Constitution and Bylaws
British Columbia Shorthand Reporters Association
A society incorporated pursuant to the Societies Act, SBC 2015, c 18
As of October 21, 2023
The name of the society is:
THE BRITISH COLUMBIA SHORTHAND REPORTERS ASSOCIATION
The purpose of the society is:
to support and lead the communities of court reporting, captioning, communication access realtime translation (CART) and related fields within British Columbia, with a focus on education, professional standards and ethics, advocacy, and public relations.
Part 1 - Interpretation
1.1. In these Bylaws, unless context otherwise requires:
1.1.1. "Act" means the Societies Act, SBC 2015, c 18, any amendments thereto, any regulations promulgated thereunder, and any legislation enacted by the Province of British Columbia in replacement thereof.
1.1.2. "Affiliate Agency" means any incorporated business outside of British Columbia but within Canada that provides Court Reporting, broadcast captioning or CART services to the public.
1.1.3. "Appeal Board" means the board established in Section 3.7.
1.1.4. "Approved Shorthand Training Course" means a program for the training or testing of Shorthand Reporters that has been approved by the Board.
1.1.5. "Association" means The British Columbia Shorthand Reporters Association.
1.1.6. "Board" means the board of directors of the Association.
1.1.7. "Bylaws" means this bylaw of the Association as amended from time to time.
1.1.8. "CART" means communication access realtime translation.
1.1.9. "Dispute Facilitation Committee" means the committee established in Schedule D – Dispute Facilitation.
1.1.10. "Manager" means any person who is not a Shorthand Reporter and who works in a full-time management capacity for a Shorthand Agency or its Affiliate Agency.
1.1.11. "NCRA" means National Court Reporters Association
1.1.12. "Practising Shorthand Reporter" means anyone who is actively engaged in Shorthand Reporting.
1.1.13. "RCR" means realtime certified reporter.
1.1.14. "Recognized Canadian Association" means any other Canadian Shorthand Reporting association that has been approved by the Board.
1.1.15. "Scoper" or "Proofer" means any person who works in conjunction with a Shorthand Reporter in the preparation of transcripts.
1.1.16. "Shorthand Agency" means any incorporated business within British Columbia that, through strictly stenographic means, provides Court Reporting, broadcast captioning or CART services to the public.
1.1.17. "Shorthand Reporter" means a person who has successfully completed an Approved Shorthand Training Course and who has received designation as an official reporter from the Province of British Columbia, and who currently engages in the taking of shorthand notes of speeches, testimony, argument or other verbal proceedings.
1.1.18. "Shorthand Reporting" and "Court Reporting" mean the taking of a verbatim record of the spoken word by means of shorthand symbols through stenographic shorthand and the reading back, real-time translation, or transcribing of those shorthand notes upon request.
1.1.19. "Voting Member" means:
22.214.171.124. any full participating member as described in Section 2.5; and
126.96.36.199. any honorary member who was a verbatim stenographic reporter as
contemplated in Section 2.23.
1.2. Terms that are capitalized in these Bylaws but not defined herein shall have the meaning given to them in the Act.
1.3. Grammatical variations of any terms defined herein shall have similar meanings; words importing the singular shall include the plural and vice versa; words importing one gender shall include all genders.
1.4. The headings used throughout these Bylaws are inserted for reference only and are not to be considered in construing the terms and provisions of the Bylaws or to be deemed in any way to clarify, modify, or explain the effect of such terms or provisions.
Conflict with Act
1.5. If there is a conflict between these Bylaws and the Act, the Act shall prevail.
Part 2 - Membership
Requirements of Membership
2.1. The following persons described in this Part 2 shall be eligible for membership in the Association and, if granted membership into the Association pursuant to the application process set out in Part 3 of these Bylaws, shall:
2.1.1. uphold the constitution and these Bylaws of the Association;
2.1.2. pay the annual membership fee as hereinafter prescribed and any special levies; and
2.1.3. advise the Board within 30 days of any change of contact information.
