About the Series 54 Examination
As of November 30, 2021, all municipal advisor professionals acting in the capacity of a municipal advisor principal must take and pass the MSRB's Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54) to be appropriately qualified to engage in the management, direction, or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor firm and that of its associated persons. The passing score for the Series 54 exam is 70 percent. Instructions on how an individual enrolls to take the Series 54 exam are available here (see Question 12).
As part of its expanded mandate under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the MSRB implemented the first qualifying examination for municipal advisors. MSRB Rule G-3, effective April 27, 2015, created 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 principals were required to take and pass the Series 50 exam to be sufficiently qualified to perform oversight of municipal advisory activities. The MSRB stated at that time, at a later date, it would consider a qualification examination for municipal advisor principals.
The MSRB believes that, as consistent with the professional qualification standards for the municipal advisor representative-level examination, each municipal advisor principal should demonstrate a specified level of competency of the regulatory requirements and application thereof to the municipal advisory activities of a municipal advisor by passing a principal-level examination. Consistent with the requirement that all municipal advisor representatives and municipal advisor principals had to take and pass the Series 50 examination, those who meet the definition of a municipal advisor principal, as defined under Rule G-3(e), must take and pass the Series 54 examination. Meaning, regardless of whether such persons have passed other MSRB or MSRB-recognized examinations (such as the Series 53 or Series 24), the MSRB does not intend to waive the principal-level requirement or grandfather individuals who have passed such other examinations or who have experience in functioning in a supervisory capacity.
|This resource helps answer frequently asked questions about the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54).
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|This guide is intended to assist individuals preparing to take the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54) by highlighting the structure of the examination and providing links to the rules and regulations covered in the content outline via a knowledge resource directory.
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A content outline is available for the Series 54 examination that details key concepts and rules to be tested on the examination and the percentage of the examination devoted to each topic area. Additionally, to familiarize individuals with the format of the Series 54 examination, the content outline includes sample questions similar to the type of questions that may be found on the examination.
The total cost to take the Series 54 examination is $265, which includes the MSRB’s $150 examination fee and a $115 administrative fee assessed by FINRA for administering the delivery of the examination.
- MSRB Notice 2021-11: MSRB Provides Further Extension of Time to Take the Series 54 Qualification Examination
- MSRB Notice 2021-10: MSRB Provides Interim Accommodation for the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54 Exam)
- MSRB Notice 2019-19: MSRB Revises Content Outline for the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination
- MSRB Notice 2019-18: MSRB to Launch Permanent Series 54 Examination November 12, 2019
- MSRB Notice 2018-33: MSRB Files Content Outline for the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54)
- MSRB Notice 2018-30: SEC Approves Amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 to Establish a Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination