As part of its expanded mandate under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the MSRB is implementing the first qualifying examination for municipal advisors. MSRB Rule G-3, effective April 27, 2015, creates two classifications of municipal advisor professionals, representative and principal, with firms required to designate at least one principal to oversee the municipal advisory activities of the firm. All municipal advisor representatives and principals are required to take and pass the forthcoming Municipal Advisor Representative Exam (Series 50) to demonstrate the level of knowledge needed to be sufficiently qualified to perform municipal advisory activities.
Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam
To assist municipal advisor professionals in preparing for the exam, the MSRB provides a content outline that includes exam topics, sample questions and reference material. The content of the test covers the roles and responsibilities of municipal advisor professionals as well as applicable rules and regulations. A volunteer committee of municipal advisor professionals developed the content outline for the exam, which was approved by the MSRB Board of Directors in January 2015 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2015. Read more about the development of the municipal advisor representative qualification exam.
The MSRB plans to implement the new exam in 2016. To facilitate the transition to the new exam requirement, the MSRB’s rule provides for a one-year grace period during which individuals will be able to take the municipal advisor representative exam while still engaging in municipal advisory activities.
Later this year, the MSRB plans to administer a pilot test to validate its bank of test questions and set the passing score for the permanent Series 50 exam. Municipal advisors are invited to participate in the pilot. Sign up to receive more information about the pilot process as details become available. Register for a free educational webinar about the pilot exam.
Benefits of Taking the Pilot Exam
- Passing the pilot exam is equivalent to passing the permanent Series 50 exam – pilot test-takers who achieve a passing score would not have to retake the exam when it is finalized.
- Pilot participants will play an important role in determining the final bank of questions for the permanent exam.
- The pilot exam is one additional opportunity to achieve a passing score before the end of the one-year grace period.
- To recognize the contributions of pilot takers who are not able to pass the test on the first try, the MSRB will provide one free re-take when the permanent test becomes available.
Information for Pilot Participants
The MSRB works with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to administer its professional qualification exams. As details about the administration of the pilot municipal advisor exam become available, the MSRB will update this resource page with information on:
- Pilot test dates
- Registering to take the pilot
- Locating a testing center
- Fees for the pilot