Court Reporter Certifications
As of January 1, 2016, the National Court Reporters Association has consolidated the Certified Broadcast Captioner and the Certified CART Reporter credentials into the *New* Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) credential. The two previous certifications reflected the distinct differences in technology and discrete nuances in services provided to consumers, whether via broadcast television or as Communication Access Realtime Translation onsite or remotely via the Internet platform for business meetings and conferences, employee trainings, recreational settings, et cetera.

However, the vast majority of viewers of realtime speech-to-text translation, (be they individuals who are Deaf, have hearing loss, speak English as a second language, have an auditory processing disability, or who are hearing but simply appreciate reading TV dialogue while in a restaurant, bar or health club), broadly recognize the service realtime captioners provide as "captioning," regardless if the service is provided as broadcast programming or nonbroadcast. Therefore, the new Certified Realtime Captioner designation is easily recognizable and extremely accurate as to the role of an individual who has this specialized skill.

The demand in the marketplace for increased availability of realtime captioning, broadcast, online and onsite, has necessitated training additional skilled captioners. NCRA has committed to offering enhanced training to its members in order to meet this greater demand for qualified professional realtime captioners.


The Illinois Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR)  exam is a two-part evaluation: written knowledge and dictation. The candidate must score at least 75% on the written knowledge portion of the test. The dictation portion of the exam requires the candidate to attain 95% accuracy for 5 minutes at 200 words per minute (wpm) of variable material and 95% accuracy for 5 minutes at 225 wpm of two-voice testimony. The candidate must also transcribe both sections of the dictation portion within a three-hour time limit. 

The Illinois CSR licensure is maintained through biannual renewal and attestation of having met mandatory continuing education requirements.

The following certificated designations are conferred by the National Court Reporters Association:

 The "entry" level certification is the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) .The RPR is evaluated on understanding and use of the English language, grammar and spelling, technology, medical and legal terminologies, and the ability to accurately write and translate varying types of material at high speeds. The nationally recognized RPR examination includes a three-part stenographic skills test and a Written Knowledge Test (WKT). The skills portion of the exam is a dictation test of literary matter at 180 wpm, jury charge at 200 wpm and testimony at 225 wpm, each of which must be passed with 95% accuracy. The WKT portion additionally tests those areas of knowledge needed to perform the duties of a court reporter, such as English language, relevant technology, diverse terminology, courtroom rules and procedures, transcript format, use of research materials, and professional responsibility. 

Every three years each RPR accumulates 3.0 continuing education units to maintain certification. NCRA's continuing-education program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Continuing Education and Training, an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The RPR may be recognized in states where no CSR Act/licensure is enforced/administrated as proof of essential skills an individual should possess in order to hold her/himself out as a qualified court reporter.


 The Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) Exam is similar in scope to the RPR examination but tests reporters at higher levels of knowledge and speed. The RMR includes a stenographic skills test - literary matter at 200 wpm, jury charge at 240 wpm, and testimony at 260 wpm with a 95% accuracy rate.


 The Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR) is the highest cumulative level of certification a reporter can achieve. The RDR is actively involved in court reporter-related organizations and serves as a consultant to other reporters, attorneys, court personnel, and other consumers by providing direction and disseminating technological information. The exam consists of a Written Knowledge Test administered to candidates who have been Registered Professional Reporters for at least five years. 

*The aforementioned NCRA reporter certifications are cumulative in that each ascending level attained supersedes the previous certification.


 The Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) exam tests a candidate's ability to write  realtime at 200 words per minute at a minimum "first pass" accuracy rate of 96%. The CRR candidate must possess the requisite knowledge to implement the necessary technology to immediately generate and provide an electronic file of the realtime transcript.


 The Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certificate has superseded, as of January 1, 2016, the CCP and CBC designations listed below. Realtime captioners who previously held the CCP and/or CBC credentials are now transitioned to the CRC credential. Realtime captioners who now complete and pass the required NCRA captioning workshop and the realtime dictation at 180 words per minute with an accuracy rate of 96% will be certified as a CRC.

Due to the increased demand for realtime captioners, the common identification by the general public who utilize realtime captioning services -- both as broadcast captions and Communication Access Realtime Translation -- as “captioning”, and the similar translation software utilized by CART-captioners and broadcast captioners, the combining of the CCP and CBC into the CRC results in a more logical and recognizable certification.


 The Certified CART, or Communication Access Realtime Translation, Provider (CCP)  exam was a two-part exam consisting of a Written Knowledge Test -- testing a candidate's abilities at research, language skills, writing realtime -- and a stenographic skills test. A Certified CART Provider possesses comprehensive knowledge of the English language in order to detect and correct mishearings during realtime translation and anticipate and prevent mistranslations. The technology utilized by a CART provider is similar to television captioning which can be provided as an accommodation in keeping with the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act to assist persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, have a learning disability, or speak English as a second language. A CART Provider possesses the knowledge, skill, and ability to produce accurate, simultaneous translation and display of live proceedings at a minimum of 96% accuracy utilizing a Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) IT system. 


 The Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) certificate measured the candidate's skills,  knowledge and abilities to provide accurate, live captioning for television broadcasts. The exam consisted of a Written Knowledge portion covering the topics of writing realtime, realtime writing in the broadcast environment, language skills, and research; and a stenographic skills portion covering the tasks of setting up and operating equipment, and accurately writing realtime for simultaneous translation and display of literary material at a speed of 180 words per minute utilizing realtime translation software.

In 2015 the Federal Communications Commission instituted new rules governing the accuracy and timeliness of realtime-captioned television media.  In addition, new rules are being developed to require the availability of closed captions on previously broadcast/recorded media as well as future requirements for closed captioning of on-demand streaming of previously recorded Internet media.


 The Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) certification program certifies  reporters and non-reporters as qualified to conduct and control the detailed process of providing audiovisual services for the legal community. A CLVS is specially trained and tested in the rules of legal evidence, judicial procedure and ethics, employing the proper procedures for presentation of a witness for videotaping purposes, as well as the technology of AV equipment for recording, editing, and playback. Certification requires seminar attendance, successful completion of a Written Knowledge Test and a "hands-on" test in a mock-deposition setting.

Adapted from Illinois Court Reporters Association and the National Court Reporters Association. Additional information available through ILCRA at and NCRA at


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