CLVS - Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a good dictionary for legal terminology?
- Is the title CLVS given to an individual or to a company?
- Is NCRA a company? Can NCRA discuss business matters with me?
- Can NCRA discuss technical matters with me?
- How do I contact the CLVS Council?
- Can I get a copy of the CLVS Standards?
- Are videographers required to be notaries?
- Can I become a member of NCRA?
- How does NCRA help CLVSs market their services?
- Is it mandatory for me to take the seminar first, before taking the written and production exams?
- Why do I have to take it in that order: seminar, WKT, and production exam?
- Do I have to stay for the entire day on Day 2 of the seminar (mandatory day for certification)?
- Why should I attend all 3 days when only Saturday is necessary for certification?
- Will I be provided with study materials at the seminar to prepare for the written exam?
- Can I use a handheld voice recorder to tape the sessions?
- Can I videotape the CLVS seminar and/or forum?
- Can I take photographs during the CLVS seminar and/or forum?
- Why should I attend the CLVS seminar and/or forum as a current CLVS?
- When are the next exams?
- How are the exams graded?
- Why are NCRA exams valid?
- Who is eligible for the exams?
- What do I use to study for the Written Knowledge Test?
- What exactly is the Production Exam?
- Why aren’t there more Production Exams?
- Can I mail-in an already taped deposition in lieu of my Production Exam?
- What kind of camera is used in the Production Exam?
- Can I use my own kit for the test?
Continuing Education/CEU FAQ
- Once I become certified, how do I maintain my certification, and how many CEU credits do I need?
- What are CEU's?
- Where can I find continuing education courses to earn my CEUs?
- Am I required to take my CEU courses from NCRA?
- How can I check how many CEUs I have for the current cycle?
Yes, the 3-step certification process must be taken in that order: seminar, written exam, production exam.
If you are already a videographer, you can just attend Day 2 of the Seminar; if time or budget allows, you can attend the Forum (with tracks dedicated to Hands-On Workshop and New Video Techniques covering topics such as Marketing and Creating a Video Settlement Brochure) on the third day.
The seminars are given only twice a year because the CLVS Council members, who comprise the faculty, volunteer their time for the program. The seminar prepares prospective CLVSs to take the written knowledge exam to prove that one knows the theory side of videotaping as a CLVS. Lastly, the candidate has to shoot a mock deposition at the production exam to prove that one now knows the practical side of videotaping as a CLVS.
The process does have to be taken in that order: seminar followed by the written exam followed by the production exam. The seminar is offered twice a year at various lcoations aroudn the country; the production exam is offered four times a year - at the seminars and two other regional lcoations; the written exam is offered four times a year at over 200 professional testing centers throughout the US. For information about upcoming testing dates and CLVS seminars, visit the CLVS homepage.
If you are an experienced deposition videographer, then just Saturday for the certification would suffice. Sunday offers tracks on Hands-On Workshop and New Video Techniques covering topics such as Marketing, Creating a Settlement Brochure, and more. If you have video experience, but not experience doing depositions, then Friday is valuable for the discussion of digital technology for Legal application.
Yes, you will be given a comprehensive guidebook.
Unlike other NCRA certifiations, CLVSs do not need to maintain membership with NCRA to keep their certification. To maintain the certification, CLVSs pay an annual renewal fee depending upon their level of membership and are required to earn 1.0 CEU (the equivalent of 10 hours of seminar time) per three-year CEU cycle. PLEASE NOTE: CLVSs are NOT eligible for Professional Development Credits (PDCs). To understand the difference between CEUs and PDCs, visit our Continuing Education page.
CLVS Renewal Fee
- Non-Members: $60.00
- Associate Members: $25 (in addition to the $145 membership fee)
- Registered & Participating Members: CLVS Renewal is included with this membership fee.
CLVS CEU Cycles*
- CLVSs are required to earn 1.0 CEU (the equivalent of 10 hours of seminar time) per three-year CEU cycle.
- If your CLVS certification was issued prior to October 1, 2010:
- First CEU Cycle Starts: October 1, 2010
- First CEU Cycle Ends: September 30, 2013
- If your CLVS certification was issued after October 1, 2010:
- First CEU Cycle Starts: The October 1 after your CLVS certification was issued.
- First CEU Cycle Ends: September 30, three years after your cycle start date.
