Becoming a court clerk or a court monitor can be achieved in just two semesters thanks to Centennial College’s court clerk training known as Court Support Services. But just what do these positions entail? The court monitor is responsible for: asking speakers to clarify inaudible statements; providing transcripts of proceedings upon request of judges, lawyers, or the public; recording verbatim proceedings of courts, legislative assemblies, committee meetings, and other proceedings, using computerized recording equipment, electronic stenograph machines, or stenomasks; transcribing recorded proceedings in accordance with established formats; and responding to requests during court sessions to read portions of the proceedings already recorded. Meanwhile a court clerk must: prepare dockets or calendars of cases to be called; record case dispositions, court orders, and arrangements made for payment of court fees; prepare documents recording the outcomes of court proceedings; instruct parties about timing of court appearances; explain procedures or forms to parties in cases or to the general public; swear in jury members, interpreters, witnesses and defendants; and more. Professionals in these positions who study municipal court training find careers at: The Ministry of the Attorney General (Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario Superior Court of Justice), municipal courts, tribunals and boards, official examiners, and court reporting services.
At Centennial College, the court clerk training has been approved by the Ministry of the Attorney General. As such, students in this offering learn about the procedural rules, municipal court training, court reporting and transcribing as well as specific laws such as family law and criminal law. Each court clerk training course is taught in a small class by experienced faculty members who work within the court system and provide students with the legal and practical hands-on learning newly upgraded computer labs, simulated courtroom settings, and practical, career-oriented assignments.
To round out the learning that takes place on campus, court clerk training students also take trips to the various courtrooms and tribunals in order for them to see first-hand exactly how their career roles work. The college even has an assimilated courtroom within Centennial College, so the students will actually be able to practice taking an oath and presenting before judges. Further advancing the learning students obtain are two practical on-the-job experiences.
In order to graduate from the court clerk training program, with its focus on municipal court training, students are required to attain a minimum C grade average and an overall minimum GPA of 2.0.
Court clerk training applicants must have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Academic requirements include compulsory English 12 or U, or skills assessment, or equivalent. Applicants must demonstrate an acceptable level of English language proficiency in order to be considered for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English, and who have studied in an English language school system, for less than three full years may meet English proficiency requirements by providing satisfactory results an English Language Proficiency test.