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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

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Policy, Organisation and Rules

16. Adult Roles

This chapter includes explanations of how to:

  1. appoint someone to a new role
  2. complete and validate training for a role
  3. review a role
  4. apply restrictions on participation
  5. resign from a role
  6. end someone else’s role
  7. end someone’s membership
  8. appeal the end of a role or roles
  9. manage acting roles

This chapter also contains:

  1. a list of all member roles available in the Scouts (the roles table)
  2. guidance on procedures for other roles, including helpers
  3. safeguarding and vetting decision guidance

These rules explain how to appoint an individual to a volunteer role.  This rule does not apply for helper, scout network member, staff, or scout council roles, see Rule 16.7.

It describes a process, so should be read in order.

For governance roles, the process ends at approval (Rule 16.1.5).  For standard process roles, Rule 16.1.5 does not apply. 

For UK Headquarters appointments, the standard process applies, but they take place within the context of the search process for UK Headquarters appointments.  This is highlighted in 16.1.6 and 16.1.7 below. 

The roles table shows the process for each role.

16.1.1.1  The applicant must be over 18 years old

16.1.1.2  For youth commissioner roles, the applicant must be under 25 years old at the time of appointment.

16.1.1.3  The applicant must be a member, or be able to complete the membership declarations, or already be a member.

16.1.1.4  The applicant must have the time and capacity to be able to carry out the role.

16.1.1.5  If the roles table shows the role is a Trustee role, then the applicant must be eligible to be a Trustee in the relevant country:

  1. England and Wales (Charity Commission for England and Wales)
  2. Scotland (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator)
  3. Northern Ireland (Charity Commission for Northern Ireland)​
  4. See also Rule 13.1

16.1.1.6  The applicant must be able to recognise and manage any conflicts of interest between current roles. 

 

 

16.1.2.1 The volunteer’s line manager must meet with the applicant and discuss the:

  1. fundamentals of Scouting
  2. key policies
  3. responsibilities of the role
  4. induction for the role and how it will be personalised for the applicant
  5. key policies
  6. responsibilities of the role
  7. safeguarding code of practice (Young People First – Yellow Card)
  8. time commitment of the role
  9. training requirements of the role

16.1.3.1 The line manager must ensure that the applicant is added to the membership system.

16.1.3.2 At this stage, the applicant’s role has pre-provisional status. The applicant must be supervised when with young people.

16.1.4.1 UK Headquarters automatically does a confidential enquiry check on the applicant when the role is added to the membership system.

16.1.4.2 If the roles table shows that a criminal records check is required for the role, the line manager must ensure that the applicant has a valid disclosure within the time limits.

16.1.4.3 Criminal records checks must be processed through the membership system.

16.1.5.1 This Rule 16.1.5 only applies to governance roles as shown in the roles table and is the final stage in the appointment process for these roles. For standard process roles, this rule does not apply, and the process resumes at Rule 16.1.6.


16.1.5.2 Governance roles are those where the roles table shows the approver as a Scout Council or Trustee Board.


16.1.5.3 For governance roles, the approving body as shown in the roles table must vote to approve the applicant for the role. This means that there is no meeting with an appointment panel and references are not checked.


16.1.5.4 There is no right of appeal if a governance role is not approved by the approving body.

Note that references for UK Headquarters roles are addressed within the search process for UK HQ Appointments. 

16.1.6.1 If the applicant is not currently a member of the Scouts and the roles table shows that the approval process is 'standard', then the appointments secretary must obtain at least two written references.

16.1.6.2 These may be requested using the membership system.

16.1.6.3 The appointments secretary must ensure that the membership system is updated with the outcome of the references.

16.1.7.1 The applicant’s line manager must ensure that a meeting with an appointment panel is requested if the roles table shows it is required. The appointments advisory committee may decide not to hold the appointment panel meeting for the applicant.

