Court Reporting Certifications
Approximately half the states in the United States require court reporters to obtain certification credentials by passing either an examination administered by their state or the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
Of the states that require certification, the majority of them accept the national certification examination, the RPR, in lieu of passing their state certification examination. However, some of them accept the Skills portion of the RPR exam (tests written on the steno machine and then transcribed) but require the reporter to pass a multiple choice written test covering academic courses (Written Knowledge Exam) administered by the state.
RPR (Registered Professional Reporter)
The RPR certification establishes your competence as a court reporter, although it is the entry level certification. It is composed of two segments: Written Knowledge Test (WKT) covering academics and a Skills Test composed of three 5-minute tests at 180 wpm one-voice Literary dictation, 200 wpm one-voice Jury Charge dictation, and 225 wpm two-voice Testimony or Q&A (question and answer) dictation written on the steno machine and transcribed. The CRAH program has developed Mock RPR examinations for our students to take prior to sitting for the actual exam.
CSR (Certified Shorthand Reporter) or CCR (Certified Court Reporter)
These are state-administered certification examinations and usually closely mirror the national RPR examination including both a Written Knowledge Test as well as a Skills test. However, a few states such as California, Nevada and a few others require you to pass a Written Knowledge Test and one 10-minute Skills test based upon 200 wpm four-voice dictation.
Captioning and CART Providing Certifications
If your interest is in broadcast (closed) captioning, there is no legally mandated certification examination requirement. However, captioning employers will evaluate a sample of your real time writing, so in essence, you are being tested. If your interest is in CART providing, most states do not require you to pass a certification examination. However, the few states that do require certification may have a graduated scale of employment based upon reaching varying degrees of proficiency such as 160 wpm, 180 wpm, or 200 wpm.
CBC (Certified Broadcast Captioner)
The CBC is also a two-part examination consisting of a Written Knowledge Test and one Skills Test dictated at 180 wpm Literary dictation for 5 minutes with 96% accuracy. The CRR Examination (Certified Real Time Reporter Examination) is identical to the CBC Skills Test. If you have passed the CRR, you are only required to pass the CBC Written Knowledge Test.
CCP (Certified CART Provider)
The CCP is also a two-part exam consisting of a Written Knowledge Test (WKT) and a Skills Test dictated at 180 wpm literary dictation for 5 minutes with 96% accuracy. As with the CBC exam, if you have passed the CRR, you are only required to pass the CCP Skills Test.