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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

Frequently asked questions

Some common questions about being a Transformation Lead and changes to the volunteer experience

Updated 25 April 2024

We'll keep updating these FAQs. You can also send the questions you need support in answering to We'll then respond directly or add the answer to this list. 

About being a Transformation Lead

Transformation Leads can collaborate on the Transformation Leads Facebook group.

If you're not a member of the Facebook group, you can share your ideas in the chat during Transformation Leads calls or email if you'd like to be connected with another County or equivalent.

Setting up a local network of Transformation Leads within neighbouring Counties/Areas/Regions is also a great way to share learnings and collaborate.

Make sure you attend our Transformation Leads call each month as we’ll be sharing the most up-to-date information with you there. If you miss the call, we’ll make sure we record it and share any slides with you via email afterwards. Keep an eye out for any other emails from us.

We’ve also built a dedicated resource hub for you where we’ve stored everything in one place.

Absolutely, the information shared on our calls is not confidential, unless it's specifically stated. You can use the information shared on our calls to help others in your area with preparing for implementation of changes.

We'd encourage that information is presented in context. For example, if you forward slides or videos without supporting information, people may not fully understand why the changes are important. Share wisely! 

We’ll be providing you with additional resources to help throughout our transformation journey, but these can also be tailored based on what each local area needs.

When tailoring resources please ensure you maintain the purpose, meaning and context of the wording used to ensure that a consistent message is being shared across the movement.

If you feel like you’re missing a particular resource, please let us know and where possible we can support the creation of additional resources for the benefit of all Transformation Leads.

The Early Adopters are selected Counties and equivalents who will adopt the new volunteer experience a few months before the rest of the movement. They'll provide feedback that will help the transition to be as smooth as possible for everyone else.

The Early Adopter Cohort includes: Belfast, Berkshire, Coventry, Dorset, Greater London Middlesex West, Guernsey, Clwyd, Humberside, South East Scotland and West Yorkshire.

You can request support for or attendance at an event or meeting about the volunteer experience changes by completing this form. Please provide as much detail as possible about the support you're requesting, so that we can ensure the most appropriate person can help.

We'll do our best to ensure that someone is able to support/attend, but this may not always be possible. Please give us plenty of notice.

Digital champions are volunteers who help other volunteers locally to use digital tools, where they may be unsure about using them, or not have the digital skills to do so. When building your local change delivery team, it’s important to think about digital, and how volunteers will get support with it – you may choose to have digital champions on your team.  

We also have the Digital Skills Tool, a self-service place online for volunteers to upskill, to increase their confidence using digital tools. Through that platform, we have volunteers who have registered themselves as digital champions, too, offering to support volunteers around the UK virtually. We’re working on getting a list of the digital champions in your area ready, so that you can talk to them about how they might support with the roll-out of the new digital system.  

Being a digital champion isn’t a formal role, isn’t recorded on Compass, and won’t be recorded on the new digital system. Digital Champions don’t get early access to digital tools, or have additional permissions within the system. 

Transformation Leads and County Lead Volunteers will be responsible for recruiting volunteers to be part of your County Go-Live Support Team operating temporarily over the 4-8 weeks around Go-Live supporting local volunteers. During May we’ll share with you a short description of tasks, responsibilities and tips on who you might want to recruit to your team and in early summer (June/July) we’ll hold an onboarding session for all those interested and talk through what is involved in more detail and the training they will receive.


About the work to improve our volunteer experience

We need to make sure that we can accurately transfer all the data from Compass to our new digital system, so it can offer the best experience to volunteers. Because of amount and quality of the original data we’ve experienced unexpected challenges.  

We’re working to find solutions as quickly as possible with our suppliers, staff and volunteers. But, this means that the go-live dates for the new digital system will no longer be February 2024 for Early Adopter Counties and April 2024 for All Other Counties. We will let you know with plenty of notice when the new go-live dates will be.  

There is still plenty of work we can carry on with to land change locally. Information and guidance will continue to be shared with Transformation Leads.  

The Readiness Checklists are about making sure you’re prepared for change, and the actions they talk about are best completed ahead of transition.

We recommend that you try to complete all of the ‘Important’ actions so they can be RAG rated as ‘green’ at least four weeks ahead of transition, and that the majority of the ‘useful’ elements are also RAG rated as ‘green’ before transition, with no ‘red’ in either section.

