Policies and Procedures

1. TRANSFER TO ANOTHER TESTING WINDOW POLICY

Candidates can request to transfer rather than withdraw to the next examination administration window.

Candidates can request to transfer if they have canceled their examination appointment with Prometric (if applicable) within the specified timeframe (at least 5 days before the scheduled appointment).

To withdraw from the examination and request a transfer, candidates should notify VACC in writing by email or fax that they wish to transfer by the stated deadline. To request a transfer, candidates must submit a written request to VACC. Requests should be submitted by email or fax using the Request for Transfer Form. Remember that candidates with a scheduled examination appointment must first cancel their appointment by the deadline date before requesting a transfer.

All requests for a transfer must be received on or before the last day of the examination administration window to be eligible for a transfer.

Requests for transfers received after the last day of the examination administration window will not be processed.

Candidates who do not sit for the examination at the next testing window forfeit all fees. Candidates who are requesting and approved for a transfer will be required to pay a $50 reprocessing fee. It is the candidates’ responsibility to supply VACC with any contact information changes PRIOR to the beginning of the next application acceptance date. In addition, if the fees for a subsequent examination have changed, the candidates must pay the differences in fees.

Transfer Request Form

Refer to the Candidate Handbook for Complete Details

2. NO SHOW/LATE ARRIVAL

Candidates will not be permitted to take the exam if they present themselves less than fifteen (15) minutes before the scheduled start time for taking the exam and are refused admittance to the exam.

Candidates who do not appear for their scheduled examination appointment, or who do not cancel their appointment within the specified time frame (at least 5 days before the schedule appointment) will be considered no-shows and will forfeit all fees.

Candidates who do not have a scheduled appointment with Prometric and who do not request a refund on or before the last date of the examination administration window will be considered no-shows and will forfeit all fees.

Refer to the Candidate Handbook for Complete Details

3. CANCELLATION POLICY/REQUESTING A REFUND

Candidates who have scheduled an examination appointment as well as those who have not scheduled an appointment with Prometric may withdraw from the VA-BC examination and request a refund or request a transfer to another exam window. The steps for withdrawing and requesting a refund are below.

Step One

If you have a scheduled examination appointment, you must first cancel your appointment with Prometric at least 5 days before your scheduled appointment date. To cancel your examination appointment, contact Prometric at www.prometric.com/VACC. After you have canceled your examination appointment, proceed to Step 2.

If you have not scheduled your exam appointment, proceed to step two.

Step Two

To withdraw from the examination and obtain a refund, all candidates must notify VACC of their intent to withdraw by submitting a completed copy of the Request for Refund form by mail, email or fax. Candidates will receive a refund minus a $100 administrative fee. All refund requests must be received (not postmarked) on or before the last day of the examination administration window in order to be eligible for a refund. Requests for refunds received after the last day of the examination administration window will not be processed.

Candidates who submit a Request for Refund but did not cancel their examination appointment with Prometric or did not cancel at least 5 days before their scheduled appointment date will forfeit all fees.

Requests for refunds received after the last day of the examination administration window will not be processed.

Refunds will be issued no later that 4 weeks after the examination window closes and will be made in the same manner the payment was made in.

Request for Refund Form

Refer to the Candidate Handbook for Complete Details

4. APPEALS

POLICY

The appeals process is to ensure that registrants, applicants, and certificants whose registration, application, certification or certification renewal has been denied have the right to appeal to VACC.

1. Eligibility

Candidates who believe that they have met the eligibility requirements as stated may appeal decisions of ineligibility. However, the eligibility requirements themselves may not be appealed. Appeals letters requesting reconsideration of applications must indicate the specific findings of ineligibility being contested and provide evidence of meeting those findings. Letters must be received by VACC with 15 days of notification of ineligibility.

2. Examination Scores

A failed examination which is believed by the applicant to be in error should submit a written request to VACC for review stating the reason for his/her appeal of the decision within 15 business days of receipt of the score report. Upon receipt of the written request for review, VACC will examine the supporting documentation offered by the applicant. If the applicant’s request is determined to be substantiated, the applicant will be notified in writing.

3. All other concerns including but not limited to certification or certification renewal

PROCEDURE

In the written appeal, the applicant or certificants shall detail the nature of the request for appeal and the specific facts and circumstances supporting the request, and, all reasons why the action or decision should be changed or modified. The applicant or certificant must provide additional written, factual documentation to support his/her appeal. The applicant shall bear the burden of proving the adverse decision was based on erroneous factual determination. There is no appeal on the basis of an incomplete application.

Applicants or certificants submitting a request for review to the VACC shall receive notification of the results within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the request. Should the candidate not be satisfied with the decision rendered, the candidate may submit a written appeal to VACC within fourteen (14) days of receipt of decision.

VACC will review the appeal submission and accompanying documents and make a determination. Candidates will be notified of VACC’s decision within forty-five days (45) of receipt of the request. The decision of VACC will be final.

