SALT Frequently Asked Questions - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.
Attention A T users. To access the combo box on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Press the alt key and then the down arrow. 2. Use the up and down arrows to navigate this combo box. 3. Press enter on the item you wish to view. This will take you to the page listed.
Menu
Menu
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)

 

SALT Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Application Completion - How do I request an application?
  2. Application Completion - When and where do I submit my completed application?
  3. Application Completion - Will I have to provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in my applications package? If so, how will it be secured?
  4. Application Completion - Will I need to obtain letters of recommendation?
  5. Application Completion - Will I need to provide “wet-ink” signatures for all of my application forms?
  6. Eligibility - Can an exception be made for the requirement to have two years of experience with my agency?
  7. Eligibility - Will there be waivers for those who have not had two consecutive years of 1102 experience with the VA?
  8. Eligibility - Must I have been a supervisor for two consecutive years at the VA in order to qualify for the program?
  9. Eligibility - Can I still apply if I am not a GS-13 through 15 at the time applications are due, but will be a GS-13 through 15 by the program start date?
  10. Eligibility - 10. Will there be waivers for those who are not GS-13s?
  11. Participant Selection - When will I find out if I have been selected?
  12. Program Administration - Will I be required to sign a Continued Service Agreement (CSA)?
  13. Program Administration - How many cohorts are being offered?
  14. Program Administration - Where and when will I be required to work on the program assignments with my cohort?
  15. Program Administration - What happens if I am selected for the program, but then cannot attend all parts of the program due to unforeseen circumstances?
  16. Program Administration - What is the schedule?
  17. Program Administration - What is an engagement session?
  18. Program Administration - What is the requirement for the SALT Capstone project?
  19. Program Administration - What if I am unable to complete the SALT Capstone Project?
  20. Program Administration - How much travel is involved?
  21. Program Administration - What is required of me to receive a passing grade and graduate from the SALT program?
  22. Program Administration - Will I get promoted if I complete this program?

1. Application Completion - How do I request an application?

Download the SALT Application.

2. Application Completion - When and where do I submit my completed application?

Completed applications must be submitted via email (VAAASALT@va.gov) no later than 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

3. Application Completion - Will I have to provide Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in my applications package? If so, how will it be secured?

Please exclude all Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as personal address or social security number. Work related contact information is sufficient for program execution. If accepted to the SALT Program, we will need your mailing address in order to mail course materials.

4. Application Completion - Will I need to obtain letters of recommendation?

The applicant’s immediate supervisor will need to complete the Supervisor Recommendation portion of the application package. Additional recommendations are not required, and if submitted, will not be used as part of the evaluation process.

5. Application Completion -Will I need to provide “wet-ink” signatures for all of my application forms?

The application forms are designed to accept digital signatures for all portions requiring a signature; however, if you are unable to complete the document electronically, “wet-ink” signatures will be accepted in place of a digital signature. Please note, if submitting “wet-ink” signatures, applicants are responsible for scanning and submitting their completed application package by the submission deadline; late applications will not be accepted.

6. Eligibility - Can an exception be made for the requirement to have two years of experience with the VA?

Participants will be developing leadership skills and addressing concerns currently facing the acquisition community. Therefore, at a minimum, applicants must possess 1102 or P/PM experience with your current agency from June 2019 to June 2021. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

7. Eligibility - Will there be waivers for those who have not had two consecutive years of 1102 experience with the VA?

No, those who have not had two consecutive years of experience with their current agency will not be eligible for the program.

8. Eligibility - Must I have been a supervisor for two consecutive years at the VA in order to qualify for the program?

No, SALT eligibility requirements simply stipulate that you must currently be a supervisor.

9. Eligibility - Can I still apply if I am not a GS-13 through 15 at the time applications are due, but will be a GS-13 through 15 by the program start date?

Applicants are required to be classified as a GS-13 through 15 at the time of application.

10. Eligibility - Will there be waivers for those who are not GS-13s?

No, all candidates must meet eligibility requirements of serving as a GS-13 through 15.