*Please Note: If you hold other NCRA certifications, your original CEU cycle remains unchanged, and your CEU requirment is equal to the greatest requirment of any NCRA credential you hold. For instance, if you were an RPR who was required to earn 3.0 CEU's per cycle and you were to later earn the CLVS certification, your CEU requirment would not change, since the CLVS requirement of 1.0 CEU per cycle is lower than that of your RPR.
An audiocassette is fine.
Black's Law Dictionary.
CLVS is earned by an individual and not his or her colleagues or the company for which the CLVS works.
NCRA is a non-profit association representing professionals in the court reporting field, and, as such, cannot discuss business matters.
If you are not a CLVS yet, you should attend the CLVS seminar or post your question on our Online Forum under Legal Videography. If you are a current CLVS, you may email the CLVS staff, who will direct your question(s) to the CLVS Council and get back to you with answer(s).
14. When are the next exams?
The Written Knowledge Test is held in conjunction with all NCRA written exams (typically four times a year). The Production Examination is held up to four times a year – twice in conjunction with the Seminar & Forum, and up to twice at other times of the year. Visit the NCRA Certification Test Center for upcoming testing dates.
The Written Knowledge Test is administered at more than 200 Pearson VUE testing locations around the country. This multiple-choice test is written by the CLVS Council and the key is validated prior to the administration of the exam.
To ensure consistency, the Production Exam is graded in-person by trained CLVS Council evaluators. Proctors use a validated key to evaluate all candidates. Candidates are evaluated on both their performance during the deposition and the quality of the finished product.
Effective testing involves more than making up questions and administering them to the public. All NCRA examinations are put through a rigorous validation process by Professional Examination Services (PES) out of New York, NY. PES serves as a third party to determine whether or not examination tools are effective methods of testing knowledge. They also ensure that exams are consistent between administrations so no candidate has an unfair advantage over others. For more information on the PES validation process, please email the NCRA Department of Certification and Testing.
To sit for the Written Knowledge Test, you must complete the CLVS Seminar. To sit for the Production Examination, you must pass the Written Knowledge test with a passing score of 70 percent or better.
All questions on the Written Knowledge Test come from the CLVS Handbook that is distributed at the seminar. Test writers must cite the source from the Handbook before the question can appear on the exam.
This is the third and final step to becoming a CLVS. The exam consists of a 30-minute mock deposition in which candidates are evaluated on proper procedure as well as the quality of their exam. Candidates are provided all materials and equipment necessary to complete the examination. Outside equipment and materials are not permitted.
NCRA seeks to administer the Production Exam as frequency and in as many different locations as possible. However, testing resources are limited by the number of candidates coming through the program. To ensure consistency between the exams, only qualified evaluators may proctor the test. Additionally, identical equipment must be used in all production tests to ensure that no candidate has an unfair advantage. As the CLVS program grows candidate demand increases, NCRA will continue to add more opportunities to take the Production Exam. For upcoming testing dates, visit the CLVS homepage at http://clvs.ncra.org.
No. With a mail-in exam, there is no way to ensure that the finished product is the work of the candidate. If we allowed mail-in tests, the opportunity for cheating would go up considerably and this would damage the credibility and integrity of the test. Additionally, a mail-in test does not allow proctors to evaluate the candidate’s performance during the exam. Knowledge of procedure behind the camera as well as the quality of the finished product are both critical aspects of the certification process.
The Production Exam camera is owned by NCRA, and this information is not distributed to candidates prior to the exam.
No. All candidates go into the exam with the same blank slate in regards to the camera. Allowing candidates to use their own camera would give them an unfair advantage over other candidates during the test. Additionally, many candidates that come through the program do not have access to their own kits to use during the test, which would put them at a considerable disadvantage if we allowed this practice. To ensure the fairness of the exam, all candidates use the same camera.
24. How do I contact the CLVS Council?
You can reach CLVS Council by emailing the CLVS staff, who act as a liaison with the Council.
25. You are a freelance reporter and are scheduled to report a deposition. One of the attorneys calls you the morning of the deposition and informs you that the videographer he had booked is sick and requests that you also act as the videographer for the deposition. If you agree to do so, is this a violation of the NCRA Code of Professional Ethics?
Provision No. 3 of the Code provides that the reporter must guard against not only the fact but also the appearance of impropriety. Provision No. 9 states that a reporter must maintain the integrity of the reporting profession. As stated in NCRA Public Advisory Opinion No. 44, “The paramount duty of the reporter is to provide an accurate record of the proceeding.” A reporter has an ethical duty not to enter into a business relationship that could compromise the reporter’s ability to produce an accurate record.
