SAA/ELR Compliance

Report
Compliance Surveys
Education Service Outreach Section
AVECO Conference
St Louis, MO
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Training Overview
-
Objectives
SCO turnover rate
VA enrollment statistics
Purpose and Authority
Access to Institutional Records
Jurisdiction of Regional Processing Offices
St Louis RPO survey data
VA Fiscal Year Schedules/Types of compliance
surveys
VA Education Benefit Chapters - Surveys
PL111-377 (SAA & VA conduct surveys)
Who conducts surveys
Preparation, Scheduling, Conducting, & Post Survey
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Objectives of Compliance Surveys
Compliance surveys have five principal objectives:
(1) To verify the propriety of payments of educational benefits to eligible
individuals under the provisions of the laws administered by VA;
(2) To provide a reasonable basis for cooperating with SAAs;
(3) To assist school or training officials and eligible individuals in better
understanding their responsibilities and the procedural requirements of VA;
(4) To determine, on the basis of facts disclosed from document reviews and
personal visits, whether there are deviations from the responsibilities and
requirements by eligible individuals, schools or training establishments; and
(5) To assure that proper action is promptly taken through appropriate
channels for the correction of existing discrepancies, or for the
discontinuance of benefits in the event correction is not accomplished.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Training Overview
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Generally the turnover rate of designated VA School
Certifying Officials is approximately 30% annually.
New SCO training is a continuing requirement
VA compliance surveys can be of assistance to a
new SCO however compliance surveys are
conducted by ELR, ECSS, and SAA Consultants
ELR is a valuable resource for training
VAONCE
Certifying enrollment data to VA
Role of SAA and ECSS is generally not to
provide in depth certification training
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Enrollment Certification
• VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification states
the SCO/Institution is certifying:
• Exercised reasonable diligence in meeting all
applicable requirements for the following seven
(7) criteria:
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Enrollment Certification
- The institution has exercised diligence in meeting all
applicable requirements of Title 38 USC and any failure by the
institution to meet any requirements of the law will be
reported promptly to VA
- The institution agrees to report promptly to VA any
enrollment change and any change due to unsatisfactory
progress, conduct or attendance. Promptly means within 30
days of the enrollment change. Except for students receiving
benefits under Chapter 33, the institution need not report an
enrollment change for a student who was in full-time
attendance before the change and in fulltime after the
enrollment change.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Enrollment Certification
-
-
-
The 85/15% enrollment ratio requirement has been satisfied
Student certified is not an owner or officer of the school nor is the
student certified as an official authorized to sign enrollment
certifications
The institution holds no power of attorney agreement authorizing the
institution to negotiate VA educational assistance allowance checks
No course certified is a repetition of any course previously
satisfactorily completed except as permitted by VA regulations
The course or courses certified (added: excluding DEEMED approved
institution degree programs) are approved by the State Approving
Agency and are generally acceptable to meet requirements for the
student’s objective
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Benefit Chapters
VA education benefit chapters reviewed on compliance
surveys are:
Chapter 30 – MGIB
Chapter 32 – VEAP
Chapter 33 – Post-9/11 GI Bill
Chapter 35 – Dependent Education Assistance
Chapter 1606 – Selected Reserves
Chapter 1607 – REAP
(VRAP administered under Chapter 30 – ended March
014 Fry Amendment administered under CH33
CH33TOE and Yellow Ribbon Program
Excluded: Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation Benefit
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
ENROLLMENT ACTIVITY
St Louis VA RPO
Overview of institutional activity and enrollment activity
based on calendar year 2013:
3,138 – number of IHL and NCD schools active during
calendar year 2013
287,084 – number of VA beneficiaries who received
VA education benefits during calendar year 2013
Number of schools with 100 plus VA students – 561
(18%)
Number of students in receipt of benefits at the 561
schools – 237,300 (83%)
Number of schools with 1 – 10 VA students in
receipt of benefits – 1,314 (42%)
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
ENROLLMENT ACTIVITY
Nationwide Data (April 2014)
Total of 6,663 IHL and 3,083 NCD schools active
meaning VA students received benefits
IHL
-public – 35%
-private profit – 27%
-pvt non profit - 38%
NCD
-public – 20%
-private profit – 73%
-private non profit – 7%
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
ENROLLMENT ACTIVITY
National Totals (April 2014)
Chapter 30
35,897
Chapter 31
41,479
Chapter 32
2
Chapter 33
562,140 - 75.6%
Chapter 35
59,023
Chapter 1606
37,451
Chapter 1607
7347
TOTAL
743,339
* Excess of $29 billion in expenditures since 8/2009;
Overall enrollment has increased approximately 200%
since August 2009 and over 1 million received
benefits in FY13.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Purpose and Authority
Compliance surveys are conducted in order to ensure
that schools and training establishments, and their
approved courses, are in compliance with all applicable
provisions of the laws administered by VA.
