Series 30 Definition

What is the 30 series?

The Series 30 Exam, also known as the NFA Branch Managers Exam, is a financial exam for professionals wishing to become branch managers for commodity futures trading companies. It is created by the National Futures Association (NFA) and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Key points to remember

  • Series 30 is a financial review overseen by the NFA and FINRA.
  • It is designed to train branch managers in the commodity futures trading industry.
  • Although the 30 series covers many areas, it places particular emphasis on compliance responsibilities and business ethics.

How Series 30 Works

Branch agents are responsible for all branch operations. In the financial services industry, branch managers have a wide range of responsibilities, including general oversight of employees, handling customer complaints and escalations, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

The Series 30 exam is designed to prepare candidates to assume the role of branch manager of an NFA-registered commodity futures trading firm. In addition to the general skills required of all branch managers, those working in the commodity futures trading industry must have additional knowledge and experience of the industry’s unique products, risks and challenges.

To prepare candidates for this position, the 30 series covers a variety of major areas, including accounts receivable, exchange rules and regulations, commodity pool operator (CPO) and commodity trading advisor (CTA) rules and regulations, discretionary rules, publicity and management responsibilities. The exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, with successful candidates typically taking around two weeks to prepare.


According to the NFA, a person who is a Branch Manager and Associate must pass Series 30 within two years of applying. In some cases, however, exceptions may be granted, such as where their employer can demonstrate that they are qualified to act as a branch manager in accordance with FINRA regulations.

Real-world example of Series 30

Candidates have one hour to complete the Series 30 exam, with a score of 70% or higher required to pass.The exam covers various topics related to commodity futures products, the structure of the futures industry, applicable laws and regulations, and professional ethics.

The Series 30 exam emphasizes the office manager’s compliance responsibilities. To that end, its review includes several questions on compliance-related topics, such as proper record-keeping procedures, document disclosure requirements, protocols for accepting and handling client funds, guidelines for advertising futures trading services and detection and control methods. money laundering and other types of fraud.

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