The criteria and guidelines to maintain valid ALP, PLS/CLP and PP certifications are established and monitored by the NALS Certifying Board. Criteria and guidelines may be changed from time to time in order to correspond with the five-year cycle of changes in education. NALS retains the right to make changes to the recertification process or criteria. Changes to the recertification process or criteria will be published in official publications of the association. Below are frequently asked questions.
What is recertification?
Recertification literally is the act of having one’s certification renewed. NALS considers recertification to be continuing one’s education in the legal field by obtaining continuing legal education credit hours. Recertification is required every five years. (The validity period for certification is indicated on the certificate issued when examinee passes an exam or on the most recent recertification certificate. The recertification renewal date may also be found in the Professional Development section of your online member profile.) There are three categories of recertification:
- Alternate designation option available for certified PLS -
In order to more fully embrace the diversity of legal professionals entering the workforce and provide those individuals with certifications reflecting that diversity, NALS has adapted the name of its Professional Legal Secretary certification to include the optional designation of Certified Legal Professional (CLP). Persons who attain or have attained this certification may use either the PLS or CLP designation. There is a processing fee to change your designation to CLP and to receive your new certificate if you wish to do so prior to recertification (Certificate Reprint). The press release can be read by clicking here.
You can follow these three easy steps to recertify:
The Resource Center will accept applications prior to the expiration of the fifth year following certification. Acceptance of early recertification submissions will not affect the recertification period. Education credits may not be accrued during the current validity period for the next period. Credits earned during that period may not be included in the next recertification application.
What do I get when I recertify?Upon receipt by the Resource Center of your completed recertification application, affidavit, fee, and the appropriate education certificates or documentation, you will receive evidence of recertification in the form of a certificate.
Who else is notified of my recertification?Notification regarding individual recertification will be provided only to NALS publication editors for purposes of association-wide publicity.
What happens if I do not choose to recertify or if I do not recertify within my five-year recertification period?If an individual voluntarily chooses not to recertify, the certification designation will be valid until such time that the current validity period expires. After the period expires, the individual is to remove the certification designation and is requested to no longer use the designation Certified ALP, PLS/CLP or PP. If asked, the NALS Certification Manager will state that the certification validity has expired.
If a Certified ALP, PLS/CLP or PP comes to the realization that they did not recertify within their five-year recertification period and desires to maintain their certification, the Certified ALP, PLS/CLP or PP must immediately contact the NALS Certification and Education Manager and provide a written account of why the certification was not renewed. The NALS Certification and Education Manager, together with the Certifying Board, will review the circumstances surrounding the non-recertification on a case-by-case basis. Depending upon the information presented and the circumstances surrounding the lapse in recertification, a grace period may be granted for the Certified ALP, PLS/CLP or PP to recertify. If the Certified ALP, PLS/CLP or PP is granted a grace period to recertify and does not do so within the time period given, the certification shall become invalid and the designation will be removed from the individual’s record.
In the event the ALP, PLS/CLP or PP designation becomes invalid, it will be necessary for the individual to retest.
Who can I contact if I still have questions?The Certification and Education Manager at the NALS Resource Center by telephone at (918) 582-5188, email at email@example.com, or fax at (918) 582-5907.