The North American Securities Administrators Association says its members have voted to approve two model rules extending the validity periods of exam qualifications to five years from two years for broker-dealer agents and investment adviser representatives.

“These rules are designed to provide flexibility for currently registered persons who, due to various reasons, may need to leave and then return to their positions,” Melanie Lubin, Nasaa president, said in a release announcing the change.

According to the Examination Requirements for Broker-Dealer Agents model rule, individuals who are not registered as an agent in any state for two to five years and who successfully participate in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Maintaining Qualifications Program will comply with the Series 63/Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination or the Series 66/Uniform Combined State Law Examination if they also participate in the Nasaa Examination Validity Extension Program within two years of registration termination. Such individuals will be in compliance with all relevant examinations required by Finra and accepted by their jurisdiction.

According to the Examination Requirements for Investment Adviser Representatives model rule, individuals who are not registered as investment adviser representatives in any state for two to five years and who successfully participate in Finra’s Maintaining Qualifications Program won’t have to retake Finra qualifying examinations to comply with the Series 65/Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 66/Uniform Combined State Law Examination and the Securities Industry Essential Examination, provided that successful participation in the Maintaining Qualifications Program does not extend the Series 65 or Series 66 examinations for purposes of investment adviser representative registration.

The model rules were developed by a group that included members of Nasaa’s Central Registration Depository/Investment Adviser Registration Depository Steering Committee, Exams Advisory Committee and Broker-Dealer Section Continuing Education Project Group, Nasaa says.

“Nasaa has been working with Finra in developing a framework to align with Finra’s recent changes to its continuing education program,” Andrew Hartnett, Nasaa president-elect and Iowa deputy administrator for securities, said in the release.

Finra updated its continuing education rules in November 2021, as reported.