MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
VA-ONCE (VA ONline Certification of Enrollment)
Electronic Transfer of Enrollment Information by
Educational Institutions to the Department of Veterans Affairs
This is an agreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs,
hereinafter referred to as VA, and
hereinafter referred to as the institution. The purpose of this agreement
is to establish an alternative procedure for the institution to use to make
certifications to VA of enrollments and changes in enrollments of students
of the institution who seek to receive benefits under educational
assistance programs administered by VA.
Under current procedures, a majority of institutions use the VACERT program
to electronically transmit enrollment information to VA. The other
institutions prepare such certifications in written form, the institution's
certifying official signs them, and presents them to VA in that form. The
alternative procedure authorized under this agreement permits the
institution to use an Internet program known as VA-ONCE, to submit the
certifications solely by electronic means.
II. AGREEMENTS BY VA
VA agrees to accept, instead of certifications made on printed forms
prescribed by VA for that purpose or certifications generated by the VACERT
program, certifications created by the institution using the VA-ONCE
program in the form of electronic certification documents or written
computer-generated documents signed by the institution's certifying
official(s). VA also agrees to maintain the history file of enrollment
activity on its VA-ONCE server.
III. OBLIGATIONS AND AGREEMENTS OF INSTITUTION
The institution, by executing this agreement and in consideration of the
agreement of VA to accept the alternative VA-ONCE generated written or
electronic documents submitted by the institution, agrees to comply with
all applicable laws, regulations, and VA requirements pertaining to
certifications of enrollments and notices of change in student status, even
though the provisions of those laws, regulations, or requirements do not
appear on the certifications created by the VA-ONCE program.
The institution acknowledges that by using the VA-ONCE program it is
subject to all the duties and liabilities pertaining to educational
institutions found in 38 U.S.C. sections 3684 and 3685; 38 CFR sections
21.4203, 21.4209, 21.7156, 21.7307, 21.7656, 21.7807, and 21.5200; all
certifications applicable to the institution certifying on comparably
prescribed VA forms otherwise in use at the time of the certifications; and
any other provisions of law or regulations that apply.
The institution certifies that it has appropriate resources, including
hardware, software, and staff, to effectively use the VA-ONCE program
instead of traditional certification procedures. The institution must
provide an appropriate web browser which can be obtained free from several
The institution agrees to take reasonable precautions to safeguard against
unauthorized access to VA-ONCE, and to prevent improper use or disclosure
of passwords. The institution also agrees to notify VA immediately upon
learning of any unauthorized access, unauthorized use, or disclosure of a
password. The institution further agrees to notify VA immediately if any
authorized certifying official leaves that position so that VA can suspend
the certifying official's user ID and password.
To the maximum extent permitted by the law applicable to the institution,
the institution hereby agrees to hold harmless the Department of Veterans
Affairs from any claim for damages based on use of the VA-ONCE program.
Upon receipt of the signed agreement from the institution, and executed by
VA, VA will furnish each designated certifying official with his or
her own user ID and password that will be necessary to access the
If the institution electronically sends files to the regional processing
office, VA will continually monitor the quality and timeliness of the
information. VA will notify the institution of problems detected during the
receipt and processing of these files.
The institution agrees to inform VA of any problems found with the VA-ONCE
program that could jeopardize the accuracy, integrity or confidentiality
of the information contained in files electronically sent to the regional
The institution may withdraw from this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at
any time by notifying VA in writing 60 days beforehand. After withdrawing
from this MOU, the institution is required to timely submit certifications
using VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification.
VA will conduct periodic reviews of this Memorandum of Understanding as
deemed necessary. Changes of this Memorandum of Understanding shall be in
writing and approved by the signatories or their successors.
Data for VA-ONCE is stored behind the Veterans Benefits Administration
(VBA) firewall and thus falls under its approved data protection storage
procedures. When the institution sends data over the Internet it will be
encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, an accepted industry
standard. Access to the data will be protected and controlled by unique
user names and passwords. Passwords will follow the VBA standard of strong
this day of ,
Executed by the Department of Veterans Affairs
this ________ day of __________________, __________.