Virtual Business Meeting Motions Process | ACNM 67th Annual Meeting & Exhibition

Virtual Business Meeting Motions Process

The ACNM business meetings are an excellent opportunity to see how ACNM works, learn about current issues affecting midwifery, and help shape the future initiatives and the priorities of your professional organization. Business meetings are open to all members, although voting privileges are not extended to associate members or students. All members are permitted to share their opinions in accordance with the ACNM Code of Conduct, ACNM anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and business meeting procedures. Your opinions are highly valued. Attendance of every member at Business Meetings is critical, as it ensures that voting can take place.

Business Meeting Motions FAQS

If you’re new to association business meetings, the idea of submitting motions may be intimidating. The following frequently asked questions, based on Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised and ACNM bylaws will help demystify the process.

What is a motion?

A motion begins the process of making a decision by offering a proposal. The proposed motion is recommended by a member, made in a meeting, upon which the College takes a certain action. The proposed action may be substantive (e.g., ACNM should support a single-payer health system or conduct a specific research project), or it may simply express a certain view (e.g., all women should have access to nitrous oxide in labor). Motions can also be made in response to written or oral reports by the College leadership.

How do you bring a motion to the ACNM Business Meeting?

Members wishing to bring motions to the business meeting should complete the motion form. The motion form is due by May 14, 2021 and can be completed here. Motions may be presented to ACNM membership for wider feedback. This year, a debate will take place virtually within the online community (ACNM Connect) and the feedback will be shared with the members live during the business meeting where they may vote.

Who decides what motions will be discussed at the business meeting? 

Motions are recommendations brought forth to the ACNM Board for discussion and decision-making. Motions submitted for ACNM business meetings will be numbered in the order received and will a receive a motion number. Depending on the number of motions submitted and the time available for discussion, some motions may not be discussed. All remaining motions will be reviewed by the ACNM Board, and the motion-maker will be notified of the outcome of the review. All motions must be received by May 14, 2021.

What does the parliamentarian do?

The parliamentarian is a consultant brought in by ACNM to advise the President and other officers, committees, and members on matters of parliamentary procedure. The parliamentarian will be in attendance at the business meeting.

Need help writing a motion?

Members are welcome to consult with the national office by emailing

Who may vote?

Per ACNM Bylaws, all active members may vote. Associate members and student members do not hold voting privileges.

Are there rules for debate?

Yes! The ACNM Code of Conduct, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies must be adhered to at all times. The following rules also apply:

1) Online Debates and Voting: The online debate will occur May 17 – May 20 in the ACNM Connect Town Hall forum. When the motion becomes open for debate it will be posted to the online community. A member shall access the online community and respond to the motion of their choice. They should list their name, state, and position on the motion (Pro or Con).

During debate, there shall be four voting members who post in favor of a motion, four voting members who post in opposition to the motion, and one posted student position before the previous question is moved. After each motion has the opportunity for debate and listing of pros and cons, this information will be listed during the May 23 business meeting for a live vote. The ACNM President will read all motions and pros and cons. Then a vote is taken on the motion by use of the online voting poll. The votes will be validated after the business meeting to ensure membership status.

2) Motions: Motions proposing new business shall be assigned a motion # and presented in the proper format and in the order in which they have been filed with the national office and the parliamentarian.

3) Authority: Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised govern the proceedings of the business meetings in all cases not covered by ACNM bylaws or these procedures.

4) Recording: Audio or video recording of business meetings is not permitted unless authorized by the President.

5) Can discussion take place without a motion? The general rule is that a motion must be made for online business meeting discussion to take place on an issue unless it is permitted by the President. This rule helps to keep the meeting on track.

6) Is a set percentage of attendees required at the Business Meeting for votes to take place? According to the ACNM Bylaws (Article IV. Membership, Section D, Quorum Requirements): “One-third of the voting membership in attendance at the Membership Business Meeting shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of voting on all motions, questions, resolutions, and other actions, so long as the meeting has been properly announced and motions have been submitted in a manner consistent with these Bylaws and applicable law.” Further, the ACNM Bylaws state that “Any member of the ACNM is eligible to attend the Membership Business Meeting.” (Article IV. Membership, Section C. Notice of Membership Business Meetings).

Help! I’m still confused! ACNM staff, board members, and our parliamentarian are available to assist you. Email us at