2013 Proposed Bylaws Amendments
This is to provide official notice that amendments to NCRA's Constitution and Bylaws have been proposed.
The proposals have been submitted in a manner consistent with all requirements of Article XVIII, Section 1 of the Constitution and Bylaws ("Originating Proposed Amendments").
In accordance with Article XVIII, Section 2 ("Procedure and Action on Proposed Amendments"), notice is hereby given to all Members that the following amendment proposals will be voted upon at the next annual business meeting of the membership, August 8, 2013, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville, Tenn.
To be approved, the amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the Voting Members who are present at the annual business meeting as well as the Voting Members who are voting by electronic mail or other authorized means of electronic transmission.
(The full text of NCRA's Constitution and Bylaws can be found at www.ncra.org/c&b.)
The language to be added is italicized. Language to be stricken is indicated by strikethrough.
Article III - Membership, Section 7 e), proposes to strike Section e) in its entirety from the bylaws.
Article III – Membership
Section 7 – Associate Members
e) All Associate Member applicants who have met the requirements for Membership shall also be required to be endorsed in writing, in due form, by a Voting Member.
Rationale: The Associate Member category (primarily, supplier members, without voting privileges) is the only membership category requiring written endorsement by a Voting Member prior to their acceptance into membership. All other prior endorsement requirements were stricken from the bylaws by vote of the membership in 2009. It appears that preserving this legacy language for Associate Members was an oversight rather than a conscious decision.
Article VIII - Nomination and Election of Officers and Directors, Section 3, proposes to strike the sentence, "Such nomination(s) and supporting material shall be posted in the registration area at the annual convention meeting site prior to convening the annual business meeting."
Article VIII – Nomination and Election of Officers and Directors
Section 3–Preparation of the Slate of Nominees
c) Any one hundred (100) Voting Members, no more than twenty-five (25) of whom are located in any one state, shall have the privilege of nominating a candidate for each of the offices to be filled by preparing and forwarding to the Executive Director a written nomination received within 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate, together with pertinent biographical information and a signed letter from each nominee confirming their willingness to serve.
Such nomination(s) and supporting material shall be posted in the registration area at the annual convention meeting site prior to convening the annual business meeting. Director nominations submitted under this provision shall specify which of the nominees proposed by the Nominating Committee is being opposed. Candidates nominated by petition who were not previously considered by the Nominating Committee shall be required to complete the same application materials required of candidates who were considered by the Nominating Committee.
Rationale: The Elections Guidelines ensure that extensive information on all candidates for office is readily available to members online in a timely manner, well in advance of the elections. Often, the business meeting is not located near the registration desk. There is no evidence of any members actually availing themselves of the posted information at recent conventions. Moreover, with the advent of online voting, only a small percentage of voters are onsite at the convention.
These requirements are obsolete and irrelevant to the actual voting environment.
Article X – Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 3, Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters proposes to insert the words, ", as well as voting representation from at least one consumer or public member," after the words "of at least five (5) Fellows" and before the words, "appointed by the President..."
Article X – Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters
Section 3–Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters
a) There shall be a Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters ("CAPR") which shall consist of at least five (5) Fellows, as well as voting representation from at least one consumer or public member, appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors. The members of CAPR shall be appointed to serve three-year staggered terms.
Rationale: This change is necessary for NCRA to become compliant with best practices within its certification programs .The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs, a national standard setter for certification programs, makes the following pronouncement within its own recommended best practices:
"The certification board or governing committee of the certification program must include individuals from the certified population, as well as voting representation from at least one consumer or public member. " [Emphasis Added]
The public member is considered by NCCA to be a person who represents the direct and indirect users of certificants' skills/services. The NCCA recommends, but does not require, that the public member has been or is a potential consumer of the certificants' skills or services (e.g; in NCRA's case, a lawyer or judge or CART consumer).
NCRA is working to ensure that its certifying processes are in full compliance with external standard-setting authority requirements. The current bylaws do not permit anyone other than NCRA Fellows to serve on CAPR. NCRA Testing staff has urged the proposed change to give NCRA the flexibility to make changes that would make NCRA certification programs more fully compliant with NCCA standards.
