What is the Participant Portal?

The Participant Portal is a website which contains a revamped version of the existing online application with improved layout and usability. It also contains resources and help sections, along with a contact page, all of which can be tailored by partners, to help provide a better service to Participants.

In these areas Partners can share any kind of content (text, images, embedded movies, calendars, forms, etc) with participants to help them fill in the application and prepare for their time abroad. You can even embed social media content such as interactive photo boards:

One of the really nice features in the portal is the ability for partners to share information with participants based on their Service Case stage. This means that while someone is applying (in the Application stage) they only see information relevant to them at that time, but as they progress through the system more and more information becomes available. 

During the development of the Participant Portal, the IT Team worked heavily with the Marketing Team at AFS International and an outside organization called Sprout Media, who are experts in usability and user interface design. Because of this we feel that the Product is an excellent step forward in terms of quality and usability.

Ongoing Improvements

The Participant Portal is designed to eventually replace the existing Online Application system in AFS, and this means that because of its core nature, the IT Team will continually be updating it. These update include improving the user interface, adding new options and functionality, and where possible with help from the Program Policy Work Group and Super User Group, simplifying the application process. This work will not happen over night but we are excited about the prospect of getting into this work.

Please see the key strengths and known limitation pages in this section below to learn more about the Participant Portal.