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Apprenticeship and On-the-Job Certifying Official Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 2 - December 2018

New Edition of the Employers Guide to Recordkeeping

The Employers Guide to Recordkeeping has been updated to include information regarding the use of VA-ONCE to submit enrollment of new trainees electronically as well as other new procedures recently implemented by the VA.  You can request a copy by calling (412) 565-5364 or sending an e-mail request to

Change to Certification of Monthly Attendance/Hours

On November 21, 2017 the Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act (VALOR) was signed into law eliminating the requirement for both the beneficiary and training establishment to certify the monthly attendance for on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.

Effective March 6, 2018, Certifying Officials are responsible for submitting the trainee's hours to the VA.  The trainee's signature is no longer needed.  Certifying Officials may continue to use the current form 22-6553d-1 leaving section 8a and 8b (veteran's signature and date) blank.

Certifying Officials will submit VA Form 22-6553d-1 Monthly Certification of Hours to report the hours worked during each month.  These must be reported immediately upon month end, on or after the last day of the month being certified.  Certifying Officials will exclude any vacation, sick time, leave without pay, jury duty, or other time off regardless if paid or unpaid.

As a reminder, in situations of termination, the Certifying Official must report the effective date of termination in a timely manner using VA Form 22-1999b.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding certifying hours:

Q:  Can hours spent in supplemental training classes be certified? (Apprenticeship)

A:  Yes, but only if the training is done during regular working hours and the employer is  paying the trainee the regular wages.

Q:  Can overtime hours be certified?

A:  Overtime hours can sometimes be certified.  In order to certify overtime hours, the hours must be "training" hours that are tracked consistent with the work processes and tasks that were approved by the VA.  It is essential that these hours are distinguished from "work" hours.  Only "training" hours are certifiable to VA for payment.  Normally these hours are considered utilization of training already learned.  Remember, that full-time status is reached when a trainee works a minimum of 120 hours per month.  Benefits do not increase for hours worked after 120.  Since each program is approved for a specific number of hours, if overtime hours are certified, the trainee would reach the maximum number of hours for which he/she can be certified before the program is completed.


When pertinent information regarding your facility changes, this information must be updated with the VA.  Changes to ownership, facility name, wages, program name, address, work progress tasks, apprenticeship standards, or facility closings are to be sent to the Pennsylvania State Approving Agency (Veterans and Military Education) to update this information with the VA.  Please contact your Education Advisor at one of the addresses listed below or send an e-mail requesting assistance to

Pittsburgh Field Office
301 Fifth Street
Suite 204
Pittsburgh, PA  15222
(412) 565-5364

Harrisburg Office
333 Market Street
12th Floor
Harrisburg, PA  17126
(717) 787-2414

Please Note:  Our Philadelphia Office is closed.  If you need assistance, contact the Harrisburg Office

Forever GI Bill

The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, also known as the "Forever GI Bill," was signed into law on August 16, 2017.  This law brings significant changes to Veterans education benefits. Some of the changes became effective the day the law was signed, some August 2018, and some in the future.  Most changes enhance or expand education benefits for Veterans, servicemembers, families, and survivors. There are 34 provisions of the law that go into effect between August 16, 2017 and August 1, 2022. View the breakdown of the updated benefits at

"GI Bill®" is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at