VOLUME 48, ISSUE 5
ISSUE DATE: September 29, 2016
Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs
State Board of Court Reporting
Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.4 and 6.1
Proposed Repeals: N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.5 and 4.6
Examination for Certification as a Certified Realtime Court Reporter; Frequency; Components; Process; Materials to be Furnished by Applicant; Grading; Grading of the Realtime Examination; Examination Review Process; Rescoring; Appeals
Authorized By: New Jersey State Board of Court Reporting, Michael DiFrancisci, Acting Executive Director.
Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:15B-1 and 45:15B-3.
Proposal Number: PRN 2016-036.
Submit comments by
October 28, 2016, to:
Michael DiFrancisci, Acting Executive Director
New Jersey State Board of Court Reporting
124 Halsey Street
PO Box 45019
Newark, New Jersey
The agency proposal follows:
The State Board of Court Reporting (Board) is proposing to amend N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.4 to establish the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) examination developed by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) as the examination for the certification of realtime court reporters rather than the current Board-created examination. The Board is also proposing to repeal N.J.A.C.13:43-4.5, which sets forth the criteria to be used by the Board when grading the realtime examination and N.J.A.C.13:43-4.6, which sets forth the examination review process, permits candidates to request rescoring by the Board, and establishes a candidate's right to appeal if he or she is not satisfied with the rescoring results.
The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.4 to change its realtime certification examination to the NCRA CRR examination because the Board believes that the NCRA CRR examination is more relevant to the practice of realtime reporting than the Board-created examination. The NCRA CRR examination is a skills examination administered and scored by NCRA, and is the only national examination offered in the field of realtime court reporting. It has been prepared and reviewed by a committee of experts in the field of court reporting to ensure that it fairly and objectively tests the skills required of a certified realtime reporter. It is offered at least twice a year at various locations throughout the State, as well as in neighboring states, making it possible for test-takers to find a convenient examination time and location. The NCRA recently revised its examination to offer two different tests, both a straight matter and a question-and-answer format, because both freelance and official reporters primarily write question-and-answer material; however, broadcast captioners and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) providers primarily write straight matter.
In contrast, the Board-created examination is offered only once a year in two locations in the State. It is in straight matter format (for example, a jury charge is dictated, which must be transcribed in realtime), which is less representative of real practice than the NCRA examination format. Additionally, because the Board is small, it does not have as many experienced examination writers as NCRA does, and as a result, there are fewer experienced contributors to the Board's examination creation process. Moreover, the Board has found that more CRR applicants take the NCRA examination than the Board-created examination; the Board has experienced a decline in the number of applicants taking its exam and [page=376] has had to cancel the exam on more than one occasion. Successful completion of the NCRA CRR examination results in NCRA CRR certification. The NCRA CRR certification credential is prestigious, is recognized throughout the country, and is accepted by the Board. Although the credential is not necessary to perform realtime reporting, the credential may make it easier for a person to find employment.
Because the Board has determined that adopting the NCRA CRR examination as the Board standard will be more efficient for the Board and more convenient for test takers, the Board is proposing that N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.4(a) be amended to eliminate the reference to the examination being offering "at such times and places as may be deemed necessary by the Board, providing sufficient applications are on file with the Board." Subsection (a) will continue to require that the examination be held at least once a year; and that the Board advertise the time and location of the examination at least 30 days prior to the date of the examination. Proposed new subsection (b) would establish the NCRA CRR examination as the Board-approved examination for the certification of realtime court reporters. Although the Board would continue to accept the Board-created examination to satisfy the examination requirement for certification as a CRR for those who have already successfully completed it, the Board would discontinue offering its own examination upon adoption of the proposed amendments.
Additionally, the Board proposes to delete N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.4(b) through (e), which dictate the items to be tested under the Board-created examination, the rules for taking the examination, and the passing grade for the examination. The Board has determined that these subsections would be unnecessary because NCRA establishes its own testing and scoring criteria for its examination. The Board also proposes to repeal N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.5, grading of the examination, and N.J.A.C. 13:43-6, relating to the examination review process, requests for the Board rescoring, and the right to appeal the rescoring. Because the examination will be administered and scored by NCRA instead of the Board, these rules will no longer be necessary. NCRA has its own rescoring and appeals policy. Finally, the Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:43-6.1 to remove from the schedule of fees the examination fee to become a certified realtime court reporter. This fee is no longer relevant because the fee for the NCRA realtime examination is paid directly to NCRA.
In 2008, the Board established the NCRA Professional Reporter examination as its examination for the certification of court reporters. The transition was smooth; the Board has been satisfied with the results and anticipates the same efficiency and satisfaction with the adoption of the NCRA's CRR examination as well.
The Board has provided a 60-day comment period for this notice of proposal. Therefore, this notice is excepted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.
The Board has determined that the proposed amendments and repeals would have a positive social impact on individuals seeking CRR certification because the NCRA CRR examination is offered several times each year at locations throughout the State and in neighboring states, thus making the examination for CCR certification more accessible to test takers. Additionally, successful completion of the NCRA CRR examination would result in NCRA CRR certification, which is recognized nationally.
