COHRS New Employees
Welcome to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs!
COHRS has been building a dynamic onboarding program designed to help new employees hit the ground running their very first week and continue to make great strides throughout their first year. This program has been designed especially for you, a new VACO employee, to help begin a long and fruitful career at VA.
This site provides new employees guidance on:
- What you need to do before you report for duty
- What you need to bring on your first day
- Additional information about VA.
Please refer to your welcome letter for reporting instructions for your first day.
We at COHRS are delighted to serve you and hope that you will contact us with any questions or concerns. Contact COHRS (COHRSinquiries@va.gov) at anytime for help along the way.
Additionally, please provide any onboarding feedback to COHRSonboarding@va.gov.
Thank you for your commitment to the Veterans of the United States.
Preparing For Your First Day
It is important that you read and understand the information provided on this site prior to your first day of employment.
There are two different type of forms you will need to complete:
Forms To Complete and Return Before Your First Day
- Complete the OF306 - Declaration of Federal Employment and return it (via email) to your COHRS specialist.
- You will also need to have your fingerprints taken. Applicants must go to https://va-piv.com and follow the instructions provided. The VACO SOI/SON numbers are VAN5 and 1713. Please provide these when you report for fingerprinting.
Please be sure to bring along with you the following:
- Valid State Issued Picture ID AND either a Social Security Card or original Birth Certificate
- A Current Passport
Please notify your COHRS specialist when you have completed your fingerprint process.
Failure to complete the above tasks within the allotted timeframe may result in non-selection and withdrawal of this tentative offer.
Forms To Complete and Bring On Your First Day
If you have not already done so, please be sure to complete forms listed below and bring them with you to orientation along with two forms of identification from the list of acceptable documents attached to the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.
- I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification – The I-9 form is required to document verification of identity and employment authorization of each new employee.
- W-4 Form - Complete Form W-4 so that your employer can withhold the correct federal income tax withholdings from your salary payment.
- State Tax Withholding Form — Please select the appropriate form: (http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/link/default.php?lnk=2)
- Direct Deposit Sign Up Form – This form is used for processing Federal employee net salary, allotments, and other agency - approved payments associated with Federal employment (i.e. travel reimbursement, uniform allowance, etc).
- SF813 Verification of a Military Retiree's Service In NonWartime Campaigns or Expeditions – This form is used to verify periods of creditable service in all campaigns and expeditions claimed.
- VA4637 – (Only print and return the first page) - The information furnished will be used to update your education level to reflect the highest level achieved. The information you furnish will be used for workforce analysis and planning.
- SF256 Self Identification of Disability – The information you provide will be used for statistical purposes only and will not affect you individually. Self-identification of disability is voluntary.
During orientation, you will be asked to complete additional paperwork including the forms listed below. We encourage you to complete them now and bring them with you to orientation.
- Ethnicity and Race Identification – This information is used as necessary to plan for equal employment opportunity throughout the Federal government.
- Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) Program – This form informs you of you responsibilities related to the collection of Unemployment Insurance benefit payments.
- SF144 - Prior Federal Service – This form documents your prior federal service. You should complete this information to ensure HR requests your prior service records.
- Timekeeper Employee Information – This provides timekeepers with your new employee information. This form should be provided to your timekeeper and supervisor on your first day.
- VA0711 - PIV Card Request – This form will allow you to apply for and receive a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card.
On Your First Day
Please bring all completed forms, along with required forms of identification, with you to Orientation. If you bring your valid, unexpired passport, it will simplify in-processing. If you do not have a valid, unexpired passport or any other of the documents identified in List A on the I-9 form, you must bring 2 other acceptable forms of identification, one from List B and one from List C, such as a valid driver's license and Social Security card. Closely review the instructions for I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification, to ensure you have the correct identification. Please note, if you became a citizen after birth, you must also bring your Certificate of Naturalization.
If you have a TSP loan, please bring that information with you.
Please bring a canceled check or other financial documentation with you to complete the direct deposit forms.
After Your First Day
After your first day at VA, please visit the COHRS intranet site where you can find additional materials and information to aid in your transition to VA. This website contains information on the following topics:
- Welcome to VA — New employee checklist, orientation slides, and more.
- About VA — This section includes VA-at-a-glance, shuttle schedule, ethics materials, PIV card information, health and wellness information, work/life information, career development resources, etc.
- Pay and Leave Information — Find out when you’ll get paid, how leave is calculated, and more.
- Benefits Information – Here you will find benefits forms and information.
We also encourage you to download the New Employee Program graphic to see an overview of what to expect during your first year at VA. An accessible version is also available.
About the Department of Veterans Affairs
Welcome to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and thank you for your service to our country.
The VA was established for one purpose:
"To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan..."- by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. - Abraham Lincoln
For a detailed history of the VA and Veteran support, find it in our VA History section.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Secretary Eric K. Shinseki to lead a massive transformation of the VA into a high-performing 21st century organization that can better serve Veterans. Under the leadership of Secretary Shinseki, the VA has adopted three guiding principles to govern the changes underway, namely being people-centric, results-driven, and forward-looking. These principles are reflected in the 16 major initiatives that serve as a platform from which transformation is being executed.
The 16 major initiatives are:
- Eliminating Veteran homelessness
- Enabling 21st century benefits delivery and services
- Automating GI Bill benefits
- Creating Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record
- Improving Veterans' mental health
- Building Veterans Relationship Management capability to enable convenient, seamless interactions
- Designing a Veteran-centric health care model to help Veterans navigate the health care delivery system and receive coordinated care
- Enhancing the Veteran experience and access to health care
- Ensuring preparedness to meet emergent national needs
- Developing capabilities and enabling systems to drive performance and outcomes.
- Establishing strong VA management infrastructure and integrated operating model
- Transforming human capital management
- Performing research and development to enhance the long-term health and well-being of Veterans
- Optimizing the utilization of VA's Capital portfolio by implementing and executing the Strategic Capital Investment Planning (SCIP) process
- Improving the quality of health care while reducing cost
- Transforming health care delivery through health informatics
VA leadership, with input from across VA, developed a VA Values statement, we call I CARE.
- Integrity—Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.
- Commitment—Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA's mission. Fulfill my individual and organizational responsibilities.
- Advocacy—Be truly Veteran-centric by indentifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.
- Respect—Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.
- Excellence—Strive for the highest quality and continuous improvement. Be thoughtful and decisive in leadership, accountable for my actions, willing to admit mistakes, and rigorous in correcting them.
Learn more about VA and ICARE.