Policies and Procedures Manual - Section 3 -Association Governance


Advertising & Sponsorship

Advertising Policy


The terms “Advertise,” “Advertising” and/or “Advertisement” shall broadly include all paid advertising, sponsorship, or promotional opportunities offered by NCRA, whether in print or online, including all display advertising, classified advertising, event, and other sponsorships, advertising inserts, flyers, or promotional items, etc.

“Advertiser” shall include any individual or entity purchasing Advertising from NCRA regardless of whether they are eligible for or hold NCRA membership.

  1. No Advertisement may be false, misleading, deceptive, in poor taste, or contrary to the purposes and objectives of NCRA. NCRA will not publish or allow Advertisements that indicate a preference in terms of race, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, pregnancy, marital status, religion, sexual preference, political affiliation, or that may otherwise be offensive or distasteful.  All such decisions shall be made at NCRA’s sole discretion.
  2. Without limitation, no Advertisement or any other communication using NCRA platforms shall promote or highlight reporting methods other than the stenographic method.
  3. Although the NCRA certifications and their abbreviations are personal certifications, the phrase “includes RPRs” or “includes Registered Professional Reporters” may be used by a court reporting/captioning entity in its Advertisements but only if a majority of the court reporters/captioners employed or independently contracted by said entity hold said certification. This policy shall equally apply to all other NCRA designations. Mentioning of individuals utilizing other reporting methods other than the stenographic method is not allowed.
  4. Only designations currently conferred by NCRA, as well as designations for a court reporter/captioner that are officially recognized by the state in which the court reporter/captioner is licensed to practice, may be used to refer to the services or skills of a court reporter/captioner in an Advertisement. This Advertising Policy is not intended to prohibit or restrict the use of academic degrees or other professional designations unrelated to court reporting/captioning skills or services in Advertisements.
  5. A court reporting/captioning entity (agency) may Advertise its stenographic services if a majority of the court reporters/captioners employed or independently contracted by the entity are members in good standing of NCRA and are actively engaged in providing stenographic services. Mentioning services other than stenographic reporting is not allowed.
  6. A copy of this Advertising Policy and the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics shall be given and agreed to in writing by each individual or entity that submits an Advertisement. To the extent applicable to the Advertiser's business, each Advertiser also must represent and agree in writing that it supports the purposes and objectives of NCRA and will be bound by the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics. Each Advertiser agrees to provide, upon request, proof that the above requirements are satisfied.  
  7. NCRA may reject or terminate any Advertising from any individual or entity that violates this Policy or whose activities are contrary to the purposes and objectives of NCRA or violate the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics. In such case the Advertiser will not be entitled to a refund and will forfeit its rights to obtain any further benefits for the year until there is compliance.
  8. All materials are subject to review prior to NCRA publication.

Advertising Complaint Process: Alleged Code of Professional Ethics (COPE) Violations


“Advertise,” “Advertising,” and/or “Advertisement" shall include all paid advertising or promotional opportunities offered by NCRA, whether in print or online, including all display advertising, classified advertising, event and other sponsorships, advertising inserts, flyers, or promotional items, etc.

“Advertiser” shall include any individual or entity purchasing Advertising from NCRA regardless of whether they are eligible for or hold NCRA membership.

Advertising Agreements and Scope

As a condition of advertising, all NCRA Advertising agreements shall include an affirmative agreement by the Advertiser that it will abide by NCRA's Advertising and Sponsorship Policy and that it supports the purposes and objectives of NCRA and will comply with the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics.

Actions in violation of COPE need not be apparent or referenced in the content of the Advertising itself to form a basis for complaint. A proven violation of COPE by the Advertiser is sufficient for disciplinary action, including limitations on Advertising privileges regardless of whether the violative behavior is referenced or discussed in the content of the Advertisement.   

Complaints of violations of COPE by the Advertiser will only be considered for activities occurring from the time of signing the Advertising agreement forward. Complaints based on past activities without evidence that these violative practices have continued will be dismissed.

Complaint Process

The NCRA Advertising Complaint Procedures provide the same due process and evidentiary standards as the current COPE process:

Step 1: A formal, written complaint that the Advertiser has violated the Code as well as documentary evidence substantiating the claim must be filed with the Committee on Professional Ethics.

Step 2: The accused entity will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Step 3: The Committee on Professional Ethics will then consider the merits of the allegation and issue a written finding.

Step 4: If there is a finding of violation and a recommendation for the temporary or permanent loss of NCRA Advertising privileges, such decision shall not become final until it is sustained by the NCRA Board of Directors. 

