"Robert's Rules of Order" is the preeminent, authoritative manual of parliamentary procedure for democratic, deliberative assemblies. Certification in parliamentary procedure is a professional credential attesting to demonstrated knowledge of and proficiency in using "Robert's Rules of Order" and other aspects of parliamentary procedure to conduct fair and orderly meetings.
Assess the level of your educational interests and goals. Certification requires a significant investment of your time and money. Consider self-study by taking advantage of free on-line resources or your local library, as well as low-cost correspondence courses as alternatives to formal certification.
Select a reputable organization offering education in parliamentary procedure. The National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) and The American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) are well-respected, non-profit associations providing educational resources, certification/accreditation programs and support services to professional and non-professional parliamentarians.
Select the best certification program for your interests, goals and qualifications. Both NAP and AIP offer basic and advanced accreditation programs. Visit the websites for the American Institute of Parliamentarians and the National Association of Parliamentarians to access detailed information about the curricula, prerequisites and fees of their respective programs.
Obtain a membership application, a program application and scheduling information from the organization. NAP's and AIP's certification programs are only open to their members and are only offered at certain times and locations or by special arrangement.
Complete and submit the applications per the requirements of your chosen program.
- NAP and AIP offer non-certification courses as well as certification programs. The non-certification courses of both organizations are open to non-members, but the fees are discounted for members.
- When calculating your costs for obtaining certification, include estimates for travel, meals and lodging. Certain qualifying courses and examinations for NAP's and AIP's certification programs are only offered at their conventions and training conferences.
Craig Colin Smith has over twenty years' experience in technical and business writing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and a certificate in Quality Assurance Engineering from the Virginia Tech Graduate Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Mr. Smith also studied English and philosophy at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.