Authority:
Title 38
38 CFR
M22-4
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Access to Records
• CFR 21.4209 – Title 38 provides VA & SAA access to any
institutional records as condition of approval
• VA and SAA exempt from FERPA concerning privacy of student
records
• Access to VA and non VA student academic and financial
records
• Access to review Institutional Advertising Materials
• Principles of Excellence
• Student Interviews
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Access to Records
• The Buckley amendment (Public Law 93-380) requires that
institutions receiving Federal funds administered by the
Department of Education must obtain the student's consent to
release information from school records.
• It has been determined that school records relating to VA
benefits fall into the "financial aid" category and are therefore
exempt from the provisions of the Buckley amendment.
• Therefore, the VA (and SAA) shall have access to the records of
VA beneficiaries as well as non-VA students without the
written consent of the student in order to monitor the school's
compliance with the law.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
VA Regional Processing Offices and Jurisdictions
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
St Louis RPO
• The jurisdiction of the RPO contains 18 States• The Education Service Outreach Section currently has a total of 27
staff for which there are 18 ELR’s and 6 full time Education
Compliance Survey Specialists (ECSS)
• This section is responsible for oversight and maintaining the
approval data base for all institutions and training establishments in
the region – needed for RPO claims processing of applications and
enrollment certifications to support approved facilities
• State Approving Agency Consultants are responsible for institutional
approval and also conduct compliance surveys for VA
• Also VA conducts compliance surveys, EO investigations, and
participates in numerous local and regional SCO workshops and
other organizations
• Responsible for SAA contract administration for 19 contracts
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
St Louis RPO
• There also are 19 State Approving Agencies (55 SAA staff) for the
18 States responsible for approval of institutions and training
establishments – ELR is Contracting Officer Technical
Representative for oversight of performance and reimbursement of
expenses.
• FY13 scheduled compliance surveys total 1,657 includes 17
Vocational Flight Schools, 607 On the Job and Apprenticeship
training establishments, and the balance of surveys are at 1,033 IHL
and NCD schools.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Types of Surveys
• VA compliance surveys are conducted at the following types of
active facilities as of October 1, 2013 (FY14)
–
–
–
–
–
Institutions with 300 plus VA certified VA beneficiaries – 60%
Institutions of Higher Learning – (less than 300) – as required
Non College Degree Institutions – 60%
Vocational Flight Training Schools – 50%
Training Establishments – 25%
• Apprenticeship (APPR)
• On-the-Job training (OJT)
• Federal and Nationally approved OJT and APPR facilities – excluded in FY14
– Director, Education Service, may act for the Secretary and may waive compliance
surveys at institutions with a demonstrated record of compliance. St Louis CELO did
request ELR staff to review and submit waiver requests for schools that had met
demonstrated record of compliance – meaning no compliance survey at these
institutions in FY14.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Who Conducts Compliance Surveys
Effective October 1, 2011 per Public Law 111-377 both VA
and State Approving Agency (SAA) staff conduct compliance
surveys.
Noted facts that:
- sample student size decreased effective 10/1/13 for
schools with higher VA student enrollment
- institutional source documents may not be required to
be retained by VA or SAA following on site compliance
surveys
- Increased efforts to conduct remote surveys in FY14
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Surveys
Each survey conducted by VA consists of a random sample of
VA student records for those who have been certified and
awarded benefits at that institution.
Sample size is based on total VA student awarded enrollment
total. NOTE: We review minimum of 10 VA student records
unless there are fewer than 10 students enrolled (excluding
Chapter 31)
Purpose of the sample size is to validate and confirm
institutional certifications and practices – to ensure accurate
and timely reporting to VA by the designated SCO.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
The Compliance Survey
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Survey Preparation
Scheduling survey appointments with Institutions
Conduct Survey
Institutional Records provided
Entrance Briefing
Review of Records
Other aspects of compliance survey – non VA student
record, advertising, 8794 up to date, VA work study, current
catalog & student handbook
Academic term dates (calendar), total enrollment
Student Interviews – private profit institutions
Exit Briefing
Post Survey Requirements
Discrepancy referrals (approval & payment)
Compliance survey acknowledgement letter
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Training Overview
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Institutional Records for Sample Student Records:
Copy of unofficial transcript
Copy of Degree Audit Report (DAR)
Copy of Student Account Ledger
Verification of prior credit evaluations
Copy of Student term registration schedules
Identifying start date, end date
Identifying modality of instruction
Captures non-standard term dates by subjects
Progress Standards (GPA)
Obtaining LDA or last activity to confirm
withdraw of subjects for student records
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Guidance to SCO
Records to review prior to certification
•
•
•
•
Ensure student has applied and accepted as a student
Prior credit evaluation completed or pending
Degree program approved
Student term registration schedule
– Confirm modality of instruction
– Confirm length of period to certify
– Confirm subjects apply to program
• DAR – Degree Audit Record
• Student Account Ledger for charges – net charges
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Training Overview
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Institutional Records forTypes of and evidence of institutional advertising
Updated 22-8794 Designation of Certifying Official
form
Current Catalog and student handbook
Copy of current student enrollment agreement or
contract if appropriate
NCD programs as necessary – weekly scheduled
hours of instruction
VA Form 22-1919 Conflicting Interest Certification
for private institutions as appropriate
