Why should I get an NCRA certification?
NCRA certifications help members prove their ability at the national level and increase their earning potential. While not required in every state, NCRA certifications set members apart while providing credentials that are universally recognized by the profession.
How do I renew my membership?
You can easily renew your membership by:
- Renewing online
- Calling our Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET
- Mailing your dues to NCRA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20191 and including your NCRA ID #
How many CEUs do I have and when does my CEU cycle expire?
Why is there a fee to submit coursework to my NCRA transcript?
NCRA has to maintain a database, financial records, and manage the paperwork for the transcripts. Many states accept our transcript as proof of continuing education for state certification purposes due to our diligence.
What is the renewal cycle for membership?
All memberships run on a calendar year: Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. NCRA sends the first renewal notice for the upcoming year in early October. Members may select to auto-renew their dues each year to avoid a renewal notice.
What is online skills testing?
Online testing means that candidates will take the RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC skills tests using the advanced technologies of Realtime Coach and ProctorU. Candidates will test at the convenience of their home, office, or other secure location. Please review the Technical area below for equipment requirements). The test will be administered via the Realtime Coach platform and monitored by a live, professional, online proctor using pre-recorded dictation.
How often will the tests be administered?
What portion of dues is a deductible business expense?
NCRA dues may be deductible as an ordinary business expense, but they are not deductible as a charitable contribution. The non-deductible ordinary business expense portion of your annual dues is 1 percent. Membership dues include a $75 one-year subscription to the JCR.
Donations to the National Court Reporters Foundation are 100-percent tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
Is it possible to submit all my CEUs at once for one fee?
No. There is a separate fee per course as the courses need to be reflected separately on the transcript.
How are the tests graded?
At the end of your test, you will copy and paste your transcript to generate an estimated score. All tests with a score of 92 percent or above are reviewed by an NCRA Qualified Grader. Tests with a score of less than 92 percent are final grades.
How do I update/change my membership information (address, phone, email, etc.)?
- Log in to your account to access both My Main Profile and My Sourcebook Listings to make any necessary changes.
- Call our Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.
- Email your update(s) to our Membership department.
- Mail your update(s) to NCRA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20191, and include your NCRA ID #.
Why do I keep receiving an error message when I submit my CEUs online?
There are several common issues that may cause error messages when using the online continuing education submission system.
You are using Microsoft Edge to access the NCRA website. Please try using Google Chrome instead.
You are entering something other than numbers in decimal format in the hours of activity/education field. This field will only accept numbers in decimal format. A 90-minute activity should be entered as “1.5” (without the quotes.)
- You are attempting to attach more than one document to your submission. Please combine your documents into one PDF.
- The file name for the document you are attaching is too long. Please give this file a short name, without spaces or unusual characters.
- The file you are attaching is too large. The system will accept documents no larger than 5 MB. Please attach a smaller document.
If none of these suggestions resolves the issue for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is defined as a course?
A course is defined as:
- Multiple sessions taken on one calendar day from the one vendor. Multiple days will incur multiple charges; different vendors require separate fees. The vendors covered by this are below:
- Stenograph/Prince Institute
- Stenographer’s World
- CCR Seminars
- Bridges Court Reporting
- Any course meeting NCRA requirements from an independently accredited school, college, and/or university.
- Multiple programs taught over the course of a single convention.
- Individualized training taught on one subject by one instructor or a team of instructors over a 12 month period.
How do I register, extend and/or cancel a Skills or Written Knowledge Test?
Complete and submit the related Skills or Written Knowledge Test form. All testing forms can be found on the Testing Forms page
I’m taking a break from reporting. Is there an inactive status?
Reporter members who are taking a break from reporting and are not working at all as a reporter can take advantage of inactive-status dues for a maximum of six years. You will be required to sign an inactive status form each year to certify that you are not working in order to maintain eligibility for inactive status. You will pay half the regular dues rate. If you are a certified member, your credential expiration date will advance one year for each year of inactive status taken. If you take more than three years of inactive status, you will also be required to earn additional Continuing Education Units to renew your credential. To request inactive status, you can download an Inactive Status Application
and fax it to 703-391-0629 or email it to the Membership
department . You can also contact the Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.