We still plan to roll out the remaining changes to Early Adopter Counties first and then All Other Counties. This staggered approach allows us to make a note of what works well, and potential challenges with a smaller cohort, so we have the best possible outcome when rolling it out to the remaining Counties. 

The current, live edition of POR (March 2024) is for everyone to use prior to the migration to the new digital system. This current edition includes the changes to Trustee Boards.

  • In addition to this, there will be a supplement to March 2024 POR to support delivering Welcome Conversations. This is for use by Early Adopter Counties only, who can use it from 1 June 2024 and must from 1 September 2024.

There will be a ‘full’ new edition of POR which encompasses all the changes (updated roles titles, updates to chapter 4 and 16 etc) which will go into effect once you migrate to the new digital system. This edition will be made available to All Other Counties before transition so everyone can familiarise themselves with what’s going to be in place. Note that this ‘full’ edition will contain all known POR changes, not just those that support the Volunteer Experience Programme.

  • For Early Adopter Counties a supplement to current (March 2024) POR will be produced prior to their transition. This will focus on the revisions to Chapters 4 and 16 of POR, together with the Teams and Accreditation Tables which will replace the current Roles Table.
  • Feedback from Early Adopter Counties will inform our pre-publication check ahead of publishing the edition of POR for use by everyone, after migration to the new digital tools.


About the new digital system

Our aim in all this work is to make sure that the personal data held on Compass for each of our volunteers is accurate prior to the changeover.

We understand that some of the incorrect data may have originated on systems that existed before Compass. There'll be some opportunity to rectify this on the new system but now is a great opportunity to update the data as much as practicable.

There are many errors in our volunteers’ personal data held on Compass. Databases are only as useful as the data contained within them, so this transition presents a one-off opportunity to improve the accuracy of our database.

There are restrictions on who can update some information fields on Compass, and more details can be found in the full guide on updating compass. If people find they can't update something they should contact their local District or County team for support.

To be able to log in to your personal record you'll need a unique and personal email address.

This email address will be the username used to log in to personal accounts on the new system, so it won't be possible for two people to have the same login.

The Volunteer Experience Group is helping us to test everything, from ways of working, to learning content, and features on our digital system.

To get involved with testing, join the Volunteer Experience Group, and we’ll be in touch.

We're developing guidance to help ensure that transition and volunteering in during this time, is as smooth as possible.

During transition some interim processes may involve communicating with UK Headquarters in place of using a central digital system, while others may be designed and managed locally. 

The new digital system is simply part of - you’ll log in to and access all the digital tools through there, using single sign-on. The digital system doesn’t and won’t have a name, as to volunteers, it will appear as part of our website.  

It is important that we speak consistently about the new digital system: we have one digital system, with many digital tools within it, all accessed by signing in to

Volunteers will sign in to, using an email address and password. For existing volunteers, they should see the Updating Compass Guidance, to know which email address will be used for their new account.  

The new digital system is not designed to work offline, as, to complete actions, it relies on continuous access to live data. It’s been built like most other websites though, in that, to save/submit a form you need to be online, but that if your connection drops while you’re on a page, you shouldn’t be logged out, you just won’t be able to complete an action until you’re reconnected. 

No – when the new digital system goes live, it won’t have functionality to process Visits Abroad Forms. We are currently looking at the continuous development of our new digital system and will be exploring how we can bring other processes, like the Visits Abroad process into the new digital system.  

Our new digital system has been built with volunteers at the heart of it, making sure it’s as easy to use, and is accessible for everyone. For some volunteers, supporting them by signposting them to public spaces where they can access the internet may work, for others, you may want to signpost them to the Digital Skills Tool, to increase their digital confidence. For some volunteers though, they may need more direct support from a digital champion, or another volunteer locally.  

Some volunteers won’t be able to access digital technology, full stop, and there are ways around that. We expect this to be a very small group of people, and that with some of the support already mentioned, we’ll be able to support volunteers to get online. That said, if there’s no way of getting volunteers online, we can support them with proxy access, allowing a trusted volunteer to access their records on their behalf, to complete a limited number of tasks. 

