Terms & Conditions
TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP
CHOICE OF FORUM/CHOICE OF GOVERNING LAW
This Membership Agreement shall only be interpreted and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey and the proper venue to resolve all disputes arising from any of the terms, responsibilities, or liabilities under this Agreement shall be in the State of New Jersey. This Agreement shall be binding upon the parties, its successors, and assignees.
Member hereby agrees to the below.
Membership becomes effective upon approval by the Voluntary Benefits Association® (VBA) and receipt of your Membership dues. Memberships run automatically for one year and automatically renew each year unless Member notifies Association of Member request to terminate Membership in Association. Membership termination requests must be in written form and sent to Association headquarters. Written notice must be received at least sixty (60) days before membership renewal. Failure to notify the Association of termination of membership within sixty (60) days before renewal will result in Member is responsible for payment of dues. Member hereby agrees to be bound by the bylaws of the Association.
Member acknowledges that Association may provide to Member proprietary information not available to the public, which Member agrees not to disclose to the public. Members agree to hold, and that all employees, agents, or third parties to whom the Information is disclosed will hold, all Information in trust and confidence and agree that such information shall be used only for the contemplated purposes as a Member in the Association and shall not be used for any other purposes nor disclosed to any third party without the prior written consent of the Association. In the event of unlawful use or wrongful disclosure, in addition to any other remedies the Association may have at law or in equity, the Association shall be entitled to injunctive relief.
CERTIFICATION TERMS & CONDITIONS
The Certification Programs managed by the Voluntary Benefits Association© (VBA) fall under the below Terms and Conditions.
All professionals enrolling in a professional Training and Certification Course are required to also enroll in a Continuing Education (CE) Subscription Plan in order to access the catalog of continuing education courses and materials. All professionals must abide by the Terms and Conditions of the program including but not limited to:
- Credit Card Policy
- Certification, Designation, and Subscription Requirements
- Auto-Renewal Policy for Certification, Designation, and Subscription
- Other Terms and Conditions
For purposes of this agreement and Terms and Conditions, the “VBA” shall refer to the Voluntary Benefits Association, as the management organization for the professional Training and Certification Programs.
Training and Certification Core Curriculum Program
These courses serve as the core curriculum of best practices for the industries represented. It consists of several modules and an examination at the end of the course for a one-time enrollment fee. Professionals having taken the course, successfully passed the exam, and in good standing by being enrolled in a continuing education subscription plan will then be listed on the Professional Directory online.
Subscription to the E-Library of CE (CE) Courses and Materials
This is an online Subscription to access a catalog of professional CE and industry resources. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of self-motivated, career-focused professionals and organizations seeking to develop specialized skills in voluntary benefits, cybersecurity, and other professional programs as added from time to time. VBA programs are endorsed and distributed by SHRM, HRCI, CFP, Self-Funding Employers Association, Corporate Health & Wellness Association, Healthcare Reform Center & Policy Institute, Global Healthcare Accreditation, Voluntary Benefits Association, and Medical Tourism Association. Currently, we specialize in two Certification Courses and Virtual Summits:
- Certified Voluntary Benefits Specialist®
- Certified Cyber Security Specialist®
Each Certification program requires five (5) CE (CE) hours annually that are to be accessed through the Subscription to the E-Library. A paid Subscription serves as the renewal for the CE each year and is selected on an annual or monthly basis. However, failure to complete the examination means your information will not be listed on the Professional Directory. Failure to remain current with your E-Library Subscription plan means you will not have access to the CE materials. The Subscription is included in a VBA paid annual membership.
The Subscription and Certification Renewals come with an auto-renewal and auto-billing policy and can be canceled by sending a written request to our Client Compliance/Retention Team at email@example.com. Cancellations may not be taken over the telephone. Each Certification program and Subscription plan offers the same cancellation policy. Notification of cancellation must be provided sixty (60) days written notice before the annual renewal and auto-billing of the renewal fee for the Subscription to the E-Library. For monthly paid Subscriptions, payments will be collected for up to sixty (60) days following notification of cancellation. (Read Certification & Subscription Relinquishment Policy for more details). Fees will not be refunded under any circumstances.
Access to the E-Library CE Courses is immediate upon purchase and conditional upon passing the examination. These Certifications are personal designations, and therefore each course is limited to be accessed by only one person and Subscription access to the E-Library is on a per-person basis. Shared access to the Training and CE materials is strictly prohibited. Violation of this condition is subject to the immediate relinquishment of the Certification designation and online access to the E-Learning platform.