16.1.7.2  The appointment panel must have three members (see the Definitions chapter). The applicant’s line manager must not be a member of the appointment panel. The appointments chair may allow one additional attendee at the appointment panel meeting, for example during validation of Module 37 or if the applicant requires a sign language interpreter. The appointment panel meeting must not take the form of an interview. Members of the appointment panel must only consider the applicant’s:

  1. awareness and acceptance of the Scouts’ values and policies
  2. ability and willingness to carry out the requirements of the role

16.1.7.3 The purpose of the appointment panel does not include consideration of the outcomes of personal enquiry or references.

16.1.7.4 If the roles table shows that the minimum membership level for the role is “Member”, the appointment panel must confirm that the applicant is willing to live by the Scout Promise.

16.1.7.5 The Appointments Secretary must ensure that the membership system is updated with the appointment panel’s recommendation.

16.1.8.1 If the references and appointment panel meeting have raised no concerns, the Appointments Secretary must ensure that the approver is informed of the appointments advisory committee’s decision to recommend appointment of the applicant to the role.

16.1.8.2 Otherwise, after consulting with up to two other appointments advisory committee members and (where appropriate) the referees, the appointments chair must make a final recommendation to the approver on the suitability of appointment.

16.1.8.3 The appointments chair must ensure that the approver is informed of this final recommendation.

16.1.9.1 The approver for the role is listed in the roles table.

16.1.9.2 The approver must consider the:
a) recommendation of the appointments advisory committee
b) outcome of the personal enquiry

16.1.9.3 If the personal enquiry raises concerns, the approver must follow the guidance of the UK Headquarters vetting team.

16.1.9.4 If the approver decides to appoint, the applicant’s role is provisional. The applicant must be supervised when with young people. If the roles table shows that the role has no provisional stage, the role becomes full, as explained in Rule 16.2.1.3.

16.1.9.5 If the approver decides not to appoint, then the reason must be recorded on the membership system by ending the role as unsatisfactory. The applicant may only appeal under Rule 16.5.5. There is no right to complain under the complaints policy (Rule 15.1).

16.1.9.6 If the approver disagrees with the appointments advisory committee’s recommendation, then the Trustee Board chair makes the final decision on appointment.

16.1.9.7 UK Headquarters may exceptionally exclude individuals deemed unsuitable to participate in The Scouts.

These rules explain the training required for a role.

16.2.1.1 The role holder must complete the role’s getting started training listed in the roles table.

16.2.1.2 The line manager must ensure all getting started training is validated within five months.

16.2.1.3 For roles with a provisional stage as shown in the roles table, once all getting started training is validated, the role will show as full on Compass. This means that the role holder:

  1. may be invested into the movement
  2. no longer needs to be supervised when with young people

16.2.1.4 If getting started training has not been completed within 5 months, the relevant commissioner must:

  1. apply appropriate restrictions (Rule 16.4)
  2. end the role (Rule 16.5.2)

16.2.2.1 If the roles table indicates that a Wood Badge is required, a training adviser will support the role holder through the scheme:

  1. defining a Personal Learning Plan
  2. validating required modules

16.2.2.2 Once all of the modules in the Personal Learning Plan have been validated, the role holder may be awarded a Wood Badge.

16.2.2.3 After achieving a Wood Badge, the role holder must complete at least five hours of learning relevant to their role every year.

16.2.2.4 If the role holder has not completed a required Wood Badge within three years of the role start date, then a relevant commissioner must either:

  1. apply appropriate restrictions (Rule 16.4)
  2. end the role (Rule 16.5.2)

16.2.3.1 The role holder must complete the role’s additional training listed in the roles table, within any indicated timeframes.

16.2.4.1 All members must re-validate safety and safeguarding training every three years, whilst in a role that the roles table shows as requiring the training.

16.2.4.2 All members in roles that require a first aid certificate must achieve one within three years of the role start date. This must be re-validated every three years, whilst in a role that the roles table shows as requiring a first aid certificate.

16.2.4.3 If the roles table shows that safety, safeguarding, or first aid training is required and the role holder has not validated it in the last three years, then a relevant commissioner must either:

  1. apply appropriate restrictions (Rule 16.4)
  2. end the role (Rule 16.5.2)

16.2.4.4 Exceptionally, UK Headquarters may require additional learning requirements for a period of time for all or certain roles.

