Transcription Services

We provide accurate “clean verbatim” transcripts for industrial hearings, investigations, interrogations and interviews.

Investigations / Hearings:

Since 1995, our “niche” marketplace has been the railroad industry, specifically railroad transcription services, and now we are expanding into other areas.  Because the majority of our transcripts are used for legal purposes in arbitration-type situations involving union arbitration, we are committed to providing a very high-quality interpretation of the spoken word.

So, what does railroad/industrial transcription actually consist of?

CAS Associates, Inc. has been providing railroad transcription services for 20+ years. The primary reason this industry needs our services are for transcription of disciplinary hearings.  So once significant evidence has been compiled that supports an employee has perpetually failed to comply with specific rules, then the employee is cited for an “alleged” rule(s) violation (in accordance with the designated union agreement).  A disciplinary hearing is scheduled.

Looking for railroad transcription services? We’ve been doing transcription for 20+ years.

The hearing is normally recorded on a multiple microphone recording device.  It is extremely important that every participant is heard clearly so every statement and even one word comments are recorded accurately.  This hearing is very similar to a typical court hearing.  There is a Conducting Officer (which may be a manager/supervisor specifically trained to conduct impartial investigations), the Company Witness (normally a manager/supervisor), any witnesses that need to testify on the Company’s behalf, witnesses for the charged, the charged employee and their representative who most likely is a union representative (could be a Local Chairman or a General Chairman) who represents their specific craft.

A well conducted objective hearing is critical to assess proper discipline and determine guilt or innocence.  Therefore an accurately transcribed hearing is of extreme importance in assisting the decision maker to reach an objective outcome when making their discipline assessment and is important during an arbitration process, should that occur.

Typically our team will receive a complete digital audio of the investigation.  The transcriptionist’s job is to listen carefully to every spoken word and record every word. It has to be perfect.  Every speaker must be identified. If the union representative that was present at the hearing questions the content in the hearing that our team has transcribed, they have been known to requisition the audio for purposes of verifying content.

Our team receives anywhere from 5-15 hearings daily.  It’s our Transcript Team’s responsibility to verify the audio (to ensure it’s a viable recording) and verify the hearing log and/or cover sheet of hearing participants and the exhibits we have received.  Our team then determines the timeline and the transcriptionist.  Our team is responsible to ensure the transcription is finalized and certified before sending back to the decision maker to review.  Some of these hearings are quite lengthy!

For example, recently we received an 11-hour hearing which took 45 hours to transcribe by multiple team members. Then it had to be re-listened to and finalized within three days.  There is a lot of pressure.  Of course, an average hearing is an hour to two hours, but that still takes four to 10 hours to transcribe so it’s truly labor intensive.  For every 10-15 minutes of audio recorded, on the average it takes an hour to transcribe.

Our team of transcriptionists are highly trained and experienced in the transportation industry.  The majority of our team members have 10-20+ years of experience and all of them are residents of the United States (no off shore).  We are proud of the fact that our transcriptionists are paid well for their services.  They are required to provide very accurate transcripts quickly and often they work holidays and weekends to meet union agreement timelines – it’s just the nature of our business.

We have a stringent certification process that incorporates quality checks and client feedback.  That’s why we can provide 99% accuracy rate, which is among the highest precision rates in the industry.  Of course, there are those situations when a perfectly clean transcript cannot be provided (especially when audio quality is poor).  If the quality of an audio / digital hearing is poor, we will take every measure possible to provide a viable transcript, and we will work with our railroads to define software or equipment issues in order to resolve issues and improve future audios.

CAS Associates, Inc. located in Glenwood, Iowa specializes in railroad transcription services.Every hearing is first transcribed and then re-listened to.  If the trained transcriptionist feels something in the text was questionable then they will provide a time stamp and a code which will be further researched during the certification process for those difficult-to-hear portions of the transcript.  That’s why our certification process often requires re-listening to portions of a hearing by several experts to determine accuracy.

Often in this day and age our competitors use computer speech recognition software.  As prudent business owners we must share that this alternative has been thoroughly researched, if we could decrease prices for our customers, we certainly would pass those reductions on.  Unfortunately, the industrial hearings and investigations with hearing officers, union representatives, various witnesses and charged individuals with different ethnic origins and various accents prevents this automated process from being a reality.  Therefore, 100% of our transcription work is completed by humans and all work is performed here in the United States.

Our projects come to us in various digital audio formats.  We are able to convert and transcribe the majority of all types of audio recordings.  Our Transcription Services are completed in a timely manner and distributed electronically as requested by our customer needs.

Digital Files: With the advancement of technology, we can customize our process as required by our customers.  In addition, we can:

1) Provide a link which will allow you to attach and upload files.
2) Your files can be physically copied to a CD and mailed to us.
3) We can customize Citrix ShareFile Folder to make your upload process simple.

Please note: If we are requested to identify each participant, and there are more than two individuals present at the time of recording, we prefer software that offers four-channel recordings. This assists our transcriptionists in correctly identifying voices and allows us to provide you a more accurate transcript.

Interrogations / Interviews:

We provide accurate transcripts of the interviews, interrogations, and fact finding that may be conducted internally. Our team will transcribe these in a timely manner.

Dispatcher / Phone Conversations:

Often recordings of dispatcher tapes or phone conversations are required for evaluation and/or for investigative purposes.  Our transcript team is familiar with the difficulty of these recordings due to poor quality.  Occasionally we will request some assistance from a manager for interpretation, but we will gladly work to make these as accurate as possible.

Feel free to contact us with questions on pricing or for general service inquires.

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