Peace Corps Acronyms: The List is Lofty

As a way for me to promote the Peace Corps Third Goal, and as a way for me to assist future Peace Corps Volunteers with learning common (and uncommon) Peace Corps jargon, I’ve decided to make a (mostly) comprehensive list of the organization’s acronyms. By scrolling through this list, you will easily come to realize that the Peace Corps LOVES acronyms. I’m not exactly sure why, but if I had to guess, the organization is trying to create its own secret language. A word of caution, this list may appear overwhelming, but if you’re considering Peace Corps service, then you’ll get to know most of these terms quite well.

Without further ado, here’s the lexicon:


AA = Assignment Area
Admin Sep = Administrative Separation
AO = Administrative Officer
APCD = Associate Peace Corps Director
APCMO = Area Peace Corps Medical Officer


BC = Behavior Change


CASI = Community and Sector Inventory
= Competency Based Curriculum
CBT = Community Based Training
CD = Country Director
CDA = Country Desk Assistant
CDU = Country Desk Unit
CED = Community Economic Development
CHOPS = Chief of Operations
CFO = Chief Financial Officer
CIG = Common Interest Group
CIO = Chief Financial Officer
COS = Close of Service
COTE = Calendar of Training Events
CSP = Cross-Sector Training Events
CWWS = Coverdell World Wise Schools (program)


DMO = Director of Management and Operations
DOS = Description of Service
DPT = Director of Programming and Training


EAP = Emergency Action Plan
EMA = Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Region
ESC = Early Service Conference
ET = Early Termination


FCU = Farmer Cooperative Union
Field Sep = Field Separation
FITU = Focus in Train Up
FSN = Foreign Service National
FTF = Feed the Future
FY = Fiscal Year


GAD = Gender and Development Committee
GAO = General Accounting Office
GC = General Counsel


HBT = Hub-Based Training
HC = Host Country
HCN = Host Country National
HDN = Human Development Index
HEW = Health Extension Workers (ME!!!)
HOR = Home of Record
HRM = Human Resources Management


IAP = Inter-America and Pacific Region
IC = In-Country
IG = Inspector General
IOS = Interruption of Service
IPA = Intergovernmental Personnel Act
IPBS = Integrated Programming and Budget System
IST = In-Service Training
IT = Information Technology
ITN = Insecticide-Treated Nets


JCAHO = Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations


KSA = Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


LCF = Language and Cultural Facilitator
LO = Learning Objectives
LPI = Language Proficiency Indicator


Med Evac = Medical Evacuation
Med Sep = Medical Separation
MI = Master’s International (program)
MOA = Memorandum of Agreement
MOU = Memorandum of Understanding
MS = Manual Section
MSC = Mid-Service Conference
MSME = Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise
MST = Mid-Service Training
M&E = Monitoring and Evaluation


NCD = Non-Communicable Disease
NCE = Noncompetitive Eligibility
NGO = Nongovernmental Organization
NVAC = National Volunteer Advisory Council


OACM = Office of Acquisition and Contract Management
OCFO = Office of the Chief Financial Officer
OCIO = Office of Chief Information Officer
OGO = Office of Global Operations
OHH = Office of Health and HIV
OMS = Office of Medical Services
OPATS = Office of Programming and Training Support
OPE = Office of Public Engagement
OPSI = Office of Private Sector Initiatives
ORS = Oral Rehydration Salts
OSIRP = Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning
OST = Overseas Staff Training


PA = Program Assistant
PACA = Participatory Analysis for Community Action
PC = Peace Corps (common acronym)
PCMO = Peace Corps Medical Officer
PCR = Peace Corps Response (Polymerase Chain Reaction if you’re a science dweeb)
PCRV = Peace Corps Response Volunteer
PCT = Peace Corps Trainee
PCV = Peace Corps Volunteer (common acronym)
PCVHS = Peace Corps Volunteer Health System
PCVL = Peace Corps Volunteer Leader
PC/E = Peace Corps Ecuador (Yayy!)
PC/W = Peace Corps Washington
PDI = Post-Developmental Indicator
PDM = Project Design and Management
PEPFAR = President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
PIP = Performance Improvement Plan
PLWHA = People Living with HIV/AIDS
PLT = Project Learning Tree
PWD = People with Disabilities
PM = Program Manager
PSC = Personal Service Contractor
PSN = Peer Support Network
PST = Pre-Service Training (common acronym)
PTO = Programming and Training Officer
PTS = Program Training Specialist


QTRS = Quarterly Trainee Report Summary


RM = Regional Manager
RPCV = Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (common acronym)
RRO = Regional Recruitment Office


SDL = Self-Directed Learning
SEOD = Sustainable Economic and Organizational Development
SLF = Site Locator Form
SPA = Small Project Assistance
SSC = Safety and Security Coordinator
SSI = Standard Sector Indicator
S&S = Safety and Security
STRAT = Strategic Recruiter


TAP = Training Assessment Package
TDE = Training Design and Evaluation
TDY = Temporary Duty
TEFL = Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TESL = Teaching English as a Second Language
TOT = Training of Trainers


UC = Under Consideration
USAID = U.S. Agency for International Development
USDH = U.S. Direct Hire


VAC = Volunteer Advisory Committee
VAD = Volunteer Assignment Description
VDS = Volunteer Delivery System
VICA = Volunteer In-Council Allowance
VRC = Volunteer Resource Center
VRF = Volunteer Report Form
VRS = Volunteer Recruitment and Selection
VRT = Volunteer Reporting Tool
VSN = Volunteer Support Network
VS = Volunteer Support
V/T = Volunteer/Trainee


WID = Women in Development


YD = Youth Development


Now that you’ve suffered through this list, see if you have what it takes to decipher this phrase (Again, I’m almost certain the Peace Corps is trying to develop a new language):

Hi! I’m Abbie, and I’m going to be a PCT in PC/E! Hopefully I’ll complete PST so that I can go on to become a successful HEW. My HC is Ecuador, which was my top choice when I applied. When I’m working IC, I’ll have to do a fair share of IST, which will give me the KSA I need to be a tip-top PCV. After 27 months of the hardest work of my life, I plan to come home a RPCV.


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