U.S. state regulators endorsed model rules designed to enable brokers to maintain their qualifications while taking a temporary pause from the industry.

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) said that its members — which include U.S. state and Canadian provincial regulators — have approved a model rule that extends the validity of qualifying broker-dealer exams for up to five years by completing annual continuing education.

A similar model rule for investment adviser rep exams is also under consideration by NASAA.

“These rules are designed to provide flexibility for currently registered persons who, due to various reasons, may need to leave and then return to their positions,” said NASAA president Melanie Senter Lubin in a release.

“The requirements in the rule to meet continuing education requirements will help ensure these individuals remain current on regulatory requirements and industry developments.”

The model rules were developed by a NASAA working group and aim to align with similar provisions adopted by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA).

“NASAA has been working with FINRA in developing a framework to align with FINRA’s recent changes to its continuing education program,” said Andrew Hartnett, NASAA’s president-elect and deputy administrator for securities in Iowa.

“We look forward to working with any of NASAA’s members who may be planning to implement the model rules.”