Frequently Asked Questions - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Federal Acquisition?
  2. What kind of work does an Acquisition Professional do at VA?
  3. What are the requirements for the internship program?
  4. Why apply for the VA Acquisition Intern Program?
  5. Is extra consideration given to candidates with NCMA certification?
  6. What type of appointing authority are the interns hired under?
  7. What is the promotion potential?
  8. Do interns get to choose where they work or in what part of the country?
  9. How do you apply for the internship program?
  10. Does VA pay any housing allowance or travel expenses for people who have to relocate?

1.  What is Federal Acquisition?

Federal acquisition involves making purchases on behalf of Federal agencies, but it is also much more than that.  Like any major business function, it calls for skillful problem solving.  Each day the United States Federal Government depends on competent women and men to buy necessary products and contract for services with the funds allocated by Congress.  This role requires adeptness at many different business disciplines, such as strategic thinking, evaluation, law, negotiation and management.  Each day acquisition professionals engage in sound decision-making to balance a myriad of details without losing site of the overall purpose:  protecting and serving the American people.

The acquisition workforce includes individuals who perform contracting, purchasing, partnering, and leveraging functions to support the accomplishment of an agency’s mission.  Your work as part of the acquisition workforce will help to provide the Government with the goods and services required to serve our Veterans.

2.  What kind of work does an Acquisition Professional do at VA?

The VA has numerous opportunities for acquisition professionals.  VA contract specialists procure a wide variety of items and services:  for example, medical supplies for VA hospitals, memorials to honor deceased Veterans, as well as sophisticated IT systems to manage benefits received by Veterans and their families.

3.  What are the requirements for the internship program?

Applicants for the Acquisition Intern Program (AIP) must have a Bachelor’s degree or 24 hours of college accredited business-related credits.  Visit the Office of Personnel Management’s website for specific acquisition profession Qualification Standards.

4.  Why apply for the VA Acquisition Intern Program?

Participants are hired as full time Federal employees with all associated benefits, including:

  • Generous paid leave (starting with 13 days of vacation and 13 days of sick leave annually)
  • Ten Federal holidays
  • Competitive compensation packages with annual pay increases
  • Excellent health care plans
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Retirement program (Thrift Savings Plan)

The VA has acquisition offices in almost all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; the opportunities for career growth and development are extensive.

5.  Is extra consideration given to candidates with NCMA certification?

While it does not provide an advantage in the application process, all additional certifications and education will be taken into consideration in the selection process.  Interested candidates should note that this is an entry-level, intensive training program so those that are already FAC-C certified, or are well on their way, do not make ideal candidates for this program.

6.  What type of appointing authority are the interns hired under?

Participants in the Acquisition Intern Program are hired by VA acquisition organizations competitively through USA Jobs.

7.  What is the promotion potential?

AIP participants start at the GS-7 level and are in career ladder positions with promotion potential to the GS-9 level by graduation.

8.  Do interns get to choose where they work or in what part of the country?

AIP participants are competitively hired by acquisition organizations within the VA, and participants entering into AIP are permanent employees of that hiring organization and location.  All OJT occurs at that same permanent duty station.

9.  How do you apply for the internship program?

Applicants apply for the Acquisition Intern Program in the same manner they would any federal job, through job announcements on the USAJobs website.

10. Does VA pay any housing allowance or travel expenses for people who have to relocate?

VA does not currently pay any housing allowance or travel expenses for relocation of AIP participants.

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