2.2. A member who fulfills all requirements listed under Section 2.1 shall be considered to be in "good standing."
2.3. Members in good standing shall be entitled to full participation in the Association.
2.4. Members not in good standing shall not be entitled to receive the benefits of membership in the Association, to vote at, receive notice of or participate in General Meetings or exercise the powers of a director or officer if they occupy such positions.
Full Participating Membership
2.5. A person is eligible to be a full participating member of the Association, subject to the application procedure set out in Part 3 of these Bylaws, if that person:
2.5.1. has graduated from an NCRA-recognized school of Shorthand Reporting or has at least two years of work experience as a Shorthand Reporter in the last five years or has successfully passed all portions of the NCRA’s registered professional reporter
2.5.2. is sponsored by a full participating member in good standing or provides one reference letter from a non-family member;
2.5.3. resides in Canada and is a Practising Shorthand Reporter certified in British Columbia as an official reporter when such designation is required to perform their duties; and
2.5.4. is of good character and reputation.
2.6. Full participating members shall be entitled to vote.
2.7. Only full participating members shall be entitled to a full participating member number from the Association.
2.8. A teacher of shorthand or Shorthand Reporting or anyone connected in an official capacity with a school or college conducting an Approved Shorthand Reporting Course may become an associate member of this Association.
2.9. A full participating member who ceases to be actively engaged in Shorthand Reporting and who becomes a Manager and who has been a full participating member of the Association in good standing for a minimum of two consecutive years immediately prior to the assumption of a management position of a Shorthand Agency may become an associate member of this Association.
2.10. A person who is a full participating member in good standing of a Recognized Canadian Association may become an associate member of this Association.
2.11. Associate members shall not be entitled to vote.
2.12. A person who is enrolled in or who has completed an Approved Shorthand Training Course but who has not yet received designation as a Shorthand Reporter may become a student member of the Association.
2.13. Student members whose membership becomes effective from 2005 forward shall not be entitled to vote.
2.14. A Manager of an Affiliate Agency may become an affiliate member of the Association subject to Section 2.17.
2.15. A Scoper or Proofer residing in British Columbia may become an affiliate member of the Association subject to Section 2.17.
2.16. A person who is involved in a business relevant to the Court Reporting profession may become an affiliate member of this Association subject to Section 2.17.
2.17. Affiliate members must be sponsored by a full participating member in good standing and must submit their application to the Board for approval and acceptance. The decision to accept an affiliate member’s application for membership is at the sole discretion of the Board.
2.18. Affiliate members shall not be entitled to attend the General Meeting of the Association.
2.19. Affiliate members shall not be entitled to vote.
2.20. Any full participating member in good standing shall, upon retirement, be deemed to be a retired member and shall be entitled to all the privileges of full participating membership except as set out in these Bylaws.
2.21. Retired members shall not be required to pay the annual membership fee.
2.22. Retired members shall not be entitled to vote.
2.23. Any person in the reporting profession, either as a Shorthand Reporter, as an author of shorthand literature, or as a benefactor of the reporting profession, but who is not now in the active practice of Shorthand Reporting may, upon recommendation of the Board, be elected to honorary membership.
2.24. A Special Resolution shall be required to elect a person as an honorary member.
2.25. Any person elected as an honorary member shall be considered a life member unless such person returns to being a Practising Shorthand Reporter.
2.26. Honorary members shall not be required to pay the annual membership fee.
2.27. Honorary members who have not been verbatim stenographic reporters shall not be entitled to vote.
Part 3 - Application Procedure
Application for Membership
3.1. An application for membership shall be submitted to, and shall be subject to the discretion of, the Board.
3.2. The Board shall admit or reject an applicant within ten days after receiving an application and may reject the applicant only if the applicant:
3.2.1. does not meet the criteria as set forth in Part 2;
3.2.2. has not correctly completed an application form in the manner prescribed by the Board; or
3.2.3. has committed fraud or misrepresentation in relation to their application.
