RULES GOVERNING REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY
FOR REGISTERED MEMBERSHIP IN THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARIANS* UNDER THE NEW RP CREDENTIALING SYSTEM
Adopted by National Association of Parliamentarians Commission on Credentialing as amended through June 21, 2021.
*The deadlines listed below apply to those who became beta testers of the new RP credentialing system before August 1, 2019, as though they had started Step One on January 1, 2020.
- Membership Requirement. To apply for registered membership in the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) (and designation as a Registered Parliamentarian [RP]), a candidate must currently be a regular member.
- Application. The member must submit to NAP headquarters the current application fee set by the NAP Board of Directors and a completed application on a form to be available on the NAP website. (Circumstances, if any, under which the application fee may be refunded or waived are determined by the Board of Directors.)
- Incorporation of Criteria for Credentialing by Reference. To attain registered membership, a candidate must successfully complete RP Steps One, Two and Three of the credentialing process in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth in the current edition of Criteria for Credentialing.
- Standard of Conduct for Candidates. Candidates may not share the contents of nonpublic tests with anyone other than those the Commission on Credentialing authorizes. They may neither seek nor accept help from anyone else in taking tests or preparing assignments. They must comply with the instructions provided concerning the extent to which they may or may not refer to sources of parliamentary information or notes.
Candidates who fail to comply with these requirements are subject to referral to the NAP Professional Standards Committee and may be disqualified by the Commission from attaining the relevant credentialed status.
- Reasonable Accommodation. A) Any RP candidate, or regular member desiring to become an RP candidate, who based on disability or language barrier desires variation of the standard requirements may request reasonable accommodation. Such a candidate is asked to include in the request suggestions for how the candidate might best be reasonably accommodated. The request may be made by or on behalf of the candidate through email to or by contacting NAP headquarters. The Commission is committed to make all reasonable efforts to accomplish such accommodation.
B) Prospective RP candidates who are not fluent in English will be permitted to take the old RP exam to earn their credentials until the new system is fully translated into the language of their country.
- Resolution of Evaluator Disagreements. When more than one evaluator is assigned to a candidate in RP Step Three or to a portion of a candidate’s submission in RP Step Two, the evaluators shall initially independently assess the candidate’s performance. If the evaluators agree on whether or not the candidate successfully completed what they are evaluating, both evaluations shall be sent to the candidate. If the evaluators disagree on whether or not the candidate successfully completed what they are evaluating, they shall submit their evaluations and the candidate’s submissions they evaluated to a member of the Commission on Credentialing designated for that purpose who shall decide the question, providing a written explanation of the decision. That decision together with both of the evaluations shall be sent to the candidate.
- Appeals by a Candidate. All parts of the three steps in attaining registered membership have been designed with the expectation that many candidates will not successfully complete a part on the first attempt and, as more fully described in Criteria for Credentialing, each part is designed to provide multiple opportunities to successfully complete it. Candidates who do not successfully complete a part are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and to appeal a determination that the part has not been successfully completed only as a last resort. However, any candidate may appeal a determination that a part or portion of a part was not successfully completed by providing a full explanation of why the candidate believes the determination should have been one of successful completion through email to or by contacting NAP headquarters. After engaging in such review and investigation as it deems appropriate, the Commission will decide the appeal by majority vote.
- Date of Beginning Candidacy. The date of beginning candidacy shall be deemed to be that on which the member is sent login and other information necessary in order to begin attempting RP Step One, Part 1 on the Schoology learning management system.
- Deadlines. Subject to the provisions for extensions in Rule 10, to attain registered membership, a candidate must successfully complete:
- all parts of RP Step One within 270 calendar days after the date of beginning candidacy;
- all parts of RP Step Two within 180 calendar days after the date on which the candidate successfully completes the last part of RP Step One;
- RP Step Three within 90 calendar days after the date on which the candidate successfully completes the last part of RP Step Two.Candidates are encouraged to attempt to complete each Step substantially in advance of its deadline, and not to leave too much time between Parts within each Step, bearing in mind that the longer the period a candidate takes to complete the process, the greater the chance that what was earlier learned may to some extent fade from memory by the time it is again tested by a later stage. The time limits on the three steps are preliminary rules that are subject to change when more data is available on the time that is needed.
- Deadline Extensions.
- Step Two evaluators may grant reasonable extensions of the Step Two deadline based on significant delays in providing evaluator grading and feedback, or based on the conclusion that the candidate is diligently pursuing, and showing demonstrable improvement in, re-taking Step Two parts that were not initially successfully completed. The total of these extensions may not exceed 180 calendar days beyond the deadline under Rule 9(b) without approval by majority vote of the Commission on Credentialing.
