Policies and Procedures Manual - Section 7 - Certifications and Continuing Education

SECTION 7:  Certifications and Continuing Education

Credential Reinstatement
Membership Reinstatement
CEU Extension Policy
Exam Retention
Realtime Broadcast Captioning Guidelines
Testing

Procedures for Chief Examiners: Electronic Cheating and/or Other Violations on the Skills Exams
Procedures for Determining Whether A Violation of NCRA Testing Policies and Procedures on an NCRA-Administered Test Has Occurred
Changes to RMR/RDR Certification Testing

Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate & CEU Reinstatement Policy
Trial Presentation Certificate & CEU Reinstatement Policy


 

Credential reinstatement

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS REFERENCE:  Article X–Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 3–Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters

Original Adoption: November 2006
Revision:  November 2014

NCRA Credential Reinstatement Policy for all NCRA Certifications

Membership reinstatement

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS REFERENCE:  Article III–Membership, Section 14–Membership Reinstatement; Article X–Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 3–Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters

Original Adoption: November 2006
Revision:  November 2014

Membership reinstatement policy

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time prior to the close of that Membership year upon payment of the full current year’s dues and any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time after the close of that Membership year by fulfilling the current requirements for membership and paying any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated by resignation may be reinstated to the Member’s former class of Membership upon written request and payment of the full current year’s dues.

CMRS Reinstatement Policy:  In the case of a Registered Member or Certified Manager of Reporting Services, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of the reinstatement.

CRI Reinstatement Policy:  In the case of a Registered Member or Certified Reporting Instructor, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of the reinstatement.

Trial Presentation Reinstatement Policy:  In the case of a Registered Member or Trial Presentation certificate holder, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of the reinstatement.

Realtime Systems Administrator Reinstatement Policy:  In the case of a Registered Member or Realtime Systems Administrator certificate holder, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of the reinstatement.

CEU extension policy

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS REFERENCE:  Article X–Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 3–Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters

Original Adoption:  November 2006
Revision: N/A

Individuals can request a 4-month extension of their recertification date.  These requests are handled by staff and do not affect their three-year certification cycle dates.  Individuals may request extensions only once per three-year cycle.  Requests beyond four months which are not handled by reinstatement are referred to CAPR.  Requests for extensions of time to complete continuing education requirements must be made in writing and accompanied by payment of an extension fee to be set by the Board of Directors and received prior to the recertification deadline.

Exam retention

Original Adoption:  August 2010
Revision: August 2016

Certifications with Education Eligibility Requirement
Certification Seminars and/or Workshops – Once an attendee has completed the CLVS Seminar, CRC Workshop, or other education as a mandatory component of a certification process, he or she has three years from the date of completion to successfully complete the other requirements to earn that certification. Should three years lapse from the date of completing the education component without successfully passing the other requirements, the education will expire, and the candidate will be required to retake the education component in order to earn the certification.

Certifications with only Written Knowledge Test and Skills Test Requirement
Written Knowledge Tests (WKTs) and Skills Tests (SKTs) – Once a candidate has successfully completed a Written Knowledge Test or skills test with a passing score, he or she has three years from the date of the exam to successfully complete the other requirements to earn that certification.  Should three years lapse without successfully passing the other requirements, the test score will expire, and the candidate must retake the test prior to earning the certification.

Realtime broadcast captioning guidelines

Original Adoption:  June 2008
Revision:  N/A

The purpose of this Realtime Broadcast Captioning Guidelines is to serve as a reference source for recommended style and formatting guidelines for realtime captioners in the United States of America.  It is designed to assist the independent realtime captioner by identifying and providing, through example, captioning style and formatting guidelines to create a more homogeneous product for caption-viewing audiences.  The material found in this manual is the product of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Captioning Community of Interest (CoI).

Realtime Broadcast Captioning: Recommended Style and Format Guidelines

Testing

Procedures for Chief Examiners: Electronic Cheating and/or Other Violations on the Skills Exams

Original Adoption:  February 2007
Revision:  N/A

Electronic Cheating and/or Other Violations on the Skills Exams
To aid in the detection and prevention of cheating by candidates during NCRA’s national certification exams, the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR) developed this document for chief examiners to follow when administering the skills exams.  Ensuring a secure testing environment during the exams is crucial to maintaining the highest quality of standards in the certification process.

