Braille Formats

Braille Formats Certification

Please note that the exam is currently unavailable while we re-write materials for the newest code. We expect availability to be in Fall 2018.

The National Braille Association is the only organization to offer a certification identifying a transcriber’s proficiency in applying the Principles of Print to Braille Transcription, 2016 as published by the Braille Authority of North America (BANA). To qualify for certification, transcribers must first be certified by the National Library Service (NLS) in Literary Braille Transcription. To obtain information about that exam, please visit the information page located on the National Federation for the Blind website.

The NBA Braille Formats Certification Exam is a test of students’ ability to properly apply the code to transcription projects.

The Braille Formats certification exam is completed by mailing the test materials. Those seeking to become certified will complete an application form, and submit the form with payment directly to NBA’s office. Upon processing, a version of NBA’s own unique mini-book will be mailed to the exam taker. Individuals have eight weeks to complete transcription of this sample textbook and return all materials. Upon receipt, a grade accompanied by an error report will be returned to the exam taker within one month.

Grades of 80 or higher will be awarded certification. Grades below 80 will be documented as a failed attempt at certification. Any exam taker receiving a failing grade on their first attempt make re-take the exam right away. The process for a second attempt at certification is identical to the initial application process.

For those who are incarcerated and wish to become certified, we have developed a process to ensure that you will have access to the same opportunities to certify. Because of the sensitive nature of exam taking, some additional steps are required for those residing within an institutional setting. If you are incarcerated, or seeking information on behalf of someone who is incarcerated, please contact our office directly for more information.


In addition to the codebook itself that is available from the BANA website, we have written and published the 2018 Braille Formats Study Guide to help you familiarize yourself with the code and its application prior to taking the exam. Purchase of the study guide is not required for certification, but many exam takers find it helpful in learning the code and applying its concepts.

In addition to these materials, NBA has published a number of publications to help learn the intricacies of the Braille Formats code. These publications are available in our website store.

Each month, NBA conducts a free, 15-minute webinar focusing on one aspect of the Braille Formats code. Attendance for our Formats Friday webinar is free and open to all. Recordings of these webinars, as well as each of our webinars, is accessible to current NBA members.

News and Updates

[March 2018]

We have released the newest Braille Formats Study Guide in both print and ebook editions. Both editions are available in our online store for $50.00. For more information and to purchase, visit the product link here.

[August 2018]

The newest exam has been finalized and is currently in beta mode! We expect that the exam will be available to the public sometime in early fall.

Current List of Braille Formats Certified Transcribers

View a list of Transcribers Certified in 2016 Code

View a list of Transcribers Certified in 2011 Code

View a list of Transcribers Certified in 1997 Code