Knowledgebase: Member Training
STANDARD C-SCHOOL TRAINING GUIDELINES
Posted by on 05 November 2011 09:04 PM
STANDARD C-SCHOOL TRAINING GUIDELINES |
1. TRAINING – ASSOCIATED TRAVEL:
The C-School web site (http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=aux00) is the best and most efficient source for learning about C-School courses, per diem rates, and travel claim reimbursement. We highly recommend that all students review the site links prior to registration for a C-School. Students can also find CG-3PCX C-School policy on the C-School web site. Students should read this information prior to requesting a C-School.
A. Orders and Amendments:
CG-3PCX requests orders from the Coast Guard Training Quota Management Center (TQC) based upon student registration. Each DIRAUX verifies students for class attendance. Once a student submits their Short Term Training Request (STTR) to their DIRAUX, and their DIRAUX has determined them to be eligible for a class, the DIRAUX will register them in Direct Access. Direct Access is a personnel management computer system that contains Auxiliarist information for enrollment in C-Schools. Six weeks prior to a class commencement, CG-3PCX will close the class and request orders for all instructors and students registered. CG-3PCX will then e-mail TQC to request orders. TQC will cut the orders and make them available to the DIRAUX office associated with the Auxiliarist’s Department Code. The Department Code is a field input that is optional when the DIRAUX enrolls the Auxiliarist in Direct Access. If there is no Department Code, or if it is incorrect in Direct Access, the DIRAUX will not be able to see the student’s orders in the airport terminal. To obtain the orders, the DIRAUX must make a written request to CG-3PCX who may then intervene to e-mail the student’s orders to the requesting DIRAUX. Prospective students should inquire to their DIRAUX about their prospective training orders three weeks prior to a class commencement if they have not yet been received. If a student does not know how to contact their DIRAUX, the Flotilla Commander can provide assistance.
Orders are directions from the Government that tell a student the training location, which C-School to attend, approved transportation methods, lodging arrangements, etc. Orders further specify the approved uniform or other attire, class start and end times, contact information for questions, and any other special or pertinent information. Students must follow orders exactly as they appear; all deviations from the orders must be approved in advance or the student will not be reimbursed for those deviations. For each approved deviation, TQC will produce an amendment to the orders. This could range in form from an e-mail to reissuing the orders for the entire class. One of the most commonly requested amendments is for rental car reimbursement. Unless specifically authorized, rental car costs will not be reimbursed.
Sometimes amendments to the orders are necessary for a change or correction. An e-mail amendment is the same as an amendment to the original orders. Frequently, original orders cannot be amended unless all orders for a class are amended. When only some students need an amendment, then an e-mail amendment will be done by TQC or DIRAUX. The student’s DIRAUX completes amendments to orders for leave taken (i.e. personal time) before or after a C-School and for Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) usage. Amendment arrangements should be made prior to orders being issued. The student should contact their local DIRAUX to request an amendment. The DIRAUX will seek endorsement of the request from CG-3PCX. CG-3PCX will endorse the request (or reject it) and send the endorsed request to TQC who will either process it or reject it. These endorsements or rejections usually take one to two days.
Students attending a C-School will utilize the Government Travel Request (GTR) account of the Coast Guard. Once a student has orders, they need to call SATO, the Government travel agency. The student must book their travel arrangements (airline reservations, train reservations, etc.) with SATO by calling the 800 number on their orders (800-753-7286). In order to ticket the reservation made, SATO needs the student’s orders faxed to them (866-530-0045). Then they issue a ticket for the reservation. The information on the orders tells SATO which Government account to bill.
Usually a block of rooms will be reserved for a class, whether in a hotel or in Basic Officer Quarters (BOQ). For all Pacific Area classes, the Coast Guard mandates that a local BOQ be utilized to reduce lodging costs, as commercial lodging costs are significantly higher in the Pacific Area. For non-BOQ orders, the orders usually state the cut-off date for when a student must pull their room from the block and put the room in their name. Sometimes the lead instructor reserves a block of rooms for their class. The instructor will inform the students if this is the situation and what procedures to follow. If a student fails to pull their room by the cut-off date the hotel has specified, they run the risk of not getting a room at the Government rate or any room in the hotel reserved for the class. Each location in the country has rates specified for lodging costs and meals. Students can find these rates at the C-School web site under the “Per Diem Rates” link. Per diem rates are the Department of Defense (DoD) allowances for lodging and meals in a particular venue. The Coast Guard uses the same rates. If a student misses the hotel cut-off date for pulling their room from the reserved block of rooms, the Coast Guard will still reimburse the student for the cost of lodging up to the Government lodging rate for the locale. Any additional cost of lodging above the DoD rate is at the student’s expense. Students will need to pay for their lodging and meal costs then seek reimbursement from the Government. Receipts are required for all lodging costs no matter the amount, rental cars when authorized, and all other costs $75.00 and up. It is best to keep receipts for transportation costs to help remember the costs when filing a travel claim.
