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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

More engaging learning

How we’ll create a more engaging learning experience

How we’ll create a more engaging learning experience  

  • We’re replacing the current Adult Training Scheme. After 20 years, it’s time to rethink how we can do learning for our volunteers. 
  • We’re using new digital learning tools to make learning more accessible, personalised and relevant to each volunteer. 
  • We’re reducing and removing the heavy administration work of manually recording and validating learning. 
  • We’re developing new content that’ll be inclusive, accessible, relevant, and focused on the skills and knowledge volunteers need to deliver great experiences to young people. 
  • Content will be broadly split into Core Learning, which is mandatory, and Branching Out, which is optional. 
  • The Wood Badge will be structured as a programme of learning personalised to the individual. It’ll be focused on being engaging, relevant and something you’ll want to do. It’ll be part of the Branching Out learning, becoming optional and open to all. 

Why we need to improve how we learn 

In our research, you’ve told us very clearly that most volunteers don’t find the current training scheme lives up to what our volunteers need.  

I've completed my training over a year ago, but the trainer has no time to validate me, I am really let down.


It’s not meeting the needs and requirements of our ever-changing Scout movement. We want learning to be relevant, valuable and personalised to our volunteers. We want your learning to actively connect to the things you do when you volunteer. 

If we aren’t developing, we aren’t a movement. 

The impact on volunteers 

  • All adult volunteers who’ve yet to complete their modules 
  • All adult volunteers across the movement for the continual learning 
  • All adult volunteers who haven’t yet completed the Wood Badge 
  • All new adult volunteers 
  • Learning-related tasks and responsibilities will sit in the new District Volunteer Development Team. 

Some of our volunteers will struggle with the digital element of the new learning. 

We’re replacing a training scheme that’s been around for 20 years, while we’re also changing the roles and structure of how you volunteer.  

We know there might be some confusion and hesitance about doing things differently, but we’ll provide lots of training and support to help people get there.  

  • Learning that’s useful and easy to do, and doesn’t take out huge chunks of our volunteers’ day 
  • Learning will be relevant to the role that they’re doing in Scouts. 
  • Simpler requirements and less/easier manual validation  
  • Improved administration, presentation and planning of learning – a lot less administration! 
  • More accessible and inclusive 

Digital access issues

We’ll be developing and testing different approaches to find the best ways to deliver learning to those who don’t have access to digital tools. We’ll have clearer answers on this by the end of 2022. 

The learning design team are working hard to make the new system as accessible as possible to people of all levels of digital familiarity.  

No special knowledge is required, and the Digital team are already setting up a tool to help volunteers increase their digital confidence. 

All learning content will work equally well on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. If you do not have access to any of those devices, alternatives will still be possible. Your manager will be happy to chat with you about the best way to do so. 

'I’ve already done my training; I don’t want to have to do it again'

Don’t worry – you won’t have to! All your learning will be moved across to the new system. If you’ve already done your mandatory learning, there won’t be much more to do.  

'Physical skills can’t really be taught digitally'

The new learning approach is designed to complement in-person training, not replace it.  

For skills, such as lighting fires or pitching tents, they’ll still be taught face-to-face, but with extra digital learning material available to prepare you beforehand and offer easily accessed memory aids if you need them further down the line. 

'It’d be great to get some advice on the optional learning'

You’ll have at least two key sources of guidance.  

One is the system itself, which will recommend learning to you based on your role and interests. This is similar to what you might know from Netflix, YouTube or other digital platforms.  

The other is the Volunteer Development Teams, who’ll have people that are there to help you navigate through your learning. 

What happens to current training teams?  

We imagine most current Trainers, Training Advisors and similar roles will be part of Volunteer Development Teams going forward, as that’ll be where those tasks and responsibilities sit. 

Everyone has different learning requirements and experiences 

We’ll check prior knowledge and experience, potentially through a short quiz, so the digital learning tool can adapt the learning to your background and needs.  

We’ll also be developing all our learning with accessibility and inclusion as the core principles. 

The learning system will take a multimedia approach, providing a wide range of visual and audio information, in a variety of formats, to make sure it’s accessible and engaging for as many people as possible. We dislike tedious blocks of text and end-of-topic memory tests just as much as you!  

In the end 

  • Your learning will be personalised, relevant, enjoyable, engaging, accessible, inclusive, bite-sized and available when you need it. 
  • We’ll be digital first, not digital only. 

What will stay the same 

We’ll continue to offer learning opportunities to our volunteers that will be relevant to their role.  

There’ll continue to be mandatory learning for all volunteers, including Safeguarding, Safety, Essentials of Scouting and Data Protection. However, the content will be new and made more directly relevant. 

We’ll still need trainers, facilitators and people to help our volunteers engage in learning and development. 

We’ll still be doing and delivering many of our modules and Manager and Supporter training for the next few years. Those will be gradually replaced with new content during 2023 and 2024. 

Who’s leading the learning project 

  • Matt Cobble, Deputy UK Commissioner for People (Operational)
  • Anders Wulff, Learning Design Manager 

Digital support

How we’ll give you more digital support to help get things done.​

Find out about the new tools

A warmer welcome

How we're planning to create a warmer welcome for everyone.

Discover the plans for a warmer welcome

Positive volunteering every day

How we'll simplify how we volunteer together for positive volunteering every day.​

How we're simplifying volunteering