VA has adopted Core Values and Characteristics that apply universally across the Department. The five Core Values define "who we are," our culture and how we care for Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Values are Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence ("I CARE")..
Act with high moral principle. Adhere to the highest professional standards. Maintain the trust and confidence of all with whom I engage.
Work diligently to serve Veterans and other beneficiaries. Be driven by an earnest belief in VA's mission. Fulfill my individual responsibilities and organizational responsibilities.
Be truly Veteran-centric by identifying, fully considering, and appropriately advancing the interests of Veterans and other beneficiaries.
Treat all those I serve and with whom I work with dignity and respect. Show respect to earn it.
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.
The Core Characteristics define "what we stand for," and help guide how we will perform our core mission; they shape our strategy, and will influence resource allocation and other important decisions made within VA. The Characteristics are Trustworthy, Accessible, Quality, Agile, Innovative, and Integrated.
VA earns the trust of those it serves – every day – through the actions of all employees. They provide care, benefits, and services with compassion, dependability, effectiveness, and transparency.
VA engages and welcomes Veterans and other beneficiaries, facilitating their use of the entire array of its services. Each interaction will be positive and productive.
VA provides the highest standard of care and services to Veterans and beneficiaries while managing the cost of its programs and being efficient stewards of all resources entrusted to it by the American people. VA is a model of unrivalled excellence due to employees who are empowered, trusted by their leaders, and respected for their competence and dedication.
VA prizes curiosity and initiative, encourages creative contributions from all employees, seeks continuous improvement, and adapts to remain at the forefront in knowledge, proficiency, and capability to deliver the highest standard of care and services to all of the people it serves.
VA anticipates and adapts quickly to current challenges and new requirements by continuously assessing the environment in which it operates and devising solutions to better serve Veterans, other beneficiaries, and Service members.
VA links care and services across the Department; other federal, state, and local agencies; partners; and Veterans Services Organizations to provide useful and understandable programs to Veterans and other beneficiaries. VA's relationship with the Department of Defense is unique, and VA will nurture it for the benefit of Veterans and Service members.
VA consists primarily of a central office (VACO), and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA), and Veterans Health Administration (VHA). All of these organizations provide support and services to Veterans, their families and other beneficiaries. The Core Values and Characteristics provide all of these organizations with one common foundation of shared principles, which will guide and influence the behavior of all members of the VA workforce and influence all key organizational decisions.
Throughout its history, VA's dedicated and professional workforce has always demonstrated a strong commitment to Veterans and exhibited many worthwhile values aimed at providing the best-possible services, care and support to Veterans. However, there has not been one set of Core Values and Characteristics that applied to all VA employees. The Core Values and Characteristics are more than just words. They represent an individual and an organizational commitment to do the best we can every day to perform our crucial mission of taking care of Veterans, family members, and other beneficiaries.