Dear WA Knights, Dames, Chaplains, and Provisional Members,

In July of each year the WA office reviews the rosters to ensure all those active in works with the WA are in compliance with the Western Association Protection of the Vulnerable (PoV) Policy. Below is a review of that policy. When the process by which the PoV certificates were obtained was changed last year to Virtus, a one-year grace period was given to those who had done training through a different method. That grace period has now expired, and all WA members must now use Virtus.

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the process if you have not already done so.

Policy:

Overview: The Western Association requires all Members (Knights, Dames, Chaplains, Provisionals & Auxiliary) who participate in any charitable activity done in the name of the Order of Malta and any volunteer over the age of 18 who accompanies us on pilgrimage MUST have a valid PoV training course certificate on record with the WA office.

Provider: All PoV training for the WA must be done through VirtusOnline

(https://www.virtusonline.org)

Process:

Dioceses that use Virtus: If a member or pilgrimage volunteer as described above has a valid Virtus training done either online or in person through their diocese then that training is valid for the WA as well.  They MUST contact the WA office to let us know that this training has been done.  The office will contact Virtus and have that training certificate duplicated into our records.  It is NOT necessary to do a second Virtus training for the WA.  If a member chooses to do a second training for the WA then a different email address should be used for the online registration using the Order of Malta, Western Association from the dropdown menu and proceed as directed.

Dioceses that do not use Virtus or those who do not volunteer in a diocese: Members or pilgrimage volunteers as described above are required to go to Virtus Online and select the Order of Malta, Western Association from the dropdown menu and proceed as directed.

Renewal: The training is valid for 3 years for the WA regardless of the diocese requirement.

All members will receive a notice from Virtus informing them of the expiration of their certificate 3 months before the expiration date. If a certificate needs to be renewed and the member is still active in their diocese then the renewal training should be done through the diocese and the WA office contacted with the renewal information.

Exemptions: If a member is no longer active in the charitable works of the WA then an exemption may be obtained through the Protection of the Vulnerable Supervisor. Please contact the office at  [email protected]  for directions on how to obtain an exemption.

Questions:  Members are directed to contact the WA office at [email protected]  or Katherine Glaessner, DM ([email protected]) with any question regarding this procedure.  If members have a question about the website itself please contact Virtus Online directly.

Posted on behalf of Katherine Glaessner, DM