US Department of State Annual Testing
In early 2011, the U.S. Department of State established an annual testing requirement for all Local Coordinators of the Youth Exchange programs nationwide based up their review and understanding of the Federal Regulations 22 CFR Part 62.25 dated October 27, 2010. This regulation can be found at:  http://www.rotary7390.org/Page/dos-essex-district-forms
 
The regulations state that all Local Coordinators are required to take this test prior to any contact with an Inbound exchange student and access to the student's information through applications or any other means. ESSEX has determined that Local Coordinators include the Rotary Club Youth Exchange Chair, Club Inbound Counselors, District Youth Exchange Officers.  The following is a listing of those who are or are not required to take the test along with rationale as to why or why not required:   
 
  1. ESSEX Country Contacts:  Not required.  This individual neither engages the student nor makes decisions that require understanding of the regulations.
  2. ESSEX Inbound Coordinator:  Not required.  This individual neither engages the student nor makes decisions that require understanding of the regulations. 
  3. District YE Chair and District Inbound Chair/Co-Chair:  Training is required.  The individual makes decisions regarding individual student programs, interacts directly with the students, and their host families.  Knowledge of regulations is required.
  4. Club YEO:  Training is required.  The individual makes decisions regarding individual student programs, interacts directly with the students, and their host families.  S/he assures compliance.  Knowledge of regulations is required.
  5. Club Counselor:  Training is required.  The individual makes decisions regarding individual student programs, interacts directly with the students, and their host families. S/he assures compliance.  Knowledge of regulations is required.
  6. District YE Committee Members:  If these committees plan events (i.e. travel to Canada, EV trips, etc.) or verify documentation (i.e. CBCs, references, host applications, etc.), then those participating should know the regulations and should take the training.
  7. ESSEX and District Youth Protection Officers:  Training is required.  This is core to health, safety, and welfare.
  8. Individual Rotarians:  These individuals take students to Rotary meetings, interact with them at events, and some may host the students for a weekend, vacation, or football game, etc.  Taking students on a vacation creates a need to know the regulations.  If there are a bunch of students on a weeklong trip, even more so.   Taking students for a weekend or a casual event does not require DoS testing but the individuals must have CBCs.
 
Once you have been identified as a Local Coordinator and completed your on-line volunteer application, you will need to read and review the Federal Regulation 62.25.
 
Youth Exchange volunteers (see above list as to who is required) are to take the US Department of State test annually. Please watch your email as you will receive an email with directions to take the test. The test can be taken numerous times until it is passed. The questions will change every time. We have had others take this course and it should require 20-45 minutes to read the introduction and take the test. When you pass the test, you will receive a notice and be able to print a certificate documenting that you have completed this annual requirement. This information will automatically be uploaded to the YEAH database for the District Chair to review. 
 
Department of State Testing Process for new volunteers:
  1. After the volunteer has completed their application (www.exchangestudent.org – left side of home page click on “Volunteer Sign Up”.  After completion of their application, a new person is enrolled in the ESSEX YEAH database.
  2. If the District Chair identifies the volunteer as one who is required to take the test, then a message is sent to them automatically by ESSEX YEAH giving them a link to the website for the DOS test.  It will include a username and password.
  3. New volunteer reviews the study guide materials provided.
  4. Volunteer goes to the site, reviews the materials that are provided in the beginning, then takes the test...making sure to go all the way to the last page which will then submit the test and provide the results.
  5. If a person starts but doesn't finish the test or does not pass, they can return as many times as necessary.
  6. The certification is valid for one year. Approximately 10 days before it expires the individual will receive a notice to retake the test.
  7. If there are any problems after using this procedure, please contact the District Office.  
Although Host Families are not required to take the DOS test, each host family after submitting their application, ESSEX YEAH emails the host family the DOS Welcome Letter that includes a link to CFR 62 regulations governing the student exchange program.   As of January 24, 2017 Host Family applications and CBC's will be valid for 18 months.  This change should allow clubs to start the process for the incoming students and it also applies to current host families in the system on 1/24/17.