Development of the MSRB’s Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam

The MSRB has established a professional qualification exam (Series 50) for municipal advisors as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. As with all MSRB professional qualification exams, the development process has been a multi-year effort involving extensive outreach to gather input from municipal advisors and others. 

  • July 2010: Congress passes the Dodd-Frank Act, charging the MSRB with developing rules, standards and a professional qualification exam for municipal advisors.
  • October 2010: The MSRB begins conducting outreach events and focus groups to gather input from municipal advisors and others about the content for the exam
  • June 2011: The MSRB organizes a municipal advisor examination working group to consider the extensive input received and identify common topic areas for inclusion on the exam.
  • September 2013: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) releases its final registration rule defining who is a municipal advisor.
  • July 1, 2014: The SEC’s registration rule for municipal advisors takes effect.
  • July 2014: The MSRB surveys registered municipal advisors about their business activities to ensure all individuals covered by the SEC’s definition of municipal advisor have an opportunity to share their input on the development of the exam.
  • Fall 2014: The municipal advisor examination working group analyzes the input received from focus groups and the survey to finalize the content outline for the exam.
  • January 2015: The MSRB Board of Directors approves the content outline for the exam.
  • April 27, 2015: The MSRB establishes the municipal advisor representative and municipal advisor principal registration categories.
  • April 2015: The MSRB files the exam content outline with the SEC for immediate effectiveness.
  • January - February 2016: The MSRB administers a pilot exam to a limited number of municipal advisors to validate the question bank and determine the passing score.
  • September 12, 2016: The permanent Series 50 exam becomes available. Municipal advisor professionals will have a one-year grace period from this date to pass the exam.
  • September 12, 2017: Grace period ends. All municipal advisor representatives and municipal advisor principals must have passed the Series 50 exam in order to engage in municipal advisory activities.
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