Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s
1. What is our Area Number?
It is Area 86, and you will find it pre-printed on the Al-Anon & Alateen Registration/Group Records Change Form (see button above).
2. Why can’t I just send you the changes without using the Group Records Change Form?
Completing (only) the sections relevant to the change you are making, ensures that your Ontario South Group Records Coordinator has all the pertinent information to accurately reflect the changes that you intend to have made; especially important is your WSO ID Number (a.k.a. Group ID) that will guarantee that the information you send will be applied to the correct group record and website information. Many of the 300-plus groups in our area have similar names and it is easy to confuse them.
About the online form:
The new online form has 6 sections. Only section 1 MUST be filled at all times. It contains the name and contact information of the person who is submitting the form, so we know how to contact them for clarification, if needed. The other sections are set to ‘not applicable’ by default. To open the sections on the form, toggle to reveal the entry boxes. See example below.
Summary of sections:
- Group Contacts
- for GR, CMA and other contact information
- Group meeting information
- Open or closed meeting (closed: not accessible to the general public)
- Focus of the meeting (newcomer, step meeting, etc)
- Spoken language
- Other information
- Electronic Meeting Information
- Meeting ID and passcode
- Contact information for newcomers in case the password is not published on the Ontario South website listing
- Information for Physical Meeting Location
- Name and address of location
- Accessibility details and other notes to find the meeting room
- Meeting Day and time
- Note that you can add up to 3 meeting days. If some of those are in different locations, please enter details in the Location Notes.
- General remarks field
- Just in case you need to communicate something that is not in the form (yet)
3. How can I send changes to Ontario South?
Preferred method: submit the online Group Records Change Form (click button in the top of this page to access and submit the form). This automatically notifies the Group Records Coordinator of the changes. And the Group Records Coordinator, as part of their tasks, notifies the WSO.
If you do not have access to a computer, maybe a fellow member can be of help. If you need help using the online form and want some training to assist you, please contact our webmaster.
4. Do I have to also send the changes to the World Service Office (WSO)?
NO – This is the task of the Group Records Coordinator.
5. How do I register a new group?
Complete all fields of the online Al-Anon Registration/Group Records Change Form. In Line 1 of the form enter a 0 for your District (unless you already know the number) and a 0 for your WSO ID (a.k.a. group ID). When you submit the form, the information is automatically forwarded to the WSO via the Group Records Coordinator. When your WSO ID has been assigned, your group meeting will be listed to the WSO website and the Ontario South website.
6. How does our new group get its WSO ID number?
Once the WSO completes the registration of your group, the Group Records Coordinator receives a Welcome letter that is then forwarded to you. This letter also shows your WSO ID (a.k.a. Group ID).
Important: Alateen changes
ALL Alateen changes go to the Area Alateen Process Person (AAPP) first, before coming to the Group Records Coordinator. The AAPP address/email is found on the AAPP Coordinator page and in the printed Open Lines Newsletter on the back page.
What is new in WSO Area Group Records
1. “Reported not Meeting”?
- Due to the increasing number of newcomers and members reporting to the WSO that they went to an Al-Anon meeting and no one was there, a new status has been added to the WSO database: “Reported not Meeting”, so that the WSO does not continue to direct people to groups that are not meeting. The flagged meeting will be temporarily removed from the WSO toll-free information line and the Public Outreach website meeting search results, until the status of the meeting can be verified. The WSO asks your assistance reminding members and groups to:
- Add signs inside buildings so the meeting can easily be found.
- Leave a note on the door if the group is not meeting on that specific day.
- Use the ‘comments’ section in the group’s online listing to notify us; this comment is autmatically forwarded to the Group Records Coordinator and the webmaster.
The group “Reported not Meeting” notification is now also available on the WSO Online Group Records website; your Group Records Coordinator and DR’s (read-only) will be contacted. WSO Group Records staff contact the reported group the same day, the group verifies the status of the meeting, the status of the group is updated. If the group does not respond in 3 days, the WSO Group Records staff sends a notice to the Group Records Coordinator to verify the status of the meeting. In the near future, a request to give the Group Records Coordinator the ability to flag “Reported not Meeting” will be evaluated.
2. Latitude and Longitude
Latitude and longitude fields are on the WSO overview tab of the Group Records website since groups with multiple meetings meet at different times and/or days, but at the same location. Further information about multiple meetings can be found on Pages 37 and 38 of 2014-2017 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual, “Al-Anon and Alateen Groups at Work”, Multiple Meetings.
AAPP’s are now able to directly submit new Alateen group registrations to WSO.
4. Updated instructions online at WSO Group records website.
NOTE: The District Representatives have read-only access to the WSO Online Group Records application. They can view the Al-Anon and Alateen group, as well as the AMIAS/SAM records for their district in the WSO database, and run reports on demand.
DRs are asked to report any discrepancy between the Area Group Records and WSO records to the Area Group Records Coordinator or Area Alateen Process Person (see relevant ‘Corner’ page on this website), so records can be updated in a timely manner.