(Look for current certification testings in the Calendar, to the left.)
Certification is an important milestone in your professional career;
please read instructions carefully.
AAERT's ongoing certification program for electronic court reporters and transcribers is a test of our members' professional skills by written and direct practical examination, with digital focus.
Numbered certificates are granted under three headings:
- CER (certified electronic court reporter)
- CET (certified electronic transcriber)
- CERT (certified electronic court reporter and transcriber)
ELIGIBILITY: who may take the exams?
AAERT members in good standing, who
- are eligible for notary public commissions in their states,
- have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, and
- have one year of experience in reporting or transcribing.
Note: A member with less than one year of experience may sit for examinations if referred by (1) an AAERT-certified member or (2) a current employer (for purposes of this referral procedure only, the Committee expands the standard definition of employer to include those who administer reporting or transcribing contracts, and who wish to recommend a qualified associate or subcontractor.)
A referral must be signed and submitted in writing to AAERT along with the test application form and corresponding fee.
Effective October 25, 2011: Apprentice Members may not sit for any AAERT certification exam.
Effective May 15, 2013: Payment in full must be received by the appropriate due date for your particular testing, or you will not be permitted to test.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What are the testing fees? The examination fee is $150, reporter or transcriber.
The re-testing fee for only the written or practical portion of an examination is $75.
What are the tests like?
There are two parts, written and practical.
To become AAERT-certified, you must pass each of the three written test sections with a score of at least 70%, as well as pass the practical test.
WRITTEN: The timed written portion covers three areas:
(1) technical aspects of electronic practice — including, for reporters, microphone protocols;
(2) legal procedures and principles; and
The reporter and transcriber written exams are not identical, although there may be some areas of overlap where practices / principles converge.
REPORTER PRACTICAL: Reporters view a forty-minute, five-voice mock trial, one prepared specifically by AAERT for this purpose, and are scored on their actual note-taking skills. Digital reporters arrange for their own laptops, log-noting software or Word document, and properly formatted flash-drives or CDs.
A passing score is 80% accuracy.
TRANSCRIBER PRACTICAL: Transcriptionists listen to an AAERT-prepared audio recording of a court proceeding, whether analog or digital, to produce ten (10) text pages of verbatim transcript during a 120-minute test session.
A passing score is 98.0 percent verbatim accuracy.
Technical requirements are specified in advance, so appropriate templates or macros can be prepared. The final transcript file may be submitted in Word or WordPerfect. If you use another word-processing software, you must convert your document to a .txt, .html, or .pdf version that can be read on any computer.
The transcript file you produce during the exam must be saved to a thumb drive or properly formatted CD.
Transcripts are not hard-copy printed at the test site, but are printed by the Committee for subsequent scoring.
AAERT uses the federal district court transcript format as our national transcription test standard. If you prefer to use another format, you must get prior approval.
When are test results sent out?
Tests are scored by Certification Committee members who are themselves AAERT-certified, and results are sent to a test-taker's membership address of record, usually within six to eight weeks after the examinations.
How will I maintain my certified status over time?
Will continuing education (CE) credits be required?
The Association maintains certified reporters and transcribers on its public-access rolls while they remain members in good standing.
CE credits are available, and can be earned by attending Conference seminars, lectures, and other presentations. AAERT provides an attendance / participation record upon request. Not all jurisdictions or employers have established CE standards.
Please note: Use the pull down menu at the top of this page for additional information.