MSRB Education Program

Introduction
Education is a distinct program of the MSRB designed to advance its mission to protect investors, state and local government issuers, other municipal entities and the public interest. By providing high quality educational content to market stakeholders, the MSRB enhances market understanding and promotes a fair, efficient and transparent municipal market. MSRB educational content and activities seek to ensure that stakeholders are aware of the regulatory developments that may affect them, enhance regulated entities’ understanding of their responsibilities and provide other market participants with information that helps them make informed decisions.

Overview
The tenets of the MSRB’S education program are:

  1. Maximize efficiency by leveraging internal and external market expertise;
  2. Ensure high levels of participation by using technology to reach the largest number of stakeholders; and
  3. Increase transparency by engaging stakeholders to participate in the process.  

The MSRB Education Program is designed to produce a consistent user experience and support content development, facilitate training activities, coordinate educational content delivery mechanisms, and promote MSRB products and services. To this end, the MSRB seeks to ensure that educational information addresses the highest needs articulated by market participants and reflects organizational priorities and resources, each within a framework of identified outcomes, objectives and methods to be used.  

Target Audiences 
As the federal regulator with the primary responsibility for regulating the municipal securities market, the MSRB’s provision of educational programming supports its statutory mandate by ensuring that market participants are informed of regulatory developments and responsibilities. Market participants may make increasingly informed and appropriate decisions in connection with their municipal securities transactions when tailored educational resources are available to them. Target audiences include regulated entities, municipal entities and investors, other regulators and policymakers, academics, media and other market stakeholders. 

The role, level of understanding, scope of activities and informational needs of each of the types of stakeholders vary. To that end, the educational content priorities support the development of educational content that seeks to meet the needs of the greatest number of stakeholders and reflect organizational priorities and resources. 

Priorities
Educational content priorities are based on feedback provided by market stakeholders through focus groups, organizational priorities established in the MSRB’s strategic planning process, feedback from outreach events, feedback from “contact us” emails, and various rulemaking requests for comments. Other priorities may also arise as a result of Board decisions. Generally, content is focused on the MSRB, MSRB rules and the application of those rules, EMMA features and functionality, issues relevant to investors and municipal entities to assist in their decision-making, and current topics and issues in the market.  

It is important to note that the MSRB’s educational priorities are meant to be responsive to changing market conditions and other factors that impact stakeholders and market activities, and as such, priorities may shift during the course of the year.

Stakeholder Input and External Subject Matter Experts 
To support the development of educational content, the MSRB engages key stakeholders including subject matter experts on a particular topic. Proxy organizations provide relevant audience perspective to develop accurate and informed products. The purpose of these activities is to ensure that key stakeholders offer input into educational content and that such content is accurate, relevant to the user and understandable. The MSRB seeks continual feedback and insights in order to enrich and validate the MSRB’s educational content. Stakeholder feedback supports engaging stakeholders to participate in the process and increase transparency. Board members are also frequently asked to review education materials as definitive subject matter experts. 

Delivery Mechanisms
MSRB educational content is disseminated primarily through the MSRB’s websites, msrb.org and emma.msrb.org. The MSRB also conducts live educational events including seminars and webinars. The MSRB education content is typically available in written form and may also be available in multimedia formats such as video and audio. Using technology to reach stakeholders and provide useful and understandable educational content requires acknowledging that stakeholders have different learning styles. The MSRB contemplates expanding the use of multimedia such as telecasting, video, audio formats such as podcasting, and interactive widgets to deliver educational content to the widest audiences possible. 

MuniEdPro℠ 
MuniEdPro℠ is a suite of interactive, online courses designed specifically for municipal market participants. The courses, offered by the MSRB, provide up-to-date content relevant to municipal market activities and MSRB regulations. Each MuniEdPro℠ course allows the learner to apply MSRB rules to real-world scenarios. Visit MuniEdPro℠.

Comments
The MSRB appreciates your input and thoughts about our Education Program, including on content, formats and other ideas that can enrich our work. Please send your feedback to Ritta McLaughlin, MSRB Chief Education Officer, at rmclaughlin@msrb.org.

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