CCRA-NJ Frequently Asked Questions:

F.A.Q's - Continuing Education




Transcribing Interpreted Testimony

Q. When did the New Jersey State Board of Shorthand Reporting implement the CE regulation?

March 2001. 


Q. How many CE credits do I need as a New Jersey CCR, and by when?

Between July 2018 and June 2020 (the current two-year licensing period), you need to earn 15 credits. If credits are earned within six months of the next licensing period, you may carry over up to 5 "extra" credits. So if you already have, for example, 10 of the 15 credits needed and you earn another 10 Between January 2020-June 2020, you meet the 15 needed by June 2020 and carry over the extra five to the 2020-2022 licensing period, giving you a jumpstart on the 15 you'll need by then.


Q. How are NJ CCR CE credits calculated?

Each seminar hour is equivalent to one (1) NJ CCR continuing education credit. Fifteen hours of CE are required in a two-year licensing period, the current period being July 2018-June 2020. The next renewal of your CCR license will be June 2020.


Q. How are NCRA CE credits calculated?

On July 1, 1999, NCRA adopted the nationally-recognized continuing education unit or CEU. This CEU system measures CE hours in tenths; hence, one NCRA CE credit hour is equivalent to .10 CEU. NCRA now requires 3.0 CEU every three years, which translates into 30 hours of continuing education. (One hour = 0.10 CEU; ten hours = 1.0 CEU; thirty hours = 3.0 CEU)  NCRA CEUs always expire on September 30th, but the year varies depending on when your NCRA CEU cycle started. NCRA periodically issues CEU "transcripts" to its members. You can request a copy of your CEU "transcript" at any time by calling NCRA Member Services at 1-800-272-NCRA or clicking the CEU Transcript Request link on their website


Q. Will the New Jersey State Board of Court Reporting accept NCRA-approved continuing education?

Most likely; however, the NJ State Board is more stringent in that programs, courses and seminars must specifically relate to court reporting. Although NCRA approves many holistic, therapeutic and health-based seminars, the NJ State Board may not. If you plan to participate in a program sponsored by an organization which has not applied for pre-approval by the NJ State Board, you must submit the course outline yourself and request review for approval in advance. To be on the safe side, restrict your NJ CCR continuing education endeavors to programs directly relating to court reporting and core curricula; i.e., English, Grammar, Punctuation, CAT, Theory, Writing Skills, Realtime, Business, Ethics. The Certified Court Reporters Association of New Jersey maintains a Continuing Education Page where you can read the complete language of the State Board of Court Reporting Continuing Education Regulation and learn more about acceptable courses and alternative means of earning continuing education.


Q. If I cannot attend seminars sponsored by CCRA-NJ, are there other resources for earning NJ CCR CE credits?

Absolutely. Continuing education programs are sponsored by many individuals, state and national associations, and business organizations throughout the country, some available 24/7 via the internet, teleconferencing, and home study. Hundreds of seminars and courses directly relating to court reporting can be found with a little researching effort. Some software vendors and individual court reporters offer CE programs which have been pre-approved by both NCRA and the NJ State Board of Court Reporting. CCRA-NJ is your professional association and exists to serve the interests and needs of New Jersey reporters specifically. We sponsor and apply for approval of continuing education seminars throughout the year. The CCRA-NJ Annual Convention in the spring and Mid-Year Convention in the fall offer a wide variety of seminar topics with the opportunity to earn the most credits at one time. There is always a complimentary seminar after our November General Membership Meeting.


Q. Must I be a member of NCRA or CCRA-NJ to participate in the continuing education events they sponsor?

No. Everyone is cordially invited and encouraged to attend all continuing education events. Membership in state and national associations is voluntary and a matter of individual pride and professionalism. Although NCRA membership is mandatory to maintain any NCRA-sponsored certifications you may hold, the New Jersey CCR and CCR-R certifications are governed and regulated by the New Jersey State Board of Court Reporting. The biennial licensing fee and participation in 15 hours of continuing education per licensing period are required to maintain those state certifications. Association membership has its benefits, one of which includes discounts on seminar registration fees.


Q. Who keeps track of my NJ CCR continuing education credits?

You do. The logic is based on the fact that NJ CCRs are able to participate in any approved programs and attend CE events anywhere, at any time; therefore, CCRA-NJ would have no way to monitor the ongoing continuing education activities of every individual reporter in the state. Certificates of Attendance, CE Verification Letters, and/or CE Punch Cards must be maintained by the individual NJ CCR or CCR-R until proof of CE participation is requested by the State Board of Court Reporting at the time of your license renewal. If you happen to hold NCRA certifications, as well as the CCR or CCR-R, your NCRA CE "transcript" may serve as a convenient tracking source.