The videographer does more in a deposition than turn the video camera on and off. This is clear upon reading the standards for videographers prepared by NCRA’s Certified Legal Video Specialist Council. One example cited in Opinion 44 is Standard 25, which states that “the videographer shall continuously monitor the video recording with a monitor/receiver, which is connected to the output of the VCR.”
The Council believes that accepting the job of videographer would “take away from the reporter’s duty to focus on reporting the proceeding” and thereby violates Provisions Nos. 3 and 9 of the Code of Professional Ethics that deal with avoiding the fact and appearance of impropriety and maintaining the integrity of the reporting profession.
For a more detailed discussion of this provision as well as other fact scenarios, please review Public Advisory Opinion No. 44.
26. Can I get a copy of the CLVS Standards for Videotaped Depositions?
Yes. The standards are available publicly. View the Standards.
At the time of this writing, there is no national requirement to be a notary in order to videotape depositions. However, the CLVS Council does highly recommend that all legal videographers be notaries, and if a law firm intends to take a deposition by videotape only (meaning without a court reporter present), then the videographer would have to be a notary in order to swear in the witness. This information is provided for educational purposes only. As stated in the CLVS Code of Ethics, each CLVS is responsible for following all "laws, rules and orders" related to the proceedings.
If you are planning to become a CLVS or are a current CLVS - Yes. As stated in the NCRA Membership By-laws, Article III, Section 7(c), “Any person seeking to become or who has been certified by the Association as a legal video specialist (CLVS) shall be eligible to become an Associate Member.” For more information on joining NCRA, please visit our Membership homepage or contact our Member Services and Information Center at 1-800-272-6272.
There are a multitude of options for earning your CEUs. NCRA is currently working to produce new teletrainings and e-seminars relevant to the CLVS field. All NCRA programs are pre-approved for CEUs. However, you're not by any means limited to NCRA offerings. You can request CEU credit for academic and continuing education programs of all kinds by submitting the CEU Request Form and application fee.
The CLVS and Trial Presentation Symposium is an excellent way to earn CEUs to maintain your CLVS certification. Each day of the CLVS seminar is worth 0.6 CEU, and the Sunday Legal Video Forum is also worth 0.6 CEU. Both days of the Trial Presentation program together are worth 1.0 CEU. As a special benefit, current CLVSs can register for the Sunday Legal Video Forum only at a deeply discounted rate of only $75.
CEU stands for Contuing Education Unit. NCRA's Continuing Education Program is nationally recognized and accredited by the American Council on Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). NCRA and ACCET jointly define 0.1 CEU as being equivalent to one hour of seat time in an approved seminar or course. PLEASE NOTE: CLVSs are NOT eligible for Professional Development Credits (PDCs). To understand the difference between CEUs and PDCs, visit our Continuing Education page.
No, you have a variety of options when choosing courses to earn CEU credit.
NCRA Courses: All NCRA courses offer CEU credit. In addition to live seminars, options include webinars, e-seminars, teletrainings, book tests and article tests. Watch for more CLVS-specific content coming soon!
Pre-Approved Courses: These are courses that the sponsor has submitted to NCRA for approval in advance. If a course is advertised as pre-approved, the sponsor will automatically report your for credit once you complete the course. Check the Continuing Education page for a list of pre-approved courses.
Non-Approved Courses: If a course has not been pre-approved, you can still apply for CEU credit if it is related to your professional competence. Courses eligible for CEU credit could include buisness courses, leadership programs, college coureses and others. If you would like to know in advance whether a course will quailfy, you can forward the agenda and speaker information to Sandra Bryant. Visit the Submit CEUs section of the website to download the CEU Credit Request form for non-approved courses.
For your convenience, your CEU transcripts (both current cycle and full history) are available online. To access your transcripts, go to the NCRA homepage at http://www.ncraonline.org, and log in using the link in the upper-right-hand corner. Once you have logged in you should see a link at the top of the page, just left of the center, that says, "Check CEUs." Follow the link to access your transcripts. If you have trouble logging in, please contact the CLVS staff.
34. How does NCRA help me market my services?
All current CLVSs receive a free directory listing on the NCRA website that court reporters and other potential clients can use to find you. Through the end of 2010, CLVSs are listed in both the CLVS Directory and the Professional Services Locator (PSL). After January 2012, the CLVS Directory will be removed, and all traffic will be directed to the PSL. One basic PSL listing will remain a free CLVS benefit.