On March 25, 2019, the National Futures Association (NFA) adopted rule amendments and a related interpretive notice that impose a swaps proficiency exam requirement on associated persons (APs) of NFA member futures commission merchants, introducing brokers, commodity pool operators and commodity trading advisors engaged in Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulated swaps activity, as well as APs of swap dealers and major swap participants. The NFA seeks to ensure that APs engaging in swaps activities can satisfy a minimum proficiency standard that tests both their market knowledge and their knowledge of regulatory requirements involving swaps activities. The NFA’s proficiency requirements will be administered through an online learning program, including individual training modules covering specific topics and related examinations. Currently, NFA registration rules require APs engaged in futures and foreign exchange activities to satisfy proficiency requirements, but there are no analogous requirements applicable to swaps-related activity. 

The compliance date to satisfy the swaps proficiency requirements is January 31, 2021. Because there is no grandfathering provision, swap APs must satisfy the requirements by that date in order to continue engaging in swap activities.

The NFA’s notice to members regarding the swaps proficiency requirements is available at: https://www.nfa.futures. org/news/newsNotice.asp?ArticleID=5105