NCRA’s CRR and CRC certifications showcase realtime skills

To mark the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, all through May we will take a look in each week’s JCR Weekly at the certifications offered by NCRA.

NCRA’s Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certifications reflect that the professionals who hold one or both are at the top of their game when it comes to providing first-rate and accurate realtime services.

Earning the nationally recognized CRR certification signifies that the professional who has received it has demonstrated their timely knowledge of cutting-edge realtime technology and proficiency and accuracy of reporting. CRR credentials ensure a reporter is an expert in the specialized field of realtime reporting. They are highly sought after because of their proven precision in reporting and ability to deliver high-quality realtime services.

Vanessa Alyce

“Acquiring my CRR certification gives me such a great sense of accomplishment, and it has actually enhanced my confidence in my abilities as a reporter,” said Vanessa Alyce, RPR, from Las Cruces, N.M., who earned her CRR in January.

“NCRA’s certification program is a great way to measure our skills as reporters and serves as a testament to the professionalism of the court reporting industry,” added Alyce, who has worked as both a freelance and official reporter for a little more than 26 years.

Marla Faith Knox

“This CRR certification has reinvigorated my career and the path I chose 24 years ago to become a court reporter,” said Marla Faith Knox, RPR, an official court reporter from Phoenix, Ariz., who earned her CRR in May 2018.

“This journey has brought me wonderful friendships with colleagues around the country. I have been able to help countless litigants, judges, and attorneys along the way, as well as the hard-of-hearing community. Being a member of NCRA is incredibly rewarding as they are advocates for a profession that has continually provided for me and my family,” Knox added.

To be recognized as a CRR, candidates must hold the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification and have passed, with high accuracy, tests that include equipment set-up, accurate realtime writing, and prove they hold a thorough knowledge of realtime technology.

The CRC certification acknowledges proficiency in language skills and in realtime writing in the broadcast and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) environments. It was implemented in August 2015 to provide NCRA members with a higher level of captioning training and the resources they need to transition to providing captioning services. The certification reflects the combined training of the previous certifications Certified Broadcast Captioner (CBC) and Certified CART Provider (CCP). The CRC certification was developed to increase realtime proficiency and certify more individuals in providing realtime services. CRCs are highly sought after because of their expertise in this very specific field of reporting.

Greta Bourgeois

Greta Bourgeois, from Nashville, Tenn., has worked as a captioner for six years and earned her CRC in January. She is currently a freelance captioner and CART provider for three firms.

“I attended my first NCRA national convention in 2018, and being around so many talented professionals inspired me to pursue this certification. I know having my CRC will help me achieve my career goals,” Bourgeois said.

Laura Axelsen, RPR, CRR, from Vacaville, Calif., also earned her CRC in January. She has worked as a court reporter for 35 years and currently works as a freelance court reporter, a broadcast captioner, a CART provider, and a certified life coach.

“I love my career and never want to stop. Striving for these and other certifications keeps my relationship with my career fun and makes me a better professional after all,” Axelsen said.

To be recognized as a CRC, candidates must successfully complete a captioning workshop provided by NCRA and a skills exam that is a realtime dictation of 180 words per minute on literary matter.

For more information about earning your CRR or CRC or any other NCRA professional certifications, visit NCRA.org/Certification.

The RDR is NCRA’s most prestigious certification

To mark the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, all through May we will take a look in each week’s JCR Weekly at the certifications offered by NCRA.

Lisa Mayo and Candace Covey

NCRA’s Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR) is recognized as the Association’s most prestigious certification because it is a direct reflection of the commitment to advancement in a court reporter’s career and professional growth. RDRs are the elite members of the court reporting and captioning field when it comes to experience and knowledge of the latest technology, reporting practices, and professional practices. To date, less than 500 members of NCRA hold the certification.

Earlier this month, Candace Covey, CRR, and Lisa Mayo, CRR, added the RDR certification to their dossiers. Both women are official court reporters for a federal court in Memphis, Tenn., and now represent two of the only three NCRA members who hold the RDR in that town.

“I earned the CRR (Certified Realtime Reporter) to prove to myself I was competent to offer realtime to clients,” said Covey. “I earned the RMR just to prove to myself I was fast enough to be in court. For me the RDR was just a challenge and the next step in the progression,” she said.

