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State Advocate 2019 - 2020

Picture of State Advocate

Tom Williams

December 2019

Brother Knights,

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday and were able to relax. For those with families, I hope you had some time to spend with loved ones and give thanks for all the blessings we have in our lives.

We will continue to talk about the Safe Environment Program (SEP) requirements again this month, there seems to be a lot of confusion. The state receives a weekly report from Supreme and if you are shown as not SEP compliant, please expect that State Forms & Administration Chairman Kevin Fraley or myself will contact you. This is important enough that we publish a monthly report on SEP status for all Councils in the jurisdiction in the WSC bulletin. We ask that you take this as seriously as we do!

The SEP program is 100% run by the Youth Protection office at Supreme, not by the state. If the report differs from your Council records, please understand that the state is unable to update the records - - you must reach out directly to the Office of Youth Protection at 203-800-4940. Our experience is that they have been very helpful and can provide you with a step by step listing of where you are in the process. If you believe an error exists in their records, call them - if they agree with you I assure they will correct their records.

Many of the issues revolve around the three appointed positions required to be SEP compliant. The first step is that these appointments be made at the start of each fraternal year. The second step is for the appointed person to begin the online training and background check if required according to the instructions, user name, and password received via email from Supreme. The third step is for timely completion of all requirements. Until all three steps are completed in full the member is not considered to be compliant.

Instructions are sent to the primary e-mail address in Member Management – please ensure is correct so the message will be received. If the email is correct and you don’t see the instructions, please check to see if the email was sent to a spam folder, junk folder or something other than your inbox.

If your member is not computer-savvy or does not have access to a computer, Youth Protection offers the training in both English and Spanish print format.

If the required training has not been completed within 30 days (sometimes extended to 60 days) after the appointment then the man is removed from the position, which becomes vacant and must be immediately filled.

SEP Status

· Vacant - Position not assigned at the present time, must be reassigned at once.

· Not Compliant - Position has been assigned, but so far the man has not begun his training.

· Pending - The assigned man has begun his training but has still not finished it as required.

· Compliant - Position has met all applicable requirements, no action is needed

When a member is appointed into one of the roles that requires training, that appointment info is sent to Praesidium, who in turn sends out access to the training via email. Once that initial training, comprised of 3 modules, is completed, that completion is associated with the member for 3 years. If a member completes training on 11/08/2016 he is considered “trained” until 11/08/2019 whether he holds a role, leaves a role, or leaves and then comes back. The same goes for a background check. Once the member provides his consent and the background check is completed, that background check is associated with that member for a period of 3 years so if he leaves a role and then is appointed again within that 3 year period, he is considered compliant with the background check until 3 years have passed.

It becomes more complicated when a member completes the training via the voluntary self-registration path and is later appointed into a role that requires training. IF the member completed all 3 initial training modules, AND registered using his correct member number, OYP does have the ability to connect that completion to him if he is later appointed into a role that requires the training.

All vacant positions must be filled immediately. The Financial Secretary is directed to enter the Grand Knight's name in all vacant positions as soon as possible, the assignment can be later changed at any time when a new person is found for the position. Councils are not permitted to operate (no meetings, activities, breakfasts, etc.) with long term vacancies in any of these positions.

I would like to thank State Forms and Administration Chairman Kevin Fraley for his tireless work to help the state achieve SEP compliance. He is working directly for the State Deputy and myself. If you do not appreciate what he is doing, don’t complain to him – complain to me as he is acting on my behalf.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, I am always glad to hear from you and offer assistance.

Vivat Jesus!





Thomas C. Williams

State Advocate