Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new online Youth Protection Program?
The Youth Protection Program is a new one hour self-guided training course provided by the Diocese of Altoona Johnstown.  This mandatory training is required for all employees, all clergy and all those in formation for priesthood or diaconate, as well as for all volunteers who have ongoing contact with minors.

Why did we change the program?
Access to mandatory training has been limited by the dates, times and locations for the training courses. This presented challenges and sometimes deterred those who need training and clearance to work with youth. The new program is always available online.  By making it more accessible, it should help everyone to meet this requirement.  Other benefits for this new training program are listed below.  

Who must take the online Youth Protection Program?
*  All new employees and new volunteers prior to starting employment or volunteer service.
*  All those beginning formation for priesthood and diaconate.

Does this new online training course take the place of the Virtus, Protecting God's Children Program? Yes 

What are the benefits to this new online format?
*  It contains new and pertinent information.
*  It incorporates recent changes to Pennsylvania State Law.
*  It is web-based and self-paced.
*  More flexibility, and can be done at the time and place convenient for the user.
*  Automatic reporting of completion.
*  Easier tracking of who has taken the training and more concise record keeping.

How do I access this new online training course?  A link is provided on the Home Page of the Diocesan Website - Look for the Youth Protection icon on left  side of the Home Page. 1. Go to the website. 2. Click the icon. 3. Click on the Youth Protection Program Training Course.

What do I do if I do not have a home computer or personal email address?
*You will need to make arrangements with your employment or volunteer supervisor to use a computer at the parish, school or entity where you work or volunteer.
*When registering, use the general email address of the parish, school or entity where you work or volunteer.
*If there is no computer that you can use for one hour, other arrangements can be made.  Contact your principal, pastor, or the person in charge of the program in which you serve and ask them to contact

How do I log onto the training course?
Detailed instructions are provided on how to access the training course.  First time users will
create a unique user ID.  It is that unique user ID that will allow participants to access the training course as needed, and that same unique user ID will be used to tract the status of all persons who have completed the course.

First time users must then register all entities (organizational category, location and function/role) for which they are employed or volunteer with youth.  Do not list other volunteer opportunities that do not involve ongoing contact with children and youth.  Employment or the primary volunteer position should be registered first.  For example, a user may teach at a school and also volunteer at a parish or Catholic Charities program.  Instructions are provided to add additional categories, etc. For example: Category, Parish
Location, Name of Parish, Function/role, Volunteer.

Returning users will need to re-enter the same information that was provided during the initial sign-up (first name, last name, last 4 digits of SS number and email address) and verify that saved profile information is correct in the drop down menus. 

Helpful Hints for navigating through the training Course.
*  Once a user is registered for the course, but before actually beginning the training course, he/she must read the Code of Conduct that applies to their specific role or function within the Church. For older adults, it is helpful to print the Code of Conduct and have
them read it from the paper rather than the computer screen.
* It is helpful to take notes during the presentation.  
* It is recommended that the course be taken in its entirety; however, users do have the option of starting and stopping.
* In working through the course, users can go back to a  previous section but will not
be permitted to skip ahead.  The course must be done sequentially.
* It is possible to read the text along with the narrative.  The text is to the left of the main screen.
* When taking the quiz there is only one answer for each question unless it specifically says Select All That Apply.

Suggestions for what to do if you do not pass the quiz on the first try. Don't panic!  If you do not pass the quiz on the first attempt, don't worry, you can try again.  It is suggested that you go back, review the questions that you did not answer correctly, then navigate through the content areas that address the questions that were not answered correctly and then re-take the quiz.  You can do this immediately after taking it the first time or you can come back to it another time by just logging in and going directly to the quiz.  Note - - the questions will appear in the same order but the answers may be

 What do I do when I've successfully completed the course?
*  Once you have successfully passed the quiz, you must hit the [FINISH] button at the end of the quiz in order to have your participation recorded.
*  You will receive an email indicating that you have successfully completed the course. Print as many copies of this email as you will need for all the entities where you work and/or volunteer.  You should hand deliver or forward via email a copy of the email to your immediate employer and/or volunteer supervisor.
*  Your successful completion of the course is logged into a database at the Diocesan
Center. A report of this will eventually be shared with all of the categories you listed when you registered for the course.

Is assistance available for those at the parish, school, institution or Catholic Charities program responsible for ensuring that all employees and volunteers have participated in the Youth Protection Program? For questions directly related to the web-based training program contact:

Do I need to take this same training course next year? No, once you have completed the online training program, you have satisfied the requirements for the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

What are the required readings that are included with this training? Grooming Behavior of Potential Abusers, Employee/Volunteer's Code of Conduct, and Youth Protection Policy Manual

What forms must I return to the Youth Protection Program Office to complete this training?
*  Completed Employees/Volunteers Application Form
*  Signed Copy of Employee/Volunteer's Code of Conduct
*  Completed  Ministry Reference Form
*  Completed Background Check Release Form

Where do I send the forms?


Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
Children and Youth Protection Advocacy Office
933 S. Logan Boulevard
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648

When may I begin my work or volunteerism? As soon as all the forms are returned to the Youth Protection Office and your background clearances have been completed, information will be sent to your employer/volunteer center that your program work is verified.


Enter the e-mail address associated with your Diocese of Altoona - Johnstown account, then click “Submit”. You will receive an email containing your password. In order to ensure you receive emails from this website, make sure SPAM filter is not on.