Step 5: The decision of the NCRA Board of Directors whether or not to sustain is final.


If an Advertiser is held in violation of the Code, based upon the severity of the violation, sanctions may include, but are not limited to:

  • A cautionary letter, warning or statement of advice; or
  • A permanent or temporary loss of NCRA Advertising privileges.

Advertising privileges normally will not be restricted or impinged upon unless a formal complaint has been filed and a final finding of violation has been made. That is, Advertisers usually may continue to advertise while a complaint is pending. Advertising privileges may be suspended pending the outcome of a complaint, however, in situations where the Executive Director of NCRA, in consultation with NCRA’s President and legal counsel, determine in their discretion that the nature of the proposed violation is so blatant and serious that immediate action is required.

Complaints against Advertisers shall only be considered for actions in violation of COPE occurring within one year of the violation.

Vendors/Suppliers Advertising

Vendors/suppliers who compete with vendors/suppliers of programs that NCRA endorses may advertise in NCRA publications and exhibit at NCRA meetings and conferences.


Election Procedures

  1. Candidate Rights and Benefits

    All candidates, whether nominated by the Nominating Committee process or by petition, will have the same general rights and benefits.

    As required by the Constitution and Bylaws, the order of names on any ballot or other listing of candidates published by NCRA shall be determined by lot. Such listings shall not designate whether the nomination originated from the Nominating Committee or from member petition.

    It is not appropriate or permissible for individual Board Members to endorse or campaign on behalf of candidates in elections, with the sole exception that sitting directors or officers who are themselves candidates for office may campaign on their own behalf or jointly with other candidates if they so choose.

    This restriction against publicly endorsing candidates does not restrict an individual director or officer from expressing his or her private views on candidates in any private conversation. It is the responsibility of the officer or director to ensure that any such private comments are clearly identified as expressing his or her personal opinion alone and that they do not reflect an official position of the Board or Association.

    In order to avoid having any expression of personal opinion misunderstood, if a director or officer is asked about candidate preferences in a public setting (for example, while making a presentation at a state association meeting), that Board member or officer shall limit their response to restating the standing Board policy, which prohibits them from endorsing candidates in elections.

  2. Election Committee
    • In any election cycle in which there are candidates running for election by the voting members, an Election Committee shall be appointed and responsible for oversight of the election process.
    • The President shall appoint an Election Committee Chair and up to four (4) members subject to approval of the Board. Voting members who have signed a candidate’s petition shall not serve on the Committee.
    • The Committee shall be the authority on interpretation of these election procedures.Candidates shall have the right of immediate appeal of any decision of the Election Committee to the Board of Directors.
  3. Services to Candidates

    NCRA will provide the following services to each candidate:

