38 CFR § 21.6070 - Basic duration of a vocational training program.
(a) Basic duration of a vocational training program. The duration of a vocational training program may not exceed 24 calendar months of full-time training except as provided in § 21.6072 of this part.
(b) Responsibility for estimating the duration of a vocational training program. The Counseling Psychologist (CP) or Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) is responsible for estimating the time needed by the veteran to complete a vocational training program. The estimate is made in consultation with the veteran and the vocational rehabilitation specialist during the preparation of the IWRP.
(c) Duration of training prescribed must meet general requirements for entry into the occupation selected. The veterans will be provided training for a period sufficient for the veteran to reach the level generally recognized as necessary for entry into employment in a suitable occupational objective. Where a particular degree, diploma or certificate is generally necessary for entry into employment, the veteran may be trained to that level.
(d) When duration of the training period may be expanded beyond the entry level. If the amount of training the particular veteran needs in order to qualify for employment in a particular occupation will exceed the amount generally needed for employment in that occupation, VA may provide the necessary additional training under one or more of the following conditions:
(1) Training requirements for employment in the area in which the veteran lives or will seek employment exceed those generally needed for employment;
(2) The veteran is preparing for a type of work in which he or she will be at a definite disadvantage in competing with nondisabled persons for a job or business, and the additional training will offset the competitive disadvantage;
(3) The choice of a feasible occupation is limited and additional training will enhance the veteran's employability in one of the feasible occupations; or
(4) The number of employment opportunities within a feasible occupation is restricted.
(e) Estimating the duration of the training period needed. The CP or VRC, in estimating duration of the training period needed, must determine that:
(1) The proposed vocational training program must be one which, when pursued full-time by a nondisabled person, would not normally require more than 24 calendar months of pursuit for successful completion;
(2) The program of training and other services needed by the veteran, based upon VA's evaluation, will not exceed 24 calendar months, if training is pursued on a full-time basis, or 36 calendar months if pursued on a less than full-time basis. In making this determination the following criteria will be applied:
(i) The number of actual months and days of the period during which the veteran will pursue the training program will be counted;
(ii) Days of authorized leave and other periods during which the veteran will not be pursuing training, such as periods between terms will also be counted;
(iii) The period of evaluation prior to determination of reasonable feasibility will be excluded but the actual number of months and days needed to evaluate and improve rehabilitation potential during the training program will be included;
(iv) The time required, as determined in months and days under paragraph (e)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section, will be the total period that would be required for the veteran to accomplish the vocational program under consideration;
(v) If the total period the veteran requires exceeds 24 calendar months, when pursued on a full-time basis, and an extension of the basic training period may not be approved under § 21.6072 of this part, another suitable vocational goal must be selected for which training can be completed within that period.
(3) If the veteran's vocational training program would require more than 36 calendar months when pursued on a less than full-time basis, the program must be reevaluated to select a vocational goal for which a suitable vocational training program can be completed within that period.
(f) Effect of change in the vocational goal on duration of training period. The veteran's vocational goal may be changed during the program in accordance with § 21.94 (a) through (d) of this part. The extent to which such changes may be made is limited by the following considerations:
(1) A change of the vocational goal from one field or occupational family to another field or occupational family may only be approved before the end of the first 24 months of training, whether training is pursued on a full-time or a less than full-time basis; and
(2) A change from one occupational objective to another within the same field or occupational family shall not be considered a change in the vocational goal identified in the veteran's IWRP.