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Basic Skills Course Overview (for Employers)

How much does the TypeWell training course cost?

The current prices for our courses are listed on the pricing page. The fee for the Basic Skills and Refresher Courses include the interactive course software, free tech support, and regular guidance and feedback from a team of experienced teachers. It also includes some extra training support during the transcriber's first year on the job, including a couple of Skill Consultations (observations) and the Turbo Courselet.

Who pays for the candidate's training?

Most candidates who qualify for the training will pay the course fee themselves. A sponsor is no longer required for candidates to enroll in the training. (See: Sponsorship Policy)

However, sometimes the course fee is paid by a current or potential employer, known as a "sponsor." In the educational setting, the sponsor might be a Disability Support department at a school or university. In the private sector, companies (sometimes called "agencies") will sponsor transcribers. These agencies will typically have a pool of multiple transcribers, because they contract with schools, businesses, and organizations to provide communication access for their students, employees, and other clients.

When does the course start?

Once a candidate is admitted to the course, they can choose one of the available start dates. We start new candidates almost every week of the year! See upcoming course start dates.

How long does the training take?

Both the Basic Skills Course and Refresher Courses consist of 29 lessons. The Basic Skills Course takes most candidates between 40 and 60 hours to complete, over the span of 2-3 months. The Refresher Course is usually completed more quickly because it allows experienced transcribers to skip through material they already know and focus on refreshing the skills that need work.

Read more about the course schedule.

What happens after the course?

It is critical for a new transcriber to begin using his or her skills as soon after the course as possible. Ideally, a supervisor will arrange for the new transcriber to "shadow" a more experienced transcriber for a couple of weeks, before providing direct services for a real client. Many new transcribers, however, do immediately begin providing services in classes or meetings.

Upon earning their service qualification, new transcribers are strongly encouraged to provide services on site (i.e., where the transcriber and client are physically present in the same room), before working remotely. We believe that this on-site experience provides very important, real-world learning that is essential to developing one's skills as a communication access provider. However, some transcribers do transition directly from training into remote work. In these cases, we strongly encourage employers to provide opportunities for regular observation and feedback.

How do I find a suitable candidate for the course?

This is an important question! We encourage you to post a job on the ATSP Jobs Board as well as local/campus job listing sites.

To save time, send all candidates through our three screening tests (typing, listening, grammar) first and ask them to email their TypeWell test results to you, along with a résumé. This way you can determine which candidates possess the necessary skills before you invite them for an interview.

Should I pay the candidate while they're taking the course?

We don't have a "right" answer, but we can tell you what other schools and companies do (which varies).

Many, but not all, sponsors do pay candidates—usually at a lower hourly rate—for their time spent completing the lessons. Some sponsors pay a flat rate upon successful completion of the course, or they pay lump sums at periodic milestones throughout the course. Others pay only the course tuition but do not compensate candidates for their time until they complete the course and actually begin providing services.

What kind of laptop does the candidate need during the course?

TypeWell is designed to work on any basic Windows-based laptop. Ergonomic comfort for the transcriber should be a top priority, so if possible, have the candidate test out the keyboard for comfort before you purchase a new computer.

Read more about the requirements for the transcribing course computer and work area.

Is there other required equipment?

We recommend every candidate use an adjustable steno table, even during the course. Candidates should also have headphones to listen to the course audio (better than using computer speakers), access to a printer, a quiet place to work without distractions, etc.

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