5. DISCIPLINE AND COMPLAINTS POLICY

POLICY

The Judicial and Ethics Committee (JDEC) shall be charged with investigating, adjudicating, and disciplining reported incidents in which certification credentials have been falsified or misrepresented, altered examination score reports have been prepared and forged application documents have been presented. The JDEC will also investigate and decide claims of unacceptable or harmful practice related behaviors of current certified professionals.

The JDEC shall consist of one Committee Chair appointed by the VACC President, two VACC Board Members, and the VACC Consumer Board Member.

PROCEDURE

  1. Meetings of the JDEC can be held by conference call or other telecommunication except the meeting in which the initial determination is made regarding the potential violation(s) and sanction(s).
  2. Written complaints from individuals will be accepted only if they are signed. No action will be taken on anonymous complaints. If an initial complaint is accepted by the JDEC, the complainant shall be required to authorize the disclosure of all information reasonably related to the complaint to charged party. There may be times when written complaints are not required, such as in judicial or regulatory proceedings against a charged party that allege or determine an act of misconduct. The JDEC shall be able to act upon such credible evidence that they may become aware of without the necessity of a formal, written complaint.
  3. When the VACC receives a written report, or in its discretion, receives what it believes to be credible evidence, of an incident or professional misconduct which falls into one of the preceding categories, such complaint shall be referred promptly to the JDEC which shall then initiate an investigation to determine whether such conduct warrants formal action.
  4. To protect the credential and assure responsible practice by its certified members, the VACC depends upon vascular access professionals, employers, professional boards, and the public to report incidents, which may require action by the JDEC. Complaints which appear to fit the scope of the JDEC’s responsibilities may be sent to: Chair, VACC judicial and ethics committee C/O VACC Office.

TYPES OF COMPLAINTS

The VACC recognizes that misconduct, including but not limited to the conduct set forth below, is misconduct for which applications for the VACC examination may be denied and for which examination candidates and/or certified individuals may be disciplined.

PROCEDURE

Examples of misconduct and unacceptable or harmful practice related behaviors of current certified professionals for which the judicial ethics process may be implemented includes but are not limited to:

  1. Obtaining or attempting to obtain certification or recertification by fraud, deception, or artifice.
  2. Knowingly assisting another person or other persons in obtaining or attempting to obtain certification or recertification by fraud, deception, or artifice.
  3. Illegal use of a certification certificate or falsification of credential.
  4. Unauthorized possession and/or distribution of any official VACC testing or examination materials including copying and/or reproduction of any part of the VACC examination questions or problems.
  5. Unauthorized use of the certification mark owned by the VACC. This includes the designation VA-BC (Vascular Access-Board Certified).
  6. Claims of unacceptable or harmful practice related behaviors of current certified professionals.

INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

POLICY

The judicial process is designed to provide the individual alleged to have committed a violation of the VACC policies/procedures notice of the alleged violation and a fair opportunity to be heard before any action is taken.

PROCEDURE

In each instance of a complaint in accordance with the procedures set forth herein, the following steps shall be taken within a reasonable time to perform the investigation and address the complaint.

  1. Investigation procedure: Within a reasonable time following receipt of a complaint, the chair of the JDEC shall provide written notice via certified mail to the individual referred to as the “charged party,” fairly describing the particulars of the complaint.

The “charged party” shall be notified of the opportunity to furnish a written response within thirty (30) days from said notice of charge in order to set forth its position in response to the complaint and provide pertinent information in connection therewith.

Such notice shall also inform the charged party that the failure to respond to the complaint within the thirty (30) day period, absent an extension or request for an extension, shall constitute an admission to the facts and charges as set forth in the complaint and that as a consequence, disciplinary action may be taken.

  1. Hearing determination: The chair of the JDEC shall forward the initial complaint and the response by the charged party, together with any supporting materials, to the JDEC to determine probable cause for additional action of the written allegation. Based on majority vote, whether there is probable cause that the allegations advanced by the charged party, if proven, would constitute a violation of the policy. In the event probable cause is found, the matter will proceed to a formal evidentiary hearing or, if no probable cause is found, then the complaint shall be dismissed. In either event, within ten (10) days from such decision by the JDEC, both the complainant, if they provided the complaint in writing and the charged party shall be notified in writing of such determination and that such notice be given by both certified mail/return receipt requested and regular first class mail/postage prepaid. The chair of the JDEC can over rule the finding of no probable cause if the gravity of the circumstance(s) warrants a hearing by the full JDEC.
  1. Hearing procedure: In the event the JDEC finds on the basis of the initial complaint,any supporting evidence, and the initial response by the charged party, that probable cause exists, the chair of the JDEC shall notify the charged party as stated above of:

a) The specific charge or charges for which probable cause has been found.

b) That the charged party has thirty (30) days within which to file a more detailed written response, which may include affidavits.

