NFA to Develop Swaps Proficiency Requirements Program

NFAJune 5, Chicago— NFA’s Board recently approved the development of a proficiency requirements program for individuals engaged in swaps activities, which will be in the form of an online learning program with an embedded examination. This program will be applicable to all associated persons (AP) engaging in swaps activities, including those who are designated as swaps APs at futures commission merchants (FCM), introducing brokers (IB), commodity pool operators (CPO), and commodity trading advisors (CTA), and those individuals who act as APs at swap dealers (SD).

The Commodity Exchange Act (Act) requires NFA to establish training standards and proficiency testing for persons involved in the solicitation of transactions subject to the provisions of the Act and their supervisors. NFA’s Registration Rules require APs engaged in futures and forex activities to take and pass proficiency examinations that test both their market knowledge and their knowledge of regulatory requirements. Currently, there are no analogous requirements applicable to swaps related activity.

Don Thompson, NFA Board Member
Don Thompson, NFA Board Member

To begin this project, NFA’s Board approved the formation of a Swaps Proficiency Requirements Advisory Committee composed of industry experts from the various registration categories that will be impacted by these requirements. This Advisory Committee, chaired by NFA Board Member Don Thompson, will consult with and assist staff regarding the development and implementation of the requirements. Due to the significant scope of this project, which includes developing the content and questions for the exam, implementing a testing distribution system, drafting appropriate rules and educating Members, it is anticipated that this program will be launched in early 2020.

Throughout the process of developing these proficiency requirements, NFA staff will work closely with its Swaps Proficiency Requirements Advisory Committee, the CFTC, NFA’s Board, NFA Members and relevant trade associations. If NFA Members have questions or would like to provide input or suggestions, please contact Kristen Scaletta, NFA’s Associate Director of Communications (312-781-7860 or [email protected]).