Court Reporting Program Approval

What is NCRA approval?

For over 60 years, NCRA has worked with schools across the country to ensure that court reporting education is upheld to the highest quality learning and industry standards.

What does that mean? NCRA serves as an independent, third-party organization that reviews and approves court reporting programs, measuring them against established standards of educational excellence – the General Requirements and Minimum Standards (GRMS). The GRMS are critical benchmarks that set a collective standard and provide clear objectives to attain.


Why does approval matter?

NCRA approval is designed to help court reporting programs boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students. It also matters because students deserve the highest level of educational excellence possible.

One of the advantages is that NCRA-approved court reporting programs are recognized across the country and can assure prospective students that the school meets national standards. It also has a foundational meaning of continuous school improvement by engaging in the approval process. Lastly, schools participating in the NCRA approval process can benefit from shared expertise and professional learning.


The General Requirements for Minimum Standards set the standard for your court reporting program and can simplify a student’s journey to certification.

Cynthia Bruce Andrews, M.S.Ed, Sr. Director, Education and Certification


Program approval process

The NCRA approval is a 5-step process engineered to evaluate court reporting programs — their structure, processes, resources, and materials. We perform a thorough review and offer NCRA approval to programs that meet the General Requirements and Minimum Standards (GRMS) set forth by the Council on Approved Student Education. These programs clearly demonstrate their passion and commitment to court reporting education.

Regardless of program - Judicial or Captioning - the NCRA approval process is the same: an effective methodology that dives deep into program structure and specifics while also ensuring strategic alignment with the vision and mission of the GRMS.


Steps to approval
STEP 1: Getting started

Listed below are the documents you will need to begin the NCRA approval process:

  • Review the GRMS to familiarize yourself with the minimum standard requirements
  • Complete the Approved program application (Programs going through re-approval do not need to fill out this application.)
STEP 2:  NCRA review

The application is reviewed by NCRA staff to determine whether the program qualifies for an on-site evaluation.

A conference call is scheduled with NCRA staff and school officials to select an on-site visit date, review the submission of forms, and discuss the overall logistics of the visit.

STEP 3:  Program self-evaluation

Extensive self-evaluation is performed by program instructors and administrators. The program is reviewed and assessed against the GRMS. During this self-evaluation, the program instructors and administrators should take the opportunity to make program improvements prior to the on-site visit. The program submits the following forms:

STEP 4: On-site evaluation

On-site evaluation of programs is conducted by an evaluation team which consists of a certified program evaluator (CPE), an online CPE, if applicable, and an NCRA staff person.

All items listed below must be submitted to NCRA staff no later than 45 days prior to the scheduled on-site evaluation date:

  • Self-Study Fee
  • Completed Judicial, Captioning, and/or CART self-study forms
  • Data sheets and resumes of court reporting instructors
  • Sample advertisements
  • Syllabi
  • Internship Information
  • List of graduates from the last five years
  • Copies of diploma and certificate
  • Online access

All items listed below must be submitted to NCRA staff no later than 10 days prior to the scheduled on-site evaluation date:

  • Site visit agenda
  • Any other items requested
STEP 5: Program approval and ongoing reviews

After the on-site visit, the program is forwarded a visitation report. The court reporting program has 30 days to respond to the visitation report. Program approval packets are presented to CASE for decision in January and July.

After a thorough review by CASE, the program is awarded NCRA approval for a 5-year period from the date of approval.

To maintain approval status during this period, programs are asked to review their activities to ensure that standards are being upheld. NCRA requires that programs complete an NCRA Annual School Report and pay an annual fee to remain approved.*

*Programs that are in teach-out are required to submit an NCRA Annual Report and pay an annual fee to remain approved throughout the teach-out process.