Veterans Benefits

Training for Claims Processors Needs Evaluation Gao ID: GAO-01-601 May 31, 2001

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) developed a computer-assisted training program, known as the Training and Performance Support System (TPSS), to help its employees become more accurate in processing disability compensation and pension claims. The program seeks to provide uniform and consistent training to employees in 57 regional offices. Although VBA's long-term goal is to attain a 96 percent accuracy rate for claims processing, VBA reported an accuracy rate of only 59 percent for fiscal year 2000. This report reviews (1) the status of the TPSS program's development and implementation and (2) the extent to which TPSS will meet its objectives. GAO found that despite VBA's objective to centrally develop a standardized training program, significant delays in the development of TPSS are hindering the program's ability to provide standardized training to claims processing employees. According to VBA's current schedule, the full development of the program will not be completed until at least 2004, or about two years later than VBA had planned. Although VBA provided nine training modules to regional offices to begin the program, the extent to which the offices implemented them varied considerably. Many offices reported that workload pressures prevented them from fully using the modules. GAO found that TPSS might not fully achieve its objectives. For instance, TPSS training modules may not be available in time to train new employees hired to replace employees who are expected to retire in the future. Furthermore, TPSS may not reduce training time, as envisioned by VBA.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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