Are CEU submissions covered under my annual fees to NCRA?
Your NCRA member dues and CLVS renewal fees only cover the general expenses of maintaining your membership. Additional charges accrue for individual continuing education submissions.
I’m retiring from reporting. Is there a retired status?
Any Participating or Registered Member in good standing after January 1, 2018, who is no longer deriving income in any manner from the verbatim stenographic reporting profession, shall be eligible to become a Retired Member and pay half of the dues of Participating or Registered membership.
How can NCRA be sure that candidates will not share content?
Testing information is confidential. By registering to take an online test, the candidate agrees that the subject and words of the test will not be disclosed to other candidates. Failure to adhere to the policy will result in being banned from future testing and termination of NCRA membership.
ProctorU's proctors are connected to candidates in realtime, with live audio and video connections. Additionally, proctors view a live feed of the candidate’s monitor through screen-sharing technology. After authenticating their identity, candidates must show (using an external webcam) that their workspace is secure by giving a 360-degree pan of the entire room and desk or workspace.
ProctorU uses multiple levels of recording and reporting, including full session video and audio, and screen capturing. ProctorU’s screen-sharing software provides the proctor with a list of current running processes. Proctors are able to remotely disable or close unauthorized software on the test-taker’s computer. Additionally ProctorU will require you to remove secondary monitors and will disable unnecessary software.
Candidates will be required to acknowledge that they are aware of NCRA’s policy concerning testing honesty and integrity. They must also acknowledge that failing to follow NCRA testing procedures may result in an automatic failure and being barred from taking NCRA-administered tests for a minimum of three testing cycles or permanently depending on the nature of the violation. This could also result in being suspended or expelled from the Association. Candidates must acknowledge that the tests are the exclusive property of NCRA and that copyright law protects NCRA Tests. They must also acknowledge that no part of these tests may be copied or reproduced in part or whole by any means whatsoever, including memorization.
They will further attest that the skills test they are submitting is solely their own and developed during the exam. They will also attest that they used no notes, materials, or other aids other than those provided by NCRA. They will further attest that they will not retain a copy (including audio, text, or stenographic) of the skills test. They will further attest that they will not share any copies of the skills test with others including its content (terminology or topic), either privately or on a public forum. The theft or attempted theft of an NCRA test is punishable as a crime.
How can I get a receipt for my membership dues?
- Email your request for a receipt to our Member Services and Information Center.
- Call our Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.
- Mail your receipt request with your payment to NCRA, 12030 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 400, Reston, VA 20191, and include your NCRA ID #.
How will ProctorU know the correct person is taking the test?
ProctorU has a layered authentication process that establishes the candidate’s identity:
- Via a webcam, a live proctor sees the user, checks their photo ID and takes their photo to keep on file. (Please note that if the webcam is moved after its location is approved by the proctor, the proctor will interrupt the session due to security concerns, and the exam will be terminated.)
- Using techniques based on industry-leading fraud protection and banking standards, the user answers challenge questions to validate their identity.
- Sophisticated keystroke analysis software creates a profile for each user.
How can I pay less in continuing education fees?
- Attend an NCRA sponsored event. NCRA holds several events throughout the year that provide continuing education opportunities for our members, like our annual Convention and Firm Owners Executive Conference. Please check the NCRA calendar of events for more information on what is coming up.
- Attend a state convention. Most state affiliate associations submit events for approval by NCRA and submit the lists to us after the event. Visit the Continuing Education calendar for more information or check with your state association.
- View one of NCRA’s e-seminars. E-Seminars represent the most convenient way to earn CEUs when and where you need them. Featuring recorded video and downloadable handout materials, e-seminars allow you to access the best presentations from past NCRA events and webinars. Explore NCRA's E-seminar library.
What membership category do I qualify under?
- Participating Membership – All stenographic court reporters and captioners in the following categories: freelance, official, hearing, legislative, broadcast captioner, and CART captioner
- Associate Membership – All people who work with and/or support stenographic reporters and captioners including: instructors, school officials, retired reporters, stenotype or CLVS agency owners/managers, note readers, proofreaders, scopists, transcriptionists, suppliers/vendors, attorneys, paralegals, Certified Legal Video Specialists, secretaries, and other selected professionals
- Student Membership – All students presently enrolled in a formal stenographic court reporting program/school or scoping school
How do I extend or cancel a webinar or e-seminar?
