How the Continuing Education Program Works
NCRA’s Continuing Education Program is established and administered by the authority of the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR). The CAPR’s operation is mandated by the Bylaws of NCRA, and its members are appointed by the NCRA Board of Directors. Any request for exemption from the policies outlined below must be addressed to CAPR.
In 1975, the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) program was initiated to raise the field of court reporting to a verifiably professional level. Earning Registered status through a process of rigorous testing and maintaining it through a comprehensive program of continuing education ensures that the designations represent a consistent level of proficiency, technological advancement, and all other traits of well-rounded professionals.
NCRA offers additional certifications for working reporters: the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR, formerly the Certificate of Merit); Registered Diplomate Reporter (RDR); and two realtime-related certifications, Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC).
NCRA’s continuing education program is based on continuing education units, or CEUs. This is a widely recognized system of measuring adult learning. Registered members may now choose from a variety of learning opportunities, including commercial seminars, many of which already incorporate the CEU measurement system.
NCRA also awards professional development credits (PDCs) for activities deemed to be beneficial to the profession or to the professional development of the reporter. PDCs do not qualify for CEUs under the definition of a CEU as defined by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
The goal of continuing education for court reporters is to equip our members with the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a world of ever-changing information and technology. A uniformly applied continuing education program ensures that the reporter-using public will find a consistent quality of proficiency and knowledge among our Registered members. The field of court reporting demands that its practitioners acquire and maintain a broad base of knowledge. The body of knowledge in the world changes approximately every seven years. In this spiraling explosion of information, court reporters must keep up or face being left behind. The obvious benefits of continuing education are learning new skills, keeping up with technological advances, and developing new areas of expertise. However, the hidden benefits may be even more valuable — keeping the mind open to new ideas, honing the skills of learning, and developing as a well-rounded professional.
The stated educational mission of NCRA is to:
- Provide certification programs to ensure the competency of realtime reporters, captioners, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) captioners, and realtime educators
- Provide continuing education for its members and all realtime reporters, captioners, CART captioners, and realtime educators
- Promote higher education, academic, and technical skills to students of realtime reporting, captioning, and CART
- Promulgate standards for realtime reporting and captioning educational programs and approved realtime reporting/captioning programs meeting those standards
- Provide programs that strengthen and ensure the professional competence of its members
- Provide programs to stimulate personal and professional career development
- Provide an open registration policy for all available educational programs
Continuing education program rules
Educational institutions, certification boards, and government bodies place a high value on the legitimacy that is inherent in holding oneself to scrutiny and validation by an independent and objective national accrediting body. The Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) is the national organization that accredits NCRA’s continuing education program. ACCET has specific requirements for what is eligible to earn CEUs. CEUs will remain a central element in NCRA’s continuing education approach.
On Oct. 1, 2013, NCRA adopted the following Continuing Education Program Rules:
College credits for RPR and RMR
In 2009, NCRA discontinued its status with the American Council on Education. You may apply for college credit for your certification if:
- You earned your RPR between the dates of Jan. 1, 1978 and May 31, 2009.
- Your earned your RMR between the dates of Nov. 1, 1990 and Feb. 28, 2009.
If you have met either or both of the above requirements, please contact the credentialing coordinator. Please note: College credits awarded for the RPR and RMR are for use toward earning a college degree only. This credit may not be used toward your NCRA certification continuing-education requirements.
Program accreditation and complaint procedure
NCRA’s Continuing Education Program is nationally recognized and accredited by ACCET. It is the mutual goal of ACCET and NCRA institution to ensure that educational training programs provided by NCRA are of the highest possible quality and conform to industry standards and best practices. If problems arise, program participants are encouraged to contact NCRA at 800-272-NCRA (6272) or firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, a satisfactory resolution can be reached via NCRA’s internal complaint procedures. In the event that a participant feels that NCRA has failed to comply with ACCET’s standards and/or policies, that participant has the right to file a complaint directly with ACCET. Information about how to file a complaint is contained in ACCET Document 49.1. Note that ACCET will process complaints that involve ACCET standards and policies and, therefore, are within the scope of the accrediting agency.