Readjustment Counseling Service Vet Center Report
Vet Centers with a Licensed Professional
Licensed Professionals Privileged
Psychologist Social Worker
18 33 1
Clinical Nurse Specialist
regarding the privileging of licensed professional staff who provided psychotherapy at Vet Centers.
Figure 4. Privileged Professionals
Credentialing and Background Checks
RCS policy15 states team leaders are to ensure all Vet Center staffs are properly credentialed. Vet Center staffs are credentialed through VetPro16 by the supporting VAMC staff. Credentialing is the systematic process of reviewing the qualifications of applicants for appointment to ensure they possess the required education, training, experience, and skills to fulfill the requirements of the position.
During our site visits we reviewed 45 providers’ credentialing information. We found the following:
15 (78 percent) had a full, active, current, and unrestricted license.
33 (73 percent) had their license verified.
37 (82 percent) had their education verified.
34 (76 percent) had their training and experience verified.
VA17 and VHA policy18 requires agencies to conduct appropriate background screenings of individuals, both employees and non-employees, who have access to sensitive information. Background screenings were initiated as per policy; however, we found one team leader’s background screening had been judged unacceptable almost 20 years ago. We contacted the supporting VAMC’s Human Resources Department, which immediately initiated another background screening for this individual.
Critical Events Plan
Critical events plans described a method for addressing a crisis situation such as suicide threats. The plans are aimed to reduce the severity and likelihood of a crisis at a Vet Center. The plans assist staff to identify clients at risk of dangerous behavior and to provide them with the means of handling their situation. Our aggregated data of RCS’
15 16 RCS Policy Memorandum No. 3-8, Verification of Clinical Staff Credentials, October 2002. VetPro was implemented by VHA in March 2001 as VA’s Credentials Data Bank, to be used by all health care providers who hold a license, national certification, or registration. VA Directive 0710, Personnel Suitability and Security Program, September 10, 2004. VHA Directive 0710, Personnel Security and Suitability Program, May 18, 2007. 17 18
VA Office of Inspector General