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Fundamentals Of Parliamentary Procedure To Be Followed In Meetings

1944 words - 8 pages


Most groups use some form of parliamentary procedure for their meetings.

“Parliamentary procedure” is a term many believe limited to student government associations and voluntary organizations. However, business executives must also be knowledgeable about parliamentary procedure basics. Ignoring or incorrectly applying parliamentary law in the business world can lead to lawsuits, money damages, and embarrassment. For this reason, groups and businesses often hire outside parliamentarians to assist with meetings.

Although the many specific rules of parliamentary practice are too broad to examine in a single ...view middle of the document...

An improper vote makes any action ineffectual and can lead to lawsuits.
Parliamentary procedure takes many forms and has many specific rules. Even so, business people and officers of organizations must be aware of the basics of parliamentary practice. Such knowledge can make the difference between official actions and illegal ones.

Other parliamentary procedures that may be followed are-

Procure or create a manual to develop a working format for proper parliamentary procedure. Nearly every formal body has different rules and regulations, but most tend to derive from Robert's Rules of Order.

Create an agenda. If there is no agenda, it becomes quite difficult to conduct your meeting, and it won't be long before the meeting becomes uncontrollable. An agenda will safeguard you against this. Make sure that your agenda includes a proper placement and time for all items of business to be discussed, and ensure that at the minimum you include a time for reading of the minutes, officer/board member reports, old business, new business, and announcements.

Devise a "minutes" document. This step is not applicable to your first meeting. The minutes will contain a brief, but comprehensive review of the immediate previous meeting. This is exceptionally important because without the minutes, people can and will forget what happened at the previous meeting, especially if there is a long period of time that elapsed between the two meetings. Human memory is never perfect. If your officer’s cabinet includes a record-taker or secretary, this should become one of their tasks. If not, appoint a permanent member to do so.

Appoint a chair. This could be a parliamentarian, but it is wise to have another person that is knowledgeable about the rules you have devised, so that a second opinion is always available.

Appoint a member to be a parliamentarian, if the chair is not one already. A parliamentarian is a person who is very knowledgeable about your procedures - so make sure that person has a copy of the manual you are using. There will be a time in which questions of procedure will arise, and a parliamentarian will be able to render a solution quickly and effectively if the chair is unable to do so.

Ensure that members understand the parliamentary procedure. If everyone that regularly participates or votes on issues does not have a fundamental grasp of your group's policies, you will find that conducting your meeting will be impossible at worst, and at best, those who do know the policies will dominate the meeting.


Even though some fundamental rules pertaining to parliamentary procedures to be followed in meetings, sometimes technical problems may come up. This is on account of the fact that the business scenario is dynamic and is continuously changing.

Answers to these might not exist in the rule book. Some of these are -

1 What is the proper sequence of...

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