- Step Three evaluators may grant reasonable extensions of the Step Three deadline based on the criteria in Rule 10(a) for Step Two extensions and in addition based on difficulties with scheduling the Step Three meeting simulations. The total of these extensions may not exceed 180 calendar days beyond the deadline under Rule 9(c) without approval by majority vote of the Commission on Credentialing.
- Upon application supported by a detailed explanation of the need for an extension submitted by a candidate or evaluator, which may be made through email to or by contacting NAP headquarters, the Commission may grant other extensions. The Commission will grant such extensions by majority vote. In considering whether to do so, the Commission will take into consideration:
- significant periods of illness or significantly difficult life circumstances affecting a candidate or the candidate’s family;
- substantial delays in the testing or evaluation process that were not attributable to the candidate;
- delays or other difficulties associated with reasonable accommodations under Rule 5; and
- other good cause shown.
- Renewal of Candidacy After Inability to Successfully Complete. A candidate who is unable successfully to complete a part after attempting the available number of versions must thereafter re-apply as a candidate for registered membership and start again from the beginning of the RP credentialing process. Similarly, a candidate who is unable successfully to complete the RP credentialing process within the applicable deadlines as modified by any extensions granted must thereafter re-apply as a candidate for registered membership and start again from the beginning of the RP credentialing process. Such a re-application may not be made prior to 180 days after whichever comes first of a) the date on which the candidate is notified of unsuccessful completion of the last available version of a part, or b) the date on which the applicable deadline, as modified by any extensions granted, expires without the candidate having successfully completed all the parts in the applicable Step. It is suggested that the waiting period be devoted to careful study prior to the re-application.
APPENDIX: PROCESS FOR DEALING WITH BEHAVIOR BY A CANDIDATE TAKING A QUIZ IN RP STEP ONE PARTS 1-7 IDENTIFIED AS SUSPICIOUS BY RESPONDUS MONITOR
- Once a Commissioner serving as a reviewer has determined that there is suspicious behavior by a candidate taking a quiz in RP Step One Parts 1-7 that is confirmed by the video provided by Respondus Monitor, the Commissioner who is doing the review will send an email to the candidate from the Commission’s email informing them that it appears that some suspicious behavior occurred during the exam and asking them for an explanation on the behavior.
- The reviewer will share both the video of the suspicious behavior and the candidate’s response with the entire Commission on Credentialing.
- If the behavior is blatant and can be confirmed, e.g. , there are notes and papers on the desk/table that were not removed, the reviewer needs to notify the Chair of the Commission on Credentialing so a determination can be made if the candidate’s access to taking further quizzes should be stopped until there is a resolution of the behavior that appears to have violated the honor code.
- When the full Commission meets following individual Commissioners’ review of the video and the candidate’s response:
- The Commission will first determine either (i) to notify the candidate that upon preliminary review no basis to challenge the validity of the quiz-taking has been found, with or without instructions to be more careful about avoiding whatever behavior was flagged when taking future quizzes or (ii) to notify the candidate that a hearing will be required, with information on the process to be followed; if the candidate’s ability to take further quizzes was not previously suspended under (3), the candidate will be informed of a suspension pending the hearing.
- The candidate will be provided with access to the video recording, and a written explanation of the concerns, based upon the video, that the candidate may have engaged in cheating. The candidate will be given a reasonable deadline to submit any additional written information, told of the right to request an extension of that deadline if good cause is shown, and told of the right to participate in a subsequent hearing during which the candidate will have the opportunity to provide an oral argument and evidence, while being subject to questioning by Commissioners.
- A hearing via Zoom will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.
- At the hearing: (i) the candidate will first be accorded a reasonable time to show cause why the candidate ought not be found to have cheated and be sanctioned accordingly, through oral argument and presentation of evidence; (ii) Commissioners will ask questions of the candidate; (iii) the candidate will be given a reasonable time to present a final argument.
- Following the hearing, the candidate will be excused and the Commission will deliberate. A finding of guilt requires a 2/3 vote of the entire Commission; if guilt has been found, the discipline to be applied will be separately voted upon, also requiring a 2/3 vote of the entire Commission to be imposed.
Candidates who are judged by the Commission to have violated the instructions for using Respondus and/or the Honor Code may be disciplined as follows:
- Barred from continuing the RP process for up to two years.
- Anyone barred from taking the RP quizzes must start over from the beginning once they are reinstated.
- To start the process again, the member must send a written request to be reinstated to the Commission on Credentialing.
- If, after investigation, the Commission is convinced that while there was a violation, it was not one that altered the exam results, a warning could be given to the candidate. For example, say there is a post-it note on the wall, but the candidate never got up during the exam and looked at the note: that could be considered an infraction that violates the environmental scanning rules, but does not rise to the point of being suspended from the RP process.
- Anyone suspended from the RP process may also have charges sent to the NAP Professional Responsibility and Member Discipline Committee