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Education and Training

School Certifying Official Training FAQS

Colmery Act, Section 305 - FAQs
 School Certifying Official (SCO) Training 2019

What is the link to enroll in the SCO Online Training?

School Certifying Official (SCO) Training

How does one designate a person as "Read-Only"?

Educational institutions must use VA Form 22-8794, “Designation of Certifying Official(s)” to assign an individual as a Designated Certifying Official or a Read-Only Certifying Official. The VA Form 22-8794 has been updated to include Item B for designating a "Read-Only" Certifying Official.

A Read-only SCO is an individual at an educational institution with permission to access enrollment information, request information, and submit inquiries to VA to assist an authorized SCO with obtaining accurate information to certify student’s enrollment. The educational institution must provide the ELR with the name(s) of the Read-Only SCOs on the VA Form 22-8794 before their information is entered in WEAMS.

Read-Only SCOs:

  • Are not required to take SCO training
  • Are not authorized to certify student’s enrollment to VA.

How are Read Only SCOs identified in WEAMS?

Designated and Read-only SCOs will appear:

  • Under both “Certifying Official/POC and “L&C POC” tabs (left side column)
  • After “Main & Branch Campus Facility Codes” under the VCE Program View and
  • After “Facility Codes” on the VA Form 22-1998 tab.

We understand that SCO training is not required if the institution has less than 20 students receiving VA benefit. However, is it recommended?

Yes - SCO training is recommended and will be available for any SCO with less than 20 students who wishes to take it.

Will a "read only" SCO be able to call an RPO and have questions answered?

Yes, a read-only SCO is an individual at an educational institution with permission to access read-only or inquiry only information. He/she is authorized to call VA with questions and/or student inquiries; however, “Read-Only” SCOs are not authorized to provide enrollment information to VA and are exempt from the training requirement.

Does a SCO have to be marked as “Read-Only" in VA-Once to be considered Read-Only?

ELRs will not input Read-Only certifying officials in VA-ONCE. SCOs at the facility can set up user accounts for those individuals that need access to VA-ONCE information.

How will SCOs be notified about the new required training requirements?

The SCOs will be notified of the training requirements by VA through e-mail notification and through the School Administrator’s page on the GI Bill website.

Is there time limit for the SCOs to get certified and complete the training?

  • Effective August 1, 2019, all new SCOs at educational institutions that have enrolled one or more individual(s) using educational assistance under title 38, United States Code must complete the 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.
  • Effective August 1, 2019, existing SCOs at covered educational institutions, and facilities, where the educational institution have enrolled 20 or more individuals using educational assistance under title 38, United States Code will have one year to complete required training (from October 1 through August 31).

Are all certifying officials listed on the VA 22-8794 required to take the training if only one person is designated to certify students’ enrollment?

The VA Form 22-8794 has been updated to include Item B for identifying "Read-Only" Certifying Officials. Individual listed as Read-Only Certifying Officials are not required to take the training. Conversely, all individuals listed as a Designated Certifying Official and working at a covered educational institution or facility will be required to take the training.

All new individuals listed as a Designated Certifying Official who and started in the position on or after August 1, 2019, will be required to take the training prior to submitting their VA Form 22-8794 to their ELR of Jurisdiction. The ELR will verify the completion of the online training prior to entering the SCO’s contact information into WEAMS and granting access to VA-ONCE.

Is there a process for when a SCO changes their name?

You will be able to update your profile after logging into the training. If you need further assistance, contact your Education Liaison Representative (ELR) of Jurisdiction for updates to your name. A new 22-8794 will be required.

How many modules of training must be completed each year?

New SCOs

  • Must complete the training prior to being authorized to certify enrollments to VA
  • Upon training completion, must submit training certificates with VA Form 22-8794 to the ELR of jurisdiction

Facility Type

Number of Modules Required
Institution of Higher Learning (IHL’s) 10
Non College Degree (NCD) programs 10
High School and Residency Programs 1
OJT/Apprenticeship Program 1
Vocational Flight 1

Existing SCOs

  • Must complete one (1) mandatory self-paced online training module specific to their facility type
  • Must complete three (3) elective modules using the training modality of their choice

Note: The three (3) electives are not required if only one (1) training module is needed to meet compliance

Facility Type

Number of Modules

Institution of Higher Learning (IHL’s) 4
Institution of Higher Learning (IHLS) with Flight 4
Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) with NCDs 4
Vocational Flight 4
High School and Residency Programs 1

Where can we find the list of covered institutions?

The current list can be found on the GI Bill Website under School Training Resources . Remember, a covered institution is one with 20 or more individuals enrolled during the previous calendar year. This includes institutions with 20 or more and/or institutions and facilities with multiple branch locations and extension campuses.   The list of covered institutions will be generated annually and may change depending on the number of students enrolled and receiving VA educational benefits.

Does the category "SCO" also fall under Work-study or Temp Employees who certify students?

The law defines a “School Certifying Official”, for the purposes of these provisions, to mean an employee of an educational institution with the primary responsibility for certifying Veteran enrollment at the educational institution.

  • All those designated as a Certifying Official on the VA Form 22-8794 (Designation of School Certifying Officials) at Covered Educational Institutions will be required to take annual training.

Those designated as a “read-only” Certifying Officials on the VA Form 22-8794 are exempt from the annual training requirement. A “read-only” Certifying Official is identified as an individual at an institution that the school has identified to access read-only or inquiry only information.

Work-study students may assist with the certification process; however, since they are not employees of the educational institution, they should not actually certify information to VA. As such, they will not be required to complete the training, however, it will be available for them to complete. If a temporary employee is designated as an SCO to certify enrollment information, he/she will be subject to the training requirements.

Is the WEAMS "List of Officials" the appropriate place to review SCOs for the training requirement?

Yes, individuals listed in WEAMS as Designated Certifying Officials and works for a covered educational institution are subject to the SCO training requirement effective August 1, 2019.

What proof is required to show that we have met those annual training requirements?

New SCOs are required to submit a copy of their certificate of completion along with the VA Form 22-8794 to their ELR of Jurisdiction.

REMINDER: The submission of the VA Form 22-8794 must include all active assigned designated school certifying officials and “read only” SCOs.

Existing SCOs - The online training has a built-in feature that tracks the SCOs progress. It will be monitored by VA and reported to congress as requested. National and State conferences training will be tracked through self-certification. The SCOs must complete the self-certification form and print their certification of completion to receive credit for the training session.

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.

Will training be specific to the type of school in which you certify? IHL vs NCD schools?

Yes, there will be general training for an SCO and specialized training based on the type of facility.

What happens if SCO does not meet the training requirements?

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

Will taking the training for new SCOs fulfill the training requirement for the entire year?

Yes - Completion of the new SCO training will fulfill the training requirement until August 31st. SCOs at covered institutions (20 or more enrolled Veterans) are required to take the existing SCO training between August 1st – August 31st annually.