In May, the CE Council sent out a 2023 Firm Element Survey to compliance CE administrators that aimed to gather first-hand information about the impact of recent changes to CE and registration rules. The nine-question survey spanned several training-related topics and offered valuable insight into the current Firm Element training landscape.

FINRA Rules 1210 and 1240 not expected to impact future training

When asked about whether the amendments made to FINRA Rules 1210 and 1240 would impact Firm Element course assignments in 2023, 43% of respondents answered that the amount of training assigned would neither increase nor decrease. 31% of respondents said that their training would increase slightly by less than 20%, while the remaining 26% of respondents said training would increase significantly by 20% or more.

A resounding ‘yes’ for knowledge checks 

In regards to knowledge checks and assessments and whether firms implement them into training, a whopping 73% of respondents affirmatively answered the question. Of the 73% who said yes, 26% of firms said they included in-course knowledge check questions and 7% said they opted for post-course exams that registered reps were required to pass. However, 67% of respondents who answered ‘yes’ to including knowledge checks said they included a combination of both in-course and post-course knowledge checks and assessments in their training.

The average RR is doing 4-8 hours of Firm Element-like training

When asked to estimate the number of annual firm-administered training compliance hours the typical registered representative will receive in 2023 (not including Regulatory Element, human resources training, IAR CE and insurance CE), 39% of respondents said 1-4 hours, 44% said 4-8 hours and 17% said 8 hours or more.

Most firms are using internal resources and third-party vendors to develop training

When asked, “how is your Firm Element training material developed?,” 24% of respondents said in-house resources, 25% said third-party vendors and 51% said a combination between the two.

Firms are utilizing CE council-provided materials

Many of the survey respondents indicated they used one or more of the training materials provided on the CE council’s website when developing Firm Element programs for their firms. The answers are as follows:

A need for more ‘best practice’ guidelines

When asked about what types of useful information firms would like to see more of on the CE Council website, 54% indicated ‘more best practice guidance’ as one of their answers, suggesting that there is a need for documents with tips and tricks for implementing Firm Element training programs. Additionally, 29% said they’d like to see more FAQs regarding Firm Element training, while 27% answered extra needs analysis templates would be useful in the future.

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