    • NCRA will include the candidate in the published slate of candidates posted on a section of the NCRA website devoted to election information.
      • Candidates nominated by the Nominating Committee shall have their names posted as soon as practicable after the Nominating Committee completes preparation of its slate.
      • Candidates nominated by petition shall have their names posted as soon as practicable after receipt and verification of the nominating petition.  
    • Biographical material on candidates published in the JCR and on the voting page of the website shall be in a standard format, length, and style.
      • The length shall be no more than 200 words.
      • Content shall be limited to biographical info and professional history. No overt campaigning messages or links to campaign materials shall be included.
      • Candidates should refer to the “NCRA Voting Center” on the NCRA website for the elections and nominations timeline for the year. This listing includes:
        • The date the Nominating Committee published its slate.
        • The deadline for contribution of photo and bio materials in order to allow for publication in JCR prior to the election.
    • Candidates should be aware that, as required by the Constitution and Bylaws, nominations remain open 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate. Written nominations must be received within 60 days after publication of the Nominating Committee slate.
    • Due to the deadline schedule for the JCR, candidates should be aware that it may be impossible for candidates nominated after the slate announcement but before the expiration of the 60-day window for additional nominations to have their biographies published in the June issue of the magazine; however; they will make the July magazine as well as be promptly posted on the website.
    • All individuals considered by the Nominating Committee must complete a questionnaire created by the Committee. 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. If there is more than one candidate for an office, both responses will be published to the NCRA website. The questionnaires will be removed immediately after the election.
    • No later than two (2) weeks prior to the election, each candidate may provide NCRA with an “electronic brochure/flyer” they wish to make available to the membership. Ten (10) days prior to the date of the election, NCRA will distribute a single email to all Voting Members who have registered an email address with NCRA. That email will include a full list of all candidates (by office) including: 1) the candidate’s name; 2) the candidate’s photo; and 3) a link to the candidate’s electronic brochure.
    • NCRA will post biographical information prepared by the candidate on NCRA’s website.
    • NCRA may host a virtual Town Hall meeting with all candidates in elections. Questions shall be moderated by the Elections Committee. The list of questions from which the moderator will select the questions s/he actually asks shall be provided in writing to all candidates one hour before the event.  
    • Candidates may purchase advertising and promotional services from among any advertising opportunities (print, electronic, or other) generally available to NCRA Advertisers.  
      • Any advertising or promotional services purchased by a campaign shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as would apply to any NCRA Advertiser.
      • It shall be the responsibility of the candidates to familiarize themselves with the available advertising opportunities and order/ad placement deadlines.
      • NCRA shall not create any special or customized advertising or promotional opportunities for candidates outside of the list of advertising and sponsorship opportunities generally publicized to members, attendees, exhibitors, and advertisers.
      • NCRA shall not share information with any person on any candidate’s campaign, advertising, or promotional plans.
  4. Campaign Restrictions On-Site at the Venue of the Annual Business Meeting
    • No posters or other campaign materials may be affixed to or placed against the venue’s walls or left for pickup in any public space in the Conference hotel other than the designated campaign booth. NCRA shall remove and destroy any material found in violation of this requirement.
    • Candidates or their representatives may hand out campaign materials in any public place that is at least 10 feet removed from any Conference meeting room or official Conference event.
      • Such campaign activities shall not interfere with members’ freedom of movement throughout the hotel or intrude upon non-campaign activities that may be underway in the area.
      • The above restriction against “handing out campaign materials” within “Conference meeting rooms or official Conference events” refers only to the distribution of literature or materials; it does not preclude persons wearing campaign T-shirts, pins, etc.
    • Candidates and their campaign committees shall make every effort to ensure compliance of their supporters with the spirit and letter of these campaign rules.  
    • Printing or other administrative and support services will not be made available through the NCRA Conference office or from the NCRA staff.
    • Requests for assignment of function rooms for campaign purposes will be made through the NCRA Meetings and Events department.
    • Candidates may conduct any independent activity that does not violate any approved guidelines.
  5. Election Conduct
    • There shall be nominations from the floor at the Annual Business Meeting when a vacancy occurs after the election and prior to the close of the Annual Business Meeting. A member who is nominating a candidate from the floor to fill such vacancy shall be allowed two (2) minutes on behalf of a candidate. The candidate shall be allowed three (3) minutes to make a presentation if the candidate chooses.  
    • Questions to the candidates by attending Voting Members shall be limited to 30 seconds; candidate answers will be limited to two (2) minutes; and a total of 15 minutes for each candidate will be allowed for the question-and-answer period.
    • In the case of a tie vote, the election shall be decided by a coin toss.
  6. Reporting Election Results
    • The NCRA Executive Director shall inform the Election Committee Chair of the results as soon as voting is closed. This notification shall include the total number of votes cast in each election and the number of votes cast for each candidate.  
    • The Election Committee Chair shall make all efforts to inform candidates with the results of the race. This notification shall include the total number of votes cast in the contest and the number of votes cast for each candidate.
    • The Election Committee Chair shall inform the Executive Director as soon as s/he has successfully reached all candidates in order for the election results to be publicly released.
    • NCRA staff shall publicly release election results as soon as the Election Committee Chair has successfully reached all candidates.

Endorsement Activities & Guidelines for Campaigning While on Rep Assignments

Board Endorsement Activities

Individual Board members are encouraged to submit names of qualified persons to be forwarded to the Nominating Committee for consideration as possible candidates for the Board of Directors. Board members shall limit submissions to the name of the potential candidate only. The Nominating Committee should clearly understand those names are not to be given any special weight or consideration in their deliberations.  Board members are not allowed to submit recommendations for Distinguished Service Award, NCRA Fellows, or NCRF Trustees.

Guidelines for Campaigning While on Rep Assignments

When a Director or Officer who is a candidate in an NCRA election is attending a meeting at NCRA’s expense and representing the Association in an official capacity (e.g., is the NCRA rep at an affiliated association meeting), the following guidelines on engaging in campaign activities apply:

Active campaigning is NOT permissible. Active campaigning includes:

  • Incorporating campaign messages into formal presentations to the convention.
  • Wearing buttons or hats or other campaign paraphernalia containing campaign messages.
  • Personally and directly distributing campaign materials (flyers, buttons, etc.) during state convention events (i.e., personally handing out flyers or buttons at a state convention, reception, or seminar).

