About BIVR

We are the professional body for verbatim reporting

six small pics: a woman holding an award; a 19th century court room photograph showing a court reporter; a stenography keyboard with 'be a caption hero' on its monitor; a woman typing next to a large screen with captions; a certificate in gothic writing; a stenograph machine with a laptop on a meeting table

The British Institute for Verbatim Reporting represents verbatim reporters across the UK. We help to promote our services, support the training and professional development of verbatim reporters and by holding the largest network of reporters in the UK.

What is verbatim reporting?

Our members use machine shorthand, using either a stenographic or Palantype keyboard, or pen shorthand. Reporters can accurately write at speeds above 200 words per minute, with many able to reach much higher speeds.

They work in many spheres of the law, taking a verbatim record of the spoken word in arenas such as American depositions, international arbitrations, regulatory health ­Fitness to Practise hearings, the High Court, tribunals and inquiries, just to name a few. Members also work with D/deaf and hard-of-hearing people as speech-to-text reporters, providing communication support either with one-to-one access or captions to the big screen for events and broadcasts.

You can find out more about the wide variety of services verbatim reporters can offer on our Service Types page.

Our history

BIVR has a long and rich history. It is the successor organisation to the Institute of Shorthand Writers, established as long ago as 1865 and then incorporated in 1887 as a glance at our History page will show you.

What we do

  • Maintain a roll of BIVR Members, our qualified reporters working within differing spheres of practice;
  • Improve the qualifications and status of all our members;
  • Encourage student membership;
  • Encourage continuous professional development through formal and informal training opportunities;
  • Maintain access to training and examinations;
  • Provide a members-only Facebook group as well as a public Facebook page;
  • Debate court reporting topics and technical developments.

Our aims

Our aims, set out in our Memorandum and Articles of Association under the Companies Act, are as follows:

  • To promote the more efficient practice of the art of machine and pen shorthand in connection with legal and other proceedings;
  • To raise the qualifications and status of our members;
  • To encourage the maintenance of adequate training and examination facilities.