State of New Jersey
Department of Law and Public Safety
Division of Consumer Affairs


New Jersey Register
Volume 33, Number 22
Monday, November 19, 2001
Rule Proposal

Law And Public Safety
Division Of Consumer Affairs
State Board of Shorthand Reporting

Eligibility For Certification; Temporary Employment of Non-Certified Shorthand Reporters

Additions are indicated by <<+ Text +>>; deletions by <<- Text - >>.
Changes in tables are made but not highlighted.

Proposed Amendments: N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 and 4.3

Proposed New Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2

Authorized By: State Board of Shorthand Reporting, Jay J. Church, Executive Director.

Authority: N.J.S.A. 45:15B-1.
Calendar Reference: See Summary below for explanation of exception to calendar requirement.
Proposal Number: PRN 2001-436.

Submit written comments by January 18, 2002 to:

Jay J. Church, Executive Director
State Board of Shorthand Reporting
PO Box 45019
Newark, NJ 07101

The agency proposal follows:

Summary

Pursuant to its rulemaking authority, N.J.S.A. 45:15B-1, the State Board of Shorthand Reporting, (the Board) is proposing an amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 regarding eligibility for certification and a new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 concerning the temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters.

The Board proposes to amend N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 by adding a new subsection (b), to exempt individuals with Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Certification issued by the National Court Reporters Association from having to take the qualifying examination as a prerequisite for certification. The proposed amendment also requires applicants for certification with RPR status, in addition to the other requirements for certification set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1, to successfully complete only the four-voice section of the certification examination provided they submit written verification to the Board of current RPR status with each certification examination application. Upon applying for exemption from the qualifying examination, the applicants shall apply and sit for the next available certification examination. Finally, the proposed amendment requires RPR status applicants to maintain current RPR status in good standing to maintain conditional credit status. The Board is proposing this amendment to make obtaining certification easier for applicants who have achieved RPR status, while ensuring a high level of competency in the profession, because individuals with RPR status have demonstrated proficiency as shorthand reporters as a prerequisite to obtaining such status.

In addition, the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.3 permits RPR applicants, who do not successfully complete the four-voice section of the next available examination, after applying for exemption from the qualifying examination, to be considered conditional credit applicants for the purposes of N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2. In order to be certified as a Certified Shorthand Reporter, an RPR applicant shall be required to obtain a minimum score of 95 percent on the four-voice section within six consecutive examination periods subsequent to the initial examination. In the event that RPR applicants fail to receive a passing grade on the four-voice section of the certification examination within six consecutive examination periods subsequent to the initial examination, such applicants shall forfeit the conditional credit and revert to the status of new applicant and shall be required to successfully complete all sections of the certification examination.

The Board is proposing new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 to establish procedures for the temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters as referred to in N.J.S.A. 45:15B-9. The proposed new rule permits shorthand reporters with Registered Professional Reporter Certification, who comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1(a), with the exception of paragraphs (a)4 and 7, and conditional credit applicants, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.3, to be utilized solely for temporary employment. The proposed new rule seeks to limit the use of non-certified shorthand reporters to situations in which certified shorthand reporters are unavailable by defining the permissible categories of non-certified reporters.

The proposed new rule requires an employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter to contact five shorthand reporting agencies to seek a certified shorthand reporter. These entities are required to record five contacts in an affidavit supplied by the Board which will include the names of the agencies contacted, the dates and times of the contacts, the specific job for which the certified shorthand reporter is sought, including the date, time, and location of the job as well as the name(s) of the party (parties) soliciting the certified shorthand reporter, and the name of the case for which the certified shorthand reporter is sought. In addition, the proposed new rule requires the entities to retain the affidavits for a period of three calendar years. The records must be made available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request and will be subject to the Board's random audit.

Additionally, the proposed new rule will require that all transcripts completed by a non-certified shorthand reporter be signed by a New Jersey certified shorthand reporter in responsible charge of the work product of the non-certified shorthand reporter who shall attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. The proposed new rule requires an employer or owner of a shorthand reporting agency who is not a certified shorthand reporter to secure a New Jersey certified shorthand reporter to be in responsible charge of the work product of the non-certified shorthand reporter and to attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. The proposed new rule permits a certified shorthand reporter to secure another certified shorthand reporter to be in responsible charge of the work product of the non-certified shorthand reporter and attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. The proposed new rule defines a certified shorthand reporter in responsible charge as the effective supervision by a competent certified shorthand reporter of individuals performing services which directly and materially affect the quality and competence of shorthand reporting services rendered by the non-certified shorthand reporter. The proposed new rule enumerates examples of the failure to render regular and effective supervision of the non-certified shorthand reporter; such as when a certified shorthand reporter fails to personally inspect or review the work of a non-certified shorthand reporter; the rendering of a limited, cursory, or perfunctory review of a transcript prepared by a non- certified shorthand reporter; and when a certified shorthand reporter fails to be personally available on a reasonable basis or with adequate advance notice for consultation and inspection where circumstances require personal availability.

