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NCRA Certifications

Certified Broadcast Captioner

For testing dates, location, costs, etc., please visit the Certification Test Center.

Prove you are on the cutting edge. Become a Certified Broadcast Captioner and take advantage of the growing number of opportunities becoming available to realtime practitioners. As one of the top national programs that certifies your ability in realtime captioning, attaining the CBC designation commands instant respect and the immediate attention of potential employers.

Attention current certification holders

To ensure consistency in the marketplace and eliminate confusion, all CBCs and CCPs will be transitioned to CRC status on January 1, 2016.

Who is eligible to take the CBC Exam

Canidates must be current or aspiring stenographic (broadcast, CART, or judicial) reporters in order to take the CBC and/or CCP. Candidates no longer need to be a member of NCRA to sit for the exam.

How to register for the CBC Exam

The NCRA written knowledge and skills tests are being offered on separate days and at separate testing centers.  Please visit the Certification Test Center for more information.

Because the tests are being offered separately, candidates must register for the written knowledge and skills tests separately.  For registration dates and deadlines, please visit the Certification Test Center for frequent updates.

What does the CBC exam consist of?

The CBC is a two-part exam consisting of a Written Knowledge Test (WKT) and a Skills Test (SKT). The CBC is an entry level exam that measures the knowledge, skill, and ability of the candidate to produce an accurate, simultaneous translation and display of broadcasts utilizing realtime translation software.

The CBC and CCP Skills tests are the same tests of Literary matter at 180 wpm. To be certified as a CBC and CCP, you will need to take one skills test and both of the Written Knowledge Tests.

A CBC Job Analysis which is the blueprint for this certification program is available at no charge online in Adobe Acrobat Format or by calling 1-800-272-NCRA (6272).

Candidates who passed the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) test

Prior to November 2011, the CBC, CCP and CRR skills tests were the same -- five minutes of literary matter at 180 wpm. In November 2011, the CRR changed to a two-voice testimony test at 200 wpm.  Anyone who passed the CRR prior to November 2011 does not need to take the CBC and/or CCP skills test because they were the same test.  Anyone who passed the CRR on or after November 2011 will need to take the CBC and/or CCP skills and written tests to become CBC and/or CCP certified.  Please note that the CBC and CCP skills tests are still the same.

What it takes to pass the CBC Written Knowledge Test

The WKT is a 90-minute, 100 question, multiple-choice test based on, but not limited to, the following four areas of knowledge needed to perform the duties of a broadcast captioner. A candidate must pass with a scaled score of 70 or higher.  A list of references can be found here.  In addition, the CBC/CCP Certification Committee has identified these references:

1.  Alternative Realtime Careers
2. Captioning Guidelines and Format
3. NCRA Web site Captioning Community – Kevin Daniel “Captioning Changes and Conflicts”
4. Captioning Matters: Best Practices (NCRA)
5. Realtime Reporting and Captioning Theory CRHH Court Reporting at Home Theory
6. Benoit – Sports Olympics Security and Terrorism
7. Realtime Captioning:  The VITAC Way
8. (New CART)
9. Writing Naked
10. English Guide for Court Reporters – Morson
11. JCR 2/14 Pop Culture Slang and Internet – Words You Need to Know  Roy Isbell and Alan Peacock
12. Benoit – The Sports Handbook
13. Inside Captioning – Robson
14. Closed Captioning Handbook
15. Captioning Guidelines – FCC 2014
16. JCR 2014 “Does Captioning Still Serve Deaf People”   Gary Robson
17. Benoit – The Environment Weather Sciences & Geology Handbook for Reporters and Captioners
18. Ethics First –  Policy and Procedures – NCRA Web site
19. Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms
20. Merriam-Websters 

  • Writing Realtime
  • Language Skills
  • Realtime Writing in the Broadcast Environment
  • Research

What it takes to pass the CBC Skills Test

The CBC Skills Test consists of three steps:

  1. Setting up and operating your equipment
  2. Accurately writing realtime for five minutes at 96% accuracy from professionally recorded literary material at the speed of 180 words per minute.
  3. Converting your file to an ASCII text file. You are only graded on your final submitted text file.

How you maintain your CBC Certification

Once you pass both portions of the CBC, you'll need to maintain it by participating in NCRA's Continuing Education program. You must maintain your NCRA membership and earn a minimum of 3.0 CEUs over a three-year period.

Recognition of your achievement

After you have earned your CBC you will receive a handsome certificate to display in your home or office. You will also be recognized in the Journal of Court Reporting, the Court Reporter Sourcebook, and on NCRA's Web site.