Certification Designation Requirements & Conditions
The following Conditions and Requirements are incorporated herein as Terms and Conditions of the Programs for individuals enrolling in the Program:
- The 100-question exam must be passed with a minimum score of 75
- The E-Learning System will allow professionals two (2) attempts to complete the exam. If both attempts fail, our Client Compliance/Retention Team will assist in setting up new Course access. There is a Reactivation Fee of $150.00 for this service. This again will prevent access to the E-Library’s CE Courses.
- Only professionals with successfully completed exams will become certified and will be listed in our Professional Directory, provided an active and current Subscription is in place. Failure to retain a Subscription to the E-Library will result in immediate removal from the Directory.
- Each professional is responsible to maintain his/her company and personal information profile up to date, including but not limited to maintaining a current credit card on file.
- Once a Certification or Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses has been properly canceled in writing, any marks, seals, designations, or other representation must be removed from your credentials and profiles including but not limited to email signature, business cards, websites, and all social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and, Twitter, among others.
Group Certification Designation Requirements & Conditions
The above requirements for individuals are incorporated herein by reference the same as if repeated below. The below Conditions and Requirements are relevant to groups and corporations purchasing a Training and Certification Program through VBA:
- Company renewal fee payments for Training and Certification and Subscriptions to the E-Library CE Courses must be paid according to the contractor invoice specifications to avoid online access disruption.
- The Company must provide the main contact person to manage the group program.
- If the Company is set up under a direct payment plan, Company must provide VBA Financial Department the billing contact and notify VBA if said contact changes.
- The Company’s group manager is responsible to keep the information up to date for their group.
- Group members are responsible to maintain his/her company and personal information profile up to date, including by not limited to the payment method (credit card on file) unless otherwise agreed to in the Group Contract.
- Monthly reports must be provided to the VBA Client Compliance/Retention Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the names of the group members that are no longer in the program.
- Company is bound by the same Cancellation Terms as individuals enrolling in the program. Notification of Cancellation must be provided sixty (60) days written notice before the annual renewal and auto-billing of the renewal fee for the Subscription to the E-Library. For monthly paid Subscriptions, payments will be collected for up to sixty (60) days following Notification of Cancellation. (Read Certification & Subscription Relinquishment Policy for more details). Fees will not be refunded under any circumstances.
BILLING & PAYMENTS
Credit Card Policy
A valid debit or credit card must be used by each professional for the purchase of and enrollment in the online access to Training, Certification, and the Subscription to the E-Library CE Courses and materials. In all cases, the credit card must remain on file for the duration of the Certification and Subscription period to retain access to the E-Library of the CE Courses and to remain compliant with the terms of the designation.
Only properly relinquishing your Certification or canceling your Subscription will effectuate the termination of service and in accordance with the Certification & Subscription Relinquishment Policy. Credit cards will only be charged by the terms of the Certification Designation and as selected under the Subscription to the E-Library CE Courses and as described below.
- At checkout, you will select the desired Training and Certification programs PLUS a monthly or annual Subscription Plan to the E-Library.
- Upon entry of credit card information, credit cards will be validated by the system, prompting the professional of any error or a problem with the card in use, allowing the reentry of another valid card, if needed.
- Renewals of Certification and access to the E-Library CE Courses will be made annually on the anniversary date, or monthly, depending upon the plan chosen.
- Failure to maintain a current credit card on file will prohibit access to the E-Learning Platform, and you will need to contact the Client Success Team to re-activate your account.
- We accept the following credit cards: American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover Card.
Auto-Renewal and Auto-Billing Policy
VBA programs come with a subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses under auto-renewal and auto-billing policy. VBA is not obligated to send you any renewal or advance billing notices or other notices indicating that your debit or credit card will be or has been charged. A courtesy e-mail will be sent as the receipt of payment after the payment has been made.
These Certifications are a personal designation, and the access to the subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses is personal to each professional and portable irrespective of employment. Any professional utilizing a corporate credit card as a primary form of payment is asked to provide a personal credit card as a secondary form of payment to be charged in the event the employer fails to make timely payment and/or if the professional leaves the employment of the employer. This will assist in keeping all professionals current and avoid disruption of service. It is the professional’s responsibility to maintained valid cards on file and to replace former employer’s corporate cards or any card that is no longer authorized and/or expired.
Professionals may replace the credit card on file at any time. If a card is removed but not replaced, there will be no access to the E-Learning Platform until a new valid credit card is added and validated by the system. If you are Certified and do not replace the card on file, your professional listing will immediately be removed from the directory. Removing a debit or credit card from the system does not release you from the liability for any outstanding or upcoming fees, nor from canceling the subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses following the relinquishment process.