“The biggest reason for taking this test was knowing there was one more out there that I hadn’t passed yet,” added Mayo. “There was a constant little voice reminding me it was still hanging out there.” 

It took multiple times for both Covey and Mayo to earn the RDR. For Covey, it was twice. For Mayo the third time was the charm. After taking the test for the first time, Covey said she swore she was not going to pay any more money to fail the tests. “So I bought the books and made Lisa study too,” she noted.

And the feeling they had when they were notified that they passed?

“My immediate thought was I can finally have a hobby!” said Covey, who has been a court reporter since 1996.

“When I walked outside of the testing room, I was so nervous,” Mayo said. “I knew I had done all I could do, but the nerves were still there. Walking to the counter to see the results flipped over, I was all butterflies. There was such joy when I turned it over and saw ‘passed’ on there. I have to admit, I hugged the sweet lady at the counter. To say I was thrilled is an understatement,” added Mayo who has been a court reporter for 30 years. 

Both agree that the benefits of earning the RDR are not just personal but could lead to more opportunities should they ever leave the world of official court reporting. On a personal level, earning the RDR gave each of them a great deal of confidence.

“The RDR has given me a sense of empowerment. I tend to not be very consistent; through getting the RDR I have proven to myself I can stay the course. Even through the fails,” Covey said.  

For Mayo, earning the RDR meant not having to study anymore and like Covey, earning her free time back.

“I feel like each certification has represented a different phase in my career,” she said. “I think this has been a great reminder to my children to keep going for it. What a better example than seeing that their mom took this test three times before passing it. She didn’t give up.”  

Covey and Mayo both agree it is never too late to work on achieving goals and said they would encourage others to never stop investing in themselves.

But first comes the RMR

To be recognized as a RDR, candidates must hold the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) certification and have five current and continuous years of membership in the NCRA, as well as pass a written knowledge test that focuses on the areas of technology, reporting practices, and professional practices.

RMRs have demonstrated their ability to produce a high-quality verbatim record. The certification distinguishes stenographic court reporters and captioners who hold it as being among the top contributors to the profession in terms of reporting skills, transcript production, operating practices, and professionalism.

Earning the RMR credential is quite a step forward in a court reporter’s career, especially given the amount of preparation and knowledge that successful candidates must possess to pass. RMRs are among the top stenographic court reporters in the profession and are often offered greater opportunities for challenging and lucrative job assignments. NCRA currently has approximately 3,000 members who hold this prestigious certification.

In February, Theresa Ann Vorkapic, CRR, a court reporter from Geneva, Ill., who works for Esquire Deposition Solutions in Chicago, earned her RMR certification. In March, Diana Osberg, from Malibu, Calif, a court reporter for HG Deposition and Litigation Support, also earned her RMR.

“Becoming a court reporter was undoubtedly one of the best decisions of my life. I am so proud to have earned my certifications and to be a member of a great organization like NCRA which recognizes and fosters the many skills needed to do this job,” said Vorkapic, who has worked as a court reporter for 30 years.

“As an agency owner with a deep respect and admiration for the profession of the Guardian of the Record, and especially with the lightning speed of advancing technology that will continue to be adapted to service our legal community, continuing stenographic acceleration and proficiency is critical to stay abreast, current, and at the top of our game,” added Osberg, who has also worked as a court reporter for 30 years.

For more information about earning your RMR or RDR or any other NCRA professional certifications, visit NCRA.org/Certification.

Pass around the cards and Celebrate Certification Month

NCRA’s Celebrate Certification Month resource page has an array of items members can use to help celebrate their certifications and showcase their high-level skills to current and potential customers and clients, like our new certification and occupation cards.

Members can download the two-sided cards and print them on Avery brand perforated business card paper available at office supply stores. The cards are laid out with 10 to fit on one sheet of paper. They measure three-and-one-half inches wide by two inches tall. The cards are designed to help members creatively share with others more information about what they do and what their certifications mean.

Celebrate Certification Month Business Cards

There are two versions of these cards that feature either ‘May is Celebrate Certification Month’ or  ‘Celebrate Certification Month’ artwork with the website on the front side and two customizable reverse sides that read ‘Are you certified’ or ‘Ask me about my NCRA certification’.

