Parliamentarians are, by definition, experts in meeting procedures. They are knowledgeable in the application of Roberts Rules of Order as well as other lesser known authorities. They draft bylaws, assist with elections, help members write motions, draft scripts for running meetings, and assist the president while the meeting is in progress. They are little known outside the profession because their work is done behind the scenes. The American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP) and the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) have done much to bind the professional membership together. Each association has a quarterly publication featuring scholarly articles in the field, a testing and credentialing program, a continuing education program, and a referral service for professionals. The two associations also offer a wide variety of workshops and seminars annually throughout the country. Correspondence courses are available for those who have difficulty traveling. Members of the parliamentary profession are not licensed, and there is no degree requirement for entering the profession. Members enter the profession from many different disciplines with sharply different backgrounds of educational achievement. Yet they do share certain characteristics in common that bring them together as members of a profession. The purpose of this book is to explore and describe the key attributes of todays parliamentary profession. What are the building blocks that comprise its foundation? How have these building blocks interacted to produce The Parliamentarian of Today, and what trends do they reveal that will shape The Parliamentarian of Tomorrow? Aspiring parliamentarians, as well as seasoned professionals in the field, will find this helpful in understanding their profession, where it is headed, and how they can adjust to accommodate the future demands of client organizations.
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