Section 1200.75  Continuing Education


a)         Continuing Education (CE) Requirements


1)         Beginning with the May 31, 1997, renewal and every renewal thereafter, every registrant who applies for renewal of a certificate of registration as a certified shorthand reporter shall complete during the prerenewal period 10 hours of CE relevant to the practice of shorthand reporting.


2)         A prerenewal period is the 24 months preceding May 31 of each odd-numbered year.


3)         A CE hour means a minimum of 50 minutes of actual clock time spent by a registrant in attendance at and completion of an approved CE activity. After completion of the initial CE hour, credit may be given in one-half hour increments.  Attendance means participation in either in-person or online activities or programs.


4)         A renewal applicant shall not be required to comply with CE requirements for the first renewal of an Illinois certificate of registration.


5)         Shorthand reporters registered in Illinois but residing and practicing in other states shall comply with the CE requirements set forth in this Section.


b)         How to Acquire CE Credits


1)         CE hours may be earned from:


A)        Verified attendance at or participation in a program, activity or course through the National Court Reporters Association.


B)        Verified attendance (e.g., certificate of attendance or certificate of completion) at or participation in a program, activity or course ("program") presented by a CE sponsor in subsection (c).


C)        Verified attendance at a program that is of general information value to shorthand reporters but does not directly relate to the reporter's ability to produce an accurate and timely transcript.  A maximum of 5 hours credit may be counted during a prerenewal period for those programs, which include:


i)          Professionalism, including knowledge and application of standards of professional responsibililty, impartiality, public relations, attire; and


ii)         Office procedures, record-keeping, health, including a reporter's approach to personal tax management, planning for retirement or changing careers within reporting, maintaining the individual reporter's health and emotional adjustment, ability to listen, to concentrate, to communicate, to cope.


D)        Verified personal preparation of educational presentations pertaining to the profession of court reporting and serving as an instructor, speaker or panel member at an approved course will be allowed as CE credit for actual presentation time, plus actual preparation time of up to 2 hours for each hour of presentation.  Credits for preparation time shall not be allowed for repetitious presentations.  No more than 5 hours of credit can be earned under this category in any one renewal period.


E)        Writing articles pertaining to the profession of court reporting and published in a state or nationally recognized professional journal of court reporting or law.  Each article shall be eligible for 2.5 hours of CE credit and no more than 5 hours of credit can be earned under this category in any one renewal period.  Credits will not be allowed for the same article published in more than one publication.


2)         Courses Completed that are a Part of the Curriculum of a University, College or Other Educational Institution.  One semester of course work is equivalent to 15 hours of CE and one quarter of course work is equivalent to 10 hours of CE.


3)         Passing Any Leg of the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), Certified Communication Access Realtime Translation Provider (CCP), Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) or Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR) Exam Offered by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).  Successful passage of any of these examinations shall be eligible for 2.5 hours of CE credit.


c)         CE Sponsors and Programs


1)         Sponsor, as used in this Section, shall mean the following:


A)        The NCRA or programs or courses approved by NCRA;


B)        The Illinois Court Reporters Association or any state court reporters association whose course or program has been approved for CE credits under the guidelines of the National Court Reporters Association;


C)        A city, county, Stateor federal judicial body responsible for coordination and presentation of CE courses or programs for its employees;


D)        A university or college course or adult education program that contributes directly to the certified shorthand reporter's knowledge, ability or competence to perform his/her duties; and


E)        Any other school, college or university, State agency, or any other person, firm or association that has been approved and authorized by the Division to coordinate and present CE courses and programs in conjunction with this Section.


