The National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP) is the oldest and largest non-profit association of Parliamentarians in the world, with more chapters and service units than any other parliamentary organization. NAP was organized in 1930 and today has about 4,000 members in the USA, Canada and other countries.
The goals of NAP are to:
- encourage its members and the general public to learn the principles and practice of democratic decision-making;
- help teachers instruct people of all ages in parliamentary procedure at all levels;
- promote collaboration and professional development among Parliamentarians;
- provide widely recognized, authoritative accreditation of Parliamentarians serving the general public
In contrast to the American Institute of Parliamentarians, NAP focuses almost exclusively on Robert’s Rules of Order, rather than on a variety of parliamentary authorities. This focus allows them to become experts on Robert’s Rules of Order. Many Parliamentarians are members of both the NAP and AIP organizations.
NAP’s organizational structure provides for four levels of membership:
- Provisional member – open to anyone interested in parliamentary procedure who pays their dues.
- Regular member (RM) – candidates must pass a written examination, prior to becoming a member, from a pool of 300 questions. This level is similar to the AIP Certified Parliamentarian (CP) certification, but does not require continuing service credits.
- Registered Parliamentarian (RP) – regular members who pass an secondary written examination from a pool of 1,500 questions, including open-ended research questions. This level is similar to the AIP Certified Professional Parliamentarian (CPP) in terms of knowledge and diligence required for certification.
- Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP) – an RP who teaches parliamentary procedure or acts in a professional capacity, and is required to complete continuing education credits, plus an oral examination, to remain certified. This level is similar to the AIP Certified Professional Parliamentarian-Teacher (CPP-T) certification.
The NAP California division provides direct support and training for members located in California. Their web site is the California State Association of Parliamentarians (CSAP).
The NAP California division is further broken down into localized area units, such as the CSAP group for the San Diego “Sigma Delta” unit.