage accounts for customers trading in these markets have the necessary knowledge," says Sexton. "We have decided to postpone updating the Series 3 and Series 30 exams until activity increases to a point where a test becomes more practical. We understand that the NASD is taking a similar approach to its testing requirements."

NFA will notify its Members if and when the examinations are updated to include security futures products. Questions about the proficiency requirements can be directed to Joseph Patrick, Team Manager, Compliance, at jpatrick@nfa.futures.org or (312) 658-6521.

Additional futures proficiency testing locations available

Scheduling an appointment to take a futures proficiency examination became a little easier and more convenient recently, when the NASD contracted with an additional testing center company. NASD administers the delivery of the Series 3, 30, 31, 32 and 33 proficiency examinations for NFA. For several years the NASD has had a contract with Pometric Testing Centers, providing 234 domestic testing locations. Effective January 5, 2004, the NASD contracted with an additional testing center company, Pearson VUE, resulting in an additional 202 domestic testing locations. Complete information on testing locations can be found at www.nasdr.com.

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