Group Records Corner

By | November 7, 2019

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 the (only) the sections form 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.

The new online form has 5 sections. Only section 1 MUST be filled at all times. The other sections are set to ‘not applicable’ by default. To open the sections on the form, toggle this field to reveal the entry boxes.

  1. The name and contact details for the person submitting the form
    • so we can contact them when the information is incomplete or triggers questions
  2. Group Contacts
    • for GR, CMA and other contact information
  3. Group meeting information
    • Day, time, location, membership details
    • Note that you can add up to 3 meeting days. If some of those are in different location, please enter details in the Location Notes.
  4. Meeting location
    • name and address of venue plus accessibility and other location notes
  5. 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 on top of page to access the form, click ‘Submit’ after entering your details). 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 who does can be of help. They might be able to print a hard copy of the original form (see link in the bottom of this page), so you can fill it out and send it to us via Canada Post. (The form can also be found in the Area Policy page in the ‘For Members’ section of this website, in Section 10). The address/email can be found on the back of the Open Lines Newsletter.

Although you could also download, print, fill out and scan the completed change form and email it to the Group Records Coordinator (email address found on the back of the Open Lines Newsletter), this is not the preferred way to communicate changes to all who need to implement them. 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 in the 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.

3. AAPP’s

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.