Phone or Text | 416.272.3370
Welcome! I am now providing my services both virtually and in person. Please scroll down to learn more.
As a Registered Parliamentarian, I provide organizations, their boards and committees, executive officers, and members with advice on parliamentary procedure and rules of order. I can also advise on how best to organize a virtual meeting.
I can offer analysis and interpretation of constitutions, bylaws and other governing documents, including, if necessary, a formal written parliamentary opinion, which can be useful in resolving differences in the interpretation of bylaws or conflicts between bylaws and policies.
I am able to serve as a neutral and professional chair or presiding officer at meetings, including conventions and AGMs, or even at parts of a meeting.
This is often useful during discussion of a contentious item; if the regular chair needs to participate in debate; or if a member is unable to preside because of a conflict of interest.
I have experience presiding at virtual meetings, and can provide advice on their organization and the mitigation of risks.
Typically, I attend meetings and conventions to assist and provide procedural advice to the chair/presiding officer at the meeting; provide advice on agenda planning and strategy before the meeting (such as reviewing whether motions and other proposals are in order); write scripts for presiding officers; and assist or offer guidance in the drafting of minutes, reports, recommendations, motions or resolutions.
I am able to accommodate organizations who have decided to continue to meet virtually, as well as those who have started to meet again in person.
I organize and deliver training and orientation sessions on parliamentary procedure (basic or advanced), plus workshops on presiding and rules of debate. Training can be customized to meet client needs.
During the pandemic, recent training has been exclusively virtual, using the Zoom platform, but I am now available to offer workshops both on line and in person, depending on client needs.
I also believe strongly in engaging in public education, primarily through this website - see the pages on FAQs and Resources, as well as my Blog. In addition, I post the 'Tuesday Teachable Tweet in #ParliamentaryProcedure' and other procedural information on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Medium.
I have considerable experience in reviewing and drafting bylaws and can provide advice and assistance to clients in creating, revising or amending constitutions, bylaws and other governance documents.
I am able to conduct an audit of your bylaws and recommend changes, including drafting the text of proposed amendments. Many organizations have found that they do not have authority to hold meetings virtually; I can draft appropriate enabling language for your bylaws.
I can also assist in drafting a code of conduct for your board, officers or general membership.
I can provide neutral and professional supervision of elections and referenda. I have many years of experience working with internet voting options.
I can also advise on voting procedures, including votes at in-person or virtual meetings and electronic voting at meetings.
I can also work with clients to revise their bylaws to ensure that votes and elections can be held either virtually or in person, enabling organizations to respond effectively to future emergencies.
In addition to being a Registered Parliamentarian, Michael Mouritsen has over 45 years of professional experience providing advice and support to boards, committees, conventions, and other governing bodies in the not-for-profit, public, and labour union sectors.
Professional Governance Experience
During his career, Michael has served as the secretary to a hospital board of trustees, a university board of governors and the executive board of a labour union. He has drafted new and revised hospital, university and union bylaws and committee terms of reference; prepared minutes of meetings; drafted agendas, reports, resolutions and motions; and written scripts for presiding officers.
He also worked for 12 years as a senior policy advisor in the Ontario Public Service, where he conducted policy reviews, drafted briefing notes with recommendations for Ministers, and wrote Cabinet Submissions.
In addition, Michael has:
More information on Michael's professional experience can be found on his LinkedIn profile.
Parliamentary Credentials and Education
Michael was certified as a Registered Parliamentarian (RP), after successfully completing a series of examinations conducted by the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). He is a member of the NAP, the American Institute of Parliamentarians (AIP), the Ontario Association of Parliamentarians, and the Parliamentary Society of Toronto (which he has served in the past as president, vice-president, and program director).
Michael has a BA in History from York University, where, as a student representative, he was first exposed to parliamentary procedure in action.
As a Registered Parliamentarian, Michael is required to engage in continuing education and relevant professional activities in order to maintain his credential. He has expertise in Robert’s Rules of Order, the AIP Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure, and Bourinot's Rules of Order, and is knowledgeable in other parliamentary authorities.
Michael works both as a sole practitioner and in association with Canadian parliamentarian James (Jim) Lochrie, CPP-T, who is a former AIP President; author of Meeting Procedures: Parliamentary Law and Rules of Order for the 21st Century; and a co-author of the most recent (2012) edition of the Standard Code.
In his practice as a parliamentarian, Michael is committed to following the Code of Professional Responsibility for Parliamentarians, which was jointly adopted by the NAP and the AIP in 2001, and updated in 2020.
Michael Mouritsen is based in Kincardine and Toronto, Ontario, and can provide services either virtually or in person, depending on client needs.
Michael Mouritsen, when he was Director of the York University Secretariat (York Gazette photo).