NFPA: A Grassroots Organization … what does this mean?
Helen M. Federline, Chair, Region Directors
What does it mean to be a grassroots organization? According to Encarta, it is the “ordinary people in a community or the ordinary members of an organization, as opposed to the leadership,” it is also “the origin, basis, fundamental aim, or basic meaning of something.” So, it means you, the member, are the basis of NFPA, and you, the members, make policy. The NFPA Board of Directors is charged with carrying out those policies, and with the day-to-day running of the organization; the Board of Directors does not make policy. Our annual convention, with the policy meeting, is fast approaching. This is when your voice is most important.
In order for your NFPA delegates to know how they are to vote on bylaw changes, policy and procedural matters that are submitted for the annual convention, they rely on the members’ input. Many associations have National Affairs Committees; those who do not (and usually those who do, as well) publish the submitted topics in their newsletter, or send an email blast out to all the association’s members, asking for their opinions, concerns, comments, and suggestions. It is in your best interest to be involved in this process, even if you aren’t interested in being involved on a national level otherwise. It is through your input that the delegates craft, amend, revise, discuss, and pass or reject the topics that are before them, and guide NFPA in the future.
Do you want to see NFPA take a stance on an issue? Tell your primary or secondary. Do you want NFPA to oppose a regulatory scheme that is being proposed? Let your primary or secondary know. It is through your voices that your association determines its position, and casts its vote. If you have an idea for improving procedures, or would like to see a new policy created, your delegates or your Region Director can help. They can assist you with drafting them in the proper format. It’s too late to submit anything for the upcoming convention without getting a 9/10 affirmative vote of the delegates in order to bring the topic to the floor, but don’t let that stop you!
Agenda topics are created and driven by the members of NFPA – each of you is a member and you can have your ideas presented to a national audience through an agenda topic or discussion topic. How do agenda topics get to the floor of the convention? All U. S. members of NFPA have an opportunity to submit topics either for vote or discussion to the entire delegate body. The ideas for agenda topics come from the associations’ members themselves. What’s your burning desire for the profession?
The PCC Exam (PDF brochure) is on schedule to be available November 14, 2011. The handbook has just been released as a PDF download and the study guide is nearly ready to send to the printers! The test will be administered by computer at Prometric Test Centers throughout the United States and Canada.
The application fee is $215, payable by credit card (only) through theapplication website. You have 90 days to take the test from the date your application is accepted. To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, special testing accommodations will be considered for individuals with disabilities recognized by the ADA. Appendix D of the handbook contains a form for these requests.
On June 11, 2011, 188 paralegals took the Paralegal CORE Competency Exam™ pilot test at 12 test sites across the country. Of the paralegals who completed the test, 146 achieved a passing score of 550 or better. Those paralegals are the very first CORE Registered Paralegals™ and have earned the right to use the CRP™ credential. Congratulations to all who passed!
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