Court Reporting Certifications

 

               

 

Court Reporting CertificationsAs of summer 2012, certification is not a requirement in all 50 states.  However, many states do have laws in place to regulate court reporting and the practice of being a reporter.  Of the states that do require it, most administer their own examinations.  Due to similarities in the skills portion of the exams, many states will accept a national certification in place of the state exam.  Also, some states use the national certifying exams as part of their state certification process.  However there are several states that don't accept national certifications to meet their regulations.  Court reporters in those states must first complete and pass the state administered examination before beginning their practice.

With the exception of a few states that require court reporters pass the unique state exams, most states recognize the certifications granted through the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA).  Some states only recognize certifications from the NCRA, but many will accept certifications from both organizations.

Certifications Granted by the United States Court Reporters Association

The United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) is the association for federal official court reporters.  Though these court reporters often have certifications through the NCRA and/or the NVRA, the USCRA does offer a specialty certification intended specifically for federal official court reporters.

Federal Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR) - The FCRR certification is recognized by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts as an effective measurement of realtime writing proficiency.  The exam consists of five minutes of question-and-answer testimony and three-voice dictation at 180 to 200 words per minute.  To pass the exam, 96 percent accuracy is required.
 

Certifications Granted by the National Court Reporters Association

The NCRA is the most widely recognized and accepted organization for court reporter certification.  Though there has been much debate about the subject, the NCRA only certifies court reporters who practice machine shorthand.  Visit our "Court Reporting Schools by State" page to see what certifications may or may not be required to become a court reporter in your state. The following certifications are available through the NCRA:

Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) - The CBC certification exam includes a written knowledge test and a skills test.  The written knowledge portion of the exam contains 100 questions, 70 percent of which must be answered correctly to pass.  The skills portion of the CBC exam is similar to the CRR exam.  The first phase tests that the candidate can set up and operate the necessary equipment.  The second phase includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of literary material at 180 words per minute.  Third, the candidate must convert the notes file into an ASCII text file to be submitted for grading.  An accuracy level of 96 percent is required.
 

Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) - The CMRS certification is granted to court reporters who have completed the requirements of this program through the NCRA.  All graduates attend two four-day modules, as well as produce an independent study project.  The NCRA states that “this program is designed to increase individual productivity and profitability; develop leadership skills and improve interactions with clients, peers, and employees; help organize an individual’s life; help manage time efficiently; and otherwise increase an individual’s options in this challenging marketplace.”
 

Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) - The RPR certification requires a court reporting candidate to pass a written knowledge exam consisting of 105 to 110 questions.  Only 100 of the questions are scored, and a score of 70 or higher is required to pass.  The skills portion of the test consists of three timed writings.  The first segment is literary material which is given at 180 words per minute for five minutes, the second segment is a jury charge which is given at 200 words per minute for five minutes, and the third segment is question-and-answer testimony given at 225 words per minute for five minutes.  Each segment requires 95 percent accuracy to pass.

Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) - A candidate for the RMR must first have earned the RPR certification.  Like the RPR, the RMR also includes a written knowledge exam consisting of 105 to 110 questions.  Only 100 of the questions are scored, and correctly answering 70 percent or higher is required to pass.  The skills portion of the test consists of three timed writings.  The first segment is literary material which is given at 200 words per minute for five minutes, the second segment is a jury charge which is given at 240 words per minutes for five minutes, and the third segment is question-and-answer testimony given at 260 words per minute for five minutes.  Each segment requires 95 percent accuracy to pass.

United States Court Reporters AssociationCertified Realtime Reporter (CRR) - To be eligible to sit for the CRR exam, a court reporter must first obtain the RPR certification.  Three aspects of the court reporter’s abilities are measured by the CRR.  The first phase requires that the candidate set up and operate the necessary equipment.  The second phase includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of question-and-answer testimony material at 200 words per minute.  Third, the candidate must convert the notes file into an ASCII text file to be submitted for grading.  An accuracy level of 96 percent is required.