On the new digital system, you will be able to see who has which accreditations if you have the relevant permissions. For example, a Team Leader will be able to see who has accreditations linked to their team. 

The digital tools have been built, and positive feedback received from volunteers and staff. But as you’re aware, our delivery timeline was impacted by the challenge of moving all member information accurately from Compass to the new digital system. In April, we successfully transferred a County’s data to the system, which is key to showing progress on the data migration issue we are faced with. But there is still a lot of work to do.

We don’t want to provide a date before we have completed end-to-end testing and can provide one with confidence. We will keep you posted with progress and all you can do in the meantime to make sure you’re ready to switch over to the new system when it’s available.

Our current demo digital system uses live data from Compass and so we won’t be able to provide widespread unmonitored access so we can keep member information safe. However, there are several activities and resources we’re arranging which will help you to build interest and confidence in the digital tools before they’re live. There will be bite-sized demo videos on certain benefits of digital tools available on and to share locally. There will also be a demo webinar in May, and another in July, where we’ll run through the whole system (a recording will be available for those unable to attend). We’re also creating a short promotional video for you to share with those who are new to the digital tools on offer and how they will help to improve the volunteering experience. 

Overall, members will be able to see the contact details of the people relevant to their team, role and any accreditations they hold on the new digital system; this will be more than they can currently see in Compass. This will help us to mitigate risk to membership data and make it easier to manage privacy, reducing the need for widespread downloading of membership data, or duplicate record keeping, for instance.    

It is bad practice for someone to assess and approve their own permit or fill both the role of assessor and approver for a permit. On the new digital system, either of these things may be technically possible – the system will look for those with the right permission to assess the permit application and another to approve it, and that might mean the same person is suggested for both tasks. But this should not be done. The system also keeps a clear audit trail to show who has done what.

Member information regarding compliance will migrate across to the new digital system as it is on Compass. If a member is recorded as being suspended on Compass, the information regarding their suspension will migrate across to the new digital system so they will be recorded as suspended on the new digital system. Similarly, if a member is recorded as having actions to complete on Compass, this information will be migrated and will appear on their record on the new digital system. 
Everything should be done to ensure that someone is compliant before the Compass freeze. It’s also important to make sure that mandatory ongoing learning is validated on Compass ahead of Compass Freeze so that it is not allowed to expire. 

If a technical assessor feels an applicant is not competent for the permit applied for, they will decline the permit application, which from an audit point is where we need to be. If they believe the applicant can meet the technical criteria for a lower level, they could suggest to the applicant that they reapply. If the applicant wishes to apply for a permit at a higher level, they can request to renew the permit and reapply with all the information being carried over. In practice the permit form is simple to complete, and the member would still have access to the rejected application to copy and paste anything they wish to. In most cases, assessors would also have contact with the applicant outside the new digital system.

For a limited amount of time before the new digital system goes live for both Early Adopter Counties and All Other Counties, we need to ‘freeze’ Compass. This means removing Compass access for members who are migrating to the new digital system. This is so we can transfer data from Compass, check its accuracy and add it to the new system, without any interruptions. 

The Compass freeze will happen twice – the first time it will affect all volunteers in Early Adopter Counties as they are being moved onto the new digital system; the second time it will affect all volunteers in All Other Counties as they are moved to the new digital system. It will last two to three weeks each time. 
We’ll be sharing information on how you can best prepare and the support which will be in place, so you can access the information and functions you need to carry out your role(s). 

We have identified those who have roles which cover both Early Adopter Counties and All Other Counties, and have grouped and directly advised them based on their current use of Compass. Group 1: They use Compass primarily when volunteering in the 90% county. They will remain in Compass and not get access to the new system in the interim phase. Group 2: They use Compass mostly when volunteering in an Early Adopter County. They migrate to the new digital system with their Early Adopter County and no longer have Compass access. Group 3: A very small list of volunteers who heavily use Compass for volunteering responsibilities which cover all Counties and cannot delegate those responsibilities to someone who solely volunteers in an Early Adopter County or All Other Counties. They will have access to both Compass and the new digital system as an exception and will be contacted directly. 