These rules explain how to review a member’s role.

16.3.1.1 The role holder’s line manager is responsible for formal and informal reviews. Trustee Board members are subject to informal reviews, at least annually. 

16.3.1.2 For a Trustee Board Chair, a member of the Trustee Board is nominated and agreed annually by the members of the Trustee Board to carry out the review. 

16.3.1.3 For ease of reading, “line manager” will be used to refer to the individual responsible for reviews in the remainder of Rule 16.3.

16.3.2.1 The role holder must have a regular informal role review, at least annually, with their line manager. This provides an opportunity to reflect on achievements, identify opportunities for development and plan for the future. Informal reviews should also be used to review on-going learning and training requirements.

16.3.3.1 Formal reviews should take place at least every five years. All roles should have a formal review. Some roles must have a formal review, these are shown in the roles table.

16.3.3.2 A first review date must be set during the role induction process and recorded on the membership system. After each formal review, the date of the next review must be set and recorded on the membership system.

16.3.3.3 The purpose of a formal review is to determine if:

  1. the role will be renewed for an additional term
  2. the role holder will move to a different role
  3. the role will be ended
  4. the role holder will leave the Scouts

16.3.3.4 The role holder and the line manager should agree on the outcome of the review, but the line manger must make the final decision. The appointments secretary must be informed of this decision, and the membership system must be updated appropriately.

16.3.3.5 Additional formal reviews may be requested at any time by the role holder or the line manager. These should have reasonable notice, normally 14 days.

16.3.4.1 Term limits, where specified in the Roles Table, state the maximum total time the role can be held. 

16.3.4.2 Roles with term limits specified in the roles table must be held in terms of five years or less, with the consecutive time in role not exceeding the term limit. 

16.3.4.3 A Youth Commissioner role must not extend past the role holder’s 28th birthday.

16.3.5.1 When a County Commissioner is appointed, all District Commissioner and county roles will be subject to formal review. For counties that have no districts, this also includes all Group Scout Leader roles.

16.3.5.2 When a District Commissioner is appointed, all Group Scout Leader and district roles will be subject to formal review.

16.3.5.3 These reviews should be completed within six months of the relevant commissioner’s appointment.

Introduction

These rules explain how to restrict a member’s involvement in the Scouts. Commissioners may use these restrictions to allow time to resolve issues.

The rules in 16.4 apply only to members aged 18 or over (volunteers or Scout Network members). See Chapter 3 for those aged under 18.

There may be occasions where events have led to a number of people being investigated for one incident. In this case, the focus should be on ensuring consistency of process so that all parties are assessed fairly and consistently.

16.4.1.1 Mutually agreed restrictions help to ensure that suspensions are only used when absolutely necessary, by providing an alternative to suspension. Such restrictions on involvement with activities in the Scouts are agreed between a connected person and the relevant commissioner.

16.4.1.2 Mutually agreed restrictions are permitted in circumstances where suspension may otherwise be used (see 16.4.2.2), but restriction in certain scouting activities would suffice. However, mutually agreed restrictions must not be used in safeguarding cases.

16.4.1.3 The relevant commissioner must meet with the connected person and agree the specific restrictions that will be put in place. These restrictions must not last for more than four weeks. These restrictions must be approved by the relevant commissioner’s line manager, and the connected person must receive the restrictions in writing together with a mutually agreed action plan.

16.4.1.4 Once the period of restrictions ends, the relevant commissioner and the relevant commissioner’s line manager must agree to:

  1. remove restrictions
  2. suspend the individual (Rule 16.4.2)
  3. review the role (Rule 16.3.3)

16.4.2.1 Suspension of a connected person’s involvement in the Scouts is intended to protect all involved. This helps to ensure that any investigation is as fair as possible by preventing situations where objectivity could be risked, or further allegations could be made.

16.4.2.2 When considering a suspension, consideration should be first given to using Mutually Agreed Restrictions (see 16.4.1.1). 

