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How to Become a CSR

Examination Process

The Iowa Certified Shorthand Reporter examination is held the second Saturday each March and September at the Iowa Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa.  (The Iowa Judicial Branch Building is on the State Capitol complex, and should not be confused with the Polk County Courthouse at 5th & Mulberry in downtown Des Moines.). 

If an applicant is a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) in good standing under the rules of the National Court Reporter Association (NCRA), he or she will only be required to take and pass the written portion of the Iowa examination. The written portion of the test is given on the regular testing dates in March and September, and also on scheduled dates throughout the year. When the written test is passed and verification is made of the applicant’s RPR status, the applicant will be notified by the board of his or her certification date. The CSR certificate will be mailed to the applicant.

If an applicant is not a Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) applicant, he or she will be required to take and pass both the written and skills portions of the Iowa examination. If the applicant has taken and passed the written examination within the past five years, it will not be necessary for that applicant to take the written portion again. The applicant will be required to submit written certification to the Board of Shorthand Examiners that his or her training and experience comply with one of the following:

  1. Attained proficiency of 200 wpm or more in a shorthand reporting course; or
  2. Had at least two years of experience as a shorthand reporter in making verbatim records of judicial or related proceedings; or
  3. Graduated from a shorthand reporting school approved by the National Court Reporters Association.

If the proper verification is not provided, you will not be allowed to sit for the examination.

Application to take the exam to become a CSR 

Further information is available from the Board's administrative office at telephone (515) 725-8029.

Reciprocal Certification of Veterans and Other Persons

On December 18, 2014, the Iowa Supreme Court adopted rule amendments providing for reciprocal certification of veterans who hold a valid reporting license in good standing in another state.  Those amendments also included provisions for satisfaction of experience or education requirements for certification based on military education, training, or service obtained or completed in military service.  On October 15, 2015, the Iowa Supreme Court adopted rule amendments providing for reciprocal certification of any person who holds a valid reporting license in good standing in another state.  For purposes of both reciprocal certification provisions, the certification requirements of the other jurisdiction in which the applicant is licensed must be substantially equivalent to the standard of the National Court Reporters Association for the earned designation of Registered Professional Reporter. 

Application form for submission of military service or education as satisfaction of the requirements to qualify for the exam

Application form to be used for those seeking reciprocal certification due to veteran status or certification in another state

Notice of Written Examination Dates

The written examination for candidates who are Registered Professional Reporters (RPR) in good standing is administered at set dates through the year, in addition to the normal complete examination dates in September and March. The following dates have been scheduled for administration of the written examination. (Only the written examination will be given on these dates.) Unless otherwise specified, the examination will begin at 1:30 p.m. on each of these days, at the Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. The 30 day application deadline set in Iowa Court Rule 46.4 does apply to the written examination dates.

July 21, 2017, 1:30 P.M., Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines

October 20, 2017, 1:30 P.M., Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines

December 8, 2017, 1:30 P.M., Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines

Notice of Complete Examination Dates

The complete examination (skills and written) for candidates who are not Registered Professional Reporters (RPR) is administered twice each year, on the second Saturday in September and the second Saturday in March.  The established dates through 2018 are listed below.  Unless otherwise specified, candidates must report no later than 8:00 a.m. on these days.  The 30 day application deadline set in Iowa Court Rule 46.4 does apply to the complete examination dates.

September 9, 2017, 8 A.M., Judicial Branch Building, 1111 E. Court Avenue, Des Moines

March 10, 2017, 8 A.M., Location to be Announced

September 8, 2018, 8 A.M., Location to be Announced

Rules Regarding Certified Shorthand Reporters

Rules pertaining to certified shorthand reporters now appear at chapter 46 of the Iowa Court Rules. Fees payable with respect to reports and several kinds of applications were changed in 2008. Chapter 46  


 
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