What equipment/technical requirements do I need?
Please read: How to take an online test with Realtime Coach and ProctorU (CRITICAL!)
The above link contains detailed instructions on the three mandatory uploads that must be performed in order to complete your exam:
- Upload your notes file (three minutes)
- Upload your transcript (time varies based on exam)
- Copy and paste your transcript into the Transcript area (time varies based on exam)
If you skip any of three steps above, your exam will result in an automatic failure.
Candidates taking transcription tests (RPR or RMR) are authorized to print test documents, including paper notes, as long as all materials are shredded before closing the exam window.
Realtime Coach offers videos on testing in their system: Realtime Coach Tips/Tutorials.
What is the NCRA Sourcebook?
The online NCRA Sourcebook provides a means for consumers to search for NCRA members including court reporters, legal videographers, attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals. It also reinforces the value of certification in the profession.
NCRA members can take advantage of enhanced online features such as real-time updates and upgraded Premium or Premium Plus listing, which allows users of the Sourcebook to:
- Email listings
- Print profiles
- Search for services offered and software used
- Connect with members through social media
- View Google map of address
NCRA also has a print version of the Sourcebook. For additional information about the print version and on pricing of the online listings, please contact email@example.com.
How can I sponsor a member?
NCRA members may sponsor a specific person for NCRA membership by completing the Sponsor a colleague
Software and Writer Setting Information
Note: The proctors are not trained or allowed to help you with your CAT software. You MUST know how to do the following processes before testing:
- How to place your writer in test mode
- How to connect your writer to your CAT software (for realtime) or how to read your steno notes into your CAT software (non-realtime)
- How to edit a transcript in your CAT software (transcription tests)
- Where to locate your CAT files on your computer
- How to distinguish the various parts of the CAT file from one another, such as a note file versus a transcript file
- How to mark and copy a chunk of text in your CAT software
- This part may be new to you because you don’t necessarily do this on a regular basis. If that’s the case, refer to the CAT-specific instructions above or contact your CAT software vendor for assistance
NCRA strongly recommends that you take your first online test Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time, so that Realtime Coach's technical support team is standing by.
Click Realtime Coach Technical Support and bookmark the site to quickly reach Realtime Coach's technical support in the future or to ask them a technical question that is not covered in the critical link above.
ProctorU recommends scheduling your test in advance and outside of their busiest period, which is 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Always allow yourself ample time in case there are delays in getting a proctor or there are technical issues that must be addressed prior to taking your exam.
What equipment is not supported?
At this time, ProctorU does not support the following equipment and operating systems; however, it is working on solutions to accommodate every platform:
- Android tablets (Nexus 7, etc.)
- iOS tablets (iPad, iPad mini, etc.)
What if I am unable to complete my test due to a poor internet connection?
The likelihood of this happening is slim as you will have tested your bandwidth
before logging in to take the exam. The recommendations set forth by ProctorU and Realtime Coach (such as not using a wireless internet connection, shutting down all unnecessary programs running on your computer, using their suggested browsers, and taking advantage of the free proctored practice) will also help you avoid this scenario. You will be responsible for reregistering to take the exam again at a later date.
Is there a logo that I can use as an NCRA member?
What type of location/environment do I need?
You need a quiet location that meets the mandatory technical requirements. Place a sign on the door/entrance stating that you are taking a test and cannot be disturbed. Other things to consider: turn off all phones; if you are sharing an internet connection with other members of your household, ask them not to play video games or stream movies; and remove all distractions that may make noise (animals, etc.) prior to putting on your headphones to take the exam. For security reasons, do not speak during your exam or the proctor will terminate the session. Pick the best location that is conducive to a secure, quiet testing environment. Read through the candidate instructions to make sure you meet the criteria such as a cleared desk with only one monitor and keyboard or a laptop. If your exam is interrupted for any reason that is beyond ProctorU and Realtime Coach's control, you will be responsible for reregistering to take another exam at a later date at your expense.
