I recently acquired the credential of Registered Parliamentarian (RP), as recognized by the National Association of Parliamentarians.
A parliamentarian is an advisor to an organization that uses parliamentary procedure. The parliamentarian generally sits next to the presiding officer at meetings to advise about procedural matters. Sometimes the parliamentarian has a more sweeping engagement advising the organization both in and out of meetings: as do, for example, the parliamentarians for state legislatures and the US House of Representatives and Senate.
Parliamentary Procedure safeguards the members’ voices as they determine an organization’s proper course of action, while also protecting the organization’s ability to decide on that course.
It’s only recently that I pursued a formal credential; but in one form or another, I’ve been working with parliamentary procedure most of my life. I bought my first “Robert’s Rules” (actually, Rules of Order Newly Revised) as an officer in high school clubs. As an adult, I’ve used parliamentary procedure as a presider, parliamentarian, and teacher.
- Presider: I’ve presided at professional meetings as president of my local teacher unions and the North Eastern Ohio Education Association. As co-chair, I preside at meetings of the Debate Committee of the City Club of Cleveland and the Southeast League of Women Voters.
- Parliamentarian: I assisted NEOEA Presidents as parliamentarian for over thirty Representative Assemblies of that organization, and OEA Presidents as the Ohio Delegation parliamentarian for thirteen National Education Association Representative Assemblies.
- Teacher: I’ve presented a number of parliamentary trainings, mostly for local union leaders.
When I qualified for my RP credential, I posted about the journey. If you’re curious about that story, you’ll find it here. If you want to talk about parliamentary matters, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.