What is a Registered Merit Reporter?
The title of Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) is a type of court reporting certification granted to a licensed and certified professional responsible for the transcription of speech into text taking place within a court hearing or trial. The act of transcribing legal proceedings from speech form into textual form is regarded as legal transcription.
The title of a Registered Merit Reporter is considered to be the second-most esteemed certification granted by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Only the certification of Registered Diplomate Reporter is considered to be higher. Currently, the United States is home to upwards of 3,000 Registered Merit Reporters.
Registered Merit Reporter Eligibility
In order to become a Registered Merit Reporter, the individual candidate will be required to:
Pass an examination demonstrating the candidate’s acumen in both the Written Knowledge of Stenography and proficiency in typing.
The prospective candidate for Registered Merit Reporter certification must undergo the renewal of their individual membership to the National Court Reporters Association.
Registered Merit Reporter and the NCRA
The National Court Reporters Association is primarily responsible for the oversight and regulation of Registered Merit Reporter certifications that are granted to individuals who desire to gain employment through stenographic employment. The NCRA recognizes ‘The Phrase Book of Pitmanic Shorthand’ as the professional standard with regard to the authorized transcription of legal and medical proceedings.
A Stenotype is a piece of equipment utilized by a Registered Merit Reporter for the purpose of legal transcription. In contrast to a traditional typewriter, which utilizes a ‘QWERTY’ system including keys designated for individual lettering, a Stenotype utilizes 25 keys allowing a Registered Merit Reporter to transcribe common legal phrases in an expedited and accurate fashion.
Registered Merit Reporter Certification
In order to be awarded certification as a Registered Merit Reporter, also known as a ‘RMR’, the satisfaction of the following requirements are necessary:
The Registered Merit Reporter Examination for the Proficiency in Written Knowledge
Registered Merit Reporter Examination for the Proficiency in Written Knowledge is used to gauge the skill of an individual stenographer student evaluating knowledge possessed with regard to the issues, operations, processes, procedures, and ideology within the legal or medical field.
The RMR examination is comprised of anywhere between 100 and 110 questions. The prospective Registered Merit Reporter will be required to complete the examination within 90 minutes. A score of 70% or higher is necessary in order to receive a passing grade.
The Registered Merit Reporter Examination for the Proficiency in Typing
The ability to produce an expressed amount of words within a finite period of time is required, the classification of which is also known as ‘words per minute’, or ‘wpm’. The candidate is given 75 minutes to complete each section. A grade of 95% or higher must be achieved in order to pass this examination. The prospective candidate is given 5 minutes to complete each of the requirements of the following 3 sections:
1) Literary Legal Transcription (200 wpm)
2) Jury Transcription or Jury Charge (240 wpm)
3) Examination-based Testimony or ‘Questioning and Answering’ (260 wpm).