Ah, the alphabet. Once you’ve graduated from kindergarten, you don’t give those individual letters much thought. But when you meet your court reporter or legal videographer, there they are on the business card: RPR, CRR, CLVS, CCP, CBC, a sea of letters that inform you of the professional certifications of the holder. Do these acronyms really mean anything in signifying the quality of the court stenographer or videographer you schedule? You bet they do, and CompuScripts Court Reporters would like to provide you with valuable information concerning the certifications these letters represent.
Let’s start with an introduction to the National Court Reporters Association, the body which issues court reporting and captioning certifications in the United States. NCRA certifies the skill and knowledge of court reporters, legal video specialists, broadcast captioners, and Computer Access Realtime Translation (CART) providers based on a candidate’s performance on written knowledge and skills tests. NCRA has been issuing certifications since 1935. At that time, the only certification issued to shorthand reporters was CP, or Certified Professional.
Fast forward to 2015. Today’s standard certification for reporters is RPR, or Registered Professional Reporter. In order to receive RPR status, candidates must pass a written knowledge test focusing on technology, reporting practices, and professional practices. Candidates must also pass a skills test that exhibits proficiencies with both speed and accuracy of dictation and transcription. Certification is not a one-and-done deal; court reporters maintain RPR certification through continuing education, just as paralegals and attorneys do.
The next level of certification is CRR, or Certified Realtime Reporter. RPR certification is the first step a reporter completes before being certified as a CRR. To receive CRR status, a candidate must set up and operate stenotype machines using Computer Aided Transcription software, accurately write realtime from two-voice question-and-answer material, and convert files to ASCII text. The most prestigious and cutting edge realtime designations are denoted with either a CCP or CBC, Certified Broadcast Captioner. Realtime is not only the gold standard, but a realtime stenographer’s skills present your client and case access to the written record with the highest efficiency and widest accessibility.
NCRA’s legal videography certification is a three-step process. Candidates attend a two-day seminar that focuses on skills and technology, as well as knowledge of video practices in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure. From there, a successful Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) will have passed both a hands-on production examination and a written knowledge test. CLVS’s maintain their credentials through participation in NCRA’s continuing education program.
All certification seekers demonstrate a commitment to professionalism, but successful candidates exhibit credibility and qualifications that meet established standards. NCRA protects the integrity of its national standards by working with Professional Examination Services and Person VUE to employ best practices for test development, administration, and security. Additionally, all NCRA members are bound by a Code of Ethics that promise fair and impartial services to all parties in a proceeding, among other important principles.
South Carolina has no requirements for certification and affords no protection to attorneys and the public when hiring a court reporter or legal videographer. Even South Carolina Court Administration uses a Registered Professional Reporter certificate as one of its qualifications for employment. CompuScripts takes the responsibility of being competent, impartial guardians of the record very seriously. Whether you are looking for a Greenville court reporter, or court reporting services in one of our other Southern cities in South Carolina, we have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide you with up-to-date and ethical litigation services that give you confidence in the record.