The proposed new rule also requires the reporting entities to inform the parties or their legal representative who seek shorthand reporting services of its use of a non-certified reporter in those instances. In such circumstances, the entities are required to advise and inform the parties or their legal representative of its use of a non-certified reporter in those instances and secure the consent of the parties or their legal representative to permit the non-certified reporter to report the proceedings. The proposed new rule also provides that the parties or their legal representative utilizing the shorthand reporting services will evidence their consent to the use of the non-certified shorthand reporter by signing and dating the consent form. Finally, the proposed new rule requires the entities to retain the consent forms for a period of three calendar years to be available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request and will be subject to the Board's random audit. For purposes of the proposed new rule, a business day is defined as the hours between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

As the Board has provided a 60-day comment period on this notice of proposal, this notice is exempted from the rulemaking calendar requirement pursuant to N.J.A.C. 1:30-3.3(a)5.

Social Impact

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 concerning eligibility for licensure will impact the regulated community and the public in a positive way. The proposed amendments are designed to make the process of becoming a certified shorthand reporter easier for those applicants with RPR status since said applicants have demonstrated a level of proficiency by obtaining RPR status. Such applicants will be exempt from taking the qualifying examination and will only be required to successfully complete the four-voice section of the certification examination to meet the examination requirement for certification. The proposed amendments simplify the application process for candidates for certification while ensuring that such individuals adhere to strict prerequisites for exemption from portions of the certification examination and the qualifying examination. Thus, the public is assured that applicants with RPR status who fall within the exceptions of the proposed amendments will be qualified and proficient as shorthand reporters upon certification. Additionally, the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.3 will further protect the public by ensuring that RPR applicants who do not successfully complete the four-voice section of the next available certification examination will be considered a conditional credit applicants under proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2.

Proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2, regarding the temporary employment of non-certified reporters, will have a positive impact upon the public. The proposed new rule assures consumers that competent individuals are reporting court proceedings and depositions by delineating specific instances where a non-certified reporter may be utilized and limiting the use of non-certified reporters to those with RPR status and those with conditional credit status. In addition, the proposed new rule requires a certified shorthand reporter to be in responsible charge of the non-certified shorthand reporter and his or her work product. Thus, transcripts will accurately depict the proceedings. The proposed new rule will also benefit certificate holders since it sets forth limited circumstances when non-certified shorthand reporters might be employed. With the proposed new rule, both consumers and certified shorthand reporters will be assured that non-certified reporters are utilized as a last resort when certified reporters are unavailable as defined by the proposed new rule.

Economic Impact

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 regarding eligibility for certification should have a positive economic impact upon applicants for certification who have RPR status. Such individuals who adhere to the requirements of the proposed amendments will not incur the costs to prepare for and successfully complete the qualifying examination and portions of the certification examination.

Proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 concerning the temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters should have a positive economic impact upon the public and the regulated community by ensuring accurate transcripts, thus helping to obviate additional expenses incurred by the public and the regulated community resulting from inaccurate and faulty transcripts. Since the proposed new rule is designed to limit the use of non-certified shorthand reporters to those who have demonstrated some level of proficiency and capability, consumers will be assured quality performance of reporting services in those instances where a non-certified reporter must be used. The public is further assured of quality work products as a result of the proposed new rule's requirement of certified shorthand reporters in responsible charge of non-certified reporters.

The proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 should have a positive economic impact upon certified shorthand reporters. Certified reporters should be afforded greater opportunities in the profession, to serve the public and provide quality work products.

The proposed new rule may also have an economic impact upon those using the services of shorthand reporters. Fees may increase for the utilization of shorthand reporting services because the new rule places additional administrative requirements on reporting entities. The costs associated with the proposed new rule may be passed on to the public; however, the impact is expected to be minimal and is greatly outweighed by the benefit to the consuming public in ensuring quality and accurate transcripts.

Federal Standards Statement

A Federal standards analysis is not required because the proposed amendments and new rule are governed by N.J.S.A. 45:15B-1 and are not subject to any Federal requirements or standards.

Jobs Impact

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 concerning eligibility for certification should have a positive impact upon jobs. The proposed amendments make the application process for certification as shorthand reporters simpler for individuals who maintain RPR status as delineated in the amendments. Thus, such applicants will have an opportunity to enter the profession earlier than they would have if they were required to successfully complete the qualifying examination and all portions of the certification examination as the current rule requires.

Proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 regarding the temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters should have a positive impact upon certified reporters. Certified reporters should be afforded greater opportunities in the profession because the new rule requires CSR's to provide efficient supervision of the non-certified shorthand reporters. Thus, job opportunities for certified reporters may increase.

Agriculture Industry Impact

The proposed new rule and amendments will have no impact on the agriculture industry in the State.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-16 et seq. (the Act), requires the Board to give a description of the types and an estimate of the number of small businesses to which the proposed rules will apply. If, for the purposes of the Act, the approximately 1,300 Board certified shorthand reporters are considered "small businesses" within the meaning of the Act, and an indeterminate number of the 1,300 certified shorthand reporters who apply for certification as certified shorthand realtime reporters including those who maintain RPR status are also considered "small businesses," then the following analysis applies.

The Act requires the Board to set forth the reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rules including the kinds of professional services likely to be needed to comply with the requirements. The Act further requires the Board to estimate the initial and annual compliance costs, outline the manner in which it has designed the rules to minimize any adverse economic impact upon small businesses, and to set forth whether the rules establish differing compliance requirements for small businesses.

The proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1 concerning eligibility for certification impose reporting, recordkeeping, and compliance requirements upon applicants for certification who maintain RPR status and are seeking exemption from taking the qualifying examination and seeking to successfully complete the four-voice section of the certification examination. Such applicants are required to submit written verification to the Board of current RPR status with each certification examination application. There are no other reporting requirements. Further, the proposed amendment to N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.3 sets forth compliance requirements for those applicants who maintain RPR status but do not successfully complete the four-voice section of the certification examination within the allotted period. These applicants will be considered conditional credit applicants and will be required to obtain a minimum score of 95 percent on the four-voice section of the certification examination within six consecutive examination periods subsequent to the initial examination referenced in N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1. Failure to pass the certification examination within the six consecutive examination periods will require an applicant to forfeit the conditional credit status and successfully complete all sections of the certification examination as a prerequisite for certification. There are no further compliance requirements associated with the proposed amendments.

The proposed amendments require applicants who fall within the exemption to maintain current RPR status in good standing to maintain conditional credit status. There are no additional recordkeeping requirements. There are no additional compliance requirements associated with this proposed amendment.

No professional services are necessary to comply. Because the proposed amendments benefit the public by assuring that proficient and qualified individuals enter the profession, they must be applied uniformly to all applicants for certification including those who maintain RPR Certification.

Proposed new rule N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 concerning the temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters imposes recordkeeping and reporting requirements upon the regulated community. The proposed new rule requires entities to retain affidavits for a period of three calendar years and to be available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request. In addition, the proposed new rule requires entities to retain consent forms for a period of three calendar years and that the records must be available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request. The proposed rule also permits random auditing of the required affidavits and consent forms signed by the Board. There are no additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements associated with the proposed new rule.

The proposed new rule also imposes compliance requirements upon the regulated community. The entities are only permitted to hire non-certified shorthand reporters who comport with proposed N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1(b) and 4.3 for temporary employment. In addition, the proposed new rule requires these entities to contact five agencies seeking a certified shorthand reporter before utilizing a non-certified shorthand reporter. The proposed new rule also requires entities who utilize non-certified shorthand reporters to be in responsible charge of non-certified shorthand reporters and their work products.

The proposed new rule delineates the obligations of certified shorthand reporters in responsible charge of non-certified shorthand reporters, to include personal inspection and review of a non-certified reporter's work, and reasonable availability for consultation and inspection where circumstances require such action. Finally, the proposed new rule requires entities to verbally inform all the parties or their legal representative who will utilize shorthand reporting services that the shorthand reporter who will be reporting is not certified and to provide to the parties or their legal representative a consent form which sets forth that the parties or their legal representative were informed that the individual utilized for the services is not certified and consented to the non-certified reporter. There are no additional compliance requirements and no professional services are necessary to comply.

Because the proposed new rule benefits the public and certified shorthand reporters by seeking to limit inaccurate transcripts and minimizethe use of non-certified reporters who have not achieved a specified professional level for temporary employment, the proposed new rule will be applied uniformly, with no differing compliance requirements, to all members of the profession regardless of size.

Full text of the proposal follows:

<< NJ ADC 13:43-2.1 >>

13:43-2.1 Eligibility for certification as a certified shorthand reporter

(a) (No change.)

