Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)
The Registered Professional Reporter exam is a national exam given twice a year by the National Court Reporters Association. Each RPR candidate must be an NCRA member in good standing, pass a written exam of reporting-related questions, and prove their competence by reporting and transcribing material in three areas, dictated at speeds of up to 225 words per minute with 95% accuracy.
This exam is considered an entry-level exam and is the minimum that should be held by court reporters.
Registered Merit Reporter (RMR)
The Registered Merit Reporter exam is a national exam given twice a year by the National Court Reporters Association. The Merit Reporter is required to pass a comprehensive written examination, as well as reporting and transcribing material in three areas, dictated at speeds of up to 260 words per minute with 95% accuracy.
This exam's distinction is the high speed requirement and is only held by the top 5% of reporters nationwide.
Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR)
The Registered Diplomate Reporter represents the top tier of achievement in the National Court Reporters Association. This certification was brought about to recognize the experience and knowledge of the profession's top talent.
To qualify to sit for this exam, candidates must possess five consecutive years of experience as an RMR, be an RMR and hold a four-year baccalaureate degree, or be an RMR with two or more NCRA specialty certifications. They must then pass a detailed written knowledge examination focusing on reporting, transcript production, management, education, and marketing issues.
Only the top 1% of reporters nationwide have achieved this distinction.
Fellow of the Academy of Professional Reporters
• conferred by the National Court Reporters Association
Fellowship in the Academy of Professional Reporters is a professional distinction conferred upon a person of outstanding and extraordinary qualifications and experience in the field of shorthand reporting.
Candidates for Fellow are required to have been in the active practice of reporting for the last ten years and have attained distinction as measured by performance (which included publication of important papers, service on committees or boards, teaching, etc.)
Fellows are nominated by their peers, and selection is made by the CAPR committee of NCRA. Each year a small handful of members are bestowed this honor.
Certified Realtime Reporter
The Certified Realtime Reporter holds an RPR and is one who possesses knowledge, skill, and ability to produce accurate, simultaneous translation of live proceedings utilizing computer-aided transcription.
To hold this designation you must pass the CRR specialty realtime exam by writing realtime at speeds of 180 words per minute on literary material with 96% accuracy in the realtime output, producing a highly accurate instantaneous text feed.
Advances in technology make this the fastest-growing certification given by NCRA. If you are using realtime services from your court reporting firm, you should insist that the reporter possess the CRR designation at a minimum.