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. It is suggested that such candidates continue their studies for a few months before re-applying.