Safe Church Training & Church Key Policies

Safe Church Training Policy

St. Michael’s takes its responsibility for the safety of our people seriously. The Safe Church program teaches how to identify and prevent abuse within the church community, and is conducted several times per year, free of charge. The training consists of two sessions:

  • Both Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People training is required for clergy, lay employees, lay persons functioning as a staff member regardless of compensation, vestry members, and anyone who wishes to have or already possesses a key to the church building.
  • Safeguarding God’s Children is required for anyone who works with children or youth in any capacity.
  • Safeguarding God’s People is required for eucharistic visitors.

Training is offered online or in person. Details for completing this training can be found in steps 1-7 of the below Church Key Policy. Training must be renewed every five (5) years.

Church Key Policy

In November 2018, the Diocese of Olympia implemented a new policy adopted by The Episcopal Church requiring that all church key holders:

  • Complete training and pass exams in both Safeguarding God’s Children and Safeguarding God’s People modules
  • Undergo and pass a criminal background check
  • Sign a new key agreement that states the key holder will not share or loan key(s) or grant unsupervised access to others—even “trusted” members

Most of this can be handled online. In person Safe Church training is no longer required, though you may opt to take the in person training if so desired. You may view upcoming in-person training sessions here.

Detailed Instructions for New or Continuing Key Holders

  1. Read the instructions for establishing login credentials with Armatus: Praesidium.
    Note: The required registration code is ‘edolympia’ and the company name is ‘Episcopal Diocese of Olympia’.
  2. Login to Armatus: Praesidium and take the following modules in this order:
    1. “Meet Sam”
    2. “It Happened To Me”
    3. “Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith – For Ministries”
    4. “Safeguarding God’s People: Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith – For Congregations”
  3. Read and learn the material; take notes. Each module takes approx. 20-30 minutes to complete.
  4. Some material may be disturbing, particularly if you have personally endured abuse or sexual harassment. If this is the case and you cannot complete a module, then we will need to work on alternative arrangements through the bishop’s office. Contact Jason Anderson if that’s the case—you need not explain the circumstances.
  5. Take and pass the quiz at the end of each module.
  6. Go to the Diocese of Olympia Safe Church site and complete the form. Select ‘Issaquah, St. Michael’s’ as the Congregation.
  7. Wait for the emailed certificate from the Diocese of Olympia. Only this certificate will suffice.
  8. Once you have received the emailed certificates, Jason Anderson will send a background check request to the diocesan administrator. In 1-3 business days, you will receive an email authorization request from IntelliCorp.
  9. Complete the authorization, pay the fee (about $24, more if you’ve lived in more than one state in the past 5-10 years), and then wait. If the fee is burdensome to you for any reason, reach out to Jason Anderson and we will perform the check in a different way.
  10. The outcome of the background check (Clear/Not Clear) will be sent to St. Michael’s; we do not receive a detailed report—only the outcome.
  11. Assuming successful completion of all training courses and a clear background check, you must then complete a new key agreement to obtain keys (if you don’t already have them).
Certifications and background checks are valid for five (5) years, after which time you must renew.

Keys will only be issued to those who have satisfied all requirements of the new policy—no matter how urgent the need for keys may be.