3.3. In rejecting an applicant, the Board may require the applicant to refile a correctly completed application form or complete further examinations as specified by the Board.
3.4. If the applicant is rejected, the Board shall send the applicant a notice of rejection and refund any membership fees paid.
Application Appeal Procedure
3.5. An applicant for membership may appeal a rejection within ten days after receiving a rejection notice.
3.6. The appeal shall be submitted to the Appeal Board via the secretary.
3.7. The Appeal Board shall consist of the vice-president, and in the absence of the vice-president, the president, neither of whom shall have voting privileges during the appeal process, and three members appointed at annual General Meetings for a term of one year.
3.8. The secretary shall, within twenty days of receiving the appeal, forward to each member of the Appeal Board all correspondence regarding the rejection of the applicant and the reasons for rejection.
3.9. Upon receiving all correspondence and the reasons for rejection, the Appeal Board shall forthwith vote on sustaining or rejecting the appeal.
3.10. A vote by the majority of the Appeal Board shall be final and binding upon the applicant.
Part 4 - Membership Fees
4.1. Annual membership fees are due on or before the 31st day of December each year.
4.2. On or before the 30th day of November in each year, every member shall be entitled to a reduced annual membership fee.
4.3. Members who fail to pay their annual membership fee on or before the 30th day of November shall be charged the full amount as set out in these Bylaws.
4.4. Members who let their membership lapse for more than two consecutive years may be subject to undergo practical and/or written testing, as deemed necessary by the Board.
4.5. The annual membership fees are set out in Schedule A – Fees, which is attached to but does not form part of these Bylaws.
4.6. Any proposed increase to the amount of the annual membership fees shall be determined by Ordinary Resolution.
4.7. Receipts shall be forwarded to each member within three months of receipt of membership fees.
4.8. Failure to pay the annual membership fee by the 31st day of December in each year terminates the membership of the member.
4.9. Any recent graduate, upon application and acceptance to become a full participating member within one year of their graduation, shall be eligible for a reduced first year membership as set out in A1.a.iii.
Part 5 - Member Benefits
5.1. The Board shall provide to each member the material as set out in Schedule B – Member Benefits, which is attached to but does not form part of these Bylaws.
Part 6 - Dissemination of Information
6.1. The Board shall provide to each member information and material in the manner set out in Schedule C – Dissemination of Information, which is attached to but does not form part of these Bylaws.
Part 7 - Examination Procedures
7.1. The Board shall arrange for the examination of full participating members who are registered for the RCR examination and shall include the marking of examinations.
7.2. The Board shall arrange for RCR examinations at least twice a year.
7.3. The Board shall grant an RCR certificate to any full participating member who successfully completes one hundred and eighty words per minute on five minutes of straight material at a level of ninety-six percent accuracy based on the NCRA certified realtime reporter testing criteria.
7.4. Those who have achieved a certificate of proficiency or a certificate of achievement prior to October 16, 2022, shall retain such certificates for as long as they remain full participating members in good standing.
Part 8 - Management of the Association
Board of Directors
8.1. The Board shall be composed of eight directors, four of whom shall be officers.
8.2. Only full participating members shall be entitled to become directors of the Association.
8.3. The officers of the Association shall consist of a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer who shall be elected officers by a majority vote of those present and entitled to vote at an annual General Meeting and shall hold office until the close of the next annual General Meeting or until their successors are duly elected.
8.4. The other four directors shall be elected, two at alternating annual General Meetings, by a majority vote of those members present and voting. Elected directors shall hold office until the close of the annual General Meeting taking place in the second calendar year after their election or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
8.5. In the first year where the president has been newly elected, the immediate past president shall be considered a member of the Board but shall not be entitled to vote.
8.6. If a director resigns from office or otherwise ceases to hold office, the remaining directors may appoint a member to take the place of the former director.
