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NCRA Board of Directors Re-cap

August 9, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – NCRA’s Board of Directors met at the association’s 2013 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 8-11 in Nashville, Tenn., and made significant progress on several key initiatives, including adopting Vision 2018, NCRA's five-year strategic plan.

A year in the making, the strategic plan lays the groundwork for an ambitious agenda for NCRA over the next five years. The plan revolves around six areas of strategic priority, identified to address the challenges and demands that lay ahead for NCRA and the court reporting profession. Those areas include: Awareness and Outreach, Advocacy, Professional Development, Education, Resources, and Member Value.

Online testing

In addition to its regular course of business, the board made the decision to pursue a more contemporary online testing strategy in light of NCRA’s continued exploration of opportunities that would allow for more flexibility in its testing process. Several years ago, NCRA explored the possibility of offering online, on-demand testing but technology available at the time was unable to meet the high standards the association requires.

Diane Peratt, NCRA’s director of certification and testing, reported to the board that the association has recently re-examined opportunities for online testing, and specifically, the fool-proof mechanisms available now for online proctoring. Peratt reported that technological systems have evolved to the point to ensure that cheating and unfair advantages would be nearly impossible in the online testing arena.

The next step for NCRA’s testing and certification team is to secure a proposal with a firm that provides online testing and proctoring and to develop a hybrid testing format to evaluate the benefits of online testing.

Greater outreach

The Communications and Outreach Committee provided an overview of the 2014 NCRA Sourcebook, now available to all members and positioned as the 11th issue of the JCR magazine. The 2014 Sourcebook reflects a new format that provides membership information in more sleek, more contemporary fashion and ensures a wider distribution of vital information to all members. Complementing the new Sourcebook is the newly designed NCRA Online Sourcebook, NCRASourcebook.com. The committee also reported that TheJCR.com, a website dedicated to reporting news about the court reporting profession in a timely manner, has also been launched.

Global outreach

Jim Cudahy, NCRA executive director and CEO, reported on his first time attending this year’s Intersteno held in Belgium. He said it was an impressive event and suggested that NCRA should consider hosting the 2017 event to provide members with an opportunity to experience how global the court reporting market can be.

New and expanded resources

Cudahy also provided an overview of new products and an update on future projects, including the new 17-month calendar, Men of Court Reporting, developed by the association’s Government Relations Department. Proceeds from the sales of the calendars will benefit NCRA’s Political Action Committee (PAC). The calendar is available for purchase at convention, as well as online.

The Seven Practices of Highly Profitable Court Reporters, a new resource being developed by NCRA's Government Relations team, is expected to launch in Spring 2014, and will be provided to state associations to aid firms and freelance reporters in becoming more profitable.

Other new resources available to members through NCRA’s store and at convention include a new glossaries book, featuring more than 25 additional glossaries compared to the previous version, and an updated Realtime Troubleshooting Pocket Guide.

Financial health

The board approved the 2014 Fiscal year budget as recommended by the Executive Budget Committee. It was noted that expenses have been cut by more than 3 percent and that the budget came in at less than a 1 percent deficit. It was also noted that the game-changing initiatives proposed by the Vision for Educational Excellence Task Force were included in the approved budget.

A more detailed report of the board’s actions will appear in an upcoming issue of the JCR and on TheJCR.com.