Reporters certified pursuant to this rule must acquire thirty (30) continuing education credits every three years through activities approved by the Board or a committee of the Board. Such three year period shall be known as the "reporting period." Each reporting period shall begin on January 1 and extend through December 31 three years hence. The reporting period for reporters newly certified pursuant to this Rule shall begin January 1 following certification by the Board. If a reporter acquires, during such reporting period, approved continuing education in excess of (30) thirty hours, the excess credit may be carried forward and applied to the education requirement for the succeeding reporting period only. The maximum number of continuing education hours one may carry forward is ten (10).
A continuing education credit is presumed to be 60 minutes in length. However, the Board in its discretion may grant greater or lesser credits per hour of education as each individual program may warrant. Court reporters certified pursuant to this rule who maintain a residence address outside the State of Arkansas are subject to this requirement. However, continuing education activities approved by the appropriate authority in their resident jurisdiction shall be applicable to this requirement.
To establish compliance with this continuing education requirement the Board may accept continuing education hours acquired to meet the continuing education requirements of the National Court Reporters Association or the National Verbatim Reporters Association.
Exceptions to Requirement.
In cases where extreme hardship or extenuating circumstances are shown, the Board may grant a waiver of the continuing education requirement or extensions of time within which to fulfill the requirements. Such waivers or extensions shall be considered only upon written request from the certificate holder. As a condition of any waiver or extension, the Board may set such terms and conditions as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
Any reporter certified pursuant to this rule who attains age 65 or 30 years of certification, during any reporting period, is exempt from all requirements of this rule for that reporting period as well as all subsequent reporting periods.
At any time during a reporting period a reporter may take inactive status as it pertains to the continuing education requirement of this rule. Inactive status means that a reporter will not practice court reporting until such time as the reporter returns to active status. Election of inactive status must be in writing. Election of inactive status must be annually renewed and the Board shall provide a form for renewal of inactive status. Such annual renewal shall be filed with the Board on or before March 31 of each year subsequent to the year of election of inactive status. For the purpose of this paragraph court reporting means "verbatim reporting" as defined in Section 1 of the "Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners" and, verbatim reporting regardless of the context, including administrative or regulatory proceedings and non-judicial proceedings. A reporter may return to active status at any time upon written notice to the Board. In such case the reporter shall be subject to the thirty hour requirement of this rule for the reporting period beginning the following January 1.
Continuing Education Activities Content.
Continuing education credit may be obtained by attending or participating in Board approved seminars, conventions, or workshops, or other activities approved by the Board. To be approved for continuing education credit the activity must: be presented by individuals who have the necessary experience or academic skills to present the activity; include quality written materials; and, the course must be subject to evaluation. The continuing education activity must contribute directly to the competence and professionalism of court reporters. The Board is authorized to approve continuing education activities which include but are not limited to the following subject areas: language; academic knowledge; statutes and regulations; reporting technology and business practice; and, ethical practices-professionalism.
The Board shall be the authority for approval of continuing education programs. Such authority may be delegated by the Board to a committee. It is presumed that program approval will be sought and determined well in advance of the educational activity. However, the Board or its committee may approve an educational activity after the event.
The Board is authorized to develop appropriate forms and other administrative procedures as necessary to efficiently administer this continuing education requirement.
The Board shall require that reporters certified pursuant to this rule maintain and provide such records as necessary to establish compliance with this continuing education requirement. The Board may also require that sponsors provide evidence of attendance at programs in such form as the Board may direct.
On or before January 31 after the conclusion of the immediately preceding reporting period, the Board shall provide a final report by first class mail to reporters whose reporting period concluded the preceding December 31. The number of continuing education credits stated on the final report shall be presumed correct unless the reporter notifies the Board otherwise. In the event the final report shows that the reporter has failed to acquire 30 continuing education credits for the applicable reporting period, the reporter shall be in noncompliance with the requirements of this rule.
In the event of noncompliance, the certificate of the affected reporter shall be subject to suspension as set forth in the following section. Prior to initiation of suspension proceedings, the Board shall provide notice to allow the reporter to achieve compliance. Board approved continuing education credits obtained subsequent to the relevant reporting period and prior to a vote of suspension shall be accepted in order to cure noncompliance. However, such hours will be subject to a late filing fee in an amount not to exceed $100.00.
Suspension of License - Reinstatement.
Section 7 of this rule - "Discipline" and Section 19 of the "Regulations of the Board of Certified Court Reporter Examiners" shall govern suspension or revocation proceedings for failure to comply with the continuing education requirements set out in Section 13 of this rule.
After a Board vote of suspension or revocation of a certificate, the Board shall notify the affected reporter by way of certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested. In addition, the Board shall file the order of suspension with the Clerk of this Court and provide such other notice as the Board may consider appropriate.
A reporter whose certificate has been suspended pursuant to this Section who desires reinstatement shall file a petition for reinstatement with the Board. The petition shall be properly acknowledged by a notary public or an official authorized to take oaths. It shall be in such form as the Board may direct. The petitioner may request a hearing before the Board. Upon appropriate notice and hearing, the Board may take action on the petition for reinstatement. In the event the certificate is reinstated, the Board may set additional educational requirements, including successful completion of a certification examination, as a condition of reinstatement and may assess reinstatement fees in an amount not to exceed $250.00.
History: Amended and effective January 15, 2009; Sections 7(a), (i) and 8(b)(4) amended by per curiam order April 14, 2011.