Human Resources - VA Providence Healthcare System
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VA Providence Healthcare System


Human Resources

Research Service provides human resources support and liaison with the Providence VA Medical Center's Human Resource Service.  There are many unique relationships with Investigators and research staff, and our Human Resources liaison will help navigate through the requirements and support the critical research work performed at Providence.

There are three basic types of affiliation or employment with the VA -

  • Employee
  • Without Compensation appointment (WOC)
  • Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) 

Each is completely separate and unique.

VA Employee

This is a paid position when the member is employed by the VA.  The incumbent can either be recruited through an announcement via *USAJobs, or as a direct hire for someone with specialized skills.  *USAJobs is the Federal Government's official one-stop source for Federal jobs and employment information.  It is managed by the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

For Direct Hire employees, the following form/items must be submitted as part of the application process:

  • OF-306 Declaration of Federal Employment
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • College Transcripts
  • Classified Position Description (PD)

An SF-52 will be submitted identifying term length and part-time/full-time status.  Additional supporting documents may be required, such as: Direct Hire justification, Above the Minimum request, Recruiting Incentives and other forms requested by HR.

Without Compensation (WOC)

Many of our collaborating researchers and research staff have Without Compensation (WOC) appointments with the VA, which allows the individuals to participate and be included in research projects.  Essentially, it is full employment with the VA, but without pay.

For WOCs, the following forms/items must be submitted as part of the application process:

After the forms are submitted, HR will contact the applicant for photos and fingerprints to complete the background check.

Intergovernmental Personnel ACT (IPA)

The purpose of the IPA agreement is to exchange expertise between agencies, institutions, and non-profit organizations.  IPA assignments should be made for purposes which the Federal agency head, or his or her designee, determines are of mutual concern and benefit to the Federal agency and to the non-Federal organization.  Eash proposed assignment (IPA) should be carefully examined to ensure that it is for sound public purposes and furthers the goals and objectives of the participating organizations.  There are limitations and criteria for establishing IPAs, and Investigators should contact their Administrative Officers.  The individual for assignment must be employed by their institution for at least 90 days before an IPA can be instituted.  The IPA can be for 2 years, with one 2-year extension, and is generally for more senior individuals.  It can take some time to institute, so plan to work ahead.

For IPAs, the following forms/items must be submitted as part of the application process:

Working with the VA in Research Service can be exciting and rewarding.  The nature of funding opportunities can lead to fast-paced hiring requirements with varying durations.  Investigators are strongly encouraged to work with the Administrative Officers as soon as a requirement is identified.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. IPA agreements can be made for up to 2 years and may be part-time or full-time.  The assignment may be extended for an additional 2 years less 1 month.  IPA assignments of less than 6 months are discouraged.
  2. IPA agreements are based on fixed FTE or number of hours per week.  Assignments are not variable and do not fluctuate.
  3. An employee that has served 4 continuous years without a break cannot be assigned to another IPA without at least a 12-month return to his/her regular employer.  Successive assignments without a break in service of at least 60 calendar days are regarded as continuous service.
  4. IPAs are intended for skilled personnel only.  IPAs cannot be established for administrative staff or principal investigators.  Under no circumstances should IPA agreements be used as a mechanism for hiring clinical staff or as a substitute for scarce medical specialist, sharing, commercial item or other clinical contract.
  5. Non-VA employees must be employed in a permanent position by their organization for at least 90 days to be elegible for an IPA assignment.
  6. The investigator is responsible for completing the required paperwork and obtaining employee and institutional Departmental and Dean signatures.  Paperwork must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the requested start date.
  7. Due to recent changes in the VA fiscal system, the start date of the IPA should be the first of each month and the termination date is the end of the month.
  8. Costs of the IPA are restricted to basic pay, supplemental pay and fringe benefits.  The VA is not authorized to issue reimbursement for indirect or administrative costs associated the the assignment.  This includes charges for administrative support, supplies, computer time, etc.
  9. An IPA may be terminated at any time at the option of the Federal on non-Federal government.  When terminating the agreement before the origional completion date  a written30-day notice to all parties involved is required.



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