General Questions:

  • Who should consider earning the designation? All professionals actively involved in the direct participation program industry such as active full-time registered representatives, financial advisors, registered investment advisers (RIAs), investment adviser representatives (IARs), employees of sponsor firms and others who meet the requirements should consider earning the direct participation professional (DPP) designation.
  • What are the requirements to apply for the DPP designation? Candidates must meet ALL of the following
    • Hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent;
    • OR Hold one or more of the following licenses: FINRA/NASD Series 1, 7, 22 or 65
    • Be actively employed at least two of the last five years by a qualifying company as defined by REISA under its membership categories and actively involved in the direct participation program industry: product sponsor, broker-dealer or RIA;
    • OR be an active full-time registered representative (RR), registered investment adviser (RIA) or investment adviser representative (IAR)
    • Be committed to upholding the REISA Code of Ethics and have no felony convictions
    • Be in good standing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and any other securities industry authority to conduct business or practice within the securities industry
  • How long will it take to earn the designation? There is no set timeframe; candidates can complete the courses and take the examination at their own pace. However, all credits must be earned within a 12-month timeframe. In fact, all credits can be earned by just attending one REISA Annual Conference each year. After submitting your application and completing all of your coursework, you will be eligible to take the examination within 30 days. We suggest you allow a few weeks of study before the examination.
  • How can I get started now? You can submit an application online along with your application fee. Upon verifying eligibility, you will be eligible to sit for the examination within 30 days.
  • What is the application fee? The application fee is $199 for REISA members and $399 for nonmembers, which includes the cost of the initial examination. This is a nonrefundable fee once you take the examination.
  • What are the advantages of having the designation? The DPP designation is designed to elevate your professional standards, enhance your individual performance and increase your relevant knowledge of direct participation programs.
  • Do I have to be a REISA member to qualify for the DPP program? No, you are not required to be a REISA member to participate in the designation program; however, it is $399 for nonmembers to sit for the examination. Members receive a discounted rate of $199 to sit for the designation examination and $25 renewal fee.


  • How many courses do I need to take? You must complete a minimum of eight (8) hours of direct participation program or general best practices-related professional development education. This includes two required core courses: Best Practices in Direct Participation Programs and Fundamentals of Direct Participation Programs. These two courses are available at each REISA Annual Conference and Spring Symposium. Beginning Summer 2012, it will be available online in the REISA Knowledge Center as well.
  • How much are the courses? The courses are offered at the REISA Spring Symposium and Annual Conference. Therefore, the courses are included in your cost to attend the event.
  • How long do I have to complete them? All courses must be completed within a 12-month timeframe.
  • Are the courses available online? The courses are not available online at this time, but please check back soon.
  • Do the courses count towards continuing education credit (CFP, CLE, etc.)? The courses are eligible for continuing education credit ONLY if approved by each certification board. Please check with your state for CLE and CPE credit.

Online Examination:

  • When will the online exam be ready to take? The online exam is ready to take.
  • Will I be able to retake the exam if I fail? Yes, you will be eligible to retake the exam at any time within 12 months after failing the exam. Subsequent examinations are subject to a $25 retesting fee.


  • How do I maintain the DPP designation? To maintain the DPP designation, you must continue to take courses and renew every year. You must complete four (4) hours of DPP eligible courses, with a minimum of two (2) of the four (40 hours at qualifying sessions at on of the REISA conferences.
  • How much is the renewal fee? The renewal fee is $99 for members and $299 for nonmembers. All fees must be paid when the renewal form is submitted.
  • When must I renew by? You will be notified 60 days before your renewal date. Renewal and payment is due no later than 60 days after the designation expires or you will lose your current certified status and will have to reapply for the DPP designation.
  • What if I no longer meet the renewal requirements but would like to keep my designation? Inactive status gives those with the DPP designation up to 12 months to meet the renewal requirements. To receive inactive status, designees must complete the inactive status request form and pay the $25 inactive status fee. You must submit the inactive status request form to the REISA office within 15 days prior to the end of your designation period to be considered. During this inactive time, you will not be eligible to use the DPP designation, but you will be able to renew your designation without reapplying within 12 months from going inactive.
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