Important issues:
The following technologies are not permitted at the testing site: audio sync, Bluetooth, wireless connections, digital recorders and other electronic devices.

  • No internet access is permitted.
  • If a steno machine has a test mode, the test mode must be used.
  • Candidates were instructed in their confirmation letters that audio assist must be disabled and that recording of the exam dictation is prohibited.  Candidates were instructed to disable their computer’s microphone by either changing the settings on their computer or by bringing an external adapter/plug.  If you suspect a candidate has not disabled audio capability, please refer to the vendor specific guidelines, as maintained by the NCRA Certification and Testing Department.
  • If you suspect a candidate of cheating, document the circumstances and contact NCRA at your first opportunity.   Documentation includes, but is not limited to, steno notes, transcript, written statements of what was observed, etc.  If the situation occurs during the dictation of the exam, allow the dictation to proceed without interruption.  
  • If your testing site has a wireless connection, request that the site administrator disable the connection the day of the test.  If this is not possible, please instruct all candidates to remove their wireless adapters and/or disable their internal wireless modem.  If there is not a WiFI button on the laptop itself that can be turned off, follow these instructions: go into the control panel in Windows and look for the network connections icon.  Double click on the icon and locate the wireless connection.  Right-click on the wireless connection and select "disable."  
  • Candidates must delete all test files from their steno machine, laptop and travel drives.  To ensure that all files have been deleted by the candidates on their equipment, please refer to the vendor specific guidelines, as maintained by the NCRA Certification and Testing Department.
  • Ensure that all candidates include their steno notes in the test envelopes. If a paperless writer is used, make certain that the candidate prints the steno notes.  This is crucial in case NCRA needs to compare the steno notes to the final transcript.
  • Use of headphones or earpieces in the transcription room is prohibited.
  • Walk around the room often while candidates are transcribing. 
  • The following must be read to all candidates prior to administering the skills dictation:
  •  “Note to all skills candidates: Candidates are prohibited from using electronic devices of any kind during the dictation and transcribing of the exams.  Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, audio sync, Bluetooth, wireless connections and digital recorders.  Candidates must disable their computer’s microphone by either changing the settings on their computer or by using an external adapter/plug.  If a steno machine has a test mode, the test mode must be used.   Use of headphones or earpieces in the transcription room is prohibited.  By signing in today, you have acknowledged that you understand and agree to abide by these procedures.  Failure to follow these or any NCRA procedures may result in your being barred from taking NCRA-administered tests for a minimum of three (3) testing cycles or permanently depending on the nature of the violation.   NCRA members may also be suspended or expelled from the association.”

Procedures for determining whether a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures on an NCRA-administered test has occurred

Original Adoption:  February 2007
Revision:  N/A

The following procedures shall be followed in investigating and resolving complaints that an individual has violated NCRA testing policies and procedures during an NCRA-administered test. All proceedings are confidential.

The Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (“CAPR”) is responsible for investigating all allegations of violating NCRA testing policies and procedures on any NCRA-administered test.

“Executive Director” refers to the Executive Director or his or her designated representative.  “Individual” refers to a test candidate, Chief Examiner, or other testing personnel.