Non VA student record review to confirm charges
same or similar to VA student enrollment
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Training Overview
-
Institutional Records forVA work study student records as appropriate
Institutional monitoring systems
Institutional tracking systems
Total student enrollment count
85/15 compliance
Power of Attorney disclaimer
Method of instruction (on line, hybrid, blended, practical)
Student has applied and been accepted
Matriculated into approved program/objective
Non-accredited Institutions –
Restrictions on modality of instruction
Pro-rata refund of unused tuition
Timely refunds of unused tuition
Verification of enrollment limitation
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Compliance Survey Findings
•
Overall the findings have been very good. Common errors involve:
– Not reporting changes or terminations (occasional instances or for all students)
– Not reporting net charges correctly or YRP contributions incorrect
– Not reporting unearned F grades – discontinued per VACO policy Nov 2013
– Not reporting distance learning correctly
– Late reporting of enrollments or enrollment changes to VA
– Failure of institution to evaluate or monitor prior credit evaluations
– Certifying credits that do not apply to program requirements
– Certifying remedial subjects when offered on line
– Incorrectly reporting LDA – last day of attendance on withdrawing
– Certifying incorrect program name or type of training
– Not reporting unsatisfactory progress or probation
– Lack of institutional records to support certifications to VA
– Certifying programs not approved by VA or SAA
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Surveys - Scheduling
-Majority of compliance surveys we conduct involve travel meaning a number of
institutions may be scheduled for a given week (Monday – Friday). We strive to not
schedule at institution peak workload periods however this may not always occur
based on travel plans.
-VA and SAA will call the primary SCO to schedule a date(s) and time for conducting
the survey in addition to providing institution with names of students in the sample
size to be reviewed.
-A letter or email will be furnished the SCO of the student names and the institutional
records to copy for our review.
-The institutional records copied will be retained by VA and SAA to include in our
compliance survey records – PII data is safeguarded and necessary as internal
quality reviews by VA are conducted to ensure all aspects of the compliance survey
were accurately reviewed and completed. (procedures changed for FY14)
PII data can be shredded following a reasonable period from date of closed survey
(normally within 90 days)
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Conducting Survey
The onsite compliance survey may involve 1 or more individuals based on the size
of the sample VA student records to review.
We will schedule an entrance briefing with the primary SCO and other institutional
staff to describe and explain purpose of our visit and to confirm the requested
records were provided for our review.
The second step is to review the student records and compare to VA Form 22-1999
and VA Form 22-1999b submissions to validate accurate and timely reporting to VA.
Questions and confirmation of additional data will be made to the SCO during the on
site compliance survey to validate last date of attendance, withdraw dates, or any
other action requiring justification or clarification.
The last step on the on site survey will be the exit briefing. The purpose of the exit
briefing is to provide institution with survey results based on the findings with
emphasis to identify the root cause of the exceptions.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Post Survey Actions
VA and SAA will prepare narrative reports for the survey findings.
Findings of reporting discrepancies will involve referrals to the RPO for
award actions
Findings of no reporting discrepancies however late reporting is noted and
evaluated
Findings of approval criteria is referred to the SAA at all institution is for
appropriate review, investigation, and necessary corrective action
Our internal reports capture primary causes or root causes for non compliance
discrepancies found.
Training of SCO’s is often required due to an estimate of a 30% annual turnover of
designated certifying officials.
A letter is sent to the institution to acknowledge the compliance survey that conveys
the results of our visit. (Normally discrepancy issues are noted during our exit
briefing)
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Post Survey Actions
Evidence of non compliance may involve overpayments to both institutions and
students noted on compliance surveys.
Again summary on types of reporting discrepancies but not all inclusive are provided
on the next slide.
Overall the results of our compliance surveys have been good.
Noted is additional action can be taken by expanding the number of student records
to review based on a finding of 30% or greater reporting discrepancies. Also a total
reporting error of 50% or greater may develop into a 100% review of VA student
records.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Compliance Survey Findings
•
Overall the findings have been very good. Common errors involve:
– Not reporting changes or terminations
– Not reporting net charges correctly
– Not reporting unearned F grades – change as of Nov 2013) excluded for those IHL’s
that do not have required taking of attendance for all students
– Not reporting distance learning correctly
– Late reporting of enrollment and enrollment changes to VA
– Failure to monitor prior credit evaluations
– Certifying credits that do not apply to program requirements
– Certifying remedial subjects when offered on line
– Incorrectly reporting LDA – last day of attendance on withdrawing
– Certifying incorrect program name or type of training
– Not reporting unsatisfactory progress or probation
– Lack of institutional records to support certifications to VA
– Certifying programs not approved by VA or SAA
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
Summary
VA does maintain a tracking system on a fiscal year basis for all
compliance surveys conducted as well as:
- Name of institution and type
- Date of compliance survey
- Individual who conducted the survey
- number of VA student records reviewed
- number of VA students records with discrepancies
This information is reported to VA Central Office, Washington, DC on a
periodic basis to confirm institutional compliance.
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION
COMPLIANCE SURVEY
VETERANS BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION

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