There will be training available to all members and a separate session for those members with certain roles and accreditations. This training will be in a variety of forms to support a range of learning preferences. We will have webinars, which we would like as many people as possible to attend as they happen but will record them and make available to those who cannot attend or want to watch them again. There’ll also be bite-sized training videos and written step-by-step guides available to reference if you get stuck on any specific tasks. 

It’s worth saying, however, that the new digital tools have been designed to be easy to use. This means that most volunteers shouldn’t need to use the training materials – they’ll be able to sign in and click through a clear set of menus that help them to get things done. They will also easily see and action any tasks that have been allocated to them by the system.

If you have volunteers who aren’t digitally confident, you can support them to build their digital skills before the new system goes live with our digital skills tool. You can also help them to become familiar with the new digital system and what they’ll need to do to perform their volunteering responsibilities by sharing the demos once they are available.


About our work to create more Engaging Learning

Before the new digital system goes live, we will transfer information about volunteers’ training from Compass into the new learning tool. This is part of a process called data migration.

To make sure that this is successful, and you have what you need when the new system goes live, please encourage all in your local area to make sure that the information in Compass is accurate, and training modules completed are recorded and validated.

Please talk with your County Training Manager about the need for volunteers to record and validate their Getting Started Training modules on Compass.

Your County Training Manager will already have access to all the information on which training volunteers have done and will have access to the Compliance Assistant.

We’ll be inviting members from across the movement to test the new learning tool and content. We want to have a good mixture of people from different places and backgrounds so we can make sure that learning works for everyone.

Testing is open, and can be accessed through the Volunteer Experience Group. As a Transformation Lead, please continue encouraging local volunteers to visit the Testing Hub and get involved.

The change from ‘training’ to ’learning’ is not just a word change, but a cultural change. The new content and learning system have been designed to engage each volunteer as they learn about the skills and qualities relevant to their individual volunteering experience.

With our current Adult Training Scheme, some training can be focused on compliance, and transmitting information to people, and it can be hard for volunteers to absorb the information they need.

The new system and content will also help us to create a learning culture that recognises all forms of learning. Learning can happen in many ways; as volunteers, we're learning all the time, be that when we’re completing our assigned tasks, talking with our peers, young people, or their parents.

We don’t plan on making any significant changes to how volunteers learn content currently delivered by the First Response course. It is important that First Response courses continue to be delivered locally as per current guidelines.

Branching Out learning content will take us until 2025 to develop. At the moment, we’re exploring what it could look like, based on opinions shared by members in surveys and focus groups.

When we have a delivery plan, we will start to talk to Transformation Leads and members about the content you can expect in Branching Out and ask for your thoughts and opinions.

Adventurous Activity and Nights Away Permits will continue to be delivered in their current format but will come under Branching Out. Volunteers will need to complete learning in Branching Out to gain a permit.

It will still be up to the volunteer if they would like to hold Adventurous Activity or Nights Away Permits.

We have a ‘digital first’ approach with all our content, and as such, all the Growing Roots learning will be available digitally. For each of the learning courses, learners will be able to complete them at their own pace, engaging with video, written and graphic content. There will also be offline delivery methods for anyone who cannot access digital learning, and Volunteering Development Teams will be able to advise on this, once they are established. 

Branching Out content will have a range of delivery methods, with many courses being available through the new digital system, but with some run by Trainers, either in-person, or on online calls.  

The way we deliver first response is not changing, just the people who might need to do it. We’ll still offer the ‘Face to Face’, ‘Online’, and ‘Blended’ models, all of which require a practical demonstration, so while some of the First Response learning may be completed online, through e-learning and online calls, there is still a practical element to the course. 

When we make changes to First Response, we note them on the ‘First Aid training updates’ page. 

Ongoing learning is currently the recognition of learning that happens outside our existing Adult Training Scheme. In our future learning approach, learning will be more flexible and accessible. This means we expect volunteers to choose and take part in a range of learning activities, both formally, through the Learning Tree and Branching Out, and informally. We will be looking at how to best record this in our work to develop the Branching Out part of the Learning Tree framework. We do know, however, that in future this won’t be a mandated requirement and we will not be recording it as we currently record ongoing learning. For that reason, we do not currently plan to migrate ongoing learning records to the new digital system. 

No, if their role is currently provisional, they’ll migrate across to the new digital system as having a provisional role. If they have a full role they’ll migrate across as having a full role, but the new digital system will flag if there is outstanding learning they need to complete. 