A.    Filing and investigation of complaints

  1. The Executive Director and the Chair of CAPR have the authority to determine whether CAPR should initiate an investigation into whether an individual violated NCRA testing policies and procedures on an NCRA-administered test based on any credible information received by NCRA.  The Executive Director and the Chair of CAPR have the sole discretion to determine if there is a reasonable basis to believe that a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures may have occurred.
  2. Once the decision has been made that CAPR should investigate whether a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures has occurred, the Executive Director shall forward all information received to CAPR.  CAPR will review all the information and determine whether there is sufficient reason to believe that a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures has occurred.  If CAPR determines that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures has occurred, no further action will be taken by CAPR.
  3. If CAPR makes an initial determination that there is sufficient reason to believe a violation of NCRA testing policies and procedures has occurred; the Executive Director shall send a copy of these complaint procedures, along with all of the evidence considered by CAPR and CAPR’s initial determination to the individual.  
  4. CAPR will send all written communications to the individual by certified mail, overnight express courier or hand delivery.  The individual has thirty (30) days from the date of the letter of notification within which to submit a written response to CAPR.    
  5. CAPR shall keep confidential all records, documents, files and evidence pertaining to a complaint, and proceedings will be closed to the public, except as may be necessary for compliance with these complaint procedures or to take ancillary action with respect thereto, or unless ordered otherwise by a court or agency of competent jurisdiction.  

B.    Proceedings by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters

  1. When the thirty-day (30) period has elapsed, the Executive Director shall forward the response, if any, to CAPR.  CAPR may reach its final decision based on the original information received and the response, if any, or may ask the Executive Director to obtain additional information.  CAPR may also grant an opportunity for the individual to be heard either in person or through legal counsel. If CAPR determines there are disputed issues of fact that are material to its decision, it may grant any party an opportunity to present relevant information, including documents and witnesses, and an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses called by any party.   CAPR shall be the judge of the relevance and materiality of any information offered or that it may otherwise consider.  Conformity to legal rules of evidence shall not be necessary.
  2. CAPR shall thereafter prepare a written decision containing its findings of fact and conclusions.  It may invalidate the results for the test associated with the violation.  It may also determine that the individual shall be barred from taking any NCRA-administered test for a minimum of three (3) testing cycles or permanently depending upon the nature of the violation.   

In addition, if the individual is a member of NCRA, CAPR may recommend that the Member should be expelled or suspended (up to one (1) year) from the Association, or that the Member receive a cautionary letter, warning, reprimand or statement of advice.  If CAPR recommends that a member be suspended or expelled from the Association, this recommendation shall not become final unless it is sustained by the Board of Directors in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.  A CAPR recommendation for suspension or expulsion requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors at a meeting at which a quorum is present.  

If a reporter’s membership is suspended or revoked for violating NCRA testing policies and procedures, NCRA shall publish that information in the Journal of Court Reporting or other NCRA publication, after a decision on a complaint is final.

Should a Member resign his or her membership in NCRA while a violation investigation is pending, CAPR shall complete the processing of the investigation as specified in these procedures.

3.    CAPR shall inform all parties as to the status of the investigation within ninety (90) days after the case is received by CAPR from the Executive Director.  Normally, CAPR shall render its decision within one hundred eighty (180) days after the case is received by CAPR from the Executive Director.  Notwithstanding the above, CAPR may suspend the investigation pending the outcome of any related administrative, civil or criminal proceedings, or for any other reason deemed appropriate by CAPR to ensure fairness or due process for all parties.

C.    Appeals

  1. The Executive Director shall promptly send a copy of the decision of CAPR to the individual.  If the individual wishes to appeal CAPR’s decision, such appeal must be filed in writing to the Board of Directors within 30 days from the date of the letter notifying the individual of CAPR’s decision.  The appeal must specify the grounds upon which the party contends CAPR’s decision is erroneous and should be revised.
  2. If no appeal is taken within the thirty-day (30) period from a decision by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, the decision will be final and a copy of the decision will be placed in the individual’s confidential file; provided that the Board of Directors shall sustain any decision to suspend or expel a Member in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.  
  3. If an appeal is received within the thirty-day (30) period, the Executive Director shall forward to the Board of Directors the appeal, and all other documentation relating to the matter.  The Board may decide the matter on the basis of these documents, or may request any additional information it deems appropriate.  The Board may affirm, reverse, modify or return the decision or recommendation to the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters for further review with specific reasons therefor.

D.    Costs and expenses

The individual shall bear his or her own costs and expenses with respect to any proceeding, except in regard to an appeal of CAPR’s decision.  In that case, at the discretion of the Executive Director, the individual shall be required to bear the costs for producing copies of all documents necessary for the Board to review and decide the appeal.

