Court Reporting Schools

Certification gives court reporters higher standing

Court reporter school is really only a precursor to becomgin fully qualified in the industry of court reporting.

Often after they've completed school, court reporters take testing or continuing education to become certified. They may also require licenses depending on where they practice.

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) offers member certification to entry-level and advanced court reporters. These programs require students to capture up to 225 words per minute, which is the same as the Federal government requires of its reporting employees.

  • Those just starting out can take written knowledge and skills tests to become Registered Professional Reporters (RPR).
  • Registered Merit Reporters (RMR) are viewed as well-qualified professionals worthy of higher wages and increased recognition.

  • The Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR) designation is the highest available to court reporters. Prerequisites include five consecutive years experience as a RMR or a four-year bachelor's degree plus RMR certification. Other NCRA certification programs
  • Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
  • Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC)
  • Certified CART Provider (CCP)

The American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) certifies electronic court reporters. Eligibility requirements including two years of experience must be met before reporters can take the tests for Certified Electronic Court Reporter (CER), Certified Electronic Court Transcriber (CET) or Certified Electronic Court Reporter and Transcriber (CERT). Some working in this field will be required by employers to obtain certifications once they are eligible.

Certifications are generally voluntary, but can be a great way for court reporters to demonstrate their skill level. As mentioned, some employers will require it.

Licensing

In some states court reporters must become licensed notary publics as well as being certified. Others may only require a state CCR (Certified Court Reporter) designation.

The National Verbatim Reporters Association offers testing for three designations - Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR), Certificate of Merit (CM) and Real-Time Verbatim Reporter (RVR). These can often be substituted for a license in states that allow voice writing in the courts.

Program accreditation

While the NCRA isn't an accrediting association it does certify over 50 programs that are also accredited by agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

If a school advertises accreditation it's a good idea to find out what organization was responsible for accrediting it and whether or not that organization is recognized within the industry.

Court reporters are well advised to also look into criminal justice schools to consider related careers.