Parliamentary procedure refers to rules that are followed, typically Robert’s Rules of Order, when a group comes together to discuss possible actions and to make decisions. Whether a formal or informal meeting, parliamentary procedure defines how decisions are to be made and everyone’s time is used, resulting in the efficient making of those decisions while taking into consideration everyone’s opinion. It is the job of the parliamentarian to monitor the meeting and to make sure that proper procedures are followed.
According to the National Association of Parliamentarians, there are two main components to the job description: the preparation of an agenda and making sure it is followed, and assuring that all motions are handled consistently and fairly. Some organizations, however, have very detailed job descriptions for parliamentarians. For example, the California State PTA defines a Unit Parliamentarian, a District Parliamentarian and a Council Parliamentarian, along with specific duties for each position, such as monitoring the unit’s standing rules and bylaws.