Powering Strong Communities
Virtual Course

Facilitating Order to Create Productive Utility Board Meetings

Get an in-depth orientation to Robert’s Rules of Order — the most common authority for parliamentary procedure — and how you can apply these rules to making board and city council meetings more productive and equitable. Get guidelines, tips, and tools to navigate common challenges around board meetings.
May 21, 2024
12:00pm - 4:00pm Eastern

Learning Environment

Join us as we debut this new course as a 4-hour interactive virtual class —using the Zoom meeting platform. It’s a convenient way to attend the course, while still having the opportunity to interact with the instructors, your industry peers, and earn 4.5 CPE credits.

This course includes real-time presentations, class exercises/scenarios, and discussions to reinforce the course materials.


Participate in one, real-time session from Noon – 4 p.m. ET on May 21. There will be a 15-minute break incorporated.

Unable to make the live session? Recordings will be made available (automatically to those who register) a week after the session takes place.

Course Overview

Electric utility leaders and policymakers face new challenges in these turbulent times. This course distills the best of Robert’s Rules of Order to provide guidelines, tips, and tools to run effective utility board meetings. Get an in-depth orientation to Robert’s Rules of Order — the most common authority for parliamentary procedure — and how you can apply these rules to making board and city council meetings more productive and equitable. Get guidelines, tips, and tools to navigate common challenges around board meetings. Hone your procedural skills through exercises and scenarios in a dynamic and enjoyable presentation.

Learn how to transform your board meetings (and utility/board interactions) through the system of “Precedence of Motions,” and talk through common challenges. Utility attorneys are often the default parliamentarian for utility boards and city councils, but parliamentary procedure is not taught in law school (or, really, anywhere), so this unique course will be helpful to that audience as well. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the Mastering Council Meetings book as a resource.

Course Topics

  • Robert’s Rules of Order and how to use them effectively
  • Working with “Precedence of Motions”
  • Applying the correct authority of the chair, members, and staff dealing with inappropriate remarks, disorder, or difficult people
  • Challenging motions like reconsider, rescind, suspend the rules, and censure
  • Board/staff relations at meetings
  • Handling public comments
  • Making better decisions for your community

Recommended for

This course is geared towards public power policymakers, utility staff, and attorneys who work with and advise electric utility boards.

Course Level

Basic: No prerequisites; no advance preparation.


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing the live session. This session will be recorded, though certificates can only be awarded to those who meet the attendance requirements for attending the live sessions.

  • Recommended CEUs .4/PDHs 3.75/CPEs 4.5
    Field of Study: Specialized Knowledge
  • This course has been approved by the Tennessee Board of Utility Regulation for 4.0 credit hours toward the utility board training requirement.


Ann Macfarlane HeadshotAnn G. Macfarlane is the co-founder of Jurassic Parliament and a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She has trained thousands of elected officials (both in-person and online) on Roberts’s Rules of Order and running effective public and nonprofit board meetings. She is the co-author of “Mastering Council Meetings: A Guidebook for Elected Officials and Local Governments.” Ann has presented annually to the Leadership Institute of the Washington State Bar Association since 2006 and she is a regular trainer for the Northwest Public Power Association. She is a former diplomat and Russian translator and was the Executive Director of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators.



Register Now! 

Registration Fees

Registration is for individual access. If you have multiple people interested in attending, group discounts are available.

Individual Course
*Non-member rates are double member rates

Group Discounts

Save money when your organization registers five or more people for the same class or the bundled series. The larger your group, the more you save! Registrations must be submitted on the same order (at the same time) to qualify for the group discount; discounts cannot be retroactively applied to previous orders. 

If you need assistance, contact [email protected].

Number of Registrants

(Per Person)












All events will be recorded and attendees will automatically receive a copy of the recordings, in case you can’t attend live.

Registrants who cancel in writing at least 7 days before the course are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $100 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after that will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel at least 7 days before the course start date are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund. 

Cancellation requests should be made through your My.PublicPower portal, or addressed to: [email protected]


Earn While You Learn!