Passive campaigning IS permissible provided it is conducted with common sense and discretion to distance and separate from your roles as a candidate and as an official representative doing NCRA business. You are representing the Association; this is not a campaigning opportunity.

Permissible, passive campaigning includes:

  • Distributing campaign material (flyers, buttons, etc.) wherever other flyers or promotional literature are being distributed (e.g., at literature tables or as tote bag inserts, whether paid or complimentary if such distribution options are provided by the convention organizers).
  • Allowing posters to be displayed in areas provided for this purpose by the convention organizers or paid advertising where provided by the state association.
  • If publicly asked as a candidate for your position on an issue, it is preferable to defer an answer to a private conversation, preferably after the convention.

These restrictions do NOT apply to candidates in an NCRA election (including candidates currently serving as an NCRA Officer or Director) who are attending the meeting in an individual capacity and at their own expense (i.e., not as the official NCRA rep to a state convention.)


Fundraising Policy

  1. Each governing board (NCRA, NCRF, and NCRA PAC) shall independently establish for itself a clear and specific statement of its own expectations of its own Board Members’ financial support of the entity upon whose Board they sit.  
    1. That statement shall be shared with all persons considering service on those boards prior to the formal nomination process.
  2. It shall be an expectation of service that all NCRA Board members shall contribute annually to NCRF in an amount of their own, private determination. It shall also be an expectation of service that all NCRA Board Members consider a contribution annually to NCRA PAC in an amount of their own, private determination subject to existing employment limitations.
    1. This expectation shall be communicated to all persons considering service on the NCRA Board prior to the formal nomination process.
  3. Information on all fundraising activities (whether on-going campaigns or periodic, event-based solicitations), describing opportunities to contribute, shall be shared in writing with members of the three governing boards and staff liaisons.  


JCR Purpose Statement

The JCR: the Journal of Court Reporting has two complementary purposes:  To communicate the activities, goals, and mission of its publisher, the National Court Reporters Association; and, simultaneously, to seek out and publish diverse information and views on matters significantly related to the court reporting and captioning professions.  All opinions expressed therein are strictly those of the authors or advertisers unless they are specifically identified as NCRA policy.


Mailing List Policy and Rental Agreement

Rental of a mailing list is limited to the promotion of educational opportunities. Mailing lists within a state are included in seminar evaluation fees for both affiliated and nonaffiliated groups.  

For lists outside of an immediate state or region, the same rate will be charged to affiliates and nonaffiliates (a minimum of $100 per order). However, NCRA may exercise discretion in determining whether a requesting  organization is of sufficient size and the program is of sufficient interest to warrant providing mailing list(s)  outside the immediate state/region.  

NCRA will employ strict member‐privacy guidelines regarding opt‐out requests including, but not limited to, an internal process of removing from rental lists any member who has expressed to NCRA the wish to opt‐out of any or all mailings.

Mailing lists are distributed in an Excel format with name and address upon receipt of payment and the NCRA  Mailing List Agreement.


National Court Reporters Foundation

The slate of nominees to serve as NCRF Trustees will be presented to the NCRA Board of Directors by the Chair of the NCRF Nominating Committee and/or the NCRF Chair in person, either live or via audio or videoconference for the NCRA Board's consideration.

Should the NCRA Board of Directors take under consideration any action that would affect the governance of NCRF, the NCRF Trustees will be notified prior to any vote on such action and will be allowed to give input toward any action from NCRF's viewpoint.


Product Endorsement Policy

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) as an entity does not certify, rate, endorse or otherwise promote any products or services except by action of the Board of Directors.

As a general matter, Directors, Officers, staff, and other current "officials" may endorse or promote products or services of their own choice, provided that (1) they make clear that they are acting in their personal capacity and not in their official capacity or on behalf of NCRA; and (2) they take all reasonable efforts to ensure that the vendor does not suggest, in written materials or otherwise, any official connection or endorsement by NCRA.

Notwithstanding the general rule stated above, NCRA Directors, Officers, staff, and other current "officials" may appear in vendor advertising and serve as speakers at vendor booths as long as NCRA is not paying for related expenses; including, but not limited to, lodging expenses, meals, airfare and transportation and no NCRA titles are used or displayed.

For their par, vendors shall comply with the foregoing endorsement rules in connection with their sales and marketing activities. Furthermore, with respect to conventions and other NCRA-sponsored events, vendors shall comply with the NCRA Exhibitor Event Guidelines*.

*The Exhibitor Event Guidelines are part of the exhibitor contract.