If the required payment method fails or the account is past due, VBA may collect amounts owed by obtaining other payment methods provided by the professional, or by retaining collection agencies and legal counsel. VBA may also report information about your account to credit bureaus, and as a result, late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report. If you wish to dispute the information VBA reported to a credit bureau (i.e. Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) please contact us at Voluntary Benefits Association 1 Brookwood Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. If you wish to dispute the information a collection agency reported to a credit bureau regarding your Certification account, you must contact the collection agency directly.
VBA reserves the right to immediately and without notice, either suspend or terminate your Certification and subscription for unauthorized use of the program marks or misrepresentation of our Certification and E-Library subscription program by the Terms and Conditions of this Certification program.
You will also be required to pay any amounts still owed to VBA at the time your account is suspended or terminated.
Certification & Subscription Relinquishment Policy
If you decide to relinquish the Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses and terminate access to the E-Learning Platform for any reason, Request for Relinquishment must be provided to VBA in writing via e-mail at email@example.com and the account will be closed based on the payment plan chosen:
- Monthly renewal fee payment plan
- The account will be closed sixty (60) days after the request is received
- All professionals will be responsible for the fees incurred during the sixty (60) day period
- Annual renewal fee payment plan
- Cancellation request must be received at least sixty (60) days before the next renewal date, to avoid paying for the upcoming renewal fees
- In the event the cancellation request is not received sixty (60) days before the renewal date, you are responsible for the upcoming renewal fees
Professionals will be responsible for all fees incurred before and during the sixty (60) day period. Failure to access the Platform, take the examination for the Certification, or access the E-Library of CE Courses does not eliminate the responsibility to be compliant, make timely payments, or any other requirements of the Program until proper relinquishment is received. Failing to comply with this regulation will not stop the auto-renewal fees. Furthermore, if VBA grants the Relinquishment of the Certification and Subscription-based upon an account being current, and the charges are later disputed and fees returned to the professional, the Relinquishment of Certification Subscription will be revoked, and all outstanding renewal fees will be reinstated, and the account will be placed in a collection process. VBA may also report information about your account to credit bureaus, and as a result, late payments, missed payments, or other defaults on your account may be reflected in your credit report. If you wish to dispute the information VBA reported to a credit bureau (i.e., Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion) please contact us at Voluntary Benefits Association 1 Brookwood Road, Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054. If you wish to dispute the information a collection agency reported to a credit bureau regarding your Certification account, you must contact the collection agency directly.
Once a Certification or Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses has been properly canceled in writing, any Certification marks, seals, designations, or other representation must be removed from your credentials and profiles including but not limited to email signature, business cards, websites, and all social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and, Twitter, among others.
OTHER TERMS & CONDITIONS OF CERTIFICATION, DESIGNATION & SUBSCRIPTION
Promotional coupons are designated for groups or individuals to access our Certification and Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses through a partial or a full discount. The certifications are personal designations with a Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses access with an auto-renewal and auto-billing policy. A valid debit or credit card must remain on file for the duration of the Program to retain access to the E-Learning Platform and pay for any renewal fees, irrespective of promotional coupons being utilized. If a promotional coupon applies a partial or fully prepaid amount, the discount applies only to the initial Certification or Subscription to the E-Library of CE Courses and not to the renewal fees. A credit card will need to be entered at the time of enrollment to comply with the auto-renewal and auto-billing process. These individuals will not be exonerated from any future renewal fees. In the event a Group Contract authorizes an alternative renewal agreement, arrangements will be made by the Client Compliance / Retention Team to assure no billing occurs during the time prescribed by the Contract.
If the Certification and/or the Subscription are no longer needed, they will need to be canceled following the cancellation process indicated in these Terms.
If you were provided a promotional / discount payment code, you are not authorized to offer that code to any other person or entity, unless you have obtained written approval from the VBA. If you provide your 3rd party un-authorized promotional or discount and it is utilized, you will be liable for any un-authorized discount provided by the VBA.
COVENANTS & AGREEMENTS
I covenant and agree that:
- Authorization to use Mark and Certification. Only upon successful completion of my Certification exam and complying with the program requirements, and subject to these Terms and Conditions of certification (Terms), VBA grants me a limited, personal, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, revocable license to use the Certification Marks (as defined below) solely in connection with the promotion and conduct of the offering of services I Perform in relation to my Certification in the United States. No other rights are granted except for those explicitly granted herein.
