TCI is committed to helping students progress in their transcription career. One of the most common questions that we receive is: what skill level is needed to be a transcriptionist? To answer that question, we conducted an in-depth study to show the level of proficiency needed to be a transcriptionist.

Purpose: Why We Conducted the Transcription Service Quality Study

The Transcription Certification Institute receives many inquiries from students who wonder why they need to be tested before being considered for employment. Transcription customers require different levels of accuracy depending on the scope of their projects. Short voice notes for an individual will usually not need the same level of accuracy as a research focus group or legal deposition. Projects that are used in a professional, research, or legal setting will have a lower tolerance for errors.

The transcription companies on the market use methods that vary greatly and may produce final transcripts of differing levels of accuracy. The purpose of this study is to gauge the overall quality of completed transcripts from seven leading transcription companies to give students an accurate representation of professionally completed transcripts from the companies that they may work at.

Significance of Research:  Why the Results on Completed Transcripts from Leading Transcription Companies Matter to Our Students

This research is significant because a transcript’s accuracy and formatting vary from company to company, making it difficult for students to know what to expect when beginning their career.

Methodology: How We Completed the Transcription Service Quality Study

This blind study was carefully developed to ensure impartiality and transparency. Go Transcript, Rev, GMR Transcription, Speechpad, Temi, Transcribe Me, and Scribie were selected to take part in this study due to their marketplace standings as major reputable transcription companies. ADA, which is unaffiliated with TCI, was selected to grade the transcripts because of their years of experience and expertise in providing proofreading and transcription services.

The audio file used in the study is a recorded focus group dialogue with several different speakers. This file was selected because its audio quality and setting are typical to the type of file the average transcription customer would submit for completion.

Customer accounts were created with all seven transcription companies and the exact same audio file was submitted to each one. None of the companies were told that the completed transcript would be a part of this study. Scribie declined the transcription job due to the focus group audio containing multiple speakers. The remaining six companies all delivered their completed transcripts within the selected turnaround time. The completed transcripts were then anonymized by removing any logos, names, or markers that could have been used to identify the source of the transcript and all six were assigned version numbers that corresponded to their business name. The six transcripts were then sent to ADA and then were reviewed and judged on accuracy, formatting, speaker tracking, and how useful they would be to the end client.

Results by Transcription Company

(Click Here to the Detailed Report from ADA)

Focus Group Audio Sample


Company Accuracy Speaker Tracking Formatting/Layout View Sample
Go Transcript               Sample Transcript
Rev                 Sample Transcript
GMR Transcription                               Sample Transcript
Speechpad                           Sample Transcript
Temi         Sample Transcript
TranscribeMe          Sample Transcript
Scribie declined declined declined   Declination Letter

Conclusion: What Were the Results of the Transcription Service Quality Study and What Do They Mean

It was found that GMR Transcription delivered the transcript with the highest overall quality. This transcript had the least errors, was formatted professionally, and did the best job of tracking the speakers. There were some errors, but they were not drastic and the content and meaning of the focus group was well transcribed.

Speechpad’s transcript was of good accuracy, the formatting was professional, and it broke the speakers down into Man/ Woman/ Moderator which proved helpful. There were some mishears and inaudibles, but there weren’t as many as the lower performing transcripts.

The remaining four versions completed by Go Transcript, Rev, Temi, and Transcribe Me were found to be of substandard quality. There were too many mishears, words and entire sentences were missing, and the formatting was not as good. Temi performed the worst and failed to capture a majority of the audio.

After reviewing the results of the Transcription quality study, it is apparent that some of these companies primarily serve customers who require different levels of accuracy and may have projects of different levels of difficulty. Because of that, the hiring requirements will vary from company to company. However, a student who has successfully passed the Transcription Certification Institute’s course should be well equipped to work at any transcription company that does not rely solely on machine transcription.