Participate in virtual programs to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs).

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of continuing education credits for attending live sessions—provided the following requirements are met:

Requirements for Successful Completion

  • Registration is for individual access, so each person participating must register. If you have multiple people interested in attending, group discounts are available.
  • Individuals are required to attend and actively participate in 90% of each live session and complete an online evaluation after the last session in a course. 
    • Attendance: Individuals must attend at least 90% of each live session (based on electronic timestamps in Zoom).
    • Participation: Active participation in class will include engagement activities such as: polling/check-in questions, Kahoot quizzes, group discussions, breakout sessions, and in-class exercises.
    • Activities vary by class: Information on participation will be provided the day before (and during) class. Participation is tracked electronically.
    • Online evaluation: Each person must complete an online evaluation after the course concludes.
  • Partial credit cannot be given for partial attendance.
  • Attendance is monitored by an APPA staff member during the event, through an online report log, and upon review of the post-event evaluation data
  • Completion certificates will be available within two weeks of the last session in a live event (for those who meet the requirements) through your APPA member portal (access instructions will be provided).
  • Virtual sessions are recorded (attendees automatically receive access to recordings within a week of the last session), though continuing education credits can only be given for attending live events. Recordings will be accessible for 90 days after the last session.

IACET logoContinuing Education Units (CEUs): The American Public Power Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. For information regarding certification status, attendance requirements and obtaining attendee transcripts, contact [email protected] or 202-467-2965. Verify our IACET Accreditation.

CPE logoContinuing Professional Education (CPE) CreditsThe American Public Power Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.NASBAregistry.com. Unless noted, there are no prerequisites for the courses offered and no advance preparation is required. Courses are group-internet based offerings at the basic program level (unless otherwise noted). Credit hours and areas of study for the courses are listed on the individual course pages. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as clarification of requirements, complaints, and refunds, please contact [email protected].

Professional Development Hours (PDHs): The American Public Power Association’s educational practices are consistent with the criteria for awarding Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Course eligibility and number of PDHs may vary by state.


Additional Information

Format and Log-In Information

This course will be offered on the Zoom meeting platform.


  • 24 hours after registering: You’ll receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of registering, which contains some preliminary information.
  • 24 hours before
    • You’ll receive your Zoom log in link the day before the first session in a course (sent from the APPA Academy’s Zoom account <[email protected]>)
    • You’ll also receive a final logistics email 24 hours in advance of the first class. 
  • If you don’t receive this, email [email protected].

Course Access and Materials

  • Zoom Links: Zoom log in credentials will be sent out 24 hours before the start of the first session.
  • Course Materials: Attendees will receive access to course materials the day before each session through the "Documents" section of their My.PublicPower.org user portal. 
  • Recordings: All sessions will be recorded and can be accessed through your user portal as well (within a week of the last class in the program), in case you can’t attend the live versions. Recordings will be accessible for 90 days after the last session. Note: Continuing education credits can only be issued for attending live sessions.

Technology Requirements

  • Zoom Meeting Application: Attendees are required to have strong Internet access, in order to run the Zoom meeting platform. Please see below for more information on downloading the Zoom Web Client.
  • Audio/Webcam: You will need to enable computer audio to listen and speak (alternatively a call-in number will be provided) and you will also need a webcam, so you can fully engage in the small group breakout sessions and group discussions.  

New to Zoom?

If you haven't participated in a Zoom meeting before, please download the Zoom web client from the Zoom Download Center. This will enable you to access all of the Zoom tools and functionality vs. using the web version. Then, visit Zoom.us/test to ensure you are able to join a meeting. 

If you are not able to download the Zoom web client, you can still participate via your Internet browser. We recommend using Chrome for the best results.

Privacy and Security

The American Public Power Association takes your privacy and security very seriously. For this reason, we have put the following security measures in place for this course:

  • A random Meeting ID
  • Password-protected
  • Enabled waiting room to screen meeting participants
  • Restricted screen sharing to hosts only