8.7. In no circumstances shall the Board consist of less than three directors.
8.8. No act or proceeding of the directors is invalid only by reason of there being less than the prescribed number of directors in office.
8.9. A director shall be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred by them while engaged in the affairs of the Association upon provision of receipts to the treasurer.
Power of the Board of Directors
8.10. The business of the Association shall be managed by the Board. The Board may exercise all powers of the Association not required by these Bylaws to be exercised by the Association in General Meeting or by a committee, panel or other body constituted under these Bylaws.
Duties of Officers
8.11. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Association and shall perform all duties of the office of president and any duties assigned by the Board.
8.12. The vice-president shall perform all duties in the president’s absence and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the president or the Board.
8.13. The secretary shall perform such duties as properly pertain to that office including but not limited to preparation and management of all minutes of the proceedings of the Association and the Board and shall perform such other duties as assigned by the president or the Board.
8.14. The treasurer shall perform such duties as pertain to that office including but not limited to:
8.14.1. payment of all accounts authorized by the Board from the BCSRA bank account , and all expenses exceeding $500.00 must be preapproved in writing by the treasurer and a second authorized signatory
8.14.2. keep the financial records, including books of account, necessary to comply with the Act;
8.14.3. prepare and submit financial statements to the directors, members and others, when required; and
8.14.4. be responsible for all funds and financial records and shall present a detailed written statement of receipts and disbursements together with books and vouchers at all annual General Meetings.
Removal of Officers and Directors
8.15. An officer or a director shall cease to hold office upon:
8.15.1. ceasing to be a member of the Association;
8.15.2. misconduct as determined by the Board by majority vote;
8.15.3. failure to attend sufficient meetings, as determined by the Board by majority vote;
8.15.4. assumption of an associate, retired or honorary membership.
8.16. The members may, by Special Resolution, remove an officer or a director before the expiration of their term in office and may elect a successor to complete the term of office.
Part 9 - Meetings and Procedure
9.2. A meeting of the Board may be called by the president whenever:
9.2.1. the business of the Association requires;
9.2.2. requested to do so by three directors;
and in any event, the president shall call at least one meeting of the Board in each calendar year, and communicate with the Board on matters arising between meetings.
9.3. Questions arising at a meeting of directors and committee of directors shall be decided by a majority of votes.
9.4. If a matter requiring immediate attention arises, the secretary shall submit such matter to the Board as a directors’ resolution which may be approved if all directors consent to the resolution in writing or by signing the director’s resolution.
9.5. Notice of a General Meeting shall be emailed to each member entitled to receive notice at least thirty days before the date thereof and shall specify the place, day and hour of the General Meeting, in case of special business, the general nature of such business and any Special Resolutions to be submitted to the General Meeting.
9.6. The accidental omission to give notice of a General Meeting to, or the non-receipt of a notice by, any member entitled to receive notice does not invalidate proceedings at that General Meeting.
9.7. At least ten percent of Voting Members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for General Meetings.
9.8. If at any time during a General Meeting there is not a quorum present, business then in progress shall be suspended until there is a quorum present.
9.9. If within thirty minutes from the time appointed for a General Meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting, if convened on the requisition of members, shall be terminated; but in any other case it shall stand adjourned to the same day in the next week at the same time and place, and if at the adjourned General Meeting a quorum is not present within thirty minutes from the time appointed for a meeting, the Voting Members present shall constitute a quorum.
9.10. Subject to Section 9.11, the president, the vice-president or, in the absence of both, one of the other directors present, shall preside as chair of a General Meeting.
9.11. If at a General Meeting:
9.11.1. there is no president, vice-president or other director present within thirty minutes after the time appointed for holding the General Meeting; or
9.11.2. the president and all the other directors present are unwilling to act as chair; then the Voting Members present shall choose one of their number to be chair.