Q. How can I become a New Jersey Certified Court Reporter?

In order to become a New Jersey Certified Court Reporter, you must attend a court reporting school in person or online.  A list of schools is available at  In NJ, you must pass the RPR exam given by NCRA and then apply to the NJ State Board of Court Reporting, a Division of Consumer Affairs, for a NJ Certified Court Reporter license.  Visit for more information.


Q. What is the advantage to becoming a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR)?

A. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) program is the only nationally recognized certification program that establishes your competence as a reporter. It is generally regarded that this is the first phase in becoming a court reporter.  You must pass this test in order to apply for a Certified Court Reporter license to work in NJ.


Q. What is the RPR Exam?

NCRA oversees the testing for the RPR exam.  It is given online throughout the year.  NCRA has detailed information on its website regarding the specifics of when and how the test is administered.

To become an RPR, you must be able to produce a high-quality verbatim record. There are two parts to the examination -- Written Knowledge Test and a Skills Test. The Written Knowledge Test is a 100-question, multiple-choice test that focuses on three areas -- Reporting Practices (62%), Technology (22%), and Professional Practices (16%). You get 90 minutes to complete this section of the exam. A passing score is 70% or better.

The Skills Test challenges you with 15 minutes of dictation--five minutes each of literary matter at 180 wpm, jury charge at 200 wpm, and testimony/Q&A at 225 wpm. After the dictation, you get 3 and 1/2 hours to transcribe your notes. You must transcribe each section with 95% accuracy to pass.  You do not have to pass all the components of the exam at one time.


Q. What is the advantage to becoming a Registered Merit Reporter?

A. With your RMR, your peers and clients will recognize you as one of the top court reporters in the country. Your RMR gives you more opportunities for challenging and lucrative job assignments. Becoming a RMR is generally seen as a level of achievement worthy of a higher salary and more recognition.


Q. What is the RMR Exam?

To earn your RMR, you'll also have to pass three sections of a skills test that evaluates you in three areas--Literary at 200 wpm, Jury Charge at 240 wpm, and Testimony/Q&A at 260 wpm. After dictation, you have 75 minutes to transcribe your notes from each leg. You must have 95% accuracy on each leg to pass.

You do not have to pass all sections of the exam at one sitting. As long as you maintain your NCRA membership, you will retain credit for the sections passed. There is no time limit for earning the RMR.


Q. What does the Registered Diplomat Reporter (RDR) certification signify?

The RDR is the highest level of certification available to court reporters. This certification program was developed to allow high-level, seasoned reporters to distinguish themselves as members of the profession's elite.


Q. What is the RDR Exam?

The RDR exam consists of a 100 question Written Knowledge Test that focuses on three areas – Technology (17%), Reporting Practices (53%), and Professional Practices (30%).

To qualify for the 100-question, multiple choice RDR Exam, you must be a current member of NCRA, hold the RMR certification and have five current and continuous years of membership commencing with Participating or Registered member status.

The exam is designed to test your knowledge and experience. There is a study guide available; however, NCRA recommends you also be familiar with new reporting technology, NCRA policies and guidelines, and articles published in the Journal of Court Reporting to prepare for the exam.


Q. What is the Certified Reporting Instructor program?

The CRI certification program was designed to recognize that excellence in teaching is a composite of many traits, skills, and knowledge. The program addresses the needs of those instructors who have professional certification and professional experience in the court reporting field and the needs of those instructors who have extensive formal education in pedagogy.



Q. What is the significance of the Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) certification?

The CLVS certifies that you are adept in the use of video in the legal environment , familiar with courtroom video and video deposition techniques as a legal video experts.


Q. What is the Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) Program?

The Certified Manager of Reporting Services (CMRS) Program instructs you in the operations of a court reporting business and the supervision of reporters. It teaches you to meet budgets and prepare marketing plans, and it prepares you to cope with the ever changing environment of Court Reporting.


Q. What are the advantages of becoming a Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR)?

Certified Realtime Reporters developed because of the advantages of the growing number of opportunities becoming available to realtime reporters. As one of the top national programs that certifies your ability in realtime, attaining the CRR designation commands instant respect and the immediate attention of potential employers, proving that you're on the cutting edge.

You must be a member in good standing of NCRA and a current RPR to register for the CRR.

The CRR test is two-voice testimony at 200 words per minute for five minutes.  You must pass with 95% accuracy.


