|Victoria Ring is ok by me.
This is from my personal experience, and what I have learned in my dealings with her over the past year. I admire her drive and determination, and I admire her for what she has personally achieved. More of us should be so driven.
Further, I have found her publications to be helpful to new NSAs. I believe she means well toward notaries in general, and does a good job of sharing with others her methods of creating a profitable business for herself. That's what we all strive for: being THE boss.
But, some say that her publications have wrong information in them. I cannot recall having heard exactly what those items are-- I do not dispute them, but I do wish I had more specifics. However, VR did a pretty good job, in my estimation, of giving an aspiring NSA a good overview of the job in her book.
The reason I am saying this is to convey that it's possible as a result of your post, V Ring's publication will be criticized and you may feel picked upon--but don't take personal offense to it. I got the same heat. Some people don't like English Peas, and some folks don't like to see the name "Victoria Ring."
Victoria's shared a lot of basic knowledge that has helped many signing agents get started. (As a result of reading V's book, I personally benefit from MortgageRamp.com inspections. Just my jobs with them have more than paid for her book 50 times - so, VR's ok in my book!)
But, notice that I say "basic." She gave a very good overview in the book you mention. As I am sure Victoria would agree, and has disclaimed/stated, her book should not be taken as the last word and authority about our jobs as NSAs.
I don't have my book handy, but I genuinely believe that V Ring, and the disclaimers in her book, would agree with my opinion that we should not take her statements on signings, or home inspections, or other types of assignments as an authority of what would be within our scope of responsibility.
Keep reading the boards and their archives--especially in this one-- and you will find yourself more enlightened each day to the unlimited possibilities that shape the "scope" of our job--some expected, and some unexpected.
The great part of being independent agents is we can narrow our scope sharply when we are not comfortable performing something required.
Each of us must set our own policies and determine the "scope" by our own choices. In a general sense there are certain things expected of us in our assignments as NSAs. However, it's up to us individually as we contract with companies to determine whether or not we will narrow or widen our scope to include their demands.
Our own personal values and beliefs monitor what we will, and will not, do in any given assignment. What we don't believe is within our expertise, or within the guidelines of our rules as notaries, is what we are each personally limited by.
As I am sure Victoria would agree, every person working as an independent contractor in a field--NSA, or otherwise, MUST do their own research of certifications and/or licensings required. They MUST make their own decisions and judgment calls in the field when there are no alternatives but to make a call based on one's own interpretations of right/wrong. Research and self-education are the key to having the right information in your personal knowledge base to make those calls.
What is done in one state is not the same in another state -- I think they still call it "federalism." Each state governs itself, and to some extent, so does each locality. Local laws are the laws that we must be bound to.
What is said here, or in any publication regarding any industry must be taken with a grain of salt and covered with a layer of good old common sense.
What is said here, or in NSA publications, should bring to mind questions that direct you to find definitive answers--never take anything at face value.
Always do your research. The only true authority you have as a notary is your SOS and your state and local laws.