The Civil Service Commission of the City of West Des Moines, Iowa is a special tribunal created under the Code of Iowa, Chapter 400, Civil Service.

The purpose of the Commission shall be to provide a harmonious and efficient public service which will protect the interests of the City of West Des Moines and its employees. In concert with such protection, the Civil Service Commission shall be in compliance with the federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, national origin, disability, political or religious opinions and affiliations.

Current members of the Civil Service Commission are Chris Haviland, Emily Bartekoske, and Kevin Flagg.

Apply to be considered for future Civil Service Commission openings.



Civil Service provisions shall apply to full-time police officers and firefighters and to all full-time employees except:

  1. The City Clerk, Deputy City Clerk, City Attorney, Assistant Attorney, City Treasurer, Finance Director, Assessor, Auditor, professional or civil engineers, and health officer.
  2. The City Manager, Assistant City Manager, administrative assistants to the City Manager, and any department heads except Police and Fire Chiefs who are subject to sections 400.13 and 400.14, Code of Iowa.
  3. Secretary to the Mayor, City Manager or department heads.
  4. Employees of boards of trustees or commissions established pursuant to state law or city ordinances, including the clerk to the civil service commission.
  5. Employees whose positions are funded by state or federal grants or other temporary revenues, except positions which will be maintained for at least one year after expiration of the grants or temporary revenues.


Civil Service examinations shall be practical in character and shall relate to matters which fairly test the mental and physical ability of the applicant to discharge the duties of the position to which the applicant seeks appointment. A fair examination shall explore the competence of the applicant in the particular field of examination. (Iowa Code 400.8)

The Human Resources Department may prepare or select the examination, administer the examinations, hire persons with expertise to do so, and/or hire persons with expertise to consult in the preparation of such examination with the approval of the Commission.

Open-competitive examinations may be administered periodically as the needs of the City require and may include a written test, oral test (interview prior to the commission establishing a certified list), performance test, physical agility test, or other selection procedures as deemed appropriate by the Commission.

A candidate’s score in any examination shall be the combination of the scores on each competitive part of the examination. In some examinations failure of any part of the examination may be grounds for declaring such candidate as failing the entire examination or as disqualified for subsequent parts of the examination.

Efforts are made to score the examinations as quickly as possible in order to advise applicants of the results in a timely manner. A candidate shall have a right to receive his/her examination results. However, the staff of the Human Resources Department shall restrict access to examination materials to maintain test security.


The veterans preference provides for five (5) percentage points to be added to the passing scores of eligible veterans. Eligible veterans are honorably discharged veterans from the military or naval forces of the United States in any war the United States has been engaged as described in section 400.10 of the Code of Iowa. In applying veterans preference points, five (5) percentage points will be added to the final or composite passing score. Five (5) percentage additional points shall be added to the score if the veteran has a service connected disability or is receiving compensation disability benefits or pension under laws administered by the Veterans Administration. (Iowa Code 400.10)

Veterans wishing to claim preference must submit Form DD 214 no later than the application deadline. Veterans claiming preference on the basis of disability must present official Veterans Administration documents verifying disability status.

Veterans preference is not applicable in the case of promotion or appointment to Chief of the Fire Department or Chief of the Police Department. (Iowa Code 400.10)


Certificate: Is a non-degree offering below the associate degree and most often offered in technical and vocational fields of study. Courses usually do not qualify for regular college credit. Candidate must transfer these earned credit hours towards an Associate’s Degree. Transferred credit hours must be accepted by the accredited institution to be counted. If the candidate has not transferred these credit hours towards a degree or if the accredited institution does not accept the credit hours then these credit hours will not be counted as an equivalent credit hour.

Associates Degree: Is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical college, and bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years. Equivalency to an associate’s degree is 60 credit hours towards a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

Candidates bear the responsibility of providing documentation to verify that an Associate’s Degree has been attained or to prove that 60 credit hours are currently being taken towards a Bachelor's degree by an accredited educational institution. If credit hours are from more than one institution it is the candidate’s responsibility to transfer the credit hours to one institution to verify the 60 credit hours.

Bachelor’s Degree: Is an academic post-secondary degree conferred by a college or university upon those who complete the undergraduate curriculum. Candidates bear the responsibility of providing documentation to verify that a Bachelor’s Degree has been attained.

Master’s Degree: An academic degree higher than a Bachelor’s degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or are of professional practice. Candidates bear the responsibility of providing documentation to verify that a Master’s Degree has been attained.

Call (515) 222-3616 with any questions about the Civil Service Commission.

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