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So you have an extension; now what?

By Natalie Dippenaar

This is part three of a three-part series. Part one was titled, “What can I do in a month?and part two was titled, “There’s still time!

Time is on your side!

If you haven’t yet earned all your credits to maintain your certification, you may opt to get an extension for four additional months by submitting NCRA’s cycle extension form. Four months is plenty of time to earn your credits and keep your credentials active. If you pay for an extension, you will have until Jan. 31, so get started now.

  • If you are an RPR, what about becoming an RMR? Online skills testing is available year round and the next series of written knowledge tests opens in Dec. 1-30 for testing in January 2017. Members who pass the NCRA Skills Test or the Written Knowledge Test (WKT) portion of the RMR, RDR, CRR, CLVS (if already an RPR), or CRC (if an RPR) will earn 0.25 Professional Development Credits (PDCs).
  • Take a course or class online or in person. Consider these topics:
    1. Language skills, literature, and linguistics
    2. The reporting profession, law, and the court system
    3. Medicine and medical terminology
    4. Court reporting software and technology
    5. Legal and business technology
    6. Legal videography
    7. Trial presentation
    8. Business administration

Attend a pre-approved state association convention or participate in third-party vendor training. Listings of pre-approved events being held during the next few months can be found through the calendar on the Pre-Approved Events page.

    • Sign up for a live webinar to earn 0.1 or 0.15 CEU.
      • Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016: 1 – 2 p.m. ET (0.1 CEU)

      Practicing in the digital age: How to evolve with your attorneys

      In a recent ALM survey, 97 percent of attorneys believed electronic case management can mitigate the risk of missing critical details. Attorneys today are under constant pressure to produce an accurate, efficient work product with the expectation of providing exceptional client service. Attendees will learn how transcript workflow technology benefits both you and your clients by relieving pressures and producing secure, flexible transcripts efficiently. Brought to you by Thomson Reuters. Register here.

      • Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016: 3 – 4.30pm ET (0.15 CEU)

      Mentoring students for tomorrow’s professionals

      What is involved in successfully mentoring students in a court reporting program? What do schools need from professionals? Current best practices along with common pitfalls for the implementation and maintenance of effective mentorship activities will be discussed. Make a difference in students’ lives through mentoring! Register here.

      Watch the CEU Corner and visit the NCRA webinar website regularly for new additions.

    • Sign up for an e-seminar to earn 0.1 or 0.15 CEU. There are more than 190 e-seminars in the NCRA catalog. Buy before the end of September to save on seminars you want to watch through October! You can take them when it’s convenient. The deal runs through Sept. 30.

Recently added e-seminars include:

    • Disability awareness and etiquette: More than one out of every five individuals has a disability in the United States. This session will review common disabilities and discuss courtesies and responses that are applicable in everyday interactions. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
    • Podcasting to promote your business: In this seminar, Steve Lubetkin, CLVS, co-author with Donna Papacosta of The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional, reviews and explains how to make audio and video podcasts (Internet-distributed audio and video programs) part of your marketing and communications plan. 0.1 CEU. Register here.
    • 90 apps in 90 minutes: In this fast-paced, high-energy session, learn from Sara Wood, CAE, and Christine Phipps, RPR, about the latest and best apps that can help you improve your productivity, organize your day, and provide you with the necessary tools to be a rock star in the field. 0.15 CEU. Register here.
    • How to caption sports like a pro! An overview of captioning sports for the seasoned captioner, and newbies, too! We’ll start with the opportunities available, where to begin, dictionary management, and how to prep! Tips, tricks, and sports-related terminology. 0.15 CEU. Register here.

Help others and give back while helping yourself

  • Mentor: Do you remember when you were just starting out or studying for your RPR? Are you now able and willing to share your experience and knowledge? There are students looking to ask questions on studying, staying motivated, breaking speed barriers, and getting their first job. Can you help? A minimum of five hours will be required to earn 0.25 PDCs, and those hours can be divided among multiple students or all with the same student. Details of NCRA’s Virtual Mentor Program are available on the website, or send an email to for more information.
  • Teach a webinar: Are you knowledgeable about a topic relevant to the court reporting profession? NCRA’s live webinars can be given as PowerPoint slides with audio or a desktop sharing format. What knowledge can you share with your fellow court reporters? Review the CEU rules for acceptable topics and give back to your community while earning PDCs.
  • Promote the profession: Consider presenting at a court reporting school as a guest speaker or career day participant, or explain the importance of the record by speaking at a law school or judges’ association.
  • Provide pro bono services: Consider offering free court reporting, realtime, CART, or captioning services. Examples of this include providing CART services for a deaf consumer at a meeting or church service or taking depositions for litigants who could not afford reporting services. 0.25 PDCs will be awarded for a minimum of 2.5 hours of pro bono service, of which 30 minutes can be the preparation involved.
  • Veterans Day is a great time to think about and get involved in the Oral Histories Program. Since 2003, NCRA members have worked with the National Court Reporters Foundation and the Library of Congress to record and transcribe the moving stories of many U.S. war veterans, building a lasting legacy of the diverse group of men and women who have served our nation during wartime. By interviewing and recording a veterans’ oral history, you can contribute to this lasting legacy and earn PDCs. The Foundation also assists other organizations by transcribing historical recordings, such as those of Holocaust survivors for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the collection of the Center for Public Policy & Social Research (CPPSR) at Central Connecticut State University, and from legal aid lawyers, administrators, and educators of the National Equal Justice Library (NEJL) at Georgetown University that capture their individual experiences representing the poor in legal matters.

And don’t forget, it’s cheaper to submit your CEUs online!

For more information, visit Ways to Earn Continuing Education.

Natalie Dippenaar is NCRA’s Professional Development Program Manager. She can be reached at