The Canadian justice system consists of a range of components that all work together as a cohesive unit to ensure that proceedings run smoothly and in a timely manner. Two of the components essential to the justice system fall under the court support services umbrella. The first is the role of the court reporter whom is responsible for producing verbatim transcripts of Court of Queen’s Bench proceedings (trials), quasi-judicial proceedings, boards of inquiry and public hearings. This person may also provide real-time reporting services on request. Meanwhile, the role of a court clerk includes those who perform support functions in courts of law, such as calling court to order, preparing court dockets and maintaining exhibits.

While these two roles differ, you only have to attend one program to have the knowledge to launch a career in either role. Municipal court training at Centennial College is called Court Support Services and trains students in two semesters to carry out the duties of court reporters and court clerks. This is achieved through a curriculum that has been approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General and includes the implementation of courtroom procedures, in addition to working with judges, lawyers and other courtroom personnel. Enhancing the courtroom aspects of the training is Centennial College’s on-campus, simulated courtroom, which gives students the opportunity to practice communicating with a judge, swearing in witnesses, transcribing and more — without the worry of not being able to make an error.

Among the specific courses included in this court reporter and court clerk training are: Court Monitor, Court Clerk – Family, Court Clerk – Criminal, Ethics and Professional Conduct, Current Issues in Canadian Law (students learn basic legal principles affecting their legal rights and responsibilities in their relations with other individuals, with groups and with government); Introduction to Word Processing (designed to provide learners with the basic skills to operate and utilize word processing software in order to produce basic business documents, while emphasizing building communication and critical thinking skills, and on progressively increasing keyboarding proficiency to produce business documents with speed and accuracy); Word Processing Applications (focuses on developing intermediate skills to operate and utilize word processing software in order to produce enhanced business documents); and more.

Aside from completing career-oriented assignments and training in the simulated courtroom, students also benefit from visiting family, criminal, small claims and municipal court settings as well as various tribunal hearings.

Grads will launch careers with The Ministry of the Attorney General (Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice), official examiners, court reporting services, municipal courts, tribunals and boards and more.