2)         Entities seeking approval as CE sponsors shall file an application, on forms supplied by the Division, along with the application fee set forth in Section 1200.50.  (State agencies, State colleges and State universities in Illinois shall be exempt from paying this fee.)  Along with the application, the applicant shall submit a list of proposed programs including the description, location, date and time of the programs.  The application shall include the following:


A)        Certification:


i)          That all programs offered by the sponsor for CE credit will comply with the criteria in subsection (c)(3) and all other criteria in this Section;


ii)         That the sponsor will be responsible for verifying attendance at each program and provide a certificate of attendance as set forth in subsection (c)(10);


iii)        That, upon request by the Division, the sponsor will submit evidence (e.g., certificate of attendance or course materials) as is necessary to establish compliance with this Section.  Evidence shall be required when the Division has reason to believe that there is not full compliance with this Part and that the information is necessary to ensure compliance;


iv)        That each sponsor shall submit to the Division written notice of program offerings, including program offerings of subcontractors, 30 days prior to course dates.  Notice shall include the description, location, date and time of the program to be offered;


B)        A copy of sample program with faculty, course materials and syllabi.


3)         All programs shall:


A)        Contribute to the advancement, extension and enhancement of the professional skills and knowledge of the individual registrant in the practice of shorthand reporting;


B)        Include one or more of the following subjects directly related to the shorthand reporter's ability to produce accurate and timely transcripts:


i)          English, including grammar, punctuation, general principles, spelling, vocabulary, etymology, usage, semantics, regional and minority dialects or colloquialisms, English history, transcript styles;


ii)         Medical, including Greek and Latin derivatives, homonyms, abbreviations, surgical procedures, pharmacy, anatomy and physiology, specialized medical fields (i.e., neurology, dentistry, radiology, gastroenterology), with emphasis on terminology and techniques or concepts likely to be encountered during litigation;


iii)        Legal, including terminology, research techniques, presentations on the various subdivisions of law (i.e., criminal torts, domestic relations, corporate, admiralty, patent, environmental) and procedural law (i.e., depositions, trials, administrative proceedings) presentations by legal specialists or experts in the field, history of the American/world legal system;


iv)        Technical subjects presented by experts with emphasis on terminology and concepts encountered by the shorthand reporter during litigation (i.e., accident reconstruction, chemistry, construction, geology, insurance, maritime, aerospace, products liability, industrial and environmental pollution);


v)         Technology related to new developments in the field of reporting (i.e., computer technology, computer techniques, video, telecommunications, equipment maintenance);


vi)        General litigation procedures as they relate to court, deposition and administrative proceedings (i.e., reporting depositions, court hearings, arbitrations, conventions and the court reporter's responsibility with regard to these proceedings, notary responsibilities, marking exhibits, reading back, going on and off the record, review of statutes, rules related to the reporter);


vii)       Transcript preparation, including indexing of witnesses, exhibits, formats, dictating, editing and scoping, reference libraries and research techniques, proofreading; and


viii)      Management, including financial, marketing, personnel, equipment maintenance, time and stress management;


C)        Be relevant to the needs of shorthand reporters and also to the reporting service needs of the users (i.e., courses in golf, tennis, dancing or basket-weaving shall not be given credit);


D)        Be developed and presented by persons with education and/or experience in the subject matter of the program;


E)        Specify for whom the program is primarily designed, the course objectives, course content and teaching methods to be used; and


F)         Specify the number of CE hours that may be applied to fulfilling the Illinois CE requirements for renewal of the certification of registration.


4)         Each CE program shall provide a mechanism for evaluation of the program by the participants.  The evaluation may be completed immediately following the program or an evaluation questionnaire may be distributed to participants to be completed and returned by mail or email.  The sponsor and the instructor, together, shall review the evaluation outcome and revise subsequent programs accordingly.


5)         An approved sponsor may subcontract with individuals and organizations to provide approved programs.


6)         CE credits may be awarded for home study courses and correspondence courses, provided they are courses administered by approved sponsors.


7)         All programs given by approved sponsors shall be open to all registered shorthand reporters and not be limited to members of a single organization or group.


8)         CE credit hours used to satisfy the CE requirements of another jurisdiction may be applied to fulfill the CE requirements of the State of Illinois.


9)         To maintain approval as a sponsor, each sponsor shall submit to the Division, by May 31 of each odd-numbered year, a renewal application, the required fee set forth in Section 1200.50, and a list of courses and programs offered within the last 24 months.  The list shall include a brief description, location, date and time of each course given.