Training must be validated on Compass by the time that Compass freezes for it to migrate across to the new system. For Training Modules that are not validated on Compass ahead of the freeze (including any training validated during the freeze) this will not be able to be added on the new system – volunteers will need to complete the new learning.

Yes – the Wood Badge remains optional for all volunteers, from the point of transition.

Depending on the training that volunteers have completed (and had validated on Compass), they may need to do more learning after transition. Each of the courses in Growing Roots has one or more Training modules which map to it – all the relevant modules will need to be validated for a volunteer to be given the learning skill. 

First Response training will continue to be valid for three years. At the point of transition, we will use Module 10A dates to calculate expiry dates in the new system. Some volunteers, like Section Assistants, will now require First Response training – they’ll have two years from the date of transition to complete this learning. Other volunteers, who already require First Response training, but have not completed it  will maintain their due date, up to two years.


About our work to improve how we volunteer together

The Trustee Board are responsible for the Governance of the Charity, part of this being the assurance that it has the funds required to operate, whereas fundraising itself is more of an operational matter, supporting the Charity with the money they raise.

This means fundraising would sit as a responsibility of the Support Team at District or County (or equivalent) level and within a sub-team of the Leadership Team at group level – there's nothing to stop a Trustee being a Support Team Member or Sub-Team member, too.

Yes. On the new digital system, volunteers in Section Teams will either be a Team Leader or a Team Member, but in practice, they’ll use whatever they think describes what they do the best. Those outside Scouts will still know many of our volunteers as Scout Leaders, as will many of our young people and parents.

Read more about how we talk about teams and titles.

Yes, please visit the Setting up and building new teams pages.

No, we’re not. There are some people who offer informal support to deliver Scouts and require a criminal record check and an internal check as their support involves regulated activity. We’ve previously called them ‘Occasional Helpers’ in England or ‘PVG Only’ in Scotland. On the new digital system, they will be renamed as 'non-member - Disclosure required'. Visit the Setting Up and Building New Teams page, for further information on how roles will migrate, or the Team Members and Helpers page to learn more about how we use helpers in our team-based approach to volunteering.

At the moment, there are no plans to introduce a learning requirement for Occasional Helpers. That said, where someone is helping regularly, now may be the right time to talk to them and introduce the idea of becoming a team member.

Read more about team members and helpers.

Visit the Resources page on the Transformation Leads Resource Hub to download the latest presentation materials. 

You can also share the details of the 'How to be a great Trustee Board' webinars that the UKHQ Local Governance Support Team are running.

All teams, excluding Section Teams, can have sub-teams, including Trustee Boards.

When reviewing which sub-committees exist, it’s important to consider whether the tasks that they’re completing are governance or operational/support, and as such, whether they should be sub-teams of the Trustee Board, or of the Leadership or Support Teams. 

The Lead Volunteer nominating the Chair provides a potential conflict of interest. Going forward, we won’t have nominated and elected Trustees, instead, the Scout Council will appoint Trustees, and the Chair, too. It will be done using a selection process designed by the Trustees.

Yes – some roles will become accreditations when we move to the new digital system, and some will map across directly. On the 'becoming part of a new team’ page, we outline some of those that will automatically map across. 

Compass is structured by section, and role, whereas our new digital system is structured by teams, and your role within a team, so building new team structures on Compass wouldn’t work. It’s important that anyone volunteering with Scouts has a role recorded on Compass, and that that role is ‘full’ before transition. 

We are currently finalising the migration timeline, which looks at who gets access to the new digital system when. When Lead Volunteers get access to the digital system, one of the first things they’ll do is to make sure that their new team structures are reflected on the system, and that volunteers have the right roles within those teams. 

The recruiting volunteer, often the Group Lead Volunteer or District/County Team Leader, needs to make sure that all the required information is in the system. The Volunteering Development Team is there to make sure volunteers have an easy welcome, so they may check in on new volunteers or the recruiting volunteer if they notice someone's been stuck on a particular step for a while. It’s all about making sure everyone feels a part of a supported joining journey. 

This will be one of the topics covered on the How to be a great Trustee Board webinar.

