UPDATED HR Instructions for Onboarding Health Professions Trainees

Jun 27, 2019 | Optometry HQ Announcements

VA Human Resources Staffing Handbook 5005 contains outdated guidance when it comes to onboarding health professions trainees.  For years, this has made onboarding in some facilities a confusing and frustrating process.  Handbook 5005 contains many efficiencies for onboarding Medical and Dental residents.  However, as OAA expanded into other trainee types in Associated Health and Nursing, the administrative shortcuts in 5005 excluded the new trainee disciplines.

VA Handbooks are hard to change.  When VA HR policy lags behind reality, an HR Management Letter (HRML) can be released as a stop-gap fix.  HRMLs make “future” policy changes “legal” before the policy is actually changed.

A new HRML has been issued, “Instructions for Onboarding Health Professions Trainees.”  The points of focus are outlined below.  Note this document does not cover ALL Onboarding steps or instructions.  All HR Offices received this guidance earlier today.

Three major areas are addressed in the HRML:

      1. Trainee Qualifications and Credentials Verification Letter (TQCVL):
      • Use of a TQCVL in lieu of an RCVL
      • Requires a TQCVL for all HPTs
      • Emphasizes that the TQCVL is the authoritative record stating that the HPTs listed are “eligible” for VA appointment and that “no further eligibility checks need to be made by HR.”  This eliminates the need for HR to:
        • Require pre-employment physical examinations and vaccinations
        • Check the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) database
        • Check the Selective Service System Registration list
        • Verify HPT Education and Credentials
        • Other items covered by the TQCVL
      1. Trainee Entry on Duty Dates
      • HPTs will be in-processed by HR on the agreed upon date.  This does not have to be on the first day of a pay period.
      1. Trainee Appointments are for the Full Duration of a Training Program
      • HPTs can be appointed beyond the 2-year limitation imposed on other without compensation (WOC) appointees.

Please share this information widely.  And remember, ALL programs are to use a TQCVL to onboard their HPTs; paid, WOC, affiliated, VA sponsored.  If you have questions, please contact Sandra K. Bee (, or