Group Records Corner

By | November 7, 2019

‘If we don’t know it, we can’t show it’

Online change and registration forms for Al-Anon

Online change and registration form for Alateen

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. AAPP’s are now able to directly submit new Alateen group registrations to WSO.

Description of procedures for Group Records and Website listings by Ontario South

Important introductory notes:

  1. Notifying the Al-Anon Information Services (AIS): The GTAIS and the AIS in the Ottawa region are not part of the Group Records Change process; members are always invited to notify them directly, but: this does not result in any database or website changes at OSA or the WSO. Only submissions via the online forms will guarantee that (see red buttons above for direct links to these forms).
  2. Groups in districts with their own website: It is the responsibility of each group to communicate changes to OSA & WSO; with 300+ groups and meetings to manage Group Records and website listings for, there is no time for Area coordinators to perform regular manual comparisons with District websites or other meeting listings.
  3. Direct emails: Direct emails are discouraged for notification of regular OSA changes, because they require a lot more time to process and create an increased risk of typos, errors, and omissions. Of course, members are welcome to use them if further clarification is needed, but please, by default use the online forms listed below.

Group Records Change channels

1. OSA (the Ontario South Area):

– Online Group Records Registration / Changes forms for Al-Anon and Alateen*
– Feedback from the Ontario South website on each individual meeting details website listing (‘request a change to this listing’)

2. WSO (the World Service Office):

– Online Group Records Registration / Changes form for Al-Anon*
– Feedback from the WSO website on each individual meeting details website listing with the ‘report problem’ option

*All updates of all online forms (@ OSA and @ WSO) are implemented directly into the WSO Group Records database by the Area Group Records Coordinator (AGRC) and the AAPP: Area Alateen process Person (Alateen only).

How long does processing of records take?

    Each change submission results in the following updates:

    UpdateAverage processing time
    The WSO Group Records database*1 – 14 days
    The OSA Website1 – 3 days
    The WSO WebsiteWSO matters are not an Area task. See below for more WSO processing information.

    Options for groups and how they are processed

    Option 1. Changes via OSA online forms:

    • OSA submissions are automatically emailed within minutes to the Ontario South Area Coordinators for Group Records (Al-Anon and Alateen) and Website
      • The Group Records Coordinator and AAPP implement changes directly into the WSO Group Records Database
      • The Website Coordinator implements relevant meeting changes on the Ontario South website, after updating a custom database that helps with website maintenance
      • WSO refreshes their website meeting pages

    Option 2. Changes received via WSO (via online forms or other methods):

    • WSO Submissions are grouped per area by WSO staff and then emailed to the Area Group Records coordinators
      • The Group Records Coordinator and AAPP update the WSO Group Records database
      • The Website Coordinator is notified and implements relevant meeting changes on the Ontario South website, after updating a custom database that helps with website maintenance
      • WSO refreshes their website meeting pages

    Dealing with time sensitive notifications

    • A change received today about a meeting that happens tomorrow is considered late. Although it may often be implemented in time on the Ontario South website, it is reasonable to expect that updating the WSO database & website may not follow the same timeline.
    • For time-sensitive updates, changes can be submitted online to OSA and WSO at the same time, using the proper online forms. This may cut out some processing delays.

    About WSO processing times:

    • AFG Records Staff at WSO processes changes if they have not been implemented by the Area Coordinator for Group Records within a maximum of 14 days. The Area Coordinator is reminded after 7 days elapse, and is notified when AFG Records Staff has implemented the change after more than 14 days elapse.
    • The update of a meeting with physical information is a fully automated process that happens on the WSO website, 15 minutes before the hour, every day.
    • New group registrations are processed weekly.
    • Group and meeting information is regularly verified through an ongoing Annual Update sheet and WSO also relies on the AGRCs and DRs to verify the meeting information on file.

    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 automatically forwarded to the Group Records Coordinator and the Website coordinator.

    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.