It is best for a non-Trustee to complete the admin for the Trustee Board, so all Trustees can concentrate fully on contributing to the meeting. This is recommended by the Charity Commission and what we want to move to. You can find out more on best practice on the Moving to Trustee Boards page.

It’s ideal for minutes to be taken during a live meeting. It means that the Chair can ask for action summaries as needed after particularly long or complex parts of the meeting. It’s important that a record of Trustee Board meetings is made and, in some circumstances, getting a Trustee to do it from a recording may be the option. But we should try to avoid this where possible. Talk to current Trustee Board Secretaries if they would like to focus on being Trustees or administrators moving forwards; this will help you as you look to make sure administration tasks are carried out.

You can use your new team roles and titles informally on the ground to start building your local teams, recruiting new volunteers, and adopting the team-based approach in your area. However, until the go-live of the new digital systems, all volunteers must be recorded on Compass with the relevant role for the tasks they are carrying out and must follow the current training requirements for that Compass role.

This means when recruiting and talking to new volunteers it’s important that you make clear the distinction between their role on Compass (and its training requirements) and their role in the new digital system which they can be using informally.

If the volunteer already has a role in Scouts, think about whether you need to change their Compass record for the short period of time before the new digital system is available. Instead, you could record the new role locally, and then simply add their new role on the new digital system when you have access. Remember, most volunteers will understand the responsibilities another has, not by their Compass record, but how they introduce themselves and are spoken about on the ground. See, How we Talk about Teams and Titles, for examples.  

Section Assistants along with Assistant Section Leaders will move across to become a Section Team Member on the new system once it’s live. Visit the Setting up and building new teams webpage to learn more about which roles will continue once the new digital system is live. 

To get an accreditation, a volunteer will need to be a full member, which means they’ll have completed all joining journey steps and will be a member of a team, or sub-team.

Accreditations are not roles, but responsibilities linked to certain teams. This means that if someone is a full member of any team, they can be given any accreditation. A volunteer might become a member of the connected team because of other tasks they carry out, but they don’t have to be to hold an accreditation. 

For example, a Beavers Section Team Leader will be a member of their Section Team, but as a Hillwalking assessor for their County they’d also have an Adventurous Activity Assessor Accreditation. This doesn’t mean they also need to be a member of the County Programme Team. 
If a volunteer’s only responsibility in Scouts is to assess for hillwalking permits, however, they will need to be a given a full role within a team, for example the County Programme Team.

Learn more about accreditations


About our work to give volunteers a Warmer Welcome

Not yet. In the meantime, you can familiarise yourself and your teams with the changes and what to expect.

In the meantime, there is a conversation guide for Appointments Advisory Committees which you could look at to make sure your Appointments Panels are as welcoming as they can be now, though.

The Volunteering Development Team Leader, or Lead Volunteer can give a Welcome Conversation Volunteer accreditation to any volunteer who has completed the learning and meets the requirements.

We have gathered feedback from Early Adopters on our initial learning content, and have shared the latest version. Once the new digital system goes live, volunteers gaining the Welcome Conversation Accreditation will need to complete the learning within the learning tool, so their Lead Volunteer / Volunteering Development Team Leader can accredit them to carry out the task. 

The learning for this accreditation is online-only by default, however, locally Volunteering Development Teams may choose to supplement this with informal networking opportunities, for Welcome Conversation Volunteers to share good practice, and reflect on how they found the learning. 

The Volunteering Development Team will support Lead Volunteers to ensure that new volunteers have a Welcome Conversation 4-6 weeks after starting their role, and that an appropriate volunteer is chosen to engage them in the Welcome Conversation

Team Leaders / Lead Volunteers will need to have completed the Welcome Conversation Learning, which will be included in Managing Scouts Volunteers, a Growing Roots course. In a Welcome Conversation, only the independent volunteer needs to have the Welcome Conversation Accreditation, so all a Team Leader / Lead Volunteer needs to have done is completed their Growing Roots learning, they don’t need to hold the accreditation. 

There is no time limit on how long a volunteer can hold the Welcome Conversation Accreditation, however after five years, it’s good to have a check that they’re still the right person to be supporting Welcome Conversations. 

