New online registration system streamlines certifications

One vital component to the judicial system is the certification and licensing of professionals who work in and around the state’s courtrooms.  The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is responsible for certifying and licensing close to 5,000 of those professionals.  
 
The AOC is consolidating its certification activities and, with its vendor, ScotCro LLC, is introducing the Georgia Courts Registrar. The Registrar enables users to submit new applications and renewals, accompanying documents, and payment; check the status of their applications and renewals; and update information and access copies of their licenses.
 
The first module was launched on January 6 for court reporters and court reporting firms. Family Violence Intervention Programs began using the Registrar on March 19.  Application processing time has been reduced from several hours to several minutes, allowing program staff to shift attention to education, compliance, policy, and service issues.
 
Throughout the year, other groups of court professionals and judicial officers whose credentials are maintained by the AOC will be added to the Georgia Courts Registrar including family violence intervention programs providers; court interpreters; magistrate judges, municipal judges, and municipal court clerks; neutrals; misdemeanor probation providers; and process servers.
 
Prior to the new online system, each group registered through disparate paper and semi-automated systems.  Utilizing the Registrar will allow AOC staff to gather and process information uniformly, eliminate unnecessary data verification and data entry; monitor the status of applicants and renewals; view applicant materials; and create dynamic reports and macro data for reporting purposes.  Additionally, the public will have the ability to locate court professionals online more easily.

How it's going so far
Since January 6, 2014, all new and renewing court reporters and court reporting firms have submitted their applications, payments, and questions through the online Georgia Courts Registrar. This new system allowed staff to process all on-time applications within hours of the April 1 deadline. During the renewal season, staff approved 989 individual and 110 firm renewals. On April 2, the Board suspended 79 individuals and made 11 firms inactive. These numbers are consistent with previous renewal seasons.
 
The significant difference, however, is the reduced processing time for applications and the timeliness of the results. Throughout the renewal season, applications were processed or approved within one business day. Additionally, individuals and firms not meeting the deadline were notified of their suspensions within 12 hours.
 
The AOC Registrar Team addressed 179 telephone calls and 386 emails seeking technical support for the online registration.  The team processed 418 applications in the last two weeks of the renewal period.

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