Accredited Scopist (AS) Exam


Next Scheduled Examination Date: TBC

Ensure you have read the information below then APPLY ONLINE.


To comply with the Articles of Association, any person who desires to be admitted a Member of the Institute must:
(i) Submit to the Secretary an application form together with examination fee (this may be online via the form on this page).
(ii) Satisfy the council that they have been taking notes, scoping or transcribing audios for not less than three years, or have undertaken a bona fide course with appropriate mentorship (shadowing), or webinars, as agreed by Council, whichever is applicable to the examination you are undertaking.
(iii) Satisfy the Council that they have had a good general education. (For this purpose, please forward copies of all relevant certificates).
(iv) Pass an examination in practical notetaking of up to one hour’s duration, for AV, or STT examination, or 20 minutes’ audio recording for AT examination, or 30 minutes’ audio for AS examination, conducted by an Examiner appointed by the Council.
(v) Submit a transcript within three weeks of the date of the examination.
(vi) Candidates for the VR or STT examination must also provide a first draft computer print-out of the test piece (no editing/scoping).
(vii) Pass a written examination designed to test editing/comprehension skills.
(viii) There should be no conferring or sharing of examination audios or papers with other candidates.
(ix) There should be no posting of the examination material on social media.
(x) The completed transcript for any examination should be the candidates’ own work, i.e., with no conferring with other candidates, though case papers and the Internet may be used to assist the candidate in their transcript preparation.
(xi) If a candidate wishes to undertake, for example, the Scopist exam in both Eclipse and Case CATalyst, a discount of 20% will be allowed for candidates undertaking two tests at the same time. I.e., £50 for the first one and £40 for the second.

BIVR Examination syllabus for Membership for Scopist/Editor (AS)

Prerequisites for undertaking Scopist/Editor examination:

Candidates should have a reasonably accurate typing speed of 65-75 wpm, although it is to be hoped that they will not have to enter a lot of text “dropped” by the VR they are scoping for.

Typing may be tested online at the following sites: or though other sites are available.

Candidates should have undertaken several hours (up to 20 hours) of practice scoping/editing work.

Candidates to keep a diary (a practice journal) of their practice work to provide to the Examiner to indicate all the areas and timings of practise they have undertaken.

For those who are unfamiliar with court proceedings, there is free online video and audio available, namely:

The Supreme Court:
We must caution candidates that it should be noted that the use of these videos is for training purposes only and under no circumstances should candidates post information about them on social media!

BIVR has speed dictation on the members’ area of its website.

Candidates for examination will have access to the BIVR website for the purposes of accessing audios and the BIVR Guide.

There is also live timed dictation practise offered, for a small fee, by the Incorporated Phonographic Society (

There is also a plethora of information about court hearings on YouTube. This is just one example:

Candidates should Google for other examples if prospective Scoping candidates wish to get a flavour of court proceedings.

Candidates should be familiar with their own and the VR’s CAT and/or word processing software.

The objective of the Scopist/Editor examination is to ensure that candidates have the ability to edit a verbatim reporter’s note following the style requested for that assignment showing sufficient comprehension and grammar skills to edit a verbatim reporter’s notes.

Be familiar with both steno and palan systems. In-depth knowledge of both is not strictly necessary, but enough to be able to correctly global entries, understand the role of conflicts etc.

The theory test is to ensure that candidates have sufficient knowledge of familiarity with the areas where a verbatim reporter works and editing services may be required. As well as being competent in spelling, grammar and legal terms.

Candidates will be allocated a date and time to undertake the examination.

The Scopist/Editor examination will consist of:

(i) Up to 30 minutes’ duration of a first draft transcript from a verbatim reporter, plus their pre-recorded downloadable audio provided by BIVR.
Candidates will have up to two hours to scope/edit the first draft and the final transcript should be sent through to the Examiner immediately following its completion.
Preparation material will be provided to the candidate by the Examiner just prior to the examination first draft transcript and audio being downloaded. The case papers and the Internet may be used to assist the candidate in their transcript preparation.
An Editor cheat sheet for both palan and steno, available from BIVR, will have been studied at a webinar during training.

(ii) A multiple-choice theory examination. This will be provided to the candidate at the time of the examination.

The result will be conveyed to the candidate within three weeks of receipt of the final edited transcript.

The competencies are:

  1. Follow the style guide
  2. Spelling and grammar
  3. Working to a deadline
  4. Knowledge of software (not CAT specific)
  5. Accuracy of content, i.e., the candidate did not mishear/misunderstand significantly
  6. Proofreading
  7. Transcript formatting

The marking criteria:

The main emphasis is on the accuracy of the scoped transcript and candidates will be graded on that, namely, the transcript.

The scoring is from 1 to 5 marks for each of the seven competencies.

The candidate may request to see their marked transcript.

The examiner, who checks the finished transcript, will indicate on the transcript where, if at all, the candidate has scored a mark below 5. For instance, where they have not followed the style guide. Thus the candidate should clearly see the point at which they have been given the lower score and why.

Core Competency scoring

5 VHA – Very High Achievement Has demonstrated a very high level of skill competency in this area
4 HA – High Achievement Has demonstrated an acceptable level of skill/competency but could be developed
3 SA – Sound Achievement Has demonstrated some weaknesses in the skill/competency, although these could be overcome by training and development
2 LA – Low Achievement Has demonstrated considerable weaknesses in the skill/competency. More training in that area needed
1 VLA – Very Low Achievement Has demonstrated major weaknesses in the competency

In the following example of scoring, the candidate did not follow the style guide on two separate and distinct occasions, hence they have had 2 marks deducted from that competency.

Followed style guide 3
Transcript formatting 4
Spelling & grammar 3
Working to a deadline 2
Knowledge of software 4
Accuracy of content 3
Proofreading 1
MINIMUM SCORE NEEDED (e.g. no less than 3s) 21

Some examples of poor proofreading could be evidenced:
• If different fonts are used;
• names are spelled differently throughout the transcript;
• extra line spacing;
• double words wrongly left in (which should be found on a spellcheck.)

Note: A name spelled wrongly throughout, which could have been checked from the case papers, will only attract one mark deducted provided it is spelling in the same wrong way throughout the whole transcript.

The result will be conveyed to the candidate within three weeks of receipt of their transcript.


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