10)         Certificate of Attendance.  It shall be the responsibility of a sponsor to provide each participant in a program with a certificate of attendance or participation.  The sponsor's certificate of attendance shall contain:


A)        The name, address and certificate number of the sponsor;


B)        The name and address of the participant;


C)        A brief statement of the subject matter;


D)        The number of hours attended in each program;


E)        The date and place of the program; and


F)         The signature of the sponsor.


11)          The sponsor shall maintain attendance records for not less than 5 years.


12)          The sponsor shall be responsible for assuring that no renewal applicant shall receive CE credit for time not actually spent attending the program.


13)          Upon the failure of a sponsor to comply with any of the foregoing requirements, the Division, after notice to the sponsor and hearing before and recommendation by the Board (see 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1110), shall thereafter refuse to accept for CE credit attendance at or participation in any of that sponsor's CE programs until such time as the Division receives assurances of compliance with this Section.


14)         Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the Division or Board may evaluate any sponsor of any approved CE program at any time to ensure compliance with requirements of this Section.


d)         Certification of Compliance with CE Requirements


1)         Each renewal applicant shall certify, on the renewal application, full compliance with the CE requirements set forth in subsections (a) and (b).


2)         The Division may conduct random audits to verify compliance with CE requirements.


3)         The Division may require additional evidence (e.g., certificate of attendance).  This additional evidence shall be required in the context of the Division's random audit.  It is the responsibility of each renewal applicant to retain or otherwise produce evidence of compliance.


4)         When there appears to be a lack of compliance with CE requirements, an applicant shall be notified in writing and may request an interview with the Board.  At that time the Board may recommend that steps be taken to begin formal disciplinary proceedings as required by Section 10-65 of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act [5 ILCS 100].


e)         Continuing Education Earned in Other Jurisdictions


1)         If a registrant has earned CE hours offered in another state or territory not given by an approved sponsor for which the licensee will be claiming credit toward full compliance in Illinois, the applicant shall submit an individual program approval request form, along with a $25 processing fee, prior to participation in the program or 90 days prior to expiration of the license. The Board shall review and recommend approval or disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).


2)         If a licensee fails to submit an out of state CE approval form within the required time frame, late approval may be obtained by submitting the approval request form with the $25 processing fee plus a $10 per hour late fee not to exceed $150.  The Board shall review and recommend approval and disapproval of the program using the criteria set forth in subsection (c)(3).


f)         Restoration of Nonrenewed or Inactive Certificate of Registration.  Upon satisfactory evidence of compliance with CE requirements, the Division shall restore the certificate upon payment of the required fee as provided by Section 1200.50.


g)         Waiver of CE Requirements


1)         Any renewal applicant seeking renewal of a certificate of registration without having fully complied with these CE requirements shall file with the Division a renewal application along with the required fee set forth in Section 1200.50, a statement setting forth the facts concerning non-compliance and request a waiver of the CE requirements on the basis of these facts.  A request for waiver shall be made prior to the renewal date.  If the Division, upon the written recommendation of the Board, finds from the affidavit or any other evidence submitted that extreme hardship has been shown for granting a waiver, the Division shall waive enforcement of CE requirements for the renewal period for which the applicant has applied.


A)        Extreme hardship shall be determined on an individual basis by the Board and be defined as an inability to devote sufficient hours to fulfilling the CE requirements during the applicable prerenewal period because of:


i)          Full-time service in the armed forces of the United States during a substantial part of the prerenewal period;


ii)         An incapacitating illness documented by a statement from a currently licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant; or


iii)        Any other similar extenuating circumstances.


B)        Persons employed as full-time court reporters under the Court Reporters Act [705 ILCS 70] may apply for a waiver from the CE requirements.  The waiver shall be granted upon the submission of evidence satisfactory to the Division (i.e., statement from employer) that the certified shorthand reporter is employed as a full-time court reporter under the Court Reporters Act.


2)         Any renewal applicant who, prior to the expiration date of the license, submits a request for a waiver, in whole or in part, pursuant to the provisions of this Section, shall be deemed to be in good standing until the final decision on the application is made by the Division.


(Source:  Amended at 45 Ill. Reg. 2785, effective March 1, 2021)