Appointments Advisory Committee Members won’t automatically become Welcome Conversation Volunteers. Volunteers undertaking Welcome Conversations will need to have a role in another team, and have completed the Welcome Conversation learning, or be the new volunteer's Team Leader or Lead Volunteer. This is a good opportunity to consider who has the best skills and lived experiences to warmly welcome new volunteers to Scouts and carry out the Welcome Conversation.

No. Individuals with a Welcome Conversation accreditation will not form a team. The Volunteering Development Team will have a responsibility to make sure a District/County has enough accredited people to carry out Welcome Conversations.

It doesn’t. Welcome Conversations are a new way to welcome adult volunteers to Scouts, and are quite different from Appointments Panels. For a volunteer to be given a Welcome Conversation Volunteer Accreditation, they will need to complete the new learning, regardless of whether they have completed Module 37 before. 

In most cases, these tasks will be taken on by the Volunteering Development Team or the Leadership Team. Some tasks may be delegated to a volunteer with the Volunteer Safeguarding Lead accreditation.

No – as we operate now, until a volunteer has completed their joining journey, and their role’s full, they should have an appropriate level of supervision until they have completed their checks and learning. 

After the Welcome Conversation, the Team Leader / Lead Volunteer and Welcome Conversation Volunteer should discuss and agree an outcome. Should they disagree, the final decision can be made by the District/County Lead Volunteer, as long as they are sufficiently independent. 

The new volunteer’s team leader is responsible for organising the Welcome Conversation.  

The Welcome Conversation has been designed not only to make sure new volunteers have a great first impression of Scouts, but also to make sure we meet safer recruitment guidelines. The required learning to get a Welcome Conversation Volunteer accreditation sets out expectations and responsibilities for everyone involved. This makes sure that participating volunteers understand and feel comfortable in what they need to do make sure new volunteers feel welcome, valued and supported.

There will be slight differences across the nations, so do check with your Charity regulator. In England and Wales, you should check the Individual Insolvency Register, the register of disqualified directors, at Companies House, and the register of persons removed as a Trustee, at the Charity Commission. 

More information can be found on - and we have compiled guidance on the Tools to support Trustee Boards page.  

Trustee Eligibility Checks must be carried out locally, by the charity that the person is a Trustee of. When the new digital system launches, the check should be recorded on  

A volunteer only needs a Welcome Conversation once at Scouts. For many, this’ll be when they start volunteering with us, but for some roles, like Trustee roles, they won’t have had a Welcome Conversation when they start. Using this example, a Beavers Section Team Member moving to a different role won’t need a Welcome Conversation, as they’ll have had one when they started volunteering, but a Trustee, moving to help in a section will. 

The new volunteer will log in to the new digital system on and submit details of their references. The system will then contact them and ask for a reference. Satisfactory references will be processed automatically by the system, but if a reference comes back with a concern, this will be automatically sent to the Volunteering Development Team. 

When a new volunteer joins Scouts, they need to share the details of at least two (up to four) referees on within the first six weeks of joining. Their referees then have 28 days to respond to the reference request before we send both them and the new volunteer a reminder. It’s important to note that references must be received before the end of the six-month joining journey window. 

Criminal record check is inclusive of all nations in the UK, and many in British Scouting Overseas. In England and Wales, criminal record checks are provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service, in Scotland, by PVG, and in Northern Ireland, Access NI, and what the check and certificate issued are called varies across each.  

Criminal record checks must be started within a volunteer’s first 30-days at Scouts. We know they take different times to come back from the relevant agencies, but as long as they have been started it will not affect the volunteer’s joining journey. Until a new volunteer’s criminal record check is issued and is satisfactory, they won’t have completed the joining journey steps, meaning that their role will be at Provisional, and they’ll need to be supervised when undertaking regulated activity.  

With Early Adopter Counties rolling out the interim Welcome Conversation first, we can make note of what works well, uncover potential challenges ahead of rolling it out to the remaining Counties for the best possible outcome. We will let you know once we have a date for when All Other Counties can start to adopt the Welcome Conversation. Until then, All Other Counties need to continue to use the current Appointments Panel meeting process as in POR. 


Monthly online meetings

Register for upcoming meetings and watch recordings from previous calls.

Meeting registration and recordings


Discover useful resources to help understand the changes to volunteer experience.

Discover the available resources