What is NCRA's testing policy?
All online testing candidates are required to sign the following disclaimer prior to taking their test(s):
I acknowledge I am aware of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) policy concerning testing honesty and integrity. Failure to follow any NCRA Testing procedures may result in an automatic failure and being barred from taking NCRA-administered tests for a minimum of three testing cycles or permanently depending on the nature of the violation. NCRA members may also be suspended or expelled from the Association. I understand that the test is the exclusive property of the National Court Reporters Association. Copyright law protects the NCRA tests. No part of these tests may be copied or reproduced in part or whole by any means whatsoever, including memorization, unless previously authorized by NCRA.
I further attest that the skills test I am submitting is solely my own and was developed during the test. I have used no notes, materials, or other aids other than those provided by NCRA. I further attest that, to the best of my knowledge, I have not retained a copy (including audio, text, or stenographic) of the skills test. Further, if I discover at any time that I have accidentally retained said copy, I will immediately delete it (any and all formats), and notify NCRA promptly of the discovery. I further attest that I will not share any copies of this skills test with others, nor will I share its content (terminology or topic), either privately or on a public forum. The theft or attempted theft of an NCRA test is punishable as a crime.
Is there any way to practice the online testing procedure before taking my real test?
Yes, and practicing ishighly
encouraged! You have access to practice files on myrealtimecoach.com
(please create a user account using your NCRA membership ID number as your user name as that will be the account used for your actual test), and you can take those practice tests again and again, as many times as you’d like. Once you’re comfortable with the layout of the site, the testing steps, and attaching your files, you can then schedule up to two complimentary practice sessions with a proctor. By doing so, you can confirm that all your equipment is in good working order for the test, such as your webcam, microphone, and internet connection. Be sure to schedule your proctored practice sessions as close as possible to the same day of the week and time that you plan to test. When you take your proctored practice test, be sure to click on the icon with "Practice" on it. If you are registered to take a real exam, that icon will be displayed on your screen too without the word "Practice."
What is the role of the proctor?
NCRA is partnering with ProctorU to enable you to test online in the comfort of your own home, office, or whatever location you choose. ProctorU works with a large population of Certification & Training Organizations, Higher Education and other Integrated Partners including: LexisNexis, Paralegal Institute, National Association Boards of Pharmacy, UNC at Chapel Hill, New York Law School, and many more (visit proctoru.com for a complete client list). They have thousands of proctors at proctoring centers across the country.
Proctors are provided with overall general guidelines for proctoring our testing candidates. They are not trained on steno machines or the operation of steno machines. Their role in your testing experience is to ensure that you are following NCRA’s testing rules and are not receiving any assistance during the testing process to produce your exam transcript.
If you violate any of NCRA's testing rules such as removing your headphones, moving the camera, speaking during the exam (unless answering a proctor), leaving the room, or moving outside of the camera's range, the proctor will create an incident report and your exam will result in an automatic failure.
How do I register?
Visit the online skills testing center
to register. You will receive an enrollment confirmation email that your registration is complete and instructions on scheduling your exam within three business days from Realtime Coach. You must schedule your exam with ProctorU within 30 days of receiving that email.
What is the registration fee?
One of the many benefits of online testing is that candidates will now be able to take each test separately. For example, if someone wants to take just the RPR Literary, but wait to take the Jury Charge and Testimony, he/she can do that. To accommodate this, the registration fees have been broken out so candidates can now pay for just the test(s) they need.
|RPR (each test leg)
|RMR (each test leg)
Are there any tutorials or videos on online testing?
Yes! We have YouTube videos
that cover every step from how to register for a test to taking a test. Realtime Coach also offers videos on testing in their system: Realtime Coach Tips and Tutorials
. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the system before taking your tests.
What should I do if I can't upload files during proctored practice?
The most common cause of this specific issue is insufficient computer resources. Here are some troubleshooting steps you can take to tackle this issue:
Do I need to pay for each attempt, or does the fee cover all three attempts?
You will need to pay for each attempt you take. The fee covers one attempt; if you need another attempt to take the test, you will need to register and pay for the next attempt.