Certification Specific Cards

Certification-specific business cards can be used all yearlong not just during the month of May. Downloadable cards include the RPR, RMR, RDR, CRR, CRC, and the CLVS. The backside of each card includes information about what the certification means and what it takes to earn it. The cards are also customizable. Each of these can be found at the Celebrate Certification Month resource page under the heading Professional Cards.

Occupational Business Cards

Like the certification specific business cards, these cards can also be downloaded and used throughout the year. The front side of these cards include CART provider, Freelance Court Reporter, Legal Videographer, Legislative Court Reporter, Official Court Reporter, and Legislative Court Reporter. The reverse side card includes information about salary potential, a job description, and the required education needed to enter the field. In addition, these can be customized with the user’s name and contact information or be printed with the DiscoverSteno site for more information. Each of these can be found at the Celebrate Certification Month resource page under the heading Professional Cards.

The idea for the cards was the result of similar occupational cards shared with NCRA by Linda C. Larson, RPR, CRI a freelance court reporter firm owner from Carlisle, Pa., and President-Elect of the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association (PCRA). Larson said the idea came from a gubernatorial candidate who visited a committee she serves on with her local chamber of commerce. The candidate shared a pack of career cards that featured workforce careers such as different types of engineers, welding, pipefitting, and more.

“When I saw the cards, I thought of court reporting. PCRA has been putting a lot of effort into marketing court reporting to potential students, and I envisioned creating cards with Realtime Broadcast Captioner, CART Reporter, Legislative Reporter, Freelance Reporter, and Official Court Reporter, showcasing the five different types of court reporters,” said Larson.

“As President-Elect of PCRA, I shared the idea for the cards at the next Board meeting and showed them. The Board was enthusiastic about creating some of our own. I was then appointed as the Chairman of the Baseball Card Committee.”

Larson said the committee sought models for the different cards, secured the information for the back sides and then worked with a local print shop to create them. The cards were packed in packs and were officially distributed to members at PCRA’s convention held in April.

“There was quite a bit of interest in the cards,” Larson said. The packets of cards she distributed will be going to career fairs and to individuals interested in learning more about careers in court reporting and captioning.

“I’ve been carrying the cards with me when I work and handing them out to people who show interest in court reporting. Pennsylvania is divided into eight districts, and we have a district director on the board in each area that will also be distributing the cards,” Larson added.

A reminder to NCRA members who want to mark the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month by working toward earning one, from now through May 15, members can save when they register for RPR, RMR, CRR, or CRC skills tests. There’s no better time than certification month to earn a nationally recognized professional certification from NCRA to boost your skills and your career potential. During the special rate offering, students taking the RPR Skills Test will pay $65 for each leg, while members will pay $80 for each RPR or RMR Skills Test leg. In addition, members can take advantage of a discounted price of $180 for the CRR or CRC Skills Tests, while students will pay only $150 for a CRC Skills Test.

Throughout the entire month of May, members can also save an additional 10 percent on all purchases from the NCRA Store when they use the special savings code MAY10.

Be sure to visit the Celebrate Certification Month resource page to choose from the many downloadable materials designed to help NCRA celebrate their certifications.

For more information about the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, contact pr@ncra.org. Share with NCRA how you celebrate the month by sending information to pr@ncra.org.

2019 Celebrate Certification Month

Yahoo Finance posted a press release on May 1 issued by NCRA announcing that May is the association’s second Celebrate Certification Month.

Read more.

Earn Your RPR and show off your skills

2019 Celebrate Certification Month kicks off today, and as part of the celebration, we will take a look in each week’s JCR Weekly at the certifications offered by NCRA.

Katherine West

Join the numbers of NCRA members who have already earned their Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification and be recognized for your commitment to enhance your skills and the services you provide to your clients and customers.

To be recognized as an RPR, candidates must pass a Written Knowledge Test on industry best practices and a Skills Test that combines a challenging threshold of both speed and accuracy. RPR-certified court reporters are in high demand among the nation’s premier law firms, courthouses, and other scenarios in which a reliable, accurate transcript of proceedings is required.

“As a new court reporter in the field, having this certification not only gives me confidence, but it lets potential employers and clients know I have what it takes to do the job well,” said Katherine West, a freelance court reporter from Hendersonville, Tenn., who earned her RPR in March.

 “NCRA has provided valuable resources since the beginning of my student journey, and I am thankful for their continued support during this pivotal time in my career,” West added.

