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Education and Training

School Certifying Official (SCO) Training

This site is the primary training resource for School Certifying Officials (SCOs) and school administrators assisting students using their VA benefits to pursue education and training programs.

On This Page:

School Certifying Official Training Overview

Section 305 of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the “Colmery Act,” requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in consultation with the State Approving Agencies (SAAs), to develop and administer required training for School Certifying Officials (SCOs) at Covered Educational Institutions effective August 1, 2018.

A “Covered Educational Institution” is an educational institution that has enrolled 20 or more individuals during a calendar year, using VA educational assistance under Title 38, United States Code. This includes main, branch and extension campuses approved by the SAA. Verify your school is on the Covered Educational Institutions list. Questions regarding covered educational institutions should directed to the ELR of jurisdiction.

School Certifying Official Training Update – June 1, 2020

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; training for SCOs at national, regional, and local conferences were postponed or cancelled; which impedes the SCO’s ability to fulfill their annual training requirement by July 31, 2020.

To support and assist SCOs in fulfilling the FY’20 training requirements:

  • The training cycle is extended 30-days to August 31, 2020
  • Face-to-face conference training is restructured to include additional self-paced training modules and instructor-led virtual training events.

What are the consequences for non-compliance?

If SCOs at Covered Institutions fail to complete the annual training, VA will:

  • Remove the SCOs ability to certify enrollments
  • Refer the institution to the SAA to determine withdrawal actions

School Certifying Officials Training Requirement Update (Details)

FY' 20 School Certifying Official Trainining Countdown


FY' 20 SCO Annual Training Notice: 90-Day Reminder for Covered Institutions

SCOs – Have You Completed Your Annual SCO Training? Get Started Here!

Online Training Instructions

Online Training

Training FAQs

For assistance with technical issues using the SCO Online Training Portal please contact the VBA Support Team.

Extended FY’ 20 SCO Training Schedule

  • August 1, 2019: Annual Training Window Opened. Updated training requirements for all new SCOs and continuing education requirements for existing SCOs are effective.
  • June 2, 2020: 90-Day Training Alert!  Notifications and reminders of the approaching August 31st continuing education deadline will be posted on the GI Bill website and sent to SCOs via Gov Delivery notice.
  • July 2, 2020: 60-Day Training Alert!  Notifications and reminders of the approaching August 31st continuing education deadline will be posted on the GI Bill website and sent to SCOs via Gov Delivery notice.
  • August 1, 2020: 30-Day Training Alert!  Notifications and reminders of the approaching August 31st continuing education deadline will be posted on the GI Bill website and sent to SCOs via Gov Delivery notice.
  • August 31, 2020: Annual Training Window Closes! Continuing education requirements for existing SCOs completed.
  • September 1-30, 2020:
    • EXISTING SCOs - NO TRAINING IN PROGRESS (September 1-30)
    • NEW SCOs - TRAINING IS CONTINOUS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
    • Covered institutions list generated and posted on the SCO Training portal for FY’21 training cycle.
    • SCO training compliance reported to:
      • Covered Institutions and SCOs
      • State Approving Agencies (SAAs)
      • VA Leadership & Stakeholders
    • Update SCO Training requirements for FY’ 21
    • Upload new SCO Training materials for FY’ 21
  • October 1, 2020: FY’ 21 Annual Training Window Opens! Updated training requirements for all new SCOs and continuing education requirements for existing SCOs are effective.

Obtaining Conference/Virtual Training Credit

To obtain credit for conference training SCOs must:

1. ATTEND - Attend a Virtual, National, Regional, Local Conference or Workshop offering eligible SCO Annual Training. Training must be taught or co-taught with an ELR or VA staff member.
2. RECORD - Record your attendance using the MENTI code given at the session or an alternative attendance tracking method designated by presenter.
3. CERTIFY - Go on the SCO Training Portal and certify each conference session you attended. By completing the form you are certifying that you attended this training in-person and documented your attendance at the conference training session.
4. PRINT - Print your certificate and keep for your records.
5. PROFILE - Check your profile to make sure all of your online and conference credit is properly counted.

Existing SCO Training Requirements

The training program consists of multiple training modules designed to present the concepts and procedures necessary for a SCO to successfully perform the basic functions of his/her duties.  SCOs are required to take a minimum of two online training modules specific to their facility type to meet their annual training requirement.  You may choose from a list of electives to complete the 5-hour annual requirement.

Existing SCO – Mandatory Training Topics (Online Only – Self Paced) BY FACILITY TYPE Credit
Hours

INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING (IHLs) – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 5 hours of training. The training consists of multiple online training modules and qualifying VA sessions presented at National and/or State school conferences.

1 IHL Only 1.5
2 VA ONCE for IHLs 2
IHLs TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 3.5

INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING (IHLs) WITH NON-COLLEGE DEGREE PROGRAMS (NCDs) – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 5 hours of training. The training consists of multiple online training modules and qualifying VA sessions presented at National and/or State school conferences.

