Structured Training Programs – A Must for Securities Licensing

Securities firms are constantly challenged by the need to prepare new associates and analysts to pass their securities licensing exams on their first try. Securities exams are notoriously difficult, and the longer it takes for new hires to get licensed, the longer firms wait to see a return on their investment. 

So what is the key to producing high pass rates on securities licensing exams? It’s simple. Getting your employees through the exam process quickly and efficiently. 

And it doesn’t have to be hard. The real game-changer for finding success is through structured training programs. These innovative onboarding initiatives offer a clear return on investment by significantly boosting exam success rates. 

 The Value of Structured Training Programs 

Designed to engage new hires and prepare them to succeed without much firm oversight, structured training programs revolutionize how the securities industry prepares its newcomers. This cohort-based securities licensing training empowers learning and development managers, compliance officers, and regional branch managers to not only enhance exam success rates but also boost new hire engagement and retention. 

Structured training programs help new hires move through their licensing exams quickly and efficiently. Plus, they are able to integrate faster and more deeply into your firm’s high-performance culture. 

This strategic approach is setting a new standard in the securities field, transforming the way your firm can onboard and develop your future stars. 

How Structured Training Programs Simplify Securities Licensing 

Comprehensive, well-defined structured training programs simplify the intricate matrix of testing and requirements into paths that new hires can understand. They lay out a roadmap of achievable goals and provide clear direction for your new hires – their first steps toward prolonged success.  

A robust structured training program should feature proven strategies and tools that keep every student on the path to success, including: 

  • Personalized courses and study packages that deliver course materials in ways that resonate most effectively with each student’s unique learning preferences 
  • Dynamic study calendars ensuring daily progress and readiness 
  • Personalized instruction through individual coaching and weekly instructor touchpoints 
  • Timely, clear, and comprehensive reports that monitor and predict success probabilities, helping students know when they need more study and when they’re ready to take their exam 
  • Support to help managers track students’ progress and facilitate frequent, personalized, and proactive student interventions to ensure success 

Understanding the SIE Exam 

One of the primary entry points for new hires is the Securities Industry Essentials exam, also known as the SIE exam. This foundational assessment sets the stage for a range of more specialized Series exams. 

Administered by FINRA, the SIE exam is an entry-level test that assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information, including concepts fundamental to working in the industry. It is designed for prospective securities industry professionals and is a pre-requisite for many other Series exams. 

The SIE exam covers a range of topics, including the structure of the securities industry, types of products and their risks, regulatory agencies and their functions, and prohibited practices. Due to the importance of the test, structured training programs will feature an SIE practice exam to ensure students are prepared to pass their first time. 

The SIE exam is taken in combination with these other FINRA exams: 

 Other Specialized Series Exams 

Understanding the securities licensing requirements, from the SIE Exam to the various Series exams, is essential for anyone looking to build a career in the field. 

In addition to the securities licensing requirements, continuing education is also mandatory, both Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) CE and Firm Element CE. 

Pitfalls to Avoid in Training 

When taking this complexity of exam requirements into account, a structured training program becomes the only logical choice to ensure new hires maintain a clear, trackable path toward licensing. And acknowledging the common mistakes in exam prep training programs is critical. Overlooking them can lead to disenchanted learners, stressed newcomers, and, eventually, new hire turnover. 

Let’s look at some of the most common hazards: 

Underestimating the power of structured guidance – Without a clear, step-by-step roadmap, candidates can easily lose direction and motivation. 

Overloading hiring managers without adequate support tools – Lack of support can lead to hiring manager burnout, and a drop in program effectiveness. 

Losing critical engagement and progress visibility – Ineffective monitoring of engagement and progress means missing crucial intervention points that could steer a new hire back on course and can lead to new hire program drop out and turnover. 

Advantages of Structured Training Programs 

HR, training, and compliance managers must prepare a large influx of new hires for their securities licensing exams. The mission is to deliver comprehensive, high-quality training to new analysts and associates as efficiently as possible to ensure these new recruits are rapidly exam-ready. 

Implementing a best-in-industry structured training program helps any number of new hires move through their licensing exams quickly and efficiently. Structured training programs can also help them integrate faster and more deeply into your firm’s high-performance culture. 

Structured training programs foster an environment where new employees can thrive and successfully pass their licensing exams on the first attempt. This is mission-critical for firms aiming to expedite the process of turning new hires into productive, revenue-generating team members. 

To learn more about structured training programs, and why STC is the ideal partner to help you build yours, check out this informative guide. 

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