What is a parliamentarian and how can one help you?
One correct answer is: a member of a parliament. However, in the USA we don't have a parliament. So in the USA a parliamentarian commonly refers to a professional consultant who advises an organization, its leaders, committees, members, and staff on parliamentary law and the proper procedures for conducting meetings. These procedures are based upon Robert's Rules of Order. Parliamentarians may provide many important services; some of these services are:
- drafting and interpretation of bylaws and rules of order
- the planning and conduct of meetings
- assists the meeting's presiding officer
- maintains the appearance of impartiality
- helps people understand the rules of parliamentary law
Do small organizations need a parliamentarian?
Organizations are of all sizes and have very different needs. Small and large organizations use parliamentarians to help with the organization's bylaws. They may simply help people understand the bylaws or help update them, or create new bylaws. When disputes arise, a parliamentarian may prove invaluable in helping settle the disputes and may help avoid lawsuits. Elections, decisions involving large commitments or expenditures, or increases in membership dues can cause divisiveness and a parliamentarian may be necessary to keep order and help prevent hard feelings. If your organization holds annual meetings or conventions, you may need assistance from a Professional Registered Parlimentarian. Parliamentarians can also provide guidance with bylaws and other matters such as mergers and acquisitions. Although parliamentarians may work on a consulting or an as-needed basis, many larger organizations find it prudent to retain a full time parliamentarian to assist the officers, boards, committees and members in meetings. Contact Me Now if you need a Professianal Registered Parliamentarian or to find out how I may be able to help your next meeting be a great success!