Need help with a basic understanding of key terms? See Key Parliamentary Procedure Terms & Definitions.

What is a parliamentarian?

A parliamentarian specializes in understanding rules of order for meetings and uses that knowledge to advise a group’s leaders and members on the best (i.e., both proper and efficient) procedural route to accomplish goals.

What is a professional parliamentarian?

A professional parliamentarian has earned credentials either from the National Association of Parliamentarians or the American Institute of Parliamentarians, or both, and has experience working as a parliamentarian. (See more credentials detail below.)

What is Robert’s Rules?

Robert’s Rules is the shorthand name for the most widely-known and -used parliamentary authority. Originally written by Henry M. Robert and first published in 1876, the book is now in its 11th edition and is officially titled Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised.

Is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised the only rulebook (parliamentary authority) for meetings?

No. Although many groups adopt Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised as a parliamentary authority, other parliamentary authorities such as AIP’s Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, Demeter’s Manual of Parliamentary Law  and Procedure and Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure (specific to legislatures) are also used.

How do I know which parliamentary authority an organization has adopted?

Organizations that have adopted a parliamentary authority generally identify the adopted authority in the bylaws. Look for it in the “Meetings” section or a section titled “Parliamentary Authority.”

What is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP)?

Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP) is the highest credential offered by the National Association of Parliamentarians. This credential is offered only to individuals who have first passed a four-part written examination covering the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised to achieve the designation Registered Parliamentarian (RP). Becoming a Professional Registered Parliamentarian requires passage of multiple assessments given during a three-day course, where attendees complete written assignments and give oral presentations that demonstrate an ability to interpret and revise bylaws, teach parliamentary procedure, preside, and advise on difficult parliamentary questions. In addition to completing the course and passing these assessments, a prospective PRP must log a threshold number of hours participating in parliamentary activities.

What is a Certified Professional Parliamentarian – Teacher (CPP–T)?

Certified Professional Parliamentarian – Teacher (CPP–T) is the highest credential offered by the American Institute of Parliamentarians. This credential is offered only to individuals who have first passed a four-part written examination covering the latest editions of multiple parliamentary authorities, including Robert’s Rules of Order Newly RevisedDemeter’s Manual of Parliamentary Law and ProcedureThe Standard Code of Parliamentary ProcedureCannon’s Concise Guide to Rules of Order, and Riddick’s Rules of Procedure to achieve the designation Certified Parliamentarian (CP). Becoming a Certified Professional Parliamentarian requires passage of a three-hour oral examination by a panel of other CPPs. The examination tests mastery of multiple parliamentary authorities, competency in solving complex procedural problems, and presiding ability. In addition to completing the course and passing these assessments, a prospective CPP must log a threshold number of hours participating in parliamentary activities. To add the Teacher designation to a CPP credential, a CPP must complete a 3-day intensive course, where participants are required to demonstrate skill in teaching parliamentary procedure, and log a threshold number of teaching hours.