I’m a Court Reporter. Why Bother Training Proofreaders, and How Can I Know They REALLY Know How to Proofread?
Think about it. You’re a court reporter, and you were trained and tested at some point by another court reporter, probably in some kind of classroom setting. You did that so you could learn how to report jobs, yes? Going through training and testing serves as proof to agencies and clients that you know your stuff.
I’m a seasoned transcript proofreader facilitating the exact same thing for people who want to become transcript proofreaders. From my past experience as a reporter manager in a court reporting office, I know there’s a need for excellent proofreaders. Some of the stuff that rolled into the production office after being “proofread” was, well, shocking. One of my students got confirmation on this, too — read her firsthand experience in the FAQ article: Is There a Demand for Transcript Proofreaders?
So there’s a need. There’s a demand. I’m working to meet it.
I teach online via screencast videos, tutorials, worksheets, more than 3,100 practice pages, and live support on Facebook and e-mail/chat. It’s the same thing as you being trained to become a court reporter … except it’s for proofreaders. You know agencies are more comfortable with reporters who’ve had bona fide training and testing. You can feel comfortable with a proofreader who has been trained and tested, too (see the course syllabus).
Both you and I know that there are proofreaders out there who think they can proofread, but when you get work back from them, the truth comes to light: they don’t have a clue. PA proofreaders having gone through rigorous training complete with a final exam (that includes an actual human-graded transcript) serves as verifiable proof they know what they’re doing.
Yes, you can learn to scope (which is also taught online) or do court reporting and then decide to proofread instead, but not everyone wants to scope or report — and not everyone has thousands of dollars to invest in these programs.
So what about those people? How do they get in? That’s why I created ProofreadAnywhere. Currently, there’s no structured training or testing specifically for transcript proofreading other than my course.
I Need More Proof. Do PA Grads REALLY Know What They’re Doing?
Taking and passing a rigorous course specific to transcript proofreading is proof they don’t miss the stupid stuff — they wouldn’t have passed otherwise. We require a 90% or better to pass the course, which is a higher pass requirement than many state court reporting exams. Students are trained and ready to mold to their clients easily.
Even better proof, though, are words from the students’ own satisfied clients.
Their raw feedback speaks volumes for the quality of their work. I asked my students to share with me positive feedback their clients had shared in response to their excellent work — even as “new” transcript proofreaders (keep in mind, a good chunk of my students have had plenty of proofreading experience, and are only new to transcripts when they start… but not when they finish):
Theresa’s client, Patty, said:
“The hearing that you proofread for me was great. As it was a rush job on my part, I usually would go over it again on my end before I sent it to you to be proofed, but I didn’t have a chance, hence why there were so many corrections. I think you did an awesome job. If I find there are preferences that I like, that I feel you are not catching, I will let you know. I loved that you looked up the cases and found the correct spellings. That was a plus ;-)”
— Patty L., reporter, client to PA graduate Theresa N.
I teach my students to work with extreme precision and detail. Looking up spelling and doing research goes a long way with clients.
Keisa’s clients said:
“I am very impressed by the results.”
— E. Davis, reporter, client to PA graduate Keisa F.
“OMG… I love you already!!!”
— S.H., reporter, client to PA graduate Keisa F.
Court reporters and proofreaders should be best friends. They’re a team.
Angela’s client said:
“I just wanted to let you know I thought you did a fantastic job with your edits for my transcript. Thank you! You definitely know what you are doing. :-)”
— J.G., reporter, client to PA graduate Angela W.
“I really appreciate your help and look forward to continuing to use you. You’re a great proofreader!”
— J.G., reporter, client to PA graduate Angela W.
After everything I put them through, you’re darn right they know what they’re doing.
Kristin’s clients said:
“Thank you soooo much for your help! I’ll definitely use you again in the future.”
— C.E., reporter, client to PA graduate Kristin L.
“My last proofreader was such a flake, I haven’t had one in 3 years because I didn’t want to deal with it. I’m so glad I found you!”
— B.K., reporter, client to PA graduate Kristin L.
Proofreaders can really take a load off a busy reporter, and being easy to work with is key. I teach my students how to work “smoothly” with their clients — a big part of that is providing super-fast response time and excellent customer service.
Fatimah’s client said:
“Thanks for a job well done! PDF does look nicer. Can’t believe you caught that.”
— D. V., New Mexico CR, client to PA graduate Fatimah S.
I teach my students to catch not just “easy” stuff but to catch the stuff that will blow their clients’ minds. They also learn to deliver their work in a clean, easy-to-read format to ensure making corrections is hassle-free for the reporter.
If you need even more proof, check out this e-mail exchange I had recently with one of my very own clients. In it, she speaks of using another proofreader when I went to NY on vacation — but it wasn’t someone who took my course. Instead, the proofreader she used was someone she’s known for her entire 34-year career, and is a former court reporter… yet she missed an egregious amount of errors. She also accepts my offer to have one of my graduated students e-mail her to take over for me, as I’ve amassed a lot of work for myself teaching the two courses here on the site.
Check out our reporter testimonials section for more.
This e-mail exchange is solid proof of four things:
1) Former court reporters do not always make the best proofreaders — while many do, being a court reporter is not a guarantee one has the “eagle eyes” necessary to proofread;
2) Reporters of 30+ years trust me to proofread their work;
3) Seasoned reporters trust me to refer them to proofreaders I have personally trained;
4) I believe in my training method enough to trust my students with my very own clients.
Truth be told: my students work their tails ends off in my course. You HAVE to in order to succeed. Only the strong survive. I make it no secret: if you want to make this happen, you have to WORK. I can tell you all the ins and outs, how to deal with clients, etc., but I can’t do any of the work for you.