ASRA assists student members transitioning to the workforce and achieving their qualifications for the CSR(A) designation. Whatever time of year a second-year student completes their studies and speed testing, student members can rely on ASRA to provide advice, practical training opportunities, and on-the-job training through the ASRA members-only Facebook page and exclusive access to ASRA website information. ASRA board members and other senior members also provide guidance and mentorship and make themselves available as ad hoc mentors. Upon graduation, student members may contact the ASRA Registrar and apply for status as a Participating Member, at which point ASRA will make timely announcements of their graduation to help celebrate this important moment in their career and make arrangements for mentoring and full website access.
The Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association offers $2,000 annually via three scholarship opportunities available to NAIT students who are also ASRA student members. Learn more about our scholarships.
Social and Professional Networking
Whether it’s finding an old classmate on our members-only Facebook page, landing a new job, or networking with other reporters and mentors at a convention, ASRA provides members with the opportunity to make powerful connections that enhance your life, your career, and your earning potential. One of the most common themes in our membership feedback is how rejuvenating it is to attend a conference or seminar and reconnect with other reporters. Since many of us work alone at a home office or with a small group, it is refreshing to brainstorm with a large group of other talented reporters. Whether you are sharing briefs and phrases, software tips, or the latest industry gossip, you can learn a lot more at an ASRA conference or seminar than what’s on the agenda. Never underestimate the power of networking to increase your earning capacity now and into the future.
Information & Resources
The Alberta Rules of Court underwent sweeping changes in 2010, and ASRA was there to provide our members with the information they needed to re-format their transcripts and certificates to conform with those changes. Members also have ongoing questions about their professional responsibilities in terms of swearing in witnesses, retaining old files, or handling unique situations. ASRA offers support and reliable information to guide our members. Whether you are interested in information on attaining professional designations, learning about realtime training and opportunities, or just getting a quick answer to a question, the ASRA is an excellent resource for members. ASRA members are eligible to join in our members-only Facebook page with up-to-the-minute responses. They may also access the members-only section of the ASRA website and receive monthly e-mail newsflashes with current information and industry news.
Professional Designation & Advocacy
The Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association is a professional association under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act (POARA) and we are governed by bylaws under the Societies Act. Under the Alberta Rules of Court, Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) ASRA members automatically meet the criteria of Official Court Reporters. The ASRA executive council works closely with industry and government stakeholders as well as the general public to promote the benefits and services our skilled members have to offer.Our certified members have received post-secondary diplomas/degrees and have met the high standards of training, experience, and continuing education necessary to be a professional court reporter or realtime provider in English-speaking countries around the world, including opportunities in Australia, the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, the International Criminal Court and other United Nations-sponsored tribunals. The CSR(A) designation is the gold standard letting both employers and clients know that transcript or realtime services are being provided by a professional dedicated to maintaining continued professional education and training. If a transcript is not certified by a CSR(A), the individual preparing those transcripts may not have received the appropriate training and post-secondary education required to meet our standards. Whether applying for a job or bidding on a contract, citing a professional designation for yourself and/or all of your firm’s reporters can make all the difference!
Government agencies and firm owners know that Certified Shorthand Reporters of Alberta or CSR(A) members are skilled professionals with post-secondary education, training, and experience. Our members receive timely job postings and employment opportunities quickly and efficiently through our website and e-mail newsflashes. Most ASRA members are graduates of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Captioning and Court Reporting Program. As the only NCRA-certified court reporting school in western Canada, graduates are recognized world-wide for their excellence. Employers seek out NAIT alumni specifically because they are assured that our professional members have had an excellent education. Graduates work at home or in English-speaking countries around the world including court reporting or realtime opportunities in Australia, the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, the International Criminal Court and other United Nations-sponsored tribunals. Upon graduation, student members may apply for Participating Membership and ASRA will announce their graduation to the general membership and potential employers in order to assist them in their job search.
Affordable Professional Development & Continuing Education
Most court reporting and realtime courses are held in the United States, and these training seminars and continuing education courses can be very expensive for individuals. Travelling out of the country can be inconvenient and may include costly out-of-pocket expenses. ASRA members embrace technology and realize that their ASRA membership gives them opportunity to attend affordable seminars and receive training at ASRA’s annual Spring Seminar and Fall Convention. This valuable continuing education is subsidized by ASRA as part of its mandate, and the seminars and conventions are held at various locations throughout the province each year. Members attending ASRA conferences and seminars will receive continuing education credits to maintain their CSR(A) designation and are also eligible for National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) continuing education credits to maintain those designations as well. Current information on software and hardware is also provided in our monthly e-mail newsflashes and in the members only section of our website. Because of our strong relationship with the NAIT Captioning and Court Reporting Program, ASRA hosts NCRA testing at NAIT three times per year in spring, summer, and fall at a subsidized rate for ASRA members. As one of only four testing hosts in Canada, ASRA members enjoy the convenience and cost-savings of attaining their accreditations without the time and expense of travelling across the country or to the U.S.