Changes to RMR/RDR certification testing

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS REFERENCE:  Article X–Academy of Professional Reporters and Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, Section 3–Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters

Original Adoption:  February 2012
Revision:  N/A
  1. Effective January 1, 2013, the RMR credential become strictly a skills-based credential;
  2. Those RMR candidates who have already passed all three portions of the RMR skills (literary, jury charge, testimony), but not the written knowledge portion, will become RMRs as of January 1, 2013;
  3. Effective January 1, 2013, the RMR eligibility requirement become the RPR only;
  4. Effective January 1, 2013, the RDR eligibility requirements become the RMR plus five years of current and continuous years of NCRA membership commencing with Participating or Registered status.

Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate & CEU reinstatement policy

Original Adoption:  August 2010
Revision:  N/A

All Realtime Systems Administrator Reinstatement Appeals be handled by CAPR under its normal processes, in consultation with a Technology Evaluation Committee liaison.  This Technology Evaluation Committee liaison shall be appointed by the NCRA President, and for the length of their service, shall be bound by the same obligations, duties, and confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements under which the CAPR committee members operate.

Membership reinstatement policy

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time prior to the close of that Membership year upon payment of the full current year’s dues and any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time after the close of that Membership year by fulfilling the current requirements for membership and paying any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated by resignation may be reinstated to the Member’s former class of Membership upon written request and payment of the full current year’s dues.  In the case of a Registered Member or Realtime Systems Administrator certificate holder, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education requirements and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of reinstatement.

Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate CEU reinstatement policy

  • A member can seek such reinstatement once.
  • Individual is required to have a minimum of .15 CEUs accrued during cycle prior to request of reinstatement.
  • Appeals are denied where certification was lost four or more years prior.
  • Second appeals are denied (extenuating circumstances may be considered).
  • First-time appeals for reinstatement are granted (where certification was lost in the most recent three-year period) by adding a new three-year cycle to their most recent expiration date, adding the missing credits from prior cycles to the new three-year cycle, and requiring payment of any back dues owing.
  • The CAPR Chair is authorized to decide appeals presented in between CAPR meetings based on the above guidelines, in consultation with a Technology Evaluation Committee liaison appointed by the NCRA President, and to place on the next CAPR agenda any appeals that involve issues not covered by the above guidelines.

Trial Presentation Certificate & CEU reinstatement policy

Original Adoption:  August 2010
Revision:  N/A

All Trial Presentation Reinstatement Appeals be handled by CAPR under its normal processes, in consultation with a Technology Evaluation Committee liaison.  This Technology Evaluation Committee liaison shall be appointed by the NCRA President, and for the length of their service, shall be bound by the same obligations, duties, and confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements under which the CAPR committee members operate.

Membership reinstatement policy

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time prior to the close of that Membership year upon payment of the full current year’s dues and any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated for nonpayment of dues or charges may be reinstated at any time after the close of that Membership year by fulfilling the current requirements for membership and paying any delinquent charges.

Any membership terminated by resignation may be reinstated to the Member’s former class of Membership upon written request and payment of the full current year’s dues.  In the case of a Registered Member or Trial Presentation certificate holder, reinstatement to the former class of Membership will be dependent upon fulfilling the continuing education requirements and such other requirements as may be in effect at the time of reinstatement.

Trial Presentation Certificate CEU reinstatement policy

  • A member can seek such reinstatement once.
  • Individual is required to have a minimum of .15 CEUs accrued during cycle prior to request of reinstatement.
  • Appeals are denied where certification was lost four or more years prior.
  • Second appeals are denied (extenuating circumstances may be considered).
  • First-time appeals for reinstatement are granted (where certification was lost in the most recent three-year period) by adding a new three-year cycle to their most recent expiration date, adding the missing credits from prior cycles to the new three-year cycle, and requiring payment of any back dues owing.
  • The CAPR Chair is authorized to decide appeals presented in between CAPR meetings based on the above guidelines, in consultation with a Technology Evaluation Committee liaison appointed by the NCRA President, and to place on the next CAPR agenda any appeals that involve issues not covered by the above guidelines.