Q. What are some of the technologies that are having a direct effect on the court reporting marketplace today?

In recent years, technology has begun to have a major effect on court reporting. To stay up-to-date, a court reporter must be familiar with Interactive Realtime Reporting , Videoconferencing , Internet Communications and Encrypted E-mail Services.


Q. What is Realtime Reporting?

Realtime Reporting is the instantaneous display of the spoken word to text on computer screens. Realtime Reporting is used in depositions and the courtroom.  The skill is used to produce closed-captioning on TV, translation for the deaf and hard of hearing community in all settings including the classroom, including colleges and universities, and on large monitors at conferences.


Q. What advantages are available to court reporters on the Internet?

In order to stay competitive, court reporters, like nearly every other service provider today, must become familiar with the Internet. The Internet offers a number of advantages to court reporters:

Research . There is no more cost-efficient, expansive or rapid research tool than the Internet. Research is an integral part of court reporting, especially when dealing with expert witnesses and obscure words or facts. With the Internet there is direct access to thousands of dictionaries, encyclopedias and experts worldwide, plus the ability to communicate with your colleagues, any time, any day.

Communications . Everything from scheduling a deposition, confirmation, the deposition itself, remote participation by attorneys using realtime, transcript preparation and its accompanying research, delivery, billing, payment and collections will involve the Internet.


Advertising . Websites provide a highly visible, cost-effective, convenient platform from which reporting firms, large and small, can establish their professional presence on the Internet and advertise their services to the world.


Q. What is the function of a scopist?

A scopist receives a rough transcription of a proceeding, usually along with audiotapes and underlying documents, such as exhibits which were discussed during the proceeding. A scopist uses these resources, as well as their inherent understanding and experience, to produce a clean transcript for the reporter.

A scopist may help maintain a reporter's dictionary by making "global" entries in the software . A reporter may make a typo, or write something several different ways, or may take new terminology, and none of this will exist in their dictionary. As a scopist edits a transcript, they either replace bad strokes with the correct record, or they "define" these strokes on the computer by making a "global," or global search and replace. This tells the computer to add this stroke or combination of strokes to the dictionary, as well as maintaining the clarity throughout the transcript. This drastically speeds up the reporter's work and the scopist's work. A good scopist should be fairly fluent with machine shorthand in order to accomplish their task.


Note that while a scopist should produce the cleanest possible transcript, they are not responsible for the final product. For example, if there are names that cannot be looked up, the scopist marks it in the transcript and the reporter must make a final determination.


Q. Why do court reporters use scopists?

First of all, working with a scopist allows the reporter to take more work and have a faster turnaround time. More importantly, by building a relationship with a scopist, a reporter can enjoy some other advantages.

By working together, a scopist and reporter can quickly and continually build on a dictionary for CAT/realtime . Also, with a scopist, there are two sets of eyes searching for spelling errors, typos and other mistakes.

Also, by using a scopist, a reporter can avoid repetitive use injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.


Q. What steps must be taken when swearing in the witness and the Interpreter?

You must first swear in the interpreter , and then swear in the witness through the interpreter.

At the beginning of the transcript, you'll need to indicate the witness's name as usual, but also the fact that the succeeding pages were translated through an interpreter "duly sworn to translate English to _____ and ______ to English," or words to that effect.

Just make sure the record adequately reflects the fact that 1) an interpreter was used, 2) the interpreter was placed under oath, and 3) the witness was placed under oath. Your Appearance Page should also reflect the interpreter's name in an "Also Present" section.


Q. How is the interpreted word transcribed?

A. Your transcript will look "normal," that is, with Q's and A's and colloquy between speakers, etc. The only exception to this is if the interpreter speaks "for himself." When the interpreter is making a statement for himself, "The Interpreter" is used as an indication, rather than Q or

Q. How should the transcript look if the interpreter does not use the first person?

A. A trained interpreter will know to use the first person when interpreting a witness's testimony; that is, s/he is interpreting and repeating back the words exactly as they are conveyed to him/her. When receiving an answer, s/he should answer in the first person as if he were the witness speaking the words. If the interpreter doesn't do this and uses the third person instead, you need to transcribe that as words from the interpreter.

To make matters worse, sometimes the witness will have enough English to understand some of what is said and jump in with the English answer without waiting for the interpreter. You will need to be ready to write what the witness says, whether it's spoken through the interpreter or with his own mouth. The transcript will be the same.


Realtime Reporting is the instantaneous display of the spoken word to text on computer screens. Realtime Reporting is used in depositions and the courtroom.  The skill is used to produce closed-captioning on TV, translation for the deaf and hard of hearing community in all settings including the classroom, including colleges and universities, and on large monitors at conferences.