Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms

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Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by wford »

I would like recommendations on how to securely collect permission slips and registration forms online instead of trying to collect paper copies from everyone. At our most recent youth conference we had almost 500 participate and registration using paper copies was a nightmare. There has to be a better way. I am not comfortable using google docs for this because of many reasons. Has anyone out there used a secure online system to get parental permission for church activities? Is the church developing something? Ideally, I would like it to feed information received directly into a database (or spreadsheet) so I can do custom reports by ward, age, assigned youth conference group, food allergies, T-shirt size, medical needs, etc. My current plan of action for our next big activity is to try to write a database in Microsoft Access and use its email data collection feature (Outlook will automatically populate the database as reply emails are received). Has anyone done this? How did it work? Is typing their name enough of a digital signature for parental permission? Any security concerns? (I think this would be just as secure as people scanning their forms and emailing them to me--It would just be a digital email form instead.) Any different suggestions?
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by davesudweeks »

I like this concept, however we must always keep in mind that whatever we do cannot leave behind those who do not have access. What about those who don't have e-mail? What about those who don't use a computer? What about those who do but do not want to fill out an online form or deal with yet another e-mail?

Since accounts require linkage to a membership record, this would be a perfect place to link the registration to a real person, but I'm reasonably confident there is no structure at this time to support that and it is likely not high on the priority list. After all, volunteer time to manage registration documentation for a Stake Youth Activity does not consume 1 penny of tithing funds. :D
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by russellhltn »

When considering "on-line", you need to be aware of policy found in Handbook 2: 21.1.22, which limits what can be done.

But it goes on to say "On occasion, official Church Web sites may be approved for other purposes, such as multistake projects, special events, and young single adult activities and organization. To seek approval for such a site, the organization’s priesthood leader submits a request stating the purpose and need to a member of the Presidency of the Seventy or the Area Presidency."

As I understand it, the church has a contract with a commercial provider and when you get permission, you will be hooked up with them. It does add to the cost.

If you can do it via e-mail, then I think you'll be fine.

I'm not sure how permission slips would work - how would you collect a valid signature electronically?

Is this a multi-ward event? If so, you might push the problem back to the ward level to collect the paperwork.
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by benjamincarleski »

I volunteer with a youth soccer organization, and one of the things we have found out is that not all hospitals are willing to accept an electronic signature for medical release forms. You need to be especially careful, and should check not only that the nearest hospital to any place you are visiting, but also their trauma escalation centers, all accept electronic signatures. Federal and state laws also can describe what is considered a valid electronic signature, so make sure that you consult with a lawyer familiar with contract disputes in your area to find out how to collect the signatures properly.

Our organization uses electronic signatures for registration, and our local hospital accepts these, but we have found that when travelling our we should always carry a paper copy with an ink signature on it. We usually just ask the parents to print and sign their registration form (which has the medical release on it), and we keep those on file for one year. Each year they have to reregister, and each year we get a new form and archive all the old ones for the required period (generally until the minor reaches the age of 24).
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by moonman239 »

One thing you could do is buy OCR software, send the parents the permission slip PDFs, and ask them to fill out everything but the signature field electronically. Then, when the slips are turned in, have someone do this: Scan in all of the permission slips and make sure the OCR software reads the relevant information.

You may be able to find some reasonably-priced OCR software that also puts the info in a database.
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by familiesr4ever »

At can be done easily with Google Forms. This is how we collect information for youth conference registration, song requests, feedback, etc. You can either create the form and email out that form or create a webpage with a link to the Google form.
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Re: Online Permission Slips & Registration Forms


Post by susiedornellas »

For my business, I use a company called "SmartWaiver" - you can upload any type of form and give a link via email - or Facebook, etc. The Youth had an activity at my business recently and it was so easy for the Stake to send out the link to all the Wards and we even had an ipad on site for those that signed up last minute or to view the recent sign ups that weren't on the print out list
It not only records when they fill it out, you can make certain fields mandatory - so they can't skip over it - allow multiple children with one. adult sign in, etc.
It is a monthly subscription depending on the number/month. You can always print out all the waivers IF you want them or download into a file so they can be sorted alphabetically, etc. to make sign ins at events much easier.
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