Transcription System: Certification

This is a series of posts on the transcription system. The previous parts are: OverviewWorkflow.

Our transcription system is 100% human powered. That makes the certification subsystem the first important component. This subsystem handles the process of certifying new transcribers and inducting them. To become a certified transcriber one has to apply and take Transcription Test. We publish guidelines on how the transcript should be prepared and provide recommendation for tools. The candidates are first added to a waiting list and invited for the test at their turn.

The test itself is a 3-6 minutes audio file which which they have to complete within 2 hours. We evaluate the submission and check the quality of transcript. We also look at the adherence to the guidelines and formatting. If everything is okay, they are certified as a transcriptionist and paid for the work done. We are closing in on the 2000 certified transcribers mark right now.

The goal of the transcription test is to ascertain whether a candidate is fit for this type of work. We get a lot of applications, but around 50% of them drop off at the test stage. The ones who pass through understand what to do and how to do it. They are given access to the next component which is the Transcription Subsystem. They can log in to their account anytime and choose from the available files. They get paid when their submissions are reviewed.

The number of active transcribers/reviewers, i.e. people who work regularly on, is around 1% of the total. The number might seem to be low, but 1% is considered a good active users ratio for internet services. To maintain this active users base, we certify new transcribers on a ongoing basis. New applicants are added to a wait list and are certified in turn. The Certification Subsystem manages the waiting list and sends out test invites as required.

Around 10% of our transcribers go on to become regulars. In fact few of our transcribers have been working working with us since the early days and are still active. That in itself is a testimonial to our system’s effectiveness.

If you are interested in working for us then please check our Freelance Transcription Program. If you want to outsource your audio transcription work to our certified transcribers then upload your files now.

The next part of the series talks about the Transcription and Reviews subsystem.


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