c) A formal hearing before the JDEC shall be held within sixty (60) days from the date such response is due. Said response by the charged party shall also include the names of persons who may have knowledge of facts relevant to the complaint and who may be contacted by an investigator/presenter appointed by the president of VACC. Once the investigator/presenter notifies the chair of the JDEC that it has completed the investigation; the chair shall set a hearing date which shall, absent good cause attributable to the investigative process, be within sixty (60) days from the date of the expiration of thirty (30) days from receipt of the response by the charged party. The charged party, or its legal counsel, shall be entitled to review the findings of the investigator/presenter and information obtained in the course of the investigation. The charged party shall have fifteen (15) days within which to submit a written rebuttal if it wishes. The charged party may waive its right to make a rebuttal and, in the event of such waiver, the hearing date may be advanced.

  1. Investigator/presenter: An investigator/presenter shall be appointed by the president of VACC. This person (who may, but need not be, a member of the VACC board of directors) shall contact individuals who may have knowledge of facts pertaining to the alleged offenses and otherwise investigate evidence which may be relevant, to be presented to the JDEC on behalf of the complaint. The designated investigator/presenter shall not sit on the JDEC, shall not make any factual determination of whether a violation or violations have occurred and shall not have any authority other than as expressly set forth herein. The investigator/presenter shall notify the chair of the JDEC when s/he has completed the investigation.
  2. Formal hearing: The hearing shall be at a specific time and place set forth in the Notice of formal hearing served on the charged party or counsel therefore and shall be served no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing. The hearing shall be presided over by the chair of the JDEC or designee; the investigator/presenter shall represent the VACC board position to the JDEC, the charged party may be represented by legal counsel; witnesses may be presented by either side under oath. Both sidesmay make closing arguments the length of which may be limited at the discretion of the chair of the JDEC, with the charged party being the last to make its argument. The JDEC shall be responsible for making an audio recording of the proceedings and all parties and witnesses shall be required to cooperate in making such a recording. Either party may, at its own expense, elect to have a stenographer present throughout the course of the hearing.
  1. Decision and notice: At the close of all the evidence, the committee shall engage in private deliberations outside of the presence of either the charged party or the investigator/presenter, free from outside influence. A decision shall be made by majority vote. The chair of the JDEC shall mail written notice of the decision of the JDEC to the charged party by certified mail, return receipt requested, and restricted delivery, within ten (10) days of the decision of the JDEC. The written notice of decision shall provide specific finding(s) as to what conduct constituted a violation(s) of VACC policy(s)/procedure(s) if any. This notice shall also specifically provide what sanctions (if any) are to be imposed. A separate vote, by a majority, is required as to whether a violation or violations occurred, and a separate majority vote as to what sanctions shall be imposed. The notice of decision shall also set forth the steps necessary in order to take an appeal from the decision.
  1. Appeal: Upon receipt of the notice of decision of the JDEC, the charged party has thirty (30) days to file a written notice of appeal to the VACC board of directors. The charged party may appeal the decision as to whether a violation occurred or an appeal also may be made solely as to the sanctions, which have been imposed. The VACC board of directors, excluding those members who serve on the JDEC; and excluding the investigator/presenter; shall review the record and determine whether to affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the JDEC. The appeal shall be decided by a majority voting board of director members within thirty (30) days.
  1. Reconsideration: The JDEC may in its discretion reconsider a decision, only if the petition to reconsider contains new information not previously considered by the JDEC in its original decision. Reconsideration will be available only if it appears that the evidence is so substantial in nature that the JDEC finds that it would have been reasonably likely to affect the outcome of the initial hearing. The charged party has sixty (60) days from the date of adjudication of the original charge(s) to file the petition to reconsider based solely on newly acquired evidence or evidence not available to the charged party at the time of the original hearing. Within thirty (30) days, the JDEC may dismiss the complaint or set the case for a rehearing. The president shall appoint an investigator/presenter, if necessary, to conduct a further investigation, including interviewing new witnesses. This additional investigation shall be completed within sixty (60) days unless the JDEC grants an extension of thirty (30) days. The charged party may review the investigator’s findings prior to a formal rehearing. The charged party shall have thirty (30) days form the conclusion of the investigation to further respond in writing or by affidavit. From this point, the hearing is set as described in the preceding sections of this document.
  1. Extensions: Extensions for good cause and for a reasonable period of time shall be granted unless doing so is found to substantially impair the rights of any party. The JDEC may extend the time periods up to ninety (90) days in the foregoing procedure(s).  The charged party, the investigator/presenter or the complainant may request the extension.

6. CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS POLICY

Candidate and certificant information is confidential and will not be released or given to anyone other than to legally-required agencies. The Exam Security Policy provides information on confidentiality.

VACC maintains all applications, test results and other pertinent information for the certification program. The application, exam format, results and any other pertinent information are considered confidential and privileged information and will not be revealed to anyone without the applicant’s written permission unless required by law.