- Restrictions on Use of Certification and Mark. Without limiting the other terms and restrictions outlined in these Terms, unless otherwise approved by VBA Review Board in writing, I will not, directly or indirectly: (i) use the Certification Marks in conjunction with the promotion and/or provision of any services, or in any other way, outside the United States unless I have met cross-border requirements, (ii) use the Certification Marks in conjunction with the sale of any tangible goods, (iii) state or imply that VBA has decided on the merits or quality of any education, testing or review program with which I may be associated, (iv) certify individuals to use the Certification Marks, (v) use the Certification Marks in a manner that implies another individual or company is qualified to use the Certification Marks, or (vi) use the Certification Marks in violation of VBA’s policies and procedures, which are incorporated herein by reference.
- Quality Control. The nature and quality of all advertising, promotional, or other uses of the Certification Marks, and services associated therewith will conform to the quality and standards specified by VBA (as modified from time to time) and will be in full compliance with VBA’s Standards of Professional Conduct and all applicable laws and regulations. VBA has the exclusive right to monitor the way I use the Certification Marks and the quality of services associated therewith. Such monitoring may, at the election of VBA, be done in accordance with the procedures outlined in VBA’s Standards of Professional Conduct, including but not limited to, examination, investigation, inspection, and formal hearings. VBA retains, always, the right to withdraw its approval of my use of the Certification Marks if the quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of any of the services associated therewith ceases to be acceptable under certain standards defined by VBA. Notwithstanding, VBA has no right to control incidents of actual services provided or participate in the rendition thereof.
- Protection of the Certification Marks. VBA shall have the sole right to file applications to register and to obtain registration for, the Certification Marks. I further agree to cooperate fully with VBA in filing such applications and obtaining such registrations, including providing VBA with specimens of use of the Certification Marks and executing any documents requested by VBA, or in protecting, enforcing, and defending the Certification Marks. I will notify VBA in writing of any infringements, imitations, claims, or other problems concerning the Certification Marks which may arise or otherwise come to my attention. VBA shall have the sole right, but not the obligation, to take any action because of any such infringement, imitation, claim, or problem. I will not institute any suit or take any other action because of such infringements, imitations, claims, or problems without the prior express written consent of VBA.
- Ownership; Goodwill. The right to use the marks of VBA is limited to those rights to use the Certification Marks and does not extend to any other marks of VBA. Any goodwill attaching to the trademarks of VBA because of my use of the Certification Marks will inure to the benefit of VBA. I will conduct my business in a way that does not adversely affect VBA’s reputation or goodwill. I will only display or use the Certification Marks as permitted in these Terms and the Guidelines on how to Use the VBA Designated Certification Marks (as updated from time to time). The right to use the Certification Marks does not grant the right, title, or interest in or to any trademark, service mark, logo, or trade name of VBA. I further agree not to: (i) challenge VBA as the sole, absolute, or exclusive owner of all right, title, and interest in and to the Certification Marks and the goodwill associated therewith, (ii) challenge the validity, control, or use of any mark owned by VBA, (iii) register, use, adopt or promote any mark that is confusingly similar to any mark owned by VBA, (iv) take or encourage any action which would impair the rights of VBA in and to the Certification Marks or any goodwill associated therewith, or (v) infringe the Certification Marks or any other marks owned by VBA.
- Disclaimer of Warranty. THE USE OF THE CERTIFICATION MARKS ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS. VBA DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED CONDITIONS, REPRESENTATIONS, AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, COURSE OF DEALING, USAGE OF TRADE, EMPLOYABILITY, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THESE DISCLAIMERS ARE HELD TO BE LEGALLY INVALID. VBA HAS NO DUTY OR OBLIGATION TO REGISTER, RENEW OR OTHERWISE MAINTAIN ANY REGISTRATION FOR THE CERTIFICATION MARKS.
- Compliance with Rules and Policies. I have read, understand, and will comply with all rules and policies contained in VBA’s Standards of Professional Conduct, which is incorporated herein by reference, as it presently exists and as it may be amended from time to time.
- Retention of Jurisdiction. Notwithstanding any termination or relinquishment of my right to use the Certification Marks, I shall continue to be subject to the filing of a complaint under VBA’s Standards of Professional Conduct based upon acts or omissions commenced before the effective date of termination or relinquishment, provided that any such complaint shall be filed within five (5) years after the effective date of termination or relinquishment.