The proposed amendments and repeals would also have a positive impact on the Board by creating a more efficient process for the Board, as it would no longer need to administer and score the CCR examination. The Board believes that the amendments and repeals would have a positive impact on members of the public requiring the skills of a realtime reporter. Because those who have successfully completed the NCRA CRR have demonstrated a high level of competence in the field of realtime court reporting, members of the public who require the use of a New Jersey certified realtime reporter can be assured that their transcriptions will be accurate.
The Board believes that the proposed amendments and repeals may have an economic impact on individuals seeking realtime certification. The Board currently charges a $ 100.00 fee to sit for its realtime reporter examination; NCRA charges a $ 175.00 fee to sit for its CRR examination. However, this increased expense may be outweighed by the benefits of the credential: successful completion of the NCRA CRR examination results a prestigious national credential, which may lead to increased employment prospects. The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments and repeals will have any economic impact on the public.
Federal Standards Statement
A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendments and repeals are governed by N.J.S.A. 45:15B-4 and are not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.
The Board does not believe that the proposed amendments and repeals will result in the creation or loss of jobs in the State.
Agriculture Industry Impact
The proposed amendments and repeals will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
Since individuals seeking certification as realtime court reporters would be individually certified by the Board, they may be considered "small businesses" under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (Act), N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq., and the following analysis may apply.
The proposed amendments and repeals will not impose any reporting or recordkeeping requirements on individuals seeking certification. However, the proposed amendments and repeals will impose compliance requirements that may be less burdensome than existing requirements because the national examination is offered more frequently than the current Board-created examination. These requirements are discussed in the Summary above.
No additional professional services will be needed to comply with the proposed amendments and repeals. The anticipated economic impact associated with the proposed amendments and repeals are discussed in the Economic Impact statement above. The Board believes that the proposed amendments and repeals should be uniformly applied to all individuals seeking certification as a realtime reporter in order to ensure the welfare of those requiring realtime court reporting services.
Housing Affordability Impact Analysis
The proposed amendments and repeals will have an insignificant impact on the affordability of housing in New Jersey and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rules would evoke a change in the average costs associated with housing because the proposed amendments and repeals address the examination requirements for the certification of realtime court reporters.
Smart Growth Development Impact Analysis
The proposed amendments and repeals will have an insignificant impact on smart growth and there is an extreme unlikelihood that the rules would evoke a change in housing production in Planning Areas 1 or 2, or within designated centers, under the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in New Jersey because the proposed amendments and repeals address the examination requirements for the certification of realtime court reporters.
Full text of the proposal follows (additions indicated in boldface
thus; deletions indicated in brackets [thus]):
13:43-4.4 Examination for certification as a certified realtime court reporter; frequency[; components; process; materials to be furnished by the applicant; grading]
(a) The examination for certification as a certified realtime court reporter shall be held at least once a year [at such times and places as may be deemed necessary by the Board, providing sufficient applications are on file with the Board]. The time and place of an examination shall be advertised by the Board at least 30 days prior to the date of such examination.
[(b) A candidate shall be required to write in realtime from dictation of such matters as may be selected by the Board, under simulated conditions at speeds varying between 180 and 200 words per minute.
(c) A candidate shall not be permitted to edit the examination.
[page=377] (d) A candidate shall furnish a writer and computer system to take the examination.
(e) In order for a candidate to be awarded a certificate, he or she shall attain a grade of 95 percent on the section dictated and written in realtime.]
(b) The National Court Reporters Association Certified Realtime Reporter examination shall be the Board-approved examination for certification of realtime court reporters.
(c) The Board shall continue to accept successful completion of the Board-created examination to satisfy the examination requirement for certification as a realtime reporter; however the Board shall no longer offer this examination (after the effective date of these rules).
13:43-4.5 [Grading of the realtime examination]
[(a) The Board shall grade each examination on the basis of:
1. The candidate's ability to write accurately in realtime;
2. The general style of the transcript; and
3. Accuracy relating to:
ii. Spelling; and
13:43-4.6 [Examination review process; rescoring; appeals]
[(a) Each candidate shall be notified of the results of his or her examination in writing. Such notification shall include a date at which time a candidate will have the opportunity to review his or her examination at the Board office and question a member of the Board about any marks made on the examination.
(b) A candidate may request that the Board rescore his or her examination; the results of the rescoring shall take precedence over the initial grade.
(c) If after rescoring, a candidate is not satisfied with the results, he or she has the right to an appeal before the full Board. Such appeal must be filed with the Board within 45 days after the date of the rescoring.]
SUBCHAPTER 6. FEES
13:43-6.1 Fee schedule
(a) The following fees shall be charged by the Board:
1. (No change.)
[2. Examination fee
i. Certified realtime court reporter ...................................100.00]
Recodify existing 3.-15. as
2.-14. (No change in text.)
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