Condo Meeting Rules and Procedures Background Information (Archives)
Section 18 of the bylaws ( In force – July 1/2019 ) provides as follows :
All meetings of the board and general meetings are to be conducted according to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised , unless alternate rules of procedure are adopted by the board .
If the default bylaws are embraced section 18 obliges the use of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised ( RONR- 11th edition, Da Capo Press ) , for board and general meetings, or the condo Board must adopt alternate rules of procedure .
This imposes a significant obligation( s. 21) on condo presidents ( or vice -presidents where a president is absent or disabled ) respecting board and general meetings of the corporation. If Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised ( RONR ) are to be the governing general set then condo officers responsible would do well to “tool -up ” in preparation for the coming challenge . This follows as Robert’s Rules (RONR ) is a very complex, cumbersome and labyrinth- like compilation of meetings procedures that runs to near 700 pages . Difficulty, or even disaster ,awaits the uninformed president who assumes that she/he can navigate and apply these rules in circumstances where members of the assembly are deeply divided ,or where there are complex issues for determination and a strict application of rules is required to maintain understanding , order, and efficiency .
The following measures are accordingly recommended:
1. Acquire and thoroughly study a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised- In Brief ( 2011, 2nd ed., Da Capo Press ) . The In Brief version of of Robert’s Rules is published by the same team of authors who produce the official and authorized text of RONR, and is accordingly (abbreviated ) authoritative and seamless as to the application of Robert’s Rules .This highly accessible publication is written in clear and simple language and will likely address most of the procedural issues that are likely to arise at a board or general meeting .
2. Acquire a copy ( not a “knock- off ” ) of Roberts’ Rules of Order Newly Revised ( 2011, 11th ed., Da Capo Press /RONR) and apply this text as the ultimate resource authority for the condo corporation respecting meetings procedure. This full set will be of considerable assistance to the condo corporation when opportunity arises for research in advance of a meeting . However , RONR should be understood to be of very marginal value for use at an actual meeting ,unless the person seeking to apply it has significant training in its intricacies .
3. Attend a one day workshop ( or more ) on Robert’s Rules of Order offered by a suitably qualified professional parliamentarian . The designation of Professional Registered Parliamentarian ( PRP ) from the National Association of Parliamentarians ( NAP ), or Professional Certified Parliamentarian ( PCP ), from the American Institute of Parliamentarians are recognized credentials in this respect.
4. Become a “qualified member” of the NAP. This is a very helpful measure and readily accomplished by any person who completes the task set out in the above ( #1 recommendation). Successful completion for membership obliges 80% accuracy in a multiple choice or T/F test of 40 questions . NAP makes this quite an easy hoop to jump through as the 40 questions are provided to test takers in advance , on a list of 100 possible questions. Acquiring NAP membership inculcates confidence in a presiding officer ( meetings Chair ) and allows that even this modest credential can nevertheless be made known ( for good value ) to an assembly .
An alternative to using Robert’s Rules ( RONR ) is to adopt a different general set ,or to craft and put in place a procedural set created by the condo corporation.
At present there are as many as 20 general sets of procedural rules available for adoption . Several are Canadian made ( Bourinot ; Beauchesne; Kerr & King ; Wainberg ; etc ) . Twice that many are available from USA authors ( Standard Code ; Mason’s; Demeter ;etc.) . Any one of these sets , of course , could be adopted by a board as the procedural set for their condo corporation . However, not one of those sets offers presiding officers a highly valuable , In Brief ( summary ) ,as does the official Robert’s ( RONR ) . In addition, almost all of the alternative sets available rely on Robert’s ( 1876) for much of their internal structure and antecedent motions content . Although Robert’s is a cumbersome and tedious tangle it nevertheless is the recognized ” gold ” standard against which all other procedural sets are measured and RONR never comes up short in terms of the most comprehensive coverage .
With respect to crafting and producing a board made procedural set , that option should not be considered unless the authors involved have a very considerable grasp of required core and necessary basics re meetings procedures. Completion of recommendations 1 to 4 above would only amount to the most marginal step in that direction for those interested in such a proposal. In most instances the option of “self-made rules ” is highly inadvisable unless a highly qualified expert is retained to assist the board in the preparation of such a set .
Inquiries or questions on this note are , of course , most welcome and all such will be answered by this forum writer .
Pat Knoll PRP