Attention, investment adviser representatives (IARs)! Is your jurisdiction one of the growing numbers adopting the model rule? If so, buckle up – it’s time to talk continuing education (CE). Don’t worry, though; we’ve got your back. The National American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has dropped some knowledge bombs in the form of six game-changing tips to help you ace your IAR CE program. Ready to level up your professional game? Let’s dive in and unpack these golden nuggets of wisdom that’ll transform your CE experience from a chore to a chance for growth. 

Tip 1: Curate Your Learning Journey 

One of the best aspects of the IAR CE program is the freedom to select approved courses from an approved provider. NASAA maintains a list of approved providers, giving you a wide range of options to choose from. Take the time to explore the courses offered and select those that align with your interests and professional development goals. With six credits required in Ethics and Professional Responsibility and six credits in Products and Practice, you have the flexibility to tailor your CE experience to your needs. 

Tip 2: FinPro is Your Friend 

Managing your IAR CE requirements has never been easier, thanks to FINRA’s Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro). By creating a FinPro account, you gain direct access to resources and tools that allow you to view your IAR CE transcript and stay on top of your CE obligations. Don’t forget to check out the User Guide and Video Tutorial for helpful guidance on setting up your account and navigating the platform. 

Tip 3: Double Dip with FINRA’s Regulatory Element 

If you’re an IAR who is also required to complete FINRA’s Regulatory Element, you’re in luck! You can count the completion of the Regulatory Element towards the Products and Practice component of your IAR CE requirements. However, be sure to communicate with your broker-dealer to determine whether they will report it on your behalf or if you need to self-report through FinPro. If self-reporting, a small fee of $18 applies, but it’s a small price to pay for knocking out two requirements at once. 

Tip 4: Leverage Your Professional Designations 

If you’ve already completed CE courses for another professional designation this year, they may also qualify for IAR CE credit. Many approved providers offer courses that provide credit for both IAR CE and professional designations. Reach out to your course provider to inquire if the courses you’ve taken were approved for IAR CE. If so, the provider can report your completion directly to FINRA, ensuring it appears on your IAR CE transcript. 

Tip 5: CRD Number is Key 

When it comes to IAR CE course completion, your individual CRD number is your golden ticket. Make sure to provide course providers with your correct CRD number and the proper spelling of your name as it appears in CRD. This crucial step ensures that your course completions are accurately credited to your record. If you’re unsure of your CRD number, you can easily find it in your FinPro account or by looking up your profile in IARD. 

Tip 6: Universal Application 

It’s important to note that the IAR CE requirements apply universally to all registered IARs in jurisdictions that have adopted the model rule. This includes IARs of both state-registered and federal covered investment advisers in those jurisdictions. Regardless of your firm’s size or registration status, if you’re an IAR in a participating jurisdiction, you’re subject to these CE requirements. This universal application ensures a consistent standard of ongoing education and professional development across the industry. 

Navigating the IAR CE program may seem daunting at first, but with these six tips from NASAA, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle your CE requirements with confidence. Remember to choose courses that resonate with you, leverage the power of FinPro, take advantage of FINRA’s Regulatory Element if applicable, explore the potential for professional designation credits, and always provide your accurate CRD number. By following these guidelines, you’ll not only meet your IAR CE obligations but also enhance your professional growth and development along the way.