1 IHL with NCDs 1.5
2 VA ONCE for IHLs 2
IHLs WITH NCDs TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 3.5

INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING (IHLs) WITH FLIGHT PROGRAMS – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 5 hours of training. The training consists of multiple online training modules and qualifying VA sessions presented at National and/or State school conferences.

1 IHL with Flight 1.5
2 VA ONCE for IHLs 2
IHLs  WITH FLIGHT PROGRAMS TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 3.5

NON-COLLEGE DEGREE PROGRAMS (NCDs) – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 5 hours of training. The training consists of multiple online training modules and qualifying VA sessions presented at National and/or State school conferences.

1 NCD Only 1.5
2 VA ONCE for NCDs 1
NCD TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 2.5

VOCATIONAL FLIGHT – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 1.5 hours of training. The training consists of one training module and qualifying VA sessions presented at National and/or State school conferences.

1 Vocational Flight Only 1.5
VOCATIONAL FLIGHT TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 1.5

OJT/APPRENTICESHIP – Existing SCOs will be required to complete 1.5 hours of training. The training consists of one online training module specific to his or her facility type.

1 OJT/APPRENTICESHIP 1.5
OJT/APPRENTICESHIP TOTAL MANDATORY ONLINE TRAINING HOURS 1.5

 

Existing SCO – Elective Training Topics

Conference (In-Person Instructor-Led), Virtual Instructor Led, Online Self-Paced

Credit Hours
1 New School Certifying Official Training 2
2 Advanced School Certifying Official Training 2
3 Compliance Surveys 2
4 Flight School Program at IHLs 1
5 Certification Process for Non-College Degree (NCD) Programs 1
6 Education Programs and Benefits 1
7 Program Approval and the State Approving Agency 1
8 Yellow Ribbon 1
9 Work-Study 1
10 School Liability 1
11 Debt Management Center 1

New SCO Training Requirements

Beginning on or after August 1, 2019, VA has determined that all new SCOs, will be required to complete the Department of Veterans Affairs School Certifying Official Training FY'19. This training requirement will ensure that all new SCOs are properly trained, resulting in a positive outcome for beneficiaries.

  • New SCOs are individuals who begin work as a SCO on or after August 1, 2019.
  • New SCOs will be identified using VA Form 22-8794 (Designation of School Certifying Officials).
  • New SCOs must complete training prior to being authorized to certify enrollments to VA. To meet this prerequisite, the designated individual(s) must submit a copy of their certificate of completion along with the VA Form 22-8794 to the ELR of jurisdiction.

NEW SCOS - TRAINING TOPICS (ONLINE ONLY – SELF PACED)

New SCOs at IHLs & NCD Facilities are required to complete 10 virtual training modules (approximately 5 hours of training).

Module - 1 Introduction to the School Certifying Official Role
Module - 2 Enrollment Certifications
Module - 3 Veteran Affairs Payment Information
Module - 4 Changes to Certification
Module - 5 The SCO Responsibilities to the State Approving Agency (SAA)
Module - 6 VA-ONCE Administrative Functions
Module - 7 Certifying Enrollments with VA-ONCE
Module - 8 Changes to Certifications with VA-ONCE
Module - 9 Certify Enrollment with VA Forms
Module - 10 Changes to Certifications with VA Forms

 

New SCO Training Requirements
  • IHL and NCD Facilities - New SCOs will be required to complete 10 virtual training modules (approximately 5 hours of training).
  • OJT and Apprenticeship Facilities - New SCOs will be required to complete 1 virtual training module (approximately 1.5 hours of training) specific to his or her facility type.
  • Vocational Flight Facilities - New SCOs will be required to complete 1 virtual training module (approximately 1.5 hours of training) specific to his or her facility type.
  • High School and Residency Programs - New SCOs are required to complete 1 virtual training module (approximately 1.5 hours) applicable to his or her facility type. Future updates to this module will include scenarios specific to these two facility types.

Note: A “Read-only” SCO is an individual at an institution with permission to access read-only or inquiry-only information. If your institution has identified an individual as a “Read-only SCO”, that individual has no training requirement and is not approved to submit enrollment information to VA.

See the School Certifying Official Training

Consequences for Non-Compliance (Existing SCOs Only)

VA will post reminders and notifications on the GI Bill website for School Administrators, announce reminders during SCO webinars, and request that ELRs keep SCOs informed throughout the training window to make them aware of the deadline. If existing SCOs under covered educational institutions or facilities are non-compliant after the deadline has passed, he or she will be contacted by the ELR of jurisdiction informing him or her of the impending loss of their ability to certify enrollments to VA. Furthermore, the State Approving Agency (SAA) may disapprove any training program offered by the training institution or facility if the SCO fails to meet the training requirements.

Technical Issues

Contact us if you are experiencing technical issues with accessing the training modules.