16.4.2.3 Suspension must only be used:

  1. when the relevant commissioner has decided that mutually agreed restrictions are not appropriate
  2. when an allegation of a serious criminal offence is made against a connected person. Suspensions in these circumstances must last until all police enquiries or legal proceedings have ended
  3. when a dispute between adults is unresolved 30 days after formal notification of the dispute to the relevant Trustee Board. Suspension periods in this case must be less than 90 days, although there may be multiple consecutive suspension periods
  4. where the deliberate action or inaction of a connected person could lead to serious reputational harm
  5. where the action of a connected person may form gross misconduct
  6. if a member or associate member formally challenges the decisions or policy of a local Scout Unit or The Scout Association in public to a non-scouting body, seeking to change or overturn the decision or policy
  7. where a criminal records check is required as shown in the roles table, and 30 days has elapsed with no valid disclosure
  8. has not completed the required learning in the roles table, within the timescales mandated in the roles table.

16.4.2.4 The relevant commissioner (suspending authority) must make the suspension, which must then be authorised by the relevant commissioner’s line manager (authoriser). For the UK Chief Commissioner, the Chair of Trustees is the suspending authority and the Board of Trustees is the authoriser.

16.4.2.5 The suspending authority must ensure that the suspended individual is:

  1. informed of the suspension in writing
  2. given the notes for a person under suspension
  3. offered an independent colleague from the Scouts to act as a liaison. This person must be given the supporting a person under suspension resources

16.4.2.6 The suspending authority must inform the UK Headquarters vetting team whenever an individual is suspended or the nature of a suspension changes.

16.4.2.7 Suspension following a dispute between adults must be followed as soon as possible by conciliation and attempts to resolve the dispute.

16.4.2.8 Suspended individuals must not:

  1. participate in any activities related to the Scouts
  2. seek to influence the business of any scout unit, through any way of communicating
  3. contact youth members of the Scouts
  4. enter any premises or be present at any place used by the Scouts or where scouting activities are taking place, unless given permission by the suspending authority
  5. wear any uniform, badges or emblems of the Scouts

16.4.2.9 Where the suspended individual is the parent or carer of a youth member, the suspending authority and authoriser may act together to modify the list of prohibited activities. These modifications may be changed at any time during the period of suspension. Whenever modifications are made under this rule, the suspended individual must be written to with a clear list of permitted behaviours. Modifications must:

  1. follow the guidance of the UK Headquarters safeguarding team, for safeguarding cases
  2. be minimised, and exist only to enable the role as parent or carer (for example to drop off and pick up the child, or attend award presentations)
  3. not compromise the safety of youth members
  4. not allow the suspended individual to engage in regulated activity, where Rule 16.4.2.2(f) applies

16.4.2.10 At the end of a suspension period, the suspending authority and relevant appointments advisory committee must recommend that the authoriser:

  1. re-instates the role
  2. modifies the role
  3. ends the role (Rule 16.5.2)

16.4.2.11 The authoriser’s decision is final in all circumstances, including where there is no unanimous recommendation or the authoriser disagrees with the recommendation. The authoriser must ensure that the suspended individual is informed of the outcome in writing, with a copy to the UK Headquarters vetting team. There is no right of appeal against this process.

16.4.2.12 UK Headquarters, in consultation with the authoriser, may exceptionally refuse to re-instate roles or involvement in the Scouts.  In this case, UK Headquarters is the suspending authority (as defined in 16.4.2.3) and the authoriser is the line manager of the relevant local responsible commissioner. 

16.4.2.13 Suspensions due to criminal records check issues may be automatically revoked by UK Headquarters once a valid criminal records check is obtained.

16.4.2.14 UK Headquarters may cancel membership where the member has been subject to a suspension initiated by the UK Safe Scouting Team and where the member has been suspended for 18 months or more, typically due to them being under investigation by a statutory agency. 

16.4.2.15 Where an individual disagrees with a UK Headquarters Cancellation, the individual may raise their disagreement with the Head of Safeguarding at UK Headquarters within 14 days. All disagