The Philosophy of the Process for New Registered and Professional Registered Parliamentarians

The Commission is convinced of the need to balance NAP’s fiduciary duty to clients to ensure that the parliamentarians the organization certifies, by granting credentialed status, are competent to serve organizations and individuals needing parliamentary services with the reality that an assessment process that is unnecessarily demanding or rigorous could deter members from attempting or prevent them from completing it, with the unfortunate result that there would be too few credentialed parliamentarians available to serve clients.
Accordingly, in formulating the new credentialing process, the Commission has been guided by these principles:

  • Assessment should be focused on what parliamentarians in fact need to be able to do in practice to serve clients competently, rather than on some theoretical ideal of comprehensive knowledge and ability.
  • Candidates should be informed in advance, with as much detail as possible, precisely what they will be expected to know and to be able to do, and how it will be assessed.
  • The assessment process should be broken up into units of knowledge and application, so that candidates may seek to learn and master, and then be assessed on, manageable chunks of material at a time – although many of those elements will ultimately be brought together in a final assessment process designed to simulate, as nearly as possible, what parliamentarians are actually expected to do.
  • To the extent administratively feasible, candidates should be given multiple opportunities to re-attempt units they may not initially successfully complete. The emphasis ought not be on “passing or failing,” but instead on maximizing the ability of candidates to develop the required competencies.

The following competencies for Registered Parliamentarians were established by the Commission:

  • Use main, subsidiary, privileged, incidental motions, and motions that bring a question again before the assembly.
  • Use parliamentary terminology and language appropriately.
  • Use parliamentary rules to organize the business of meetings.
  • Serve as a parliamentarian in meetings.
  • Review governing documents.
  • Handle election procedures.
  • Advise clients on mass meetings and the creation, merger, or dissolution of societies.
  • Write bylaws and other governing documents.
  • Interpret bylaws and other governing documents.
  • Assist boards and committees.
  • Teach parliamentary procedure.
  • Act professionally and ethically.
  • Consult with clients.

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