Statement of Purpose
The National Association of Parliamentarians® (NAP) Commission on Credentialing is seeking Professional Registered Parliamentarians (PRPs) and Registered Parliamentarians (RPs) to draft objective test questions and/or scenarios. The questions and scenarios for this request will be used at the step one level under the new credentialing program. Anyone interested in responding to this request for volunteers should read the Criteria for Credentialing (Preliminary Edition August 2016), report in its entirety before responding.
Step One – Knowledge (Objective Test) is the first step in a three step assessment process for RP credentialing. Candidates will take examinations designed to test how well they know and understand the rules that have been identified as essential in the Standards for Registered Parliamentarian section in the Criteria for Credentialing (Preliminary Edition August 2016), without consulting Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised for the relevant designation, and how well they can rapidly look up and provide advice concerning other rules in RONR during meetings. The objective test primarily will consist of real world based factual questions requiring knowledge and application of rules whose substance has been committed to memory. Question types include multiple choice, true-false, fill in the blank, matching, sequencing, etc. It will also have a timed segment during which candidates will be required to rapidly consult RONR to answer questions about rules whose substance they are not expected to have committed to memory. The performance standards are outlined in detail in Criteria for Credentialing, Preliminary Edition, August 2016.
Assessments for Step Two – Application (Written, Online, or Multimedia Assignments) and Step Three – Simulation will be developed as the questions designed for Step One are completed.
The Standards for Registered Parliamentarian section sets the expectations for everyone who wishes to become a RP. Using the eight domain areas in the NAP Body of Knowledge as the basis for deciding what skills (competencies) a RP needs to have in order to serve as a consultant for associations dealing with common issues and concerns, the standards cover:
- Domain 1: Motions and Meeting-Related Procedures
- Domain 2: Government Documents
- Domain 3: Serving as Parliamentarian in Meetings and Conventions
- Domain 4: Teaching
- Domain 5: Business and Ethics
- Domain 6: Governance
- Domain 7: Consulting Skills
- Domain 8: Nominations, Elections and Voting
The competencies and performance expectations outlined in the Standards for Registered Parliamentarian section covers 11 comprehensive content areas, based upon sections of the NAP Body of Knowledge. These content areas are important since they cover a minimum of what leaders and members should know, since presumably a RP must know this information as well. The performance expectations provide a framework of what the RP should know and do while serving as an RP. The 11 comprehensive content areas are:
- Motions in General: the parliamentarian will know the important rules for motions that are commonly used and have the ability to rapidly access the appropriate information for motions that are not used often, as well as more details about commonly used motions.
- Main Motion: the parliamentarian will know the important rules applying to main motions since that knowledge is critical in understanding how associations should conduct business.
- Subsidiary and Privileged Motions: the parliamentarian will know how each of the subsidiary motions is used to assist in disposing of main motions and when privileged motions properly interrupt pending business.
- Incidental Motions: the parliamentarian will know the rules governing the particular circumstances in which these motions arise out of consideration of other motions.
- Motions That Bring a Question Again Before the Assembly: the parliamentarian will know how to help an organization make a different decision than one already made on an issue.
- Organization and Conduct of Meetings: the parliamentarian will know the rules that keep meetings fair and on target such as establishing the quorum, creating the agenda, and conducting debate.
- Voting, Nominations, and Elections: the parliamentarian will know the decision making process involving nominations, elections, and voting.
- Serving as a Parliamentarian in Meetings: the parliamentarian will know the issues involved in the creation and conduct of meetings, and the relation between a meeting and a session.
- Writing and Interpreting Bylaws and Other Governing Documents: the parliamentarian will know how to write, read, and understand all the rules stated in bylaws and other forms of governing documents.
- Boards and Committees: the parliamentarian will know how special rules apply to different kinds of boards and committees.
- Professional Parliamentarian: the parliamentarian will know the skills, expertise, and be able to perform the duties expected of a professional and ethical individual who is paid to advise others.
Scope of Work/Tasks to be Accomplished
The Commission has identified the kinds of objective type questions for each content area that will be needed to assess the competencies and performance expectations of the RP at the step one level. The Commission is establishing several committees, each to be assigned at least one content area for which to create a designated number of objective questions or scenarios.
Volunteers selected for this project will be appointed to:
- serve on at least one committee;
- create a designated number of objective questions or scenarios for the content area assigned; and
- submit the questions and scenarios to the Commission for further action.
All recommended questions will be subjected to alpha and beta testing as well as reviews designed to check the validity of the questions for the step one assessment.
Alpha testing will be a preliminary test carried out to identify, refine, and fix any bugs or problems with the recommended test questions that were not discovered during the test writing process. For beta testing, which follows alpha testing, a group of PRPs and RPs will be selected to test the recommended questions. Any further problems that are identified will be corrected and questions refined before they are finalized.
All recommended questions will be reviewed for test validity to determine if they accurately assess what they are supposed to measure.
The project is scheduled to begin December 1, 2016, and all recommended draft questions should be completed and submitted to the Commission in the first half of 2017, a specific date will be announced in the future.
The selected volunteers appointed to serve on this project must have experience in the following areas:
- serving as parliamentarian to clients
- teaching workshops and/or classes on parliamentary procedure
Additional desired experience includes:
- writing tests
- applying the principles of psychometrics to quantitative testing
- using computer systems and software to administer online tests
- testing computer systems and software used to administer online tests
Submission of Statement of Interest in Volunteering
PRPs and RPs interested in being considered should submit a statement of interest, which includes background and experiences as a parliamentarian as well as other relevant background and experiences, to:
Thomas (Burke) Balch, PRP
NAP Commission on Credentialing
All statements of interest must be received on or before October 31, 2016 in PDF format.
If you are interested but don’t have time to commit to this project, would you be willing to be one of the alpha testers when the draft questions are completed? If so, please indicate that in your response.