1. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an obligation to protect our Veterans and staff from harm that might come from unauthorized access to VA facilities or personal information. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12) requires appropriate screening of individuals who come to Federal offices to work, contract, train, or volunteer. VA Directive 0710, VA Directive 0735, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) provide guidance on these requirements.
2. As one of four statutory missions (Title 38 U. S. C. 7302), VA conducts an education and training program for health professions, students and residents, to enhance the quality of care provided to Veteran patients within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care system. In accordance with this mission, education and training efforts are accomplished through partnerships with affiliated U.S. academic institutions. Approximately 120,000 health professions trainees will rotate through VA this academic year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) as part of their formal clinical education. These trainees are a critical component of VA's delivery of health care.
3. Trainees are required to undergo on-boarding processes to obtain a PIV badge in accordance with HSPD-12, VA Directive 0710, and VA Directive 0735. However, the sheer number of trainees (approximately 70,000) on-boarding at this time is overwhelming the ability of some facilities to provide PIV badges to trainees before they are to begin their training rotations. According to recent Office of Academic Affiliations survey data, over 6,000 trainees nationwide may not be badged prior to starting their clinical rotations this summer and fall.
4. Facility Directors and Chiefs of Staff are directed to continue to process trainees for PIV credentials. However, if trainees cannot be badged before the start of their training rotation, they will be allowed to start their rotation provided that they:
a. Have completed all other required on-boarding processes (application paperwork) and are listed on a signed Trainee Qualifications and Credentials Verification Letter (TQCVL) from the affiliate;
b. Have completed the online VHA Mandatory Training for Trainees (MTT) course
(or the MTT refresher course) and have signed the online Rules of Behavior embedded therein;
c. Have a successfully adjudicated Fingerprint- Special Agreement Check (SAC);
d. Have a school-issued credential or, in the absence of a school credential, have been issued a facility-based, non-smart-card credential.
5. After completing steps 4a-d, unbadged trainees will be granted access to enter the facility; work under supervision; access IT systems with a user name and password until such a time as the PIV badge has been issued.
6. Unbadged trainees and their VA sponsors must continue to coordinate with the local PIV badging office to acquire the appropriate PIV credential as soon as possible.
7. Questions regarding this memorandum should be directed to Dr. Malcolm Cox, Chief Academic Affiliations Officer, or 202-461-9490.
Robert A. Petzel, M.D.