Point of Order – What’s the Point?

Hmm, what exactly do they mean by that?

Most commonly, I have heard a Point of Order called at a meeting when a Member wants to get the Agenda back on track. If the Member is of the view that the discussion has strayed too far from the purpose of the Agenda item or that the Chair is allowing discussion that isn’t relevant, they can call a Point of Order to bring their concern to the attention of the meeting as a whole with a view to refocusing discussion on the matter at hand.

Wikipedia offers the following explanation and uses for Point of Order:

A point of order may be raised if the rules appear to have been broken. This may interrupt a speaker during debate, or anything else if the breach of the rules warrants it. The point is resolved before business continues.

The point of order calls upon the chair to make a ruling. The motion is sometimes erroneously used to ask a question of information or a question of parliamentary procedure. The chair may rule on the point of order or submit it to the judgment of the assembly. If the chair accepts the point of order, it is said to be sustained or ruled well-taken. If not, it is said to be overruled or ruled not well-taken.

The minute-taker should note in the minutes that a Point of Order was raised, and how the Chair dealt with the matter. For example, in a case where a Member has raised a Point of Order to seek clarification on process, it might be recorded in the minutes as follows:

Point of Order

In response to a Point of Order, the Chair ruled that there is no legal impediment to a Member of the Board of Directors to move acceptance of reports. However, it was suggested that it might be more appropriate for another Member to make the Motion.

Contact Raincoast Ventures for information on contracted professional minute-taking services, minute-taking workshops and one-on-one coaching opportunities.