After graduating from a formal court reporter training program, court reporters often pursue voluntary certification in order to advance their careers. Certification helps court reporters stand out to employers, as well as providing a “stamp of approval” recognizable by colleagues and academic authorities. There are various certifications for different types of court reporters.
The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is one of the most well-known organizations that provides court reporter certification. It offers three primary designations:
- Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
- Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
- Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR)
Additionally, the NCRA offers seven further skill-based certifications, for reporters who have attained a primary certification. These are:
- Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)
- Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC)
- Certified CART Provider (CCP)
- Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS)
- Certified Reporting Instructor (CRI)
- Master Certified Reporting Instructor (MCRI)
- Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS)
- Certified Program Evaluator (CPE)
NCRA Court Reporter Certification
The RPR designation is the most common court reporter credential from the NCRA, and can be the foundation for further certifications. Gaining this designation involves passing a 105-questions multiple-choice exam, and the only requirement to register for the exam is good standing as an NCRA member.
The exam covers:
- Transcript Production
- Operating Practices
- Professional Issues and Continuing Education
In addition to the multiple-choice portion of the RPR exam, applicants must pass a dictation exam consisting of three parts:
- Literary – 180 wpm required
- Jury Charge – 200 wpm required
- Testimony/Q&A – 225 wpm required
There is no deadline for passing the RPR certification exam, and court reporters who maintain their NCRA membership may take each section as many times as necessary.
Other certifications involve passing similar exams, though exam content and format varies by credential.
Exam costs for the RPR exam and other primary exams are $175 for reporters, $140 for students. Further skills tests are $160 for reporters, $125 for students.
Court reporters who are interested in becoming certificated should contact the certifying organization to find out about exams, continuing education and the benefits of certification.