Robert’s Rules of Order

The CPG uses Robert’s Rules of Order as the framework for all meetings. It ensures transparency, accessibility, equality, and democracy are used to support our proceedings.

Robert’s Rules of Order is a manual of parliamentary procedure that governs meetings in non-legislative organizations. It was written in 1876 by Henry Martyn Robert, Shmuel Gerber, and Daniel H. Honemann. 

The rules of Robert’s Rules of Order include: 

  • Everyone should speak once before anyone else
  • Everyone has the right to know what is happening
  • Speakers should only be interrupted in urgent situations
  • Consider only one motion at a time
  • Meetings should follow a strict agenda that adds structure
  • The agenda should be prepared before the meeting and should be followed from top to bottom
  • Each point should be addressed and discussed before moving on to the next

Robert’s Rules of Order helps groups of people hold meetings that: 

  • Take up business one item at a time
  • Promote courtesy, justice, and impartiality
  • Ensure the rule of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority and absent members

A simplified version of Robert’s Rules of Order from Cornell University

The Basics as Practiced at NHCPG

A motion is the topic under discussion (e.g., “I move that we add a coffee break to this meeting”). After being recognized by the president of the board, any member can introduce a motion when no other motion is on the table.

A motion requires a second to be considered. If there is no second, the matter is not considered. Once there is a second a discussion is on the table and may or may not result in a vote.

Each motion must be disposed of (passed, defeated, tabled, referred to committee, or postponed indefinitely).