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Getting Smart with Compliance

By Reggie Vasquez, Star Council Director

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Reggie Vasquez

Ignorance is defined by the lack of knowledge or learning. All of us experience a lack of knowledge or learning is some areas of life, and sometimes our experiences do not coincide with real knowledge of a subject area. It can be downright frustrating to sense that we do not know what we need to know to move forward. The Texas State theme for this year is to “Let your Light Shine” and with that, we are hopeful that we overcome those areas where we are lacking and shine some light on the path forward. To that end we would like to present some of the key points brought up recently in the Safe Environment Program Information Guide (Rev. 2018). The SEP Information Guide can be accessed and downloadedfrom the www.kofc.org (go to kofc website, click on Programs, select the underlined link to Safe Environment, and on new web page on the right hand side is the link to the Safe Environment Program Information Guide).

This Information Guide consists of 19 pages packed with information regarding compliance with Diocesan requirements, Knights of Columbus Safe Environment Program, State and Council compliance checklists, Circle of Honor and Star Council requirements, Armatus administration/compliance dashboard, Safe Environment training, Youth Activity policy, quick reference guides, frequently asked questions, and most importantly contact information for the Office of Youth Protection, a Member helpline, and the Fraternal Mission Department at Supreme. We can gain a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding our council compliance requirements simply by opening this Information Guide, readings its contents and following the Guide. As specified on page 9: All Appointments and Requirements Must Be Completed By May 1, 2019.

A couple of key quotes from the SEP Information Guide that have already come up as Council issues:

“The first requirement of our safe environment program is for our members to be aware of, and compliant with, diocesan safe environment requirements applicable to members’ volunteer activities on parish property” (page 4)

“Our Safe Environment Program safeguards children and other vulnerable persons, assures members and their families that we maintain a safe environment for all those whom we serve, protects members from awkward situations, misunderstandings and appearances of impropriety, builds trust with arch/dioceses and parishes, and protects thegood name of the Knights of Columbus” (page 6)

“Under Faith in Action, members serving in the key leadership positions listed are required to complete three training modules designed to teach members about abuse prevention best practices, either online or via workbook self-study guides.” (page 6)

“Members serving in roles that require a background check may fulfill this requirement by giving consent to the Knights of Columbus to obtain and pay for it on their behalf through its partner Praesidium. As shown, some roles also have access to Praesidium’s ARMATUS Administration dashboard to monitor member compliance within their council or jurisdiction.” (page 6)

Without going into great detail, we can quickly see that there is quite a knowledge base to be captured within this Guide. We hope the light shines in each council as we gain even more information on how to ready our councils for compliance and stay on that path to Star Council. It is certainly a challenge, but we are up to it. Texas Knights are all about protecting the good name of the Knights of Columbus and enacting the Faith in Action Program. The Guide tells us how to get there with regard to compliance, now it’s up to you the Council members and leaders to strive for the Star.

This is also a great time of the year as we head into our annual State Convention. Rejoice and acknowledge all the good works we do, look forward to all the new opportunities, and invite all good Catholic men to join our efforts in supporting the Domestic Church.

Vivat Jesus!

Reggie Vasquez, Star Council Director

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