Q. What do I need to do to become an RP under the new system?
In brief, successfully complete three steps:
- Step One: Seven online un-timed 40-question quizzes, each of which evaluates the ability to apply a different category of commonly used parliamentary rules, and an eighth “open book” quiz of 17 timed questions that evaluates a candidate’s ability during a meeting to quickly look up and advise how to apply less commonly used rules.
- Step Two: Several written assignments (all “open book”) demonstrating skill in performing the things a parliamentarian should be able to do outside of meetings, like drafting bylaw amendments, answering parliamentary questions, providing workshops, and preparing scripts.
- Step Three: The capstone: serving as parliamentarian during a meeting simulation.
Q. How long should the process take?
With the possibility of extensions in certain circumstances, RP candidates have:
–365 days to successfully complete Step One; with no more than two months between parts;
–365 days after completing Step One to successfully complete Step Two; and
–180 days after completing Step Two to successfully complete Step Three.
These are outside limits, and it is anticipated that most candidates will be able to complete the process in much less time.
Q. If at first I don’t succeed, may I try, try again?
Yes. For each part in all of the Steps, there are at least 3 versions.
During Step One, most of which will be automatically graded by the online software* (a “learning management system” called Schoology), if you don’t get at least 34 of the 40 questions right in each of Parts 1-7, or 20 points out of the 27 possible for the 17 questions in Part 8, you will be encouraged to take a second version after going over what you got wrong and doing some extra study. (The software will tell you the correct answers for the questions you missed.) If needed, you’ll have still another opportunity with the third version.
For Step Two, you’ll be working with evaluators who will give you feedback, and as needed provide you with repeated opportunities to succeed part by part.
For Step Three, you’ll get feedback from evaluators, and if you don’t successfully complete the first meeting simulation, there will be two additional different versions available to give you other chances.
*The citations required to support the answers in Part 8 will be graded by evaluators.
Q. What’s different from the old Registration Exam in what will be tested under the new system?
First, while the old exam was designed to test knowledge of all the rules in RONR, Step One of the new system expects candidates to know from memory only a specified subset of those rules that the Commission judged would be most commonly used in ordinary meetings. Moreover, the focus is on evaluating the ability to apply, rather than just know, the rules being tested.
Second, while under the old system the RP exam was to test book knowledge and the PRP evaluation process was to deal with the practical ability to serve as a parliamentarian, we know that many RPs are in fact serving clients, even when not for pay. Consequently, the RP evaluation has been constructed to cover important aspects of actually providing services as a parliamentarian for ordinary meetings in common circumstances, while the PRP evaluation will cover more challenging and unusual parliamentary situations.
Q. Why so many parts? Will the new RP system be harder than the old one?
When people are being taught a new skill or body of knowledge, such as when attending classes, normally the process occurs unit-by-unit. A manageable portion is studied, followed by a quiz on it, and that is followed by another manageable portion building on the first. This step-by-step process is how we generally learn, rather than by studying a whole subject and then taking a “final exam” on it.
The new system breaks down what an RP is expected to master into small portions, and gives multiple opportunities to acquire mastery of each part, if needed, before moving on to the next part. While for most candidates the new system will take longer than the nine-month period allotted to successfully complete the prior RP exam, the Commission is convinced that the new step-by step process will in fact make it easier for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the needed mastery than under the old system.
While preliminary, there are some empirical data to support this conviction: in beta testing to date, on average about 85% have been successfully completing each part of what will be the new route to RP status, a percentage significantly higher than under the prior RP exam.
Q. How do I prepare?
First, learn exactly what will be subject to being tested. As an overview, detailed Standards for Registered Parliamentarian and Standards for Professional Registered Parliamentarian, organized by content areas, are available at https://www.parliamentarians.org/standards-for-credentialing/. These include a full listing of the Performance Expectations, with page and often line references to the portions of RONR and other materials knowledge and application of which will be tested.
In addition, the RP Performance Expectations have been divided according to which of them will be tested for each part of Step One, for Step Two and for Step Three. These “What Will Be Tested” segments are provided later in this document.
Second, you may also practice with samples of the sort of questions you will find on the Step One tests, available on the NAP website at as well as through the online testing Schoology learning management system.
Third, for Steps Two and Three public scoring rubrics will generally be available, as well as other helpful information.
Q. I’ve already started the old Registration Examination. Will I be permitted to obtain an RP by successfully completing that?
Anyone who has successfully completed at least 2 parts of the old registration exam — other than the research (open book) part— by midnight local time July 31, 2019 will be permitted to attain RP status by successfully completing the rest of the old exam within the time limitations set for it by the Membership and Registration Examiners Committee. In addition, those whose primary language is other than English may take the old registration exam if available in their language. For more information on the Legacy RP Process please Click Here.
Q. How do I start?
Please click on the button below to fill out the online application. After submitting your application you will need to pay the $150 application fee, which covers all three steps, on the online store.
To Purchase: AFTER filling out the application form available through the button below, sign on to your account in the Online Store.
Type “RP Exam-New” into the search field.
Click on the product and proceed to pay the application fee.
You will receive login credentials and instructions on how to proceed within five business days.
For further information see “Rules Governing Requirements to Qualify for Registered Membership in the National Association of Parliamentarians” and the Criteria for Credentialing document.