Presently, there are two levels of credentialing offered by the National Association of Parliamentarians: Registered Parliamentarian® (RP) and Professional Registered Parliamentarian® (PRP). Credentialing for RPs and PRPs is managed by the NAP Commission on Credentialing.
This material sets the expectations of the Commission on Credentialing for everyone who wishes to become a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Before becoming a Professional Registered Parliamentarian the candidate must have successfully attained the RP credential.
This document is designed to guide an NAP member who wishes to prepare to become credentialed as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Being ready to respond in a performance-based assessment with skill in each of the competencies means that a candidate will be successful in earning this credential. The objectives illustrate the sort of abilities expected, and the performance expectations explain in detail what is required to master each competency at the appropriate level of skill.
The Standards for Professional Registered Parliamentarian use the NAP Body of Knowledge as the basis for deciding what skills (competencies) a Professional Registered Parliamentarian needs to have in order to serve as a consultant for associations dealing with common issues and concerns. The standards cover eight domain areas, which include:
- Domain 1: Motions and Meeting-Related Procedures
- Domain 2: Governing 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 resources to be used in conjunction to prepare to meet these standards include:
- Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th edition), cited as RONR
- Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised in Brief, (2nd edition), cited as RONRIB
- Professional Practices in Parliamentary Procedure (2015, NAP), cited as PPPP
- Pathway to Proficiency: Parliamentary Playbook – A Guide to Script Writing (2nd edition) (2014, NAP), cited as Playbook
The Standards for Professional Registered Parliamentarian covers 7 content areas:
- Advanced Use of Motions—so that the parliamentarian will know how to handle special issues that may require the use of less commonly used motions. These motions range from main motion, subsidiary motions, privileged motions, incidental motions, and motions that bring a question again before the assembly.
- Less Commonly Used Motions—so that the parliamentarian will know important rules applying to motions that don’t often occur in regular meetings since that knowledge is critical in understanding how associations and conventions should conduct business.
- Advising or Presiding at a Meeting or Convention—so that the parliamentarian will know how to effectively advise a presiding officer or members, or in some cases actually serve as the presiding officer, during regular meetings or conventions.
- Governing Documents and Script Writing—so that the parliamentarian will know how to write, read, and understand all the rules stated in bylaws and other forms of governing documents. In addition, the parliamentarian will know how to effectively write and prepare accurate scripts to help guide the presiding officer through a meeting or convention.
- Advanced Issues with Boards and Committees; Mass Meetings and Merger or Dissolution of Societies—so that the parliamentarian will be able to know how to address issues regarding boards, committees, and how business is conducted in those deliberative assemblies. Furthermore, the parliamentarian should know how to guide members through a mass meeting, merger, or dissolution of an organization.
- Advanced Issues with Nominations, Voting, and Elections—so that the parliamentarian will know how to handle complex issues involving nominations, voting, and elections.
- Professional Parliamentarian—so that the parliamentarian will know the skills and perform the duties expected of a professional and ethical individual with expertise who is paid to advise others.
Competencies and Performance Expectations
Each content area has competencies and performance expectations that can be used to guide the development of courses and study material to prepare for assessment to become a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. The competencies are based upon areas of the NAP Body of Knowledge that are important for members and leaders to know, since a PRP must have advanced knowledge of parliamentary procedure in order to assist in all types of meetings ranging from small regular meetings to large conventions. The performance expectations provide a framework of what the Professional Registered Parliamentarian should be able to know and do while serving as an PRP.
The competencies for preparing to become and retain one’s status as a Professional Registered Parliamentarian cover more than what is in RONR. But with respect to RONR, the assessments included in these standards are based on the following assumptions:
- The Professional Registered Parliamentarian has achieved all of the competencies required for the Registered Parliamentarian credential.
- Professional Registered Parliamentarians should be able to understand and apply all that is in the book when they have it available for reference. This should be sufficient with respect to that advice that is provided outside of meetings, such as helping to draft a bylaws amendment or revision.
- In a meeting or convention, Professional Registered Parliamentarians should be able rapidly to find, refer to, understand and apply any rule that would be likely to come up and need resolution in the meeting itself.
- Professional Registered Parliamentarians should know and be able to apply parliamentary rules that are relevant in an ordinary meeting or convention under usual circumstances without having to refer to RONR.
The candidate for registered parliamentarian will be evaluated sequentially starting with Step 1. The candidate will need to successfully complete Step 1, proceed to Step 2, successfully complete Step 2, and proceed to and complete Step 3.
NOTE: When “(C)” is found at the end of a performance expectation, it means “Consult.” In fulfilling this performance expectation, the parliamentarian may contemporaneously consult RONR, RONRIB, or another source cited, but is expected to be sufficiently familiar with the material to be consulted to be able to correctly research and apply it as needed. When “(C)” is not included at the end of a performance expectation, the parliamentarian is expected to be able to fulfill it without referring to RONR or other sources concerning parliamentary rules other than any that are specific to the organization being advised.
Content Assessment Steps
Mastery of the performance standards will be assessed through three consecutive steps. This approach is reflected in the numbering system (steps 1, 2, and 3).
The candidate for professional registered parliamentarian will be evaluated sequentially starting with Step 1. The candidate will need to successfully complete Step 1, proceed to Step 2, successfully complete Step 2, and proceed to and complete Step 3.
Step 1: Objective Test
Such a test consists of 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.
Step 2: Written, Online, or Multimedia Assignments
Written assignments such as short answer, essay, and case studies will be sent to the candidate to be completed and returned to designated evaluators. In addition, assignments for tasks performed outside of meeting environments may be assessed through the use of online and multimedia tools.
Step 3: Simulation
Candidates for professional registered parliamentarian will demonstrate their knowledge and skill through various simulations of meeting scenarios.