<<+(b) An applicant who possesses a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) Certification issued by the National Court Reporters Association shall not be required to take the qualifying examination as stated in (a)4 above and shall only be required to successfully complete the four-voice section of the certification examination as required by (a)7 above to become certified. In order to qualify for exemption from the qualifying examination and be solely required to successfully complete the four-voice section of the certification examination, an applicant with RPR Certification shall:+>>

<<+1. Submit written verification to the Board of current RPR status with each certification examination application;+>>

<<+2. Be required to apply and sit for the next available examination upon applying for exemption from the qualifying examination; and+>>

<<+3. Maintain current RPR Certification in good standing to maintain conditional credit status.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:43-2.2 >>

<<+13:43-2.2 Temporary employment of non-certified shorthand reporters+>>

<<+(a) Non-certified shorthand reporters who possess an RPR Certification and who comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1(a), with the exception of paragraphs (a)4 and (a)7, or applicants who have successfully completed two parts of the examination and have obtained conditional credit status attained in N.J.A.C. 13:43-4.3, may be utilized for temporary employment as referenced in N.J.S.A. 45:15B-9.+>>

<<+(b) An employer of a certified shorthand reporter, or owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter may utilize non- certified shorthand reporters referred to in (a) above in circumstances where a certified shorthand reporter is unavailable. In such circumstances where a certified shorthand reporter is unavailable, the employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter shall contact five shorthand reporting agencies to seek an available certified shorthand reporter. The employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter shall record the five contacts in an affidavit supplied by the Board which shall include the names of the agencies contacted, the dates and times of the contacts, and the specific job for which the certified shorthand reporter is sought, including the names of the agencies contacted, the dates and times of the contacts, and the specific job for which the certified shorthand reporter is sought, including the date, time, and location of the job as well as the name(s) of the party (parties) soliciting the certified shorthand reporter, and the name of the case for which the certified shorthand reporter is sought.+>>

<<+1. The employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter shall retain the affidavits referred to in (b) above for a period of three calendar years. The records shall be made available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request, and shall be subject to the Board's random audit. For purposes of this paragraph, a business day is defined as the hours between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.+>>

<<+(c) All transcripts completed by a non-certified shorthand reporter shall be signed by a New Jersey certified shorthand reporter in responsible charge of the work product of the non-certified shorthand reporter and shall attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. An employer or owner of a shorthand reporting agency who is not a certified shorthand reporter shall secure a New Jersey certified shorthand reporter to be in responsible charge of the work product of the non-certified shorthand reporter and attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. A certified shorthand reporter may secure another certified shorthand reporter to be in responsible charge of the non-certified shorthand reporter to attest to the accuracy of the transcription of the original shorthand notes. For purposes of this subsection, a New Jersey certified shorthand reporter in responsible charge shall mean the regular and effective supervision by a competent certified shorthand reporter of individuals performing services which directly and materially affect the quality and competence of shorthand reporting services rendered by the non-certified shorthand reporter.+>>

<<+(d) A certified shorthand reporter shall render regular and effective supervision of a non-certified shorthand reporter as follows. The certified shorthand reporter shall:+>>

<<+1. Personally inspect or review the work of a non-certified shorthand reporter;+>>

<<+2. Provide an appropriate review of the transcript prepared by the non- certified shorthand reporter; and+>>

<<+3. Be personally available on a reasonable basis or with adequate advance notice for consultation and inspection where circumstances require personal availability.+>>

<<+(e) An employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter shall verbally inform all the parties or their legal representative who utilize the shorthand reporting services of any shorthand reporter who will report the proceedings and is not certified of the reporter's non-certified status, and shall provide to the parties or their legal representative a consent form which sets forth that the parties or their legal representative were informed of and consented to the use of the non-certified shorthand reporter. The parties or their legal representative who utilize the shorthand reporting services shall evidence their consent to the use of the non-certified shorthand reporter by signing and dating the consent form.+>>

<<+(f) An employer, owner of a shorthand reporting agency, or certified shorthand reporter shall retain the consent forms referred to in (e) above for a period of three calendar years to be available to the Board within two business days of the Board's written notice of request and shall be subject to the Board's random audit. For purposes of this subsection, a business day is defined as the hours between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.+>>

<< NJ ADC 13:43-4.3 >>

13:43-4.3 Conditional credit rule

(a)-(b) (No change.)

<<+(c) An RPR applicant who does not successfully complete the four-voice section of the next available certification examination shall be considered a conditional credit applicant for the purposes of N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.2 and shall be required to obtain a minimum score of 95 percent on the four-voice section within six consecutive examination periods subsequent to the initial examination referenced in N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1(a)4. In the event that the RPR applicant fails to receive a passing grade on the four-voice section within six consecutive examination periods subsequent to the initial examination referenced in N.J.A.C. 13:43-2.1(b)2, the applicant shall forfeit the conditional credit and revert to the status of new applicant and shall be required to successfully complete all sections of the certification examination.+>>

33 N.J.R. 3876(a)


Consumer Affairs Home Page

Rule Proposals

State Board of Shorthand Reporting

Other Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards

Department of Law and Public Safety's Home Page | State of New Jersey's Home Page

Feedback

___________________________________________

Posted November 19, 2001