Certified CART Provider (CCP) - The CCP certification exam is very much like the CBC certification exam.  The questions on the CCP written knowledge test may differ somewhat from the CBC test, but it does consist of 100 questions, 70 percent of which must be answered correctly to pass.  Though the dictation content may not be the same, the requirements for the CCP skills exam are exactly like the requirements for the CBC skills exam.  For the first phase, the candidate must set up and operate the necessary equipment.  The second phase includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of literary material at 180 words per minute with 96 percent accuracy.  The third phase consists of the candidate converting his or her notes file into an ASCII text file which is submitted for grading.
 

Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR) - The RDR is the highest level of certification available to court reporters through the NCRA.  Obtaining the RMR is required to be eligible to sit for the RDR exam.  The RDR only includes a written knowledge exam consisting of 105 to 110 questions.  Only 100 of the questions are scored, and correctly answering 70 percent or higher is required to pass.  This exam tests the court reporter’s knowledge and experience.  The NCRA makes a study guide available for this exam, but it also recommends familiarity with new court reporting technology, NCRA policies and guidelines, and information contained in the NCRA’s publication the Journal of Court Reporting.

Certifications Granted by State Court Reporting Boards and Associations

There are some exceptions, but most states requiring certification for court reporters have a state designation.  Some states, however, use only the national certification designations.

Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) and Certified Court Reporter (CCR) - The CSR and the CCR are basically interchangeable and are the most common designations which signify that a court reporter has met the certification or licensing requirements established under law for his or her particular state of residency.  Some states do have reciprocal agreements with other states and will accept certification granted by another state as a basis on which to grant a certification application to a court reporter.
 

Certifications Granted by the National Verbatim Reporters Association

The NVRA has been gaining more recognition by state certification boards in recent years.  By displaying how stenomask reporters can be just as productive as machine shorthand reporters, the NVRA has made significant headway in becoming accepted as a certifying organization for capable court reporters.  The following certifications are available through the NVRA:

Realtime Verbatim Reporter (RVR) - To be eligible to sit for the RVR exam, a court reporter must first obtain the CVR certification.  The RVR exam includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of material at 180 words per minute.

National Verbatim Reporters AssociationCertificate of Merit (CM) - To sit for the exam for the CM certification, the CVR or RPR designation must first be achieved.  The written knowledge test portion of the exam consisting of 100 questions must be passed with a minimum score of 90.  If the candidate had a score of 90 or above while obtaining the CVR certification, it is not necessary that the written knowledge test be repeated for the CM certification.  The skills portion of the test consists of three timed writings.  The first segment is literary material which is given at 200 words per minute for five minutes, the second segment is a jury charge which is given at 240 words per minute for five minutes, and the third segment is question-and-answer testimony given at 260 words per minute for five minutes.  Each segment requires 95 percent accuracy to pass.

Registered Broadcast Captioner (RBC) - To be eligible to sit for the RBC exam, a court reporter must first obtain the CVR certification.  The RBC exam includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of material at 180 words per minute.

Registered CART Provider (RCP) - To be eligible to sit for the RCP exam, a court reporter must first obtain the CVR certification.  The RCP exam includes accurately writing realtime from a five-minute dictation of material at 180 words per minute.
 

Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR) - To obtain the CVR certification, a candidate is required to attend a workshop program and pass a written knowledge exam consisting of 100 questions with a minimum score of 70.  The skills portion of the test consists of three timed writings.  The first segment is literary material which is given at 180 words per minute for five minutes, the second segment is a jury charge which is given at 200 words per minute for five minutes, and the third segment is question-and-answer testimony given at 225 words per minute for five minutes.  Each segment requires 95 percent accuracy to pass.
 

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Written by , CCR on 9/20/2012 Suzanne has been a court reporter and worked in legal communities for over 18 years. 

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