Glossary (aka RPCV Lingo)

The word Glossary with each letter on separate post-it note of different colors

The RPCV Health Crusade Glossary is a collection of some of the key lingo (aka terms and acronyms) that are often referenced within the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) community.

Glossary of Acronyms

APCDAssociate Peace Corps Director
ASSMAssistant Safety and Security Manager
CDCountry Director
COSClose of Service
COTECalendar of Training Events
CREGCountry Re-Entry Guide
DMODirector of Management and Operations
DOLDepartment of Labor
DOVDeath of a Volunteer
DPTDirector of Programming and Training
EAPEmergency Action Plan
EPCV (or ERPCV)Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteer
FECAFederal Employee Compensation Act
HCNHost Country National
IMAPIndividual Medical Action Plan
KPAKate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011
MAPMedical Action Plan
MTGMedical Technical Guidance
NCENon-competitive Eligibility
OGOOffice of Global Operations
OHSOffice of Health Services
OIGOffice of Inspector General
OSSOffice of Safety and Security
OVAOffice of Victim Advocacy
PCMOPeace Corps Medical Officer
PCIPeace Corps Invitee
PCTPeace Corps Trainee
PCVPeace Corps Volunteer (currently serving)
PCVLPeace Corps Volunteer Leader
PMAPPost Medical Action Plan
PSTPre-Service Training
RMAPRegional Medical Action Plan
RPCVReturned Peace Corps Volunteer
R/PCVReturned and (currently serving) Peace Corps Volunteer
SARRRSexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response
SIMSSecurity Incident Management System
SIRGSecurity Incident Reporting Guide
SSISafety and Security Instruction
SSMSafety and Security Manager
TDYTemporary Duty
TGTechnical Guidance
VIDAVolunteer Information Database Application
VSNVolunteer Support Network

Glossary of Terms

To bridge the gap, some of the definitions were provided by RPCVs to represent how the RPCV community understand and utilize the terms. Thanks Kate!

Administrative Separation (ad-sep)Under the Peace Corps Act, the Peace Corps Trainee or Peace Corps Volunteer may be terminated at any time at the pleasure of the President, who delegated that authority to the Director of Peace Corps; this generally applies for removing the PCT/PCV for non-medical reasons; currently under certain circumstance, PCTs may have the option to resign instead of being ad-separated
ApplicantSomeone who is in the process of applying (but not yet completed or abandoned) to volunteer for Peace Corps service
CounterpartHost country national who is performing an equivalent role to the Peace Corps Volunteer
Culture ShockFeelings of uncertainty, confusion, or anxiety of experiencing a new country or surroundings; typically occurs with a change from one familiar cultural environment and into another with unfamiliar language, customs, gestures, etc.
Early TerminationLeaving Peace Corps service before the formal end of the full term of volunteer service; this could be voluntary (decision by PCV) or involuntary (decision by Peace Corps); there are four types:
– resignation (volunteer decision)
– medical separation
– administrative separation
– interrupted service
Evacuation (country)Suspension of Peace Corps service in the host country and departure of some or all Peace Corps Volunteers in the host country either permanently or temporarily for operational reasons
Evacuation (PCV)Peace Corps assists the individual Peace Corps Volunteer in leaving the host country for reasons beyond the PCV’s control like needing medical evaluation or care not available in country
Host CountryCountry hosting the Peace Corps Volunteers under the Peace Corps program
Host Country NationalResident or citizen of the country hosting the Peace Corps Volunteers
In-CountryReferring to physically being (or events happening) in the host country
In-ServicePeriod of time as a Peace Corps Volunteer performing volunteer services in the host country
Interrupted ServiceWhen the Country Director determines there are circumstances beyond the control of the Peace Corps Trainee or Peace Corps Volunteer where s/he needs to leave the service assignment.
InviteeSomeone who completed the application process and received a formal invitation to be a Peace Corps Volunteer; the Invitee may be going through or completed the medical clearance process
Medical Action PlanComprehensive, country-specific reference guide with directions and components to address the urgent or emergent medical needs of PCVs; there could be specifics at the Individual, Post, and Regional level
Medical ClearanceThe process of meeting medical qualifications within applying for Peace Corps service; check out our Resource Library for ways to save money on medical clearance needs
Medical Evacuation (medevac)Peace Corps removes/evacuates the Peace Corps Trainee or Peace Corps Volunteer from the host country to receive medical assistance that is not available in country
Medical SeparationPeace Corps makes the decision for early termination when the Peace Corps Trainee or Peace Corps Volunteer develops a medical condition that Peace Corps cannot medically accommodate or resolve in a pre-designated window of time (currently 45 days); the PCV/PCT generally has the option to appeal this decision
Non-Competitive EligibilityHiring authority status where the RPCV (meets job qualifications) is eligible for certain federal positions without competing with the general public; this is only available for a short limited time after COS
Now (vs Now-Now)A generic or casual concept of time by HCNs in certain countries; it often refers to a broad window of time so if you need something to happen immediately, use the phrasing “Now-Now”
Peace Corps ActThe Peace Corps Act of 1961 is the law that established the Peace Corps as a federal agency that trains and sends Americans from the US to volunteer abroad
Peace Corps OathThe official pledge/oath taken by Peace Corps Trainees to become a Peace Corps Volunteer; PCTs must be told their options in including or excluding certain verbiage of the oath
Peace Corps TraineeSomeone who is currently going through staging or training to be a Peace Corps Volunteer
Peace Corps TrainingThe training activities over 2-3 months to become a Peace Corps Volunteer; the activities typically include orientation on language, culture, customs, safety, and overview of the assignment
Peace Corps VolunteerSomeone who has completed Peace Corps training and taken the Peace Corps oath to perform volunteer services in the host country
Peace Corps Volunteer LeaderPeace Corps Volunteer who extended service into a third year for a specific project initiative
Post-ServicePeriod of time after the Peace Corps Volunteer reaches a Close of Service; applicable regardless of how long it has been since service
Pre-ServicePeriod of time before taking the Peace Corps oath; this typically includes staging and training
Readjustment AllowanceFinancial amount allocated to the Peace Corps Volunteer at Close of Service to assist with readjusting to life after Peace Corps, this is usually based on a designated amount per month for each month of service
ResignationDecision made by the Peace Corps Trainee or Peace Corps Volunteer to leave Peace Corps service before the full term (2 year) of service is completed
Returned Peace Corps VolunteerSomeone who was a Peace Corps Volunteer and reached a Close of Service status; and once a RPCV, forever the RPCV!
Reverse Culture ShockTransitional feelings of navigating a return to a life after Peace Corps service; this can be a very challenging stage to readjust to your previous cultural environment
SectorProfessional industry or area of the work; examples of sectors include: agriculture, education, health, etc.
StagingPeriod of time just before Peace Corps Training begins to address some preliminary, medical, and/or administrative needs; typically before arrival in the host country
Swearing InProcess and ceremony of the Peace Corps Trainee in taking the Peace Corps Oath to become a Peace Corps Volunteer
The Three GoalsThe overarching mission of the Peace Corps based on three goals/principles:
First Goal: To help the countries interested in meeting their need for trained people
Second Goal: To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
Third Goal: To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Any More Terms or Acronyms?

Help us expand this Glossary of RPCV terms and acronyms. We decided not to list groups to keep the list manageable. If you know of any additions or corrections, definitely let us know.

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