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NCRA Certifications

Registered Professional Reporter

RPR cert icon

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

Just ask a RPR what he or she thinks about the program--81 percent say their RPR designation is valuable to them as individual reporters and 94 percent say RPR certification is an important part of the court reporting profession.

Your RPR means more recognition and respect from your clients, employers, and fellow reporters. Your RPR means more job opportunities and referrals from fellow reporters.

In its comprehensive study of the court reporting profession, Hay Management Consultants refers to the RPR as an entry-level designation. This study, then, clearly establishes 66 percent of NCRA members as professionals.

Who is eligible to sit for the RPR Exam?

The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) is NCRA’s foundational certification designed for entry-level freelance and official reporters, students, those looking for a salary increase, and those in need of a license requirement. Candidates no longer need to be members of NCRA in order to take the RPR Exam. 

How to register for the RPR Exam

Please visit the RPR Testing Information page to register.

RPR Job Analysis and references

The RPR Job Analysis explains the relevant job experience, practice domains and tasks, and underlying knowledge and skills essential for an entry-level reporter.

A list of references for the Written Knowledge Test can be found on page two of the Job Analysis.

What it takes to pass the RPR Exam

To become a RPR, you must have the knowledge, skills, and ability to produce a high-quality verbatim record. The Written Knowledge Test, or WKT, is a 115*-question, multiple-choice test that focuses on three areas:

  • technology (22%)
  • reporting practices (62%)
  • professional practices (16%)

You must pass with a scaled score** of 70 or better.

* In order to provide candidates with a valid and reliable examination, NCRA has started to pretest items for the RPR, RMR, and RDR examinations. Pretesting ensures that all items on an examination are items with good statistics and no brand-new, untried items will appear on any examination. The RPR and RDR examinations will include items for pretesting. This means that the examinations will now have 115 items instead of 100 items. These items will not be scored, so the exams are still based off of 100 points. Candidates will not know which items are pretest items. Also, with the addition of the items, the RPR will now be 105 minutes instead of 90 minutes to allow candidates sufficient time to finish the examination.

** Scaled scoring is a means of assuring fairness and consistency in the difficulty level from one test administration to the next, achieved by applying two widely accepted standard-setting methods to each individual test question. This evaluation, recommended by NCRA's testing consultant and done by the Test Advisory Committee, court reporters, in conjunction with the Certification Standard Setting Task Force, and ensures that NCRA's program continues to meet testing industry standards.

To earn your RPR, you will also have to pass three sections of a skills test that evaluates you in three areas:

  • Literary at 180 wpm
  • Jury Charge at 200 wpm
  • Testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm

After dictation, you have 75 minutes to transcribe your notes from each leg. You must have 95 percent accuracy on each leg to pass.

You do not have to pass all the sections of the exam in one sitting. There is no time limit for earning the RPR.

How to maintain your RPR certification

As an RPR, you will participate in NCRA's continuing education program. To renew your RPR, 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 RPR, you'll receive a handsome certificate to display in your home or office. Your RPR also gets recognition in the Journal of Court Reporting, the NCRA Sourcebook, and on NCRA's website.