Professional Qualification

The MSRB's professional qualification program requires associated persons of brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers (collectively "dealers") that engage in municipal securities activities and municipal advisors that engage in municipal advisory activities to meet professional qualification standards outlined in MSRB Rule G-3. The MSRB's professional qualification examinations are designed to ensure that such associated persons have the baseline knowledge of the federal securities laws, rules and regulations, including MSRB rules, applicable to the role and responsibilities of such associated persons in the municipal securities market. The examinations are not designed to assess an associated person’s aptitude for performing municipal securities activities or municipal advisory activities.   

Note: As of October 1, 2018, individuals are required to take the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Securities Industry Essentials™ (SIE) examination as a prerequisite to a more specialized Series 52 knowledge examination in order to qualify as a municipal securities representative.

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Municipal Securities Representatives and Principals

The MSRB imposes qualification requirements on certain associated persons of dealers based on the scope of their municipal securities activities.

  • Municipal securities representative (Series 52)  engages in fundamental municipal securities activities such as underwriting and trading.
  • Municipal securities principal (Series 53)  engages directly in the management, direction or supervision of the municipal securities activities of the dealer and its associated persons.
  • Municipal fund securities limited principal (Series 51) – engages directly in the management, direction or supervision of municipal securities activities of the dealer and its associated persons limited to municipal fund securities.

For purposes of MSRB professional qualification standards, the MSRB also recognizes certain FINRA qualification examinations for limited categories of municipal securities professionals.

  • Municipal securities sales limited representative (Series 7) – engages in municipal securities activities limited to sales to and purchases from customers of municipal securities.
  • Limited representative – investment company and variable contracts products (Series 6)  engages in municipal securities activities limited to sales to and purchases from customers of municipal fund securities.
  • Municipal securities sales principal (Series 9/10)  engages in the supervision of municipal securities activities of the dealer and its associated persons limited to sales to and purchases from customers of municipal securities.

Municipal Advisor Representatives and Principals

The MSRB imposes professional qualification requirements on certain associated persons of municipal advisors based on the scope of their municipal advisory activities.

  • Municipal advisor representative (Series 50)  engages in municipal advisory activities as described in Section 15B(e)(4)(A)(i) and (ii) of the  Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to include providing advice to or on behalf of a municipal entity or obligated person with respect to municipal financial products or the issuance of municipal securities, or undertaking a solicitation of a municipal entity or an obligated person, on behalf of a municipal advisor. Read more about the municipal advisor representative qualification examination. 
  • Municipal advisor principal – a person qualified as a municipal advisor representative that directly engages in the management, direction or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of a municipal advisor and its associated persons.

Examination Content Outlines

Each qualification examination has a content outline listing the topics covered by the examination that serves as a guide to the subject matter tested. Click on each qualification examination below to review its content outline.

Series 52 – Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination  – For candidates enrolling before October 1, 2018.
Read more.

Continuing Education Requirements

MSRB Rule G-3 requires dealers and municipal advisors to establish continuing education program requirements.  

Dealer Continuing Education
The continuing education program for dealers is composed of two separate components, the Regulatory Element and the Firm Element.

  • The Regulatory Element consists of computer-based training on regulatory, compliance, ethical and professional responsibility, and sales practice standards that covered persons are required to participate in and complete by the second anniversary of their initial securities registration, and every three years thereafter for as long as they remain an associated person of a dealer or employed by a financial services industry affiliate of a member. Read more about the Regulatory Element requirements for covered persons in Rule G-3(i).
  • The Firm Element is a firm-administered training program that requires dealers to annually evaluate and prioritize their training needs by conducting a need analysis that takes into consideration the dealer’s size, organizational structure, and scope of business activities, as well as regulatory developments and the performance of covered registered persons in the Regulatory Element. Dealers must also develop a written training plan, based on the needs analysis conducted, and deliver such training annually to its covered registered persons. Read more about the Firm Element.

Municipal Advisor Continuing Education
The continuing education program for municipal advisors is composed of a single component.   

  • Municipal advisors are required to have a firm-administered training program that requires the firm to annually evaluate and prioritize their training needs by conducting a needs analysis that takes into consideration the municipal advisor’s size, organizational structure and scope of municipal advisory activities, as well as regulatory developments. Municipal advisors must also develop a written training plan, based on the needs analysis conducted, plus the requirement to include training on the applicable regulatory requirements and fiduciary duty obligations owed to municipal entity clients, and deliver training annually to its covered persons. Click here to access compliance resources that support municipal advisors’ understanding of their continuing education requirements.

In addition, the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education website also provides information about continuing education program requirements that firms may find helpful.

Scheduling an Examination

FINRA provides test administration services for the MSRB’s professional qualification examinations. Learn more about scheduling an exam or day-of logistics.

FINRA-registered firms must file or amend an individual’s Form U4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer Form) to request the appropriate MSRB qualification examination.

Non-FINRA firms should use the Test Enrollment Services System (TESS) to register individuals for an MSRB qualification examination.

Rescheduling or Cancelling Your Appointment

Neither FINRA nor the MSRB has a hardship policy if an individual is unable to sit for an exam. If an examination appointment is missed for any reason, the cost will not be refunded or applied elsewhere.

If an individual needs to reschedule or cancel an examination appointment, such individual must do so at least 10 business days in advance of the examination appointment to avoid any fees. Appointments rescheduled or cancelled within 10 business days of the examination appointment are subject to applicable fees. View FINRA’s cancellation and rescheduling fee schedule.