Court Reporting Certification

Court reporters are at an advantage when they become certified. By doing so, they gain a great deal of credibility with potential employers. In turn, this means more lucrative positions and more prestigious careers. Let’s take a closer look at the process of attaining court reporting certifications.

A prerequisite is having a degree in court reporting. This training will give you the groundwork necessary to thrive when it comes time to take the tests necessary for certification. Once you have this background, you are free to pursue various certifications that will prove your talent and decorate your resume.

Registered Professional Reporter

The standard certification for all court reporters is the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) which is offered by the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association). This test for this certification consists of two parts. First there is a 105 question multiple choice part which includes questions in four areas: reporting, transcription production, operating practices, and professional issues and continuing education. The majority of this section deals with reporting and transcription production. You are allotted 105 minuets for this part of the test and must achieve a 70 or better to pass. An additional 5-10 questions have been added in the test that will not be recorded for your score, but in order to pretest for the production of future exams. The second part of the test is a three-part skills test. Following dictation, you have 75 minutes to transcribe each part. You must obtain 95 percent accuracy on each one. These skills tests include literary which requires 180 words per minute, jury charge at 200 words per minute and testimony/question, and answer at 225 words per minute. In order to maintain RPR certification, you must maintain your NCRA membership and accumulate at least 3 CEUs (continuing education units) over each three year period.

Certified Verbatim Reporter

The Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) test is similar in format as the RPR, though it is offered by a different organization, the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA). After attending a CVR workshop in which you will learn about subjects such as audibility, proper dictation techniques, read backs and court reporting procedures, you will take 3 tests that are five minutes in length from which 95 percent accuracy is once again required in order to pass. The tests are for literary (200 words per minute), jury charge (225 words per minute), and a two-voice question and answer (250 words per minute).

Certificate of Merit

The NVRA also offers a Certificate of Merit (CM), which is only to be taken after a CVR certification has been achieved. This test is similar in format to the CVR, but requires higher proficiency. For the CM, 97 percent accuracy is required in all three of the five-minute tests. The tests once again are for literary, jury charge and a two-voice question and answer. However, this time respective speeds of 225, 250 and 300 are required.

Certified Real-Time Verbatim Reporter

The Real-Time Verbatim Reporter (RVR) certification also requires a previous CVR certification. The RVR measures skill at real-time transcription as well as judicial reporting, CART provision, captioning, and Webcasting. RVR candidates must achieve 96 percent accuracy at 180 words per minute for both a literary and testimony section. These tests last five minutes each.

Certified CART Provider

Court reporters who are CART (Communication Access Real Time) certified have displayed an ability to provide real-time captioning skills. In order to gain this certification which is offered by the NCRA, you will need to pass a 90 minute, 100 question multiple choice test with questions covering such topics as communication access realtime translation, writing realtime, research, and language skills. A score of 70 is required. There is also a skills text in which you are expected to set up your operating equipment, participate in a five minute realtime text from which you must achieve 96 percent accuracy at 180 words per minute, and convert your work into an ASCII file.

Federal Certified Realtime Reporter

Yet another organization, the United States Court Reporters Association offers a certification as a Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR). The test required for this certification consists of 5 question and answer tests 3 minutes in length each. A range of 180-200 words per minute are required for these tests.

There are a number of additional certifications which focus on particular skills needed by court reporters. Additional certifications offered by the NVRA include the Registered Broadcast Captioner (RBC) and the Registered CART provider (RCP). Further certifications offered by the NCRA include the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), the Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR), the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), the Certified Broadcast Transcriptioner (CBT), the Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS), the Certified Reporting Instructor (CRI), the Master Certified Reporting Instructor (MCRI), the Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS), and the Certified Program Evaluator (CPE).

At minimum, court reporters should have an RPR certification. Other certifications pertaining to the field of court reporting you plan on working in would also be of great benefit. Check with the NCRA and the NVRA for further information in obtaining court reporter certifications.