D. Filing a Travel Claim:
Once a student completes a class, they must complete a travel claim (DOD Form 1351-2) to receive reimbursement for authorized expenses. The student should fill out the form, attach their receipts to it, and then mail it or hand-deliver it to the DIRAUX office. The DIRAUX will review the form, and sign it before sending it to the reimbursement unit of the Coast Guard – the Personnel Service Center (PSC ) in Topeka, KS. PSC cannot reimburse a student without this signature from the DIRAUX. Failure to obtain DIRAUX signature will result in a delayed reimbursement process. PSC will also review the form and inform the Finance Center (FINCEN) in Chesapeake, VA how much to deposit as reimbursement for the student into their financial account on file. Students should monitor their financial account for the reimbursement. All travel claims and all supporting documentation must be retained for 6 years and 3 months.
The entire process of preparing for a C-School and obtaining reimbursement afterwards may seem daunting, but the student’s DIRAUX office is always the best source of information for questions and procedures.
A. Requesting A C-School:
Students must request a C-School from their DIRAUX through their chain of leadership and management. The proper procedure is to submit a Short Term Training Request form (STTR) to their DIRAUX. The DIRAUX will either register the student in the Direct Access or inform the student as to why they are not qualified to attend the C-School requested. Students are permitted to attend one C-School every 3 years. The only exceptions to this, which can be explained by the DIRAUX, are Aux-04 and Aux-10 for qualified personnel.
B. The Annual C-School Budget:
C-Schools are given a budget every year. The Government’s fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th. Every October 1st starts a new budget for the fiscal year. The budget is initially determined in February for the next fiscal year. When the new fiscal year starts, the Coast Guard receives its new yearly budget. The Auxiliary is granted a specified amount for C-School courses. Once that money is used, no more is available until the next fiscal year. Attending a C-School is a privilege and all students must adhere to the “one C-School per every 3 years” policy. This provides an equitable opportunity for all Auxiliarists to receive training they may need to fulfill Coast Guard missions. C-School money does not get carried forward from one fiscal year to the next. The new fiscal year’s C-School budget is dependent upon the previous year’s use of money. If students do not show up for their appointed C-School class, the money for the next year’s C-Schools will be reduced, based upon the previous year’s non-use of the money and student attendance rate. IT IS THEREFORE CRITICAL THAT ALL STUDENTS ATTEND THE C-SCHOOL THEY ARE REGISTERED FOR UNLESS THEY INFORM THEIR DIRAUX SEVERAL WEEKS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE CLASS!
C. Class Closings:
Student selections for classes close six weeks prior to commencement of the class. This helps the student to prepare in advance so their schedules can accommodate their attending the class. It also gives students ample time to make travel arrangements and pull their hotel rooms from the block reserved. Additionally, lead instructors have adequate time to contact students and make necessary arrangements for the class and TQC has adequate time to cut orders. DIRAUXs also have adequate time to inform CG-3PCX of any special considerations for a student.
D. Class Sizes:
Class sizes vary, depending upon the nature and location of the class. Once the maximum number of students has been registered in Direct Access or the class is six weeks from starting, student selections for the class are closed. When a registered student becomes unavailable for a class, CG-3PCX will substitute a wait-listed student, and orders will be cut less than six weeks prior to class commencement.
E. Class Times:
Travel orders state the beginning and end dates and times for each C-School. If this information is missing, the lead instructor will contact the students, usually via e-mail, to relay this information. If there is a change to any of these, the lead instructor will inform the students if orders have already been issued, or TQC will send an e-mail amendment after it has issued travel orders. If TQC has not yet issued orders, the original orders will state the correct information.
F. Class Materials:
The lead instructor for a class will inform students if they need to bring materials to the class. The orders sometimes also state specific materials to be brought by each student for the class specified. AFC-56 funds may be used for some class materials. However, the lead instructor must contact CG-3PCX at least four months in advance of the class commencement and make the proper arrangements for the materials. At no time can reimbursement be made for materials already purchased.
