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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

How we do things safely

Scouts continuously reviews its safety policies, training, processes and guidance – discover how we keep young people safe

Keeping young people safe is our primary aim in Scouts. Having fun, doing adventurous and new things comes a close second. This means we review and improve member guidance and support to keep Scouts as free from risk as reasonably possible.

We regularly review and improve our:

  • Basic training requirements, as well as safety and safeguarding training

  • Policies, including safety and safeguarding

  • Guidance and rules for managing risk

  • Ways of supporting you if you have any concerns locally about a young person or volunteer.

A parent and carer's guide to safety

  • Complete and record a risk assessment for all activities

  • Completed mandatory safety training within five months in their voluntary role

  • Ensure that a qualified first aider is present during activities and that any medical and dietary needs of participants are appropriately managed

  • Set expectations and boundaries for young people about any free time or times when young people have greater independence.

For camps and nights away Scout leaders also

  • Share the risk assessment with the relevant volunteer line manager for all activities requiring permits to be undertaken on the trip

  • Communicate the risk assessment with all adults and young people involved

  • Inform parents and carers what activities are being carried out during a night away or camp.

We ask for volunteer leaders’ and other adults’ names and membership numbers so that their District Lead Volunteer can check who is going overnight and that they've done the appropriate training.

Our volunteer leaders are required to tell parents what activities are being done on a night away or camp. This has been the rule since January 2019 when we updated our rules requiring leaders to tell parents the supervision plans for a night away. 

Safety training is mandatory for all new volunteer leaders, who have the first five months in their role to complete the training. Its main focus is on assessing risk and planning suitable controls for activities. They then renew it every three years. All volunteers who are required to do safety training must complete the online module.  

We have an automated system that alerts leaders and their volunteer line managers 60 days and 30 days before their mandatory training expires. We automatically suspend volunteers whose first aid, safety or safeguarding training expires. We reinstate volunteers once they have completed the relevant training. Our Board of Trustees regularly review and scrutinise training compliance and suspensions. 

Volunteer section leaders have to qualify in first aid and maintain a first aid qualification at all times. They have to refresh that training every three years as with their mandatory safety and safeguarding training.

Scouts volunteers get clear guidance on how to set expectations and boundaries on free time and how to communicate these with young people. Volunteers get supervision guidance to support them with identifying how to manage risks during free time and the structure free parts of the programme when greater independence is given to young people, especially older ages. 

Safeguarding at Scouts

An in-depth guide to safeguarding at Scouts

Learn more about our procedures