11. Participant Selection - When will I find out if I have been selected?

Selection notifications will be sent in mid-August 2021.

12. Program Administration - Will I be required to sign a Continued Service Agreement (CSA)?

Students will not be required to sign a Continued Service Agreement.

13. Program Administration - How many cohorts are being offered?

One hybrid cohort will be offered comprised of 1102s and P/PMs. The make-up of the cohorts is subject to change based on the applicant pool. The cohort will begin in October 2021 and end in May 2022.

14. Program Administration - Where and when will I be required to work on the program assignments with my cohort?

SALT online, instructor-led courses and online engagement sessions will be held regularly from October 2021 to May 2022 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00PM ET to 4:00PM ET. Time will be provided for course work, capstone work, and independent assignments during these sessions. An estimated 20-30 additional hours may be necessary to complete independent assignments and other Capstone project work. The benefits of the program are directly related to the commitment participants make to their teams.

15. Program Administration - What happens if I am selected for the program, but then cannot attend all parts of the program due to unforeseen circumstances?

Participants are expected to make a commitment to the program and their fellow cohort members by completing all elements of the program. In the event unforeseen circumstances arise and disrupt participation, those circumstances will be weighed against program objectives and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Please note: Prospective candidates who are not available during these session dates should not apply as attendance at all online sessions is mandatory.

16. Program Administration - What is the schedule?

Please download the SALT schedule to review the dates.

The online SALT Program will be organized into two semesters with regularly scheduled classes and engagement sessions. To meet your busy workload, we have scheduled in breaks during each semester. Please note that times and dates listed may be subject to change.

Semester 1: October 5, 2021 to January 20, 2022

Total of 20, four hour online instructor-led courses (80 hours) and five engagement sessions (20 hours) to be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

Semester Break

Semester 2: February 8, 2022 to May 26, 2022

Total of 10, four hour online instructor-led courses (40 hours) and 15 engagement sessions (60 hours) to be scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET.

17. Program Administration - What is an engagement session?

An engagement session is required class time that will be used for participating in engaging SALT activities. These activities may include Capstone team work sessions and meetings, Capstone team meetings with the SALT Team, completing assignments, special guest speakers, collaboration sessions, video sessions, games, and other activities. Four hours will be reserved for an engagement session.

18. Program Administration - What is the requirement for the SALT Capstone project?

The Capstone project for SALT will be a team project. Each team will focus on a different current issue facing the acquisition community, as identified by senior acquisition leaders. Teams will have eight months to research and analyze the topic areas, develop alternative solutions, engage with project sponsors, if appropriate, and formulate recommendations. Each team will prepare a written paper and briefing package to be presented to their project sponsor and other senior leaders in May 2022. The benefits of the program are directly related to the commitment they make to their team.

19. Program Administration - What if I am unable to complete the SALT Capstone Project?

Satisfactory completion of the Capstone project for SALT is one of the requirements for graduation. Satisfactory completion means the senior leader assigned as the project sponsor and the SALT program manager collectively conclude that each member of the team collaborated, cooperated, and contributed to the research, analysis, discussions, proposed solution(s), and team milestone achievement for the Capstone challenge. Furthermore, the paper and presentation are professional, well organized, and succinct, as provided to the SALT staff and senior leaders.

20. Program Administration - How much travel is involved?

SALT is 100% online and there will be no travel required.

21. Program Administration - What is required of me to receive a passing grade and graduate from the SALT program?

Participants will be expected to attend, participate, and complete all sessions scheduled by the program; complete individual assignments; and actively participate in and contribute to the Capstone project scope and major milestones established by the team, receiving a “satisfactory” completion rating from the Capstone sponsor and SALT program manager.

22. Program Administration - Will I get promoted if I complete this program?

Completion of SALT does not guarantee promotion but will contribute to professional and personal growth. Additionally, this elite training program will provide you with the tools, techniques, and perspectives to more fully prepare you for entry into the ranks of senior VA leadership.