Join NCRA   |  Store  |  NCRA Online Sourcebook  |  FAQ  |  Resource Center  |  Contact Us
Realtime Systems Administrator

FAQ - Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop

Why is this a certificate program and not a certification program? 

In order to ensure that your credential will be recognized by the public and truly distinguishes you as an exceptional professional, NCRA strictly adheres to the rigid standards for credentialing programs established by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  Under those standards, programs like the Realtime Systems Administrator program are considered certificate programs because they test competency in a particular skill set used within a profession, whereas certification or licensure programs (like the RPR, for example) test on the full range of skills and knowledge needed to perform all the varied tasks required of a member of a more broadly defined profession. 

This distinction (certificate versus certification) does not diminish the status of the credential in any way.  Your NCRA Certificate in Realtime Systems Administration is backed by the same standards of credibility, validity, legal defensibility and public assurance.  It is merely a credential of a different category.

How do I maintain my certificate?

To maintain your status as a Realtime Systems Administrator certificate holder, you will need to earn one (1.0) technology-related continuing education unit (CEU) during each successive three-year period.  Your first three-year term expires on September 30 three years from when you passed the testHowever, if you currently hold another NCRA credential (RPR, CLVS, etc.), you will maintain your current continuing education cycle. 

For example, if you are an RPR and your RPR continuing education cycle ends on September 30, 2016, your Realtime Systems Administrator certificate will also expire on that date.  If you have earned enough credits to roll over your RPR to your next three-year cycle, your Realtime Systems Administrator certificate will automatically rollover, as well (just remember that the Realtime Systems Administrator certificate requires that you obtain 1.0 CEUs related to technology). 

Can I use the initials RSA after my name once I complete the program?

Because NCRA adheres to rigid credentialing standards, NCRA cannot award an acronym or letters to certificate holders for use after their names.

However, by successfully completing the workshop and passing the test afterwards, candidates are not only awarded a frameable certificate but are also authorized to use the following terminology on letterhead, in advertising, or in other marketing materials such as:

  • Credentialed as an NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator
  • NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator Certificate Holder
  • NCRA Realtime Systems Administrator 
  • Realtime Systems Administrator

Other seminar and software vendors don’t make this distinction, why does NCRA?

Not all credentials are the same. Nor are all credentials backed by the same standards of excellence and quality assurance.

NCRA chooses to adhere to the highest standards established by nationally and internationally recognized accrediting and credentialing authorities for its certification, certificate and continuing education programs.  This assures NCRA members who earn these distinctions that their accomplishment means something and will stand up to any public or legal scrutiny.  This assures the public who chose you to provide court reporting and related services that they can rely upon the credential as a valid, independently verified and objective assessment that you possess the skills and competencies you claim to and that you are a professional committed to ongoing continuing education to maintain that competency.  

If I attend the workshop, but I do not take or do not pass the assessment exam, do I still receive a certificate?

Attendees who opt not to take or who do not pass the assessment exam will not receive a certificate.  However, those attendees requiring continuing education for other certifications will receive 1.0 CEUs for attending the workshop.  To obtain a copy of your transcript, please contact the Member Services and Information Center at (800) 272-6272, or

I cannot take the assessment exam immediately following the seminar.  What are my options?

You must take the assessment exam within two years of attending the seminar.

Retesting Policy

Candidates are not permitted to retest/sit for the same certificate exam during a given test administration period.

Unless the retest is required due to an NCRA technical malfunction or other extenuating circumstances deemed appropriate by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, candidates must wait until the next test administration to retest, and all expenses to retest (registration fee, travel expenses, etc.) will be covered by the candidate.

For additional questions, please contact (800) 272-6272 or