The National Association of Parliamentarians
(NAP), is the largest non-profit association of professional parliamentarians
A parliamentarian is an expert on parliamentary procedure who advises organizations and deliberative assemblies. This sense of the term "parliamentarian" is distinct from the usage of the same term to mean a member of Parliament....
in the world.
NAP was organized in 1930. As of June 2008, NAP had a membership of about 3,560 parliamentarians in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, and internationally. This included about 250 who have been accredited as Professional Registered Parliamentarians, the highest level of proficiency.
The goals of NAP are:
- Foster educational, scientific, literary and professional purposes of studying, teaching, promoting and disseminating the philosophy and principles underlying the rules of deliberative assemblies;
- Further the growing interest in parliamentary rules in both public and private schools on all levels;
- Create closer cooperation among parliamentarians;
- Inculcate and uphold the general principles of obedience to law and lend moral aid and strength to the parliamentary activities of its members; and
- Award such certification of proficiency as appropriate.
In contrast to the American Institute of Parliamentarians
The American Institute of Parliamentarians is a not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1958 for the advancement of parliamentary procedure. From a first-year membership of only 48 members, AlP has grown into a progressive association with active chapters and regions...
, NAP focuses virtually exclusively on Robert's Rules of Order
Robert's Rules of Order is the short title of a book containing rules of order intended to be adopted as a parliamentary authority for use by a deliberative assembly written by Brig. Gen...
, rather than a variety of parliamentary authorities.
Provisional member: Available to any person interested in parliamentary procedure. Provisional members are not considered full voting members of NAP.
Regular NAP member: Must pass a membership examination to become a full member. This test is 100 questions on parliamentary procedure, taken from a pool of 300. This pool is available for free from the group's website.
Registered Parliamentarian (RP): Must pass a further examination on Robert's Rules of Order. This test consists of 5 parts. The first part is a timed test to find the page numbers for 5 statements in Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. The next four parts contain a total of 300 questions from a pool of 1,200 questions. The questions may be purchased from NAP as a study guide.
Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP): Are RPs who have completed a Professional Qualification Course. PRPs that do not take (or teach) an additional Professional Development Course once during a six year period, or fail to earn a required number of service points during that time in categories such as service as a parliamentarian, teaching, or publishing, revert to RP status.
PRPs and RPs who decide to no longer practice may apply for retired status, and retain the title "retired PRP" (RPRP) and "retired RP," (RRP) respectively. There are also separate categories for clubs (CLB), student groups (SG), student members (SM), student registered parliamentarians (SR), and student professional registered parliamentarians (SPR).
- National Parliamentarian- quarterly publication of NAP, including articles on parliamentary procedure and news/information on NAP.
NAP publishes a variety of other works on parliamentary procedure. These include Pointers on Parliamentary Procedure
, the Pathways to Proficiency
series, the Spotlight
series, and more.