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BIVR - the professional body for verbatim reporting

The British Institute of Verbatim Reporters represents verbatim court reporters, as well as having other membership categories, including Speech-to-Text Reporters (also known as captioners), scopists/editors and audio transcribers. The Institute promotes and protects our members' interests whilst at the same time supporting and enhancing their professional development. We are proud to hold the largest network of these professions in the United Kingdom, and indeed Europe.

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.

What we do

  • Maintain a directory of BIVR Members 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.

[Please note that this Institute has no connection with an entity styling itself B.I.V.R. (Bureau International de Versements Reglementaires) and anyone receiving a communication from that body (especially written in French!), please do not forward it to us. It is very likely a scam, but it has absolutely nothing to do with us.]

From the Rooftops

THE PRESIDENT: So all that remains for me to do is to thank our court reporter for the wonderful work that she has been doing, all by herself, on a highly technical and complex case, both in terms of the equipment and construction and the legal opinions, so thank you very much for that.

A 13-day realtime arbitration, reported by Leah Willersdorf, AVR, and scoped by Rebekah Lamplough, AVR

I just wanted to pass on my thanks yet again for your support at yesterday’s cochlear implant candidate information session in London. I was very impressed with not just your excellent captioning but your flexibility.

Captions supplied by Julie Whitaker, ASTTR

PROFESSOR XXXXXX:  I can confirm from experience that the quality of Audrey's transcripts is extraordinarily good.

- Recent realtime arbitration in Germany, reported by Audrey Shirley, AVR, and -

[On a Monday] THE SOLE ARBITRATOR:  Wednesday?  I would say that's --
MR XXXX:  Wow!
THE SOLE ARBITRATOR:  That's wow, exactly, that's pretty quick, so thanks for that.
MR YYY:  And that is why we engaged Audrey for this hearing.

Commenting on the speed with which Audrey can produce her final product

I just wanted to say a big thank you to both of you and your team for delivering such a great service at the weekend. We really do appreciate the work you put in, both in the run up to the conference and over the conference weekend. I would particularly like to say thank you for your work with [interpreting company] in making their service run smoothly and also looking into, and providing, the additional text requirements for one of our delegates. I was really chuffed that we were able to deliver this.

Happy client feedback on STT services supplied by Caroline Booth, ASTTR, and Julie Whitaker, ASTTR

You are an excellent court reporter and a pleasant person. If you come to Miami, I can find plenty of work for you!

- US attorney on realtime depositions reported by Leah Willersdorf, AVR, and -

Thank you very much Leah. I completely agree in my humble opinion that you are an excellent court reporter and a very very pleasant person.

The above attorney’s client

We thought you were oustanding at your job and such a lovely person. You are so very talented.

- Users of captions at a local hard-of-hearing group where services were provided by Amanda Bavin, ASTTR, AVR, and -

We received some very positive feedback from members of the public in relation to the quality and consistency of the output.

- a very happy client, and -

Brilliant, well done, congrats on a triumph of subtitling! The best yet!

From a London museum client