Saturday, 27 August 2005
|1705 - I think I passed|
I think I passed the test, but I'm not 100% sure.
The first section consisted of five quotes from Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised. I had to find the page each quote was on, and only had a total of 30 minutes in which to do it. It only took me four minutes. When I handed it back in, the lady who was monitoring the test told me "You sure know your way around that book..."
The remaining four sections of the test were multiple choice, with a total of 300 questions. A passing grade is 85 on each section. I think I passed all four, although that 85% requirement is tough enough that I may not have passed one or two. Fortunately, if I only fail one or two sections, I can retake just those, instead of the whole test.
I won't find out for a few weeks, most likely. The NAP national convention is in two weeks, and the folks who grade the test are busy preparing for the convention. They've got 60 days to get the results back to me.
Should I pass that, I'll be a Registered Parliamentarian. That and $1.50 will get me a cup of coffee, and the ability (by taking a professional qualification course) to earn the designation of Professional Registered Parliamentarian. At that point, I can hang out a shingle and actually do it for money, and my clients would know that I'd met some pretty stringent qualifications.
current mood: accomplished
Would you hand out a hint (or three) on what this "Registered Parliamentarian" is actually abour?
From the National Association of Parliamentarians website
Registered Parliamentarian® (RP) status demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of parliamentary procedure. The NAP Registration Examination tests the member's knowledge in four key areas of parliamentary procedure—motions and related procedures; meetings; officers, boards, committees, voting, and elections; and rules of the assembly. The exam also requires a level of familiarity with Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised that enables the RP to effectively research parliamentary questions quickly, as is often required in a meeting situation. Once Registered Parliamentarian status is achieved, it is retained for as long as membership in the National Association of Parliamentarians is maintained.
I don't really get it from glancing at those pages.
Does passing that test make you a Member of Parliament? Guess not.
Is membership only for actual Members of Parliament? Doesn't look like.
Is it an organization for people interested in how an actual Parliament works? Maybe (by a long shot).
So WTF is it about? (I have a hunch that, on the outside, polit-icks are done differently around here.)
Hm. Just looked at your userinfo and realized that you may not be familiar with the whole idea of parliamentary law. It's an American and English concept; it probably has a different name in other cultures, but the concept (if not the rules themselves, which are derived from the practice of the English Parliament and the United States Congress) probably exists elsewhere. Basically, it's the set of rules that defines how meetings are held and how groups of people do things in a meeting. It's not law, per se, but that's what the body of rules is called.
Parliamentary law revolves around a set of rules adopted by an organization to control how people get things accomplished in a meeting. It's embodied in a book known as the organization's parliamentary authority; for the overwhelming majority of organizations in the US, that book is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
. It's 800 pages long, including foreword and index. A parliamentarian, in American usage, is not a member of a parliament, but rather someone who is knowledgeable about parliamentary law and its application, and particularly someone who assists organizations in the interpretation and application of parliamentary law to its meetings.
The National Association of Parliamentarians
is an organization of parliamentarians in the US and Canada. It has approximately 3300 members; about 350 are Professional Registered Parliamentarians, and just over 200 are Registered Parliamentarians.
The mind boggles.
You have actual, written-down, rules on how meetings in a parliamentarian context are held? And those even tangentially might apply outside a strictly Parliamentarian scope? (Parliament as in law-making body.)
I was under the impression that we, on Grand Old Central-European turf, had invented & perfected the beast known as Buereaucracy, but that takes it to a whole new level.
Around here, in .at, we invent Parliament-rules along the way (the newest addition being that no speaker is allowed to speak more than 6 hours without pause (for his/her colleagues, not the speaker, mind ;) )).
(Insert smileys where appropriate)
How do ordinary clubs in Europe decide to do things? IN particular, how are decisions made in organizations that have meetings of a hundred or so, sometimes with different ideas of exactly what should be done? Robert's Rules (as they're commonly referred to in the US) provides a guide to reaching decisions quickly and efficiently, and having those decisions reflect the will of the majority in a recognizable manner.
That 800-page book, like so many other things, is more thorough and covers a lot of ground. Of its 800 pages, 80% or so will never be used in ordinary organizations. It covers everything from the small club up to the national society with conventions of delegates and busy, packed agendas of things to accomplish. The average organization, in practice, operates in a less formal manner with a subset of the rules. There's a 176-page book, Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised - In Brief, that covers the stuff average organizations really need, and does it in a readable manner. It even has guides to which parts of the book the average club member can read in 30 minutes to get a basic understanding of the rules.
It seems bureaucratic to many Americans, too, but experience shows that having a short, concise set of rules on how to do things makes meetings go faster and more smoothly, especially if opinion is divided. The meeting I went to in Austin three weeks ago lasted about 5 hours, and would have dragged on MUCH longer had it not followed those rules.
Best of luck. Somehow, I feel pretty sure you did pass. Geeks always tend to be overly pessimistic about how well they do on tests, in my experience.