Article XI – Council on Approved Student Education, Section 2, CASE Policies and Procedures Manual proposes to strike the words, "CASE Policies and Procedures Manual" after the words "shall be set out in the" and before the words, "all of which shall be..." and insert the words, "General Requirements and Minimum Standards." It is also proposed to strike the sentence, "The CASE Policies and Procedures Manual shall include the present General Requirements and Minimum Standards manual."
Article XI – Council on Approved Student Education
Section 2–CASE Policies & Procedures Manual
The activities of CASE shall be set out in the
CASE Policies and Procedures Manual, General Requirements and Minimum Standards all of which shall be subject to approval by the Board of Directors. The CASE Policies and Procedures Manual shall include the present General Requirements and Minimum Standards manual.
Rationale: All CASE governing policies and procedures are currently contained in the General Requirements and Minimum Standards manual (GRMS), which is subject to approval by the Board of Directors. There is no record of any existing or prior CASE Policies and Procedures Manual separate and apart from the GRMS. In any case, any such document would be redundant to the GRMS.
Article XII – Structure, Section 2, Committees, Councils and Task Forces, proposes to insert the words, "members, who may be" after the words "shall consist of five (5)" and before the words, "past recipients of the...."
Article XII – Structure
Section 2 – Committees, Councils and Task Forces
(d) Distinguished Service Award Committee: This committee shall consist of five (5) members, who may be past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award. Committee members shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years on a rotating basis or for the unexpired portion of a term. This committee shall submit to the Board, not later than March 1 of each year, a list of candidates for the Award, together with all available information about the candidates, and with their recommendation for selection. The Board may accept or reject each or all of the committee's candidates or recommendations. The Board may not independently select its own recipient for this award.
Rationale: This will allow the Board of Directors the flexibility to determine the appropriate makeup of members required to perform the work assigned to it.
The Board has previously discussed the difficulty in identifying a sufficient number of persons willing and able to serve on the committee, given the current restriction on eligibility to past DSA recipients (who are few in number). Current restriction limits the pool of available committee members to too few to conduct business effectively and to avoid conflicts of interest in nominations. (For example, Fellows might appropriately be considered for service.)
Article XII – Structure, Section 3, President's Advisory Council, proposes to strike Section 3 in its entirety from the bylaws.
Article XII – Structure
Section 3–President's Advisory Council All past presidents of the Association shall compose the President's Advisory Council. The Officers and Directors may turn to the Council for advice, or the Council may offer advice upon its own initiative; this advice shall not be binding upon the Officers or Directors, but is to be merely advisory in character. Each President, upon completion of office, shall become a member of the President's Advisory Council and shall chair it for the ensuing year.
Rationale: The current bylaws require this be a standing body including all past presidents. The Task Force noted that the currently mandated standing committee is not active or functioning, despite the efforts of several immediate past presidents to energize and engage this community. Accordingly, the proposed change eliminates it as a mandated, standing committee of fixed format. This would free the NCRA Board and the President to constitute and use the resource these past leaders represent in whatever manner he or she sees fit. It is expected that past presidents will maintain the ability to offer guidance to the association, but the task force believes that a formal committee is not needed.
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NCRA’s Constitution and Bylaws permit members to cast their votes in contested elections and on bylaws amendments via secure, online means, even if they can’t attend the Annual Membership Business Meeting at convention. But to exercise the right, members must have an active email address on file in NCRA’s membership database. This will enable NCRA to keep you informed if a contested election or amendment is coming up for a vote and provide information on how to register and cast your vote online. Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign on to the secure website, review the transcript and video feed for the meeting, and vote through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period. Results will be verified by a third party.
Please make sure that we have an active email address for you in our database by July 31, 2013. Contact Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, or update your NCRA account through the Web at ncra.org. Look for “Renew or update your record” under the “Membership Tools” category.
In order to be able to vote at the Nashville business meeting, individuals must join NCRA or provide an updated email to NCRA by July 31, 2013.