Testing Centers-Cheating, Complaints, & Discipline

Cheating and misconduct are not tolerated in the Certified Paralegal Program. Candidates are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity at all times and during all phases of the certification process – including exam preparation, testing, and recertification.

Filing a complaint
If a candidate is believed to have acted with dishonesty or with intent to misrepresent at any time during the certification process, the Certifying Board reserves the right to bar that individual from the program immediately while investigating the circumstances.

Evidence of misconduct includes, but is not limited to, violation of the terms and conditions of testing, unfairly gaining exam information by using unauthorized materials or web sites during the examination, or by providing unfair assistance to another candidate at any time during the exam preparation or delivery period.  This evidence may include visual observation during the test period or other tangible evidence.

Evidence may be filed in writing to NALA Headquarters by examination proctors, fellow examinees or others with knowledge of possible misconduct.  Proctors and examinees may also contact NALA certification staff by telephone on the day of testing if it is believed cheating is observed.

Procedures for investigating complaint
The Certifying Board’s Procedures for Disciplinary Proceedings are online at this link.

If the Board concludes that there has been a violation of the terms and conditions of testing by a CP examinee during any testing session, it will determine which of the following disciplines is appropriate, which may include:

  • all examination sections will be voided with no refund of fees and no scores reported;  the candidate may be prohibited from taking the CP examination indefinitely.
  • the candidate will be prohibited from taking the Certified Paralegal examination (or any section) for a period of not less than two years from the date of the violation;
  • all sections must be taken or retaken if the examinee is permitted to re-test and, as a condition for re-testing, the Certifying Board shall require the candidate to complete a specific number of hours of Legal Ethics, approved for CLE credit, to be completed within a specific period of time prior to eligibility for re-testing; documentation of completion of the ethics CLE hours is required.  The program may be approved by a paralegal professional association, bar association, or offered for college credit or continuing education units.