- Revocation of Right to Use. VBA has the absolute and unrestricted right to revoke, at its sole discretion, any rights I must use the Certification Marks, if VBA, in its sole discretion, finds that I have failed to comply with VBA’s Standards of Professional Conduct or these Terms. In addition, if VBA, in its sole discretion, determines that I have misused the Certification Marks, I further understand and agree that such action may cause irreparable harm and I will immediately stop using the Certification Marks or change how I use them, whichever VBA requests. I further understand if I am not current on the certification(s) annual renewal fee and/or I do not provide the required completion of five (5) CE credits, and I continue to use the applicable designation after revocation, I will be subject to a $2,500 fine/penalty.
- Indemnification. Neither VBA nor its directors, officers, employees, and others acting on its behalf shall be liable to me for any actions taken or omitted in an official capacity or the scope of employment, except to the extent that such actions or omissions constitute willful misconduct or gross negligence, and I hereby release VBA, all their respective employees, officers and directors and the persons identified above from any liability for any such actions or omissions. I further covenant and agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless VBA and its directors, officers, employees, and agents from and against any and all claims, demands, judgments, awards, and expenses related thereto (including court costs and reasonable fees of attorneys and other professionals) brought or threatened by any third parties, including my clients, arising out of: (i) any breach by me of my Application or these Terms, (ii) any failure by me or my authorized agents to comply with applicable laws, (iii) the services provided by me, (iv) any unauthorized representation, warranty, agreement or the like, express or implied, made by me or my authorized agents to or with any third party concerning any acts or omissions (including statements, representations or warranties not authorized by VBA), or (v) acts or omissions taken by me in connection with the use of the Certification Marks. Notwithstanding the above, VBA expressly reserves the right to retain separate counsel to participate in the defense or settlement of any such claims.
- Limitation of Liability. TO THE EXTENT NOT PROHIBITED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL VBA BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEY’S FEES, LOSS OF BUSINESS, REVENUE, PROFITS, OR OTHER ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE, HOWEVER, CAUSED, REGARDLESS OF THE THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE ANY OF VBA’S MARKS, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FORMS OF DISCIPLINE, EVEN IF VBA HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. IN NO EVENT WILL VBA’S LIABILITY UNDER THIS DECLARATION AND AGREEMENT, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE AND DEFAMATION), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT I PAID IN APPLICATION FEES FOR CERTIFICATION. LIABILITIES SHALL BE LIMITED AND EXCLUDED, EVEN IF THE REMEDY FAILS OF ITS ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.
A. Integration. My Training and Certification Subscription or Renewal Application, these Terms, and the documents incorporated herein by reference constitute the complete agreement and supersede all prior or contemporaneous oral or written representations and warranties. VBA may modify these Terms upon notification to me. No modification by me to these Terms shall be binding upon VBA unless in writing and signed by VBA.
B. Assignment. I will not assign or transfer any of my rights or obligations under these Terms. Any assignment or delegation by me of these Terms or any of my rights or obligations hereunder shall be null and void. VBA may assign its rights herein, without my prior consent.
C. Relationship. My relationship with VBA is that of a Certificate and Subscription affiliation granted the right to use the Certification Marks of a certifying body and in no way does the relationship constitute an independent contractor, partnership, franchise, joint venture, agency, or employment relationship.
D. Interpretation. These Terms, which I understand are binding upon me in consideration of VBA processing my Application, shall be interpreted in such a manner as to aid in effectuating the purposes and business of VBA. No third-party private right of action shall be permitted against VBA for acts or omissions taken by VBA in the furtherance of its purposes and business or connection with these Terms. Failure of VBA to insist on strict performance of the provisions contained herein does not prevent VBA from later enforcing its rights under these Terms.
E. Enforcement; Survival. If I do not stop using the Certification Marks immediately upon revocation, relinquishment, or termination, or violate the provisions of these Terms, such actions shall be considered exceptional and I will pay any expenses, including, but not limited to, attorney’s fees, which VBA may incur while enforcing this provision. Upon termination, revocation, or relinquishment of the right to use the Certification Marks, my obligations under paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and all these Terms will remain in effect.
G. Choice of Law; Forum. These Terms and any action relating thereto shall be governed by and construed and enforced in accordance with the state of New Jersey, Burlington County, and controlling U.S. federal law. No choice of law rules of any jurisdiction will apply. I will not bring any action arising from or related to these Terms except in a court of appropriate subject matter jurisdiction in the State of New Jersey, Burlington County, and I expressly consent to personal jurisdiction and proper venue by and in such court.
H. Headings; Severability. The headings of sections and paragraphs herein are for convenience of reference only and are without substantive significance. If any provision of these Terms shall for any reason be held invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, such validity, illegality, or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision and these Terms shall be interpreted and construed as if such term or provision, to the extent the same shall have been held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, had never been contained herein.