9.12. A General Meeting may be adjourned from time to time and from place to place, but no business shall be transacted at an adjourned General Meeting other than the business left unfinished when the adjournment took place.
9.13. When a General Meeting is adjourned for ten days or more, notice of the adjourned General Meeting shall be given as in the case of the original General Meeting.
9.14. Except as provided in this Bylaw, it is not necessary to give notice of an adjournment or of the business to be transacted at an adjourned General Meeting.
9.15. Voting Members are entitled to one vote at a General Meeting.
9.16. Voting is by show of hands of Voting Members present at a General Meeting, unless otherwise ordered by the Voting Members, or by proxy in accordance with Section 9.20.
Annual General Meetings
9.17. The first annual General Meeting of the Association shall be held in the month of October, 1976, and thereafter the annual General Meeting shall be held at such time and place as shall be decided upon by the Board, but must be held once per calendar year.
9.18. At annual General Meetings the following order of business shall be observed, as applicable:
9.18.1. The president shall take the chair and call the meeting to order.
9.18.2. The minutes of the previous meeting shall be approved and signed by the presiding officer.
9.18.3. The address of welcome to new members.
9.18.4. The president’s address.
9.18.5. Treasurer’s report.
9.18.6. Auditor’s report, if applicable.
9.18.7. Reports of committees.
9.18.8. Report of the Board.
9.18.9. Election of auditors, Appeal Board, Dispute Facilitation Committee, and any other committees, panels or other bodies established by the Association.
9.18.11.Election of officers and directors.
9.19. The president shall call a special General Meeting at any time upon authorization from the Board or upon a requisition in accordance with the Act.
9.20. Any Voting Member who is unable to attend a General Meeting may vote by proxy, subject to the following conditions:
9.20.1. Proxies shall not be counted towards quorum and shall be applicable only to those questions of which written notice was provided at least fourteen days before the General Meeting or thirty days before the General Meeting in the case of a Special Resolution.
9.20.2. There shall be a separate proxy for each question upon which an absentee Voting Member desires to vote, such proxy to be in the following form:
"I hereby instruct the secretary to cast on my behalf a ballot (for)/(against) the motion (to be clearly designated) when it is voted upon at the meeting to be held on the _____ day of _______________, 20_____."
9.20.3. A proxy shall apply only to the question designated and, to be valid, must be in the hands of the secretary not later than the hour set for the commencement of the General Meeting at which the question is to be considered; it shall remain valid for that General Meeting unless the decision of the question to which it relates is postponed to a later date, in which case, the proxy shall continue to be valid at that later date.
9.20.4. A Voting Member may rescind their proxy at any time prior to voting on the relevant question by notifying the secretary.
Part 10 - Miscellaneous
Inspection of Minutes of Meetings and Other Records and Books
10.1. Any member of the Association may inspect the minutes of proceedings of the meetings of the Association and of the directors and all other books and records of the Association at a time and place agreed upon with the secretary.
Appointment of Auditors
10.2. At each annual General Meeting there shall be elected two members (not members of the Board) to act as auditors, whose duty it shall be to audit the treasurer’s accounts, if and when requested, and to report their findings to the Board.
Audits of the Accounts of the Association
10.3. The directors shall present before the members at the annual General Meeting a financial statement showing the income and expenditures, assets and liabilities of the Association during the preceding fiscal year; the said financial statement to be signed by two or more directors or by the Association’s auditors.
10.4. In order to carry out the purposes of the Association the Board may, on behalf of and in the name of the Association, raise or secure the payment or repayment of money in the manner they decide and in particular, without limiting the foregoing, by the issue of debentures.
10.5. No debenture shall be issued without the approval of a Special Resolution.
10.6. The members may by Special Resolution restrict the borrowing powers of the Association, but such a restriction expires at the next annual General Meeting.
10.7. For expenses in connection with fulfilling the purposes of the Association, the Voting Members by Ordinary Resolution may make a levy upon the members of the Association except associate, student, affiliate, retired and honorary members.