Earning the RPR credential is quite an accomplishment given the amount of preparation and knowledge that successful candidates must possess to pass. Those who hold RPR credentials are not only among the top stenographic court reporters in the profession, but they also embark on a path of lifetime learning with continuing education requirements.

“It is such an honor to have been able to accomplish my RPR certification. This opens up so many more doors and opportunities for me as a court reporter, especially since I am considering possibly moving to another state in a few years. Being a member of the NCRA is wonderful. The organization is flooded with information and helpful tools for our profession” said Maria F. Piotrowski, a freelance court reporter from Edison, N.J., who earned her RPR in January.

Register between May 1 and 15 to take the RPR skills test and save on the registration fee during NCRA’s 2019 Celebrate Certification Month.

“Becoming a Registered Professional Reporter has opened new doors to me in the world of court reporting and offers opportunities that I am looking forward to taking advantage of,” said Sydney Lundberg, Norwalk, Iowa, a freelance court reporter for the Huney-Vaughn Court Reporters, Ltd., who earned her RPR in January.

Nicolle J. Tornetta, from Bensalem, Penn., who works as a freelance court reporter in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, also earned her RPR in January.

“Earning this certification only proves to myself what my clients have always told me, that I am a top-notch reporter,” she said.

For more information about earning your RPR or any other NCRA professional certifications, visit NCRA.org/Certification.

Take advantage of some savings in honor of Celebrate Certification Month

NCRA’s second Celebrate Certification Month kicks off today, May 1. In addition to celebrating by sharing with customers, clients, and potential clients the importance of working with professionals who hold national certifications, NCRA members can also celebrate by taking advantage of special savings on test registrations and store purchases.

From May 1-15, NCRA members can save when they register for RPR, RMR, CRR, or CRC skills tests. There’s no better time than certification month to earn a nationally recognized professional certification from NCRA to boost your skills and your career potential. During the special rates offering, students taking the RPR Skills Test will pay $65 for each leg, while members will pay $80 for each RPR or RMR Skills Test leg. In addition, members can take advantage of a discounted price of $180 for the CRR or CRC Skills Tests, while students will pay only $150 for a CRC Skills Test.

Remember, earning a professional certification is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself to help ensure a successful career. So register now to take a skills test.

Throughout the entire month of May, members can also save an additional 10 percent on all purchases from the NCRA Store when they use the special savings code MAY10.

To help members celebrate throughout May, NCRA has made available a special resource page housing an array of downloadable materials. Resources include a press release template and instructions to distribute it, social media posts, email signatures, new CART and certification fliers, and brand-new certification business cards and career business cards.

For more information about the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, contact pr@ncra.org. Share with NCRA how you celebrate the month by sending information to pr@ncra.org.

Get ready to celebrate your certification during NCRA’s Celebrate Certification Month

Take part in NCRA’s second Celebrate Certification Month this May and share with customers, clients, and potential clients the importance of working with professionals who hold national certifications.

In any field, professional certifications are clear indicators that the people who hold them are committed to their chosen paths and believe that taking the extra time to earn them is worth it. Many professional organizations, from accountants to doctors, offer certifications. Certification gives people seeking specific services a way to recognize that someone meets the standard level of skills for a particular job.

“Professional certification reflects our commitment to our profession and to keeping our skills polished to ensure that we provide the highest quality of service and product to our clients. NCRA is proud to recognize May as Celebrate Certification Month,” said NCRA President Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance court reporter from Springfield, Ohio.

During Celebrate Certification Month, NCRA members and nonmembers are also encouraged to earn a certification or to add to any they already hold. In addition to showing proficiency in various skills, numerous NCRA membership surveys have found that court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers who hold NCRA certifications make more money and are often in higher demand than their competitors.

“Earning a professional certification is one of the greatest investments we can make in ourselves as we strive to be the very best we can be every day. I urge everyone to take the time throughout the month of May to celebrate their professional certifications and those of their peers, and to take this opportunity to encourage others who do not hold professional certifications to make the investment in their careers to obtain them,” Terry added.

To help members celebrate throughout May, NCRA has made available a special resource page full of an array of materials such as a press release, social media posts, email signatures, new CART and certification fliers, and brand-new certification business cards and career business cards.

For more information about the 2019 Celebrate Certification Month, contact pr@ncra.org. Share with NCRA how you celebrate the month by sending information to pr@ncra.org.