To become a scopist, do you have to go to school? Do you get a certificate in it?
Scopists who haven't attended court reporting school usually do take
some kind of course so they get the basics of what a transcript is all
about, learn how to read steno, and brush up on grammar and punctuation
skills. Some are self-taught or learn the ropes directly from a court
reporter who gives them work. As of yet, there is no "official"
certificate for scopists. The various schools and courses may hand out
a "diploma," but there is no equivalent to a CR's state license for
scopists, no requirement for CE, etc.
Scopist certification was attempted by the NCRA some years ago and it
got so controversial ("I don't need it, I've been scoping for X years!
You can't make me take it!") that they finally dropped it. There was a
committee who worked quite a long time to put together a "test" for
scopists and it was very difficult - not sure it was ever finalized.
Here is a snippet of a message from a certification opponent back in
May 1998: Hip-hip-hooray!!! The scopist certification testing just
went down the tubes!!!!!
(PS - I didn't write that.)
As far as making it more affordable for scopists, my gripe, after going
two times (Cleveland in '95 and Orlando in '97), was that it was nearly
an exact repeat of the other year - many of the same speakers, many of
the same topics. The scopist activities were isolated off to themselves
and I didn't feel we were a part of the whole group, really.
Many times various individuals and groups have tried to unite scopists
and have asked what we want. The reply has been dead silence, apathy.
This doesn't mean we don't care about our scoping careers, it just means
that we don't know what would be helpful to us and not turn into a big
political power struggle. In my opinion, what we really want is
someplace to go to ask questions and get a little support and advice. I
think this list offers that and has been helpful to those of us here,
but again, another example of lack of interest is indicated by a number of scopists
who were invited to join us and never did. Perhaps
some of that reluctance comes from a few unpleasant things that happened
in the old CRForum (haven't been there lately to see if the atmosphere
is different). Or maybe they feel like they are just on too many email
lists. Who knows?
If anyone *does* have something in mind that the NCRA could successfully
do, by all means submit the suggestion. They want to help, but they
haven't figured out how yet.
Sorry to get on my soapbox, but I cancelled my NCRA membership a few
years ago and haven't missed it. I did enjoy some of the articles in
The Journal, though, but even they got repetitious after a while. I
think the jokes were the best part. (gg)
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