10.8. Such levy shall be paid by each applicable member on or before a date to be determined by the Ordinary Resolution or, failing such determination, by the Board.
10.9. Any member who fails to pay such levy in the required time shall not be in good standing until such levy is paid.
Part 11 - Dispute Facilitation
Dispute Facilitation Schedule
11.1. The Board shall adopt a dispute facilitation procedure and set out the same in Schedule D – Dispute Facilitation, which is attached to but does not form part of these Bylaws.
Part 12 - Liability Exclusion
12.1. No liability is incurred by the Association, the Board or by a committee, panel or body or member of those bodies or by an officer, employee, agent or appointee of the Association for an act done or omitted in good faith in the performance or intended performance of a duty or in the exercise or intended exercise of a power under the Act, the constitution, these Bylaws or a rule or for neglect or default in the performance or exercise in good faith of that power or duty
Part 13 - Amendments
Constitution and Bylaws
13.1. The constitution and these Bylaws may be amended by a Special Resolution to that effect approved at a General Meeting provided that notice of such Special Resolution has been filed with the secretary not less than sixty days before the date of the General Meeting at which it is to be voted upon.
13.2. The secretary shall provide written notice of the Special Resolution to all Voting Members in accordance with Section 9.5.
13.3. Such amendment shall take effect in accordance with the Act.
13.4. The schedules attached to but not forming part of these Bylaws may be amended by the Board from time to time.
13.5. The Board shall ensure the most current edition of the schedules are posted on the Association’s website along with the constitution and these Bylaws.
Schedule A - Fees
A.1 Annual Membership Fees
The amount of the annual membership fees shall be as follows:
a. Full participating membership fees:
i. $130.00 if paid by the 30th day of November of each year, available to current
ii. $170.00 if paid by the 31st day of December of each year or for a renewing but
iii. $85.00 reduced first year membership if paid by the 31st day of December of the
enrolling year for a recent graduate, providing they join the Association within
one year of graduation from a recognized Court Reporting program.
b. Associate membership fee:
i. $35.00 annually.
c. Student membership fee:
i. $15.00 annually.
ii. An additional $70 if moving from student member to FPM within the same
calendar year. The member would still be entitled to the $85 reduced first-year
membership as defined in A.1(a)(iii).
d. Affiliate membership fee:
i. $35.00 annually
A.2 Examination Fees
In-Person Realtime Testing
The fee for initial testing shall be $150. Subsequent testing thereafter shall be $80 per sitting.
Remote Realtime Testing
The fee shall be $185.
Schedule B - Member Benefits
B1. Membership Directory
A list of the following full participating members in good standing shall be publicly available at www.bcsra.net:
a. official reporters;
b. authorized reporters; and
c. CART captioners.
B2. Membership Certificate
Digital membership certificates shall be provided at the beginning of every year to full
participating members in good standing. Physical membership certificates shall be made available upon request.
B3. Membership Number
Full participating members shall be entitled to a membership number.
B4. Digital Seal
Full participating members in good standing shall be entitled to a digital seal with the member’s name, membership number, and the year of validity.
B5. Continued Learning Opportunities
The Association shall host at least one event per year worth continuing education credits and/or units.
Schedule C - Dissemination of Information
C1. Information Sent Via Email and/or Posted on the BCSRA Website
The following information may be forwarded to the membership via email and/or made available to the membership on the Association website:
a. any queries from the general public received by the Association in any format;
b. Association newsletters, if applicable;
c. minutes of Board meetings;
d. notices of Association examination dates;
e. notices of social events;
f. notices of General Meetings;
g. Association directives and guidelines;
h. case law, rules of court, and other various authorities;
i. Court Transcription Standards and Guidelines;
j. work opportunities; and
k. any other information deemed appropriate by the Board.
Schedule D - Dispute Facilitation
This schedule is currently under review.