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Additional Certifications for Court Reporters

Mar 18, 2008
A certified court reporter is anyone who has satisfied state requirements to practice the profession. The certification rules vary from state to state but generally involve passing some kind of proficiency test. California court reporters have to pass one of the most rigorous exams which includes tests on English proficiency plus legal and medical terminology.

Certified court reporters can acquire additional certifications to demonstrate exceptional proficiency or experience in the profession, opening up new career opportunities. These certifications have been established by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and applicants must be a member of this organization.

There are three basic court reporting examinations.

Registered Professional Reporter (RPR): This is the entry-level program for certified court reporters and is a prerequisite for almost all other NCRA certifications. It is available to all members of the NCRA regardless of experience. It starts with a 90-minute written test that measures the applicant's knowledge of reporting and transcription practices. This is followed by three dictation and transcription exercises performed at speeds of 180 to 225 wpm that each must be completed with at least 95% accuracy.

Registered Merit Reporter (RMR): This advanced exam is available to certified court reporters who have passed the RPR and have three years of NCRA membership. It consists of a written test that covers advanced reporting and transcription concepts plus three dictation exercises performed at 200-260 wpm that must each be completed with 95% accuracy. Approximately 20% of RPRs continue toward their RMR.

Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR): After completing the RMR and being a NCRA member for at least six years, certified court reporters can attempt the most advanced certification. The written examination covers the most advanced areas of reporting and transcription as well as management, marketing, and other professional issues. Fewer than 3% of RPRs achieve this level of certification.

As the profession has changed, the NCRA has offered additional certifications that cater to specialized court reporting services. These certifications include:

- Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
- Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC)
- Certified CART Provider (CCP)
- Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS)

Those who are interested in teaching court reporting to the next generation of reporters can pursue the Certified Reporting Instructor (CRI) and continue on to the Master Certified Reporting Instructor (MCRI). Reporters who prefer to act on an administrative level should acquire the Certified Program Evaluator (CPE) which qualifies them to evaluate and certify court reporter undergraduate programs.

A reporter who owns a court reporting agency will find they get a competitive edge if they obtain the Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS).

Certified court reporters should always be on the lookout for professional development opportunities. These programs have provided a nationally-recognized standard of professional competence since 1935 and are well worth pursuing for the success-oriented reporter.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on becoming a court
, visit http://www.Huseby.com/.
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