G. Requesting a Class Set-up – Lead Instructors and Auxiliary Training Director:
Before TQC can enter a class into Direct Access, lead instructors must provide some information to the CG-3PCX Training Program Manager. The information needed is:
Course Start Date
Course End Date
Maximum number of students the location can accommodate
Address of Training Location.
Once this information is given to CG-3PCX and TQC has officially entered it into Direct Access, DIRAUXs can register students into the classes. CG-3PCX will close the class and students who registered first (before the class maximum was reached or before the class closed, whichever comes first), will have their status changed to enrolled and will receive orders to the class. Once a class is full or closed, any students registered after that will have “Trg Req Cx’d” or “Session Wait” next to their name in Direct Access. This means they could not make it into the class and should apply for another class at a future date. Students with “Session Wait” next to their names will be offered the class in the order in which they were registered in Direct Access if an opening occurs due to a cancellation.
For classes held at Electronic Support Units’ (ESUs) training rooms, the lead instructor contacts the ESU and makes all arrangements for their class. For classes held at Training Center Yorktown or the Coast Guard Academy, CG-3PCX can contact these school coordinators and reserve the training rooms. CG-3PCX may make lodging arrangements at these two locations. CG-3PCX also coordinates lodging for Aviation Spatial Disorientation Course (AUX-18), which is held at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Generally, the lead instructor makes lodging arrangements for hotel lodging with the assistance of the local DIRAUX.
3. ATTENDING A C-SCHOOL AND A CONFERENCE JOINTLY:
If a student attends a C-School and a conference back-to-back, he or she will need two sets of orders – one for the C-School and one for the conference. The C-School orders cover the round trip transportation costs, lodging for the duration of the C-School, and per diem for the travel days and duration of the C-School. C-School orders will not cover lodging, meal costs, or other costs for the conference dates. A second set of orders must cover this portion of the travel from a different account and issuing authority of the Coast Guard. In order to separate the lodging costs and any associated taxes for each set of orders, a student should ask the hotel to close the lodging bill the day the C-School ends and start a new bill for the first day of the conference.
CG-3PCX expects students to return home by midnight the day a C-School ends, unless they can prove they are unable to make it home by midnight and explain why. Students must give this information to their DIRAUX before the student receives orders to either the C-School or the conference. The student may receive an amendment to their orders if the DIRAUX, CG-3PCX, and TQC approve the request for amendment.
Sometimes multiple sets of orders are issued when a member is a student under AFC 56 orders but is staying past the C School date for a conference, etc. When this is the case, the member may receive up to three sets of orders – AFC 56 for the C School, district orders under AFC 30 for the conference, and possibly Auxiliary Association orders also for the conference. Sometimes districts and the Auxiliary Association share costs for conferences. TQC issues travel orders for C-Schools only – never for a conference. These are all separate orders from different accounts within the Coast Guard and/or the Auxiliary Association. The orders cannot be combined on one travel claim. The Personnel Service Center (who receives the travel claim form and receipts for AFC 56 and 30 orders) cannot “split” the costs and determine which costs are associated with each set of orders. It is the member’s responsibility to file a different travel claim for each set of orders and with the proper reimbursing authority for each claim. Students have the responsibility to ensure they have the proper orders for each aspect of their travel. If there are questions about the orders, the student should contact their DIRAUX. The DIRAUX is always the best source of information for questions about orders as well as C-School information.
4. NEW COURSES DEVELOPED FOR THE AUXILIARY
When an instructor develops a new course or significantly changes an existing course (more than just minor updates), they must follow some procedures in order to have approval to teach that material.
CG-13 has an established format for the course curriculum. This is to ensure all Coast Guard training is standard in format, easily understandable, conforms to Coast Guard policy, and is widely useful. When an author submits a course for CG-3PCX approval, CG-3PCX will also submit it to CG-13 for review. CG-13 mandates that the course be in the specified format:
CG-13 will review the course material and format and inform CG-3PCX what changes are necessary (if any) in order to meet CG-13’s criteria. CG-3PCX will contact the Auxiliary Division Chief for Training who will contact the course author and discuss any necessary changes. CG-13 will review courses for format and content. The review can take several months, depending on the volume of course material. CG-13 will not review any course unless the instructor submits it in the specified format with all specified documents – course curriculum, course material, any handouts or diagrams desired to be used in the course, etc.