What Do Those Three Initials Mean?

The National Court Reporters Association, NCRA, established the first certification program to individually recognize the competence of court reporters.  Since the inception of the initial program, NCRA’s certification program now has three tiers of achievement:  the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR), and the Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR).  In order to maintain the designations of each of these certifications, a reporter must accumulate continuing education units over a three-year period.

To become an RPR, one must have the knowledge, skills, and ability to produce a high-quality verbatim record. The Written Knowledge Test is a 105-question, multiple-choice test that focuses on four areas:  reporting, transcript production, operating practices, and professional issues and continuing education.  In addition, to earn the designation of RPR, one also has to pass three sections of a skills test that evaluates writing skills in three areas:  Literary at 180 wpm, Jury Charge at 200 wpm, and Testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm.

To become an RMR, one must pass a written test consisting of a 105-question Written Knowledge Test that focuses on four areas of knowledge: reporting, transcript production, administration, and professional issues and continuing education.  To earn the designation of RMR, one also has to pass three sections of a skills test that evaluates in three areas: Literary at 200 wpm, Jury Charge at 240 wpm, and Testimony/Q&A at 260 wpm.

To become an RDR, a candidate must be an RMR and have six current and continuous years of membership commencing with Registered member status. The RDR Exam consists of a 105-question, multiple-choice Written Knowledge Test that focuses on six areas:  reporting, transcript production, management, education, marketing, and professional issues.

Over the years, NCRA has established seven more certification programs: 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), and Certified Program Evaluator (CPE). All these programs recognize expertise in new and expanding reporter markets.

To become a CRR, one must be able to set up and operate one’s own equipment, accurately write realtime for five minutes at 96% accuracy from professionally recorded literary material at the speed of 180 words per minute, and convert the file to an ASCII text file.

To become a CCP, one must take a two-part exam consisting of a Written Knowledge Test and a Skills Test. The CCP is an entry level exam that measures the knowledge, skill, and ability of the candidate to produce complete, accurate, and simultaneous translation and display of live proceedings utilizing computer-aided translation. The CCP Skills Test consists of three steps: setting up and operating one’s own equipment, accurately writing realtime for five minutes at 96% accuracy from professionally recorded literary material at the speed of 180 words per minute, and convert the file to an ASCII text file.

In our state of Tennessee, we also have a voluntary certification program. Our voluntary Certified Court Reporter (CCR) program applies to all persons who are professional members in good standing with the Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TCRA). A professional member seeking CCR status under this program must meet certain stringent requirements and is required to maintain continuing education units in order to maintain certification.

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