VMS FAQ

Quick VMSVMS Step-by-Step | VMS Opportunity List | VMS Log-In

Startup Questions

Q:  Where do I get my VMS UserID and Password?
A
Contact the Hours-keeper.

Q:  Where do I log in?
A:  TMN Hours Entry Login page

Q:  What do I do the first time I log in?
A:  Update your profile, following step-by-step instructions on the VMS website. You can update your profile any time something changes.

Q:  Where do I go for help if I don’t find answers on this page?
A:  Try:
MCTMN Quick VMS – illustrated guide
MCTMN VMS Opportunities List – all items that will appear on the dropdown list when you report
MCTMN Volunteer service approved in the past +VMS categories to use in reporting
MCTMN Advanced training approved in the past +VMS categories
VMS Helpdesk for general information: user manuals, articles, and videos
Hours-keeper – for answers to any question
Projects Chair – for answers about service projects
Training Chair – for answers about advanced training

Dashboard Questions

Q: Why don’t my hours show in the Summary up in the right-hand corner?
A: That little box will never have hours in it unless a person volunteers directly for TPWD and reports hours to them separately. It doesn’t apply to TMN. We currently only use three items on the dashboard; see MCTMN Quick VMS.

Q: Which dashboard items will I be using, since not all apply to TMN?
A: You will use Report My Service, View My Log Book, and may or may not want to use My Placements. See MCTMN Quick VMS.

Placement & Opportunity Dropdown Questions

Q:  What is the complete list of MCTMN Opportunities, how is each defined, and what are some examples?
A
:  Click Placement and scroll down to see all MCTMN opportunities. Or see the VMS Opportunities List.

Q:  How did items get on my Placement list?
A:  All opportunities not requiring special training were approved for all members.

Q:  How do I get rid of a Service Opportunity on my Placement list (and therefore on my Report Service dropdown list) that I never want to participate in?
A:  See Step-by-Step Instructions

Q:  What if I change my mind and want to have a removed service project added back to the list?
A:  Email the Projects Chair.

Q:  How Do I get a new Opportunity added to my Placement/Opportunity dropdown list?
A:  Be sure your opportunity isn’t already on the Approved List. Email the Hours-keeper if you need to find out where your effort fits in VMS.
A:   If the Opportunity is new, see New Opportunities Questions.

VMS Reporting Questions

Q:  How Do I enter my Volunteer and AT Hours?
A:  See Step-by-Step Instructions

Q:  Why should I use the calendar icon instead of typing in dates?
A:  Using the icon lessens the possibility of  typing an incorrect date. VMS cannot currently flag future dates as incorrect. 

Q:  Can I combine several days of doing the exact same task into one report?
A:  Unfortunately, no, with one exception. Each day’s work must be reported separately except in the FR category. In FR, you can combine days of the same brief field-research task. Example: reading the rain gauge and reporting precipitation for CoCoRaHS for the month. You will be asked to give both Start and End dates.

Q:  How much time do I have to report an activity?
A:  We have 45 days to report. The calendar on the form will go back more than 45 days, but you will get an error message stating that you can’t report hours before the specific date 45 days ago.

Q:  What should I put in the “Describe your service or training” box?
A:  Needed information can vary—see VMS Opportunities List.

Q:  What should I put in the hours box?
A:  Round hours to the nearest quarter hour in decimals, not number of minutes (#.25, #.50, #.75). Do not count drive time when you report advanced training. Do count drive time when you report volunteer service.

Q: What is “Impact Data” or “Opportunity Impact data”?
A:  This section of a report is where you put the count of your audience and is especially important for direct-education activities that train the public (TR) or indirect education (PO). Impact Data asks for gender and ethnicity, and you can enter those if you wish, but the only critical fields are Adults and Youth.

Q:  How do I count educational contacts?
A
:  Count people to whom you imparted TMN-mission-related information. For informal PO situations,  count only those you spoke to rather than the number who came to the event. If you working with a partner, split the count or estimate between you and your partner so each of you gets credit for contacts, but people are not counted twice. Do not count co-workers.

Q:  Should I answer the questions about trails and acreage?
A:  No, not unless you are the Project Leader for the effort.

New Opportunities Questions

Q: What if I find an AT opportunity that is not listed on the MCTMN Advanced training approved in the past list?
A: Check it against Training Criteria. If it meets the criteria, complete the Request for Training Approval form to provide detailed information about the proposed training to the Education & Training Committee and request approval. 

Q: What if I find a service opportunity that is not listed on the MCTMN Volunteer service approved in the past list?
A: Check it against Volunteering Guidelines. If it meets the guidelines, complete the Request for Service Approval form and request approval.

Logbook Questions

See Step-by-Step Instructions for viewing your records, checking for awards, and correcting errors.

Awards Questions

Q:  I’ve reviewed my Log Book hours and think I’ve re-certified for the current year. How do I get my year pin?
A
:  Contact the Hours-keeper, who will confirm that you have completed the required 40 VS and 8 AT necessary for annual recertification. Pins will be presented at the next chapter meeting.

Q:  I’ve reviewed my Log Book hours and think I’ve reached an Hours Milestone. How do I get my dragonfly pin?
A:  Contact the Hours-keeper, who will confirm that you have completed the hours required for a 250, 500, 1000, 2500, 4000, 5000, or 10,000 milestone pin. Awards will be presented at the next Chapter meeting.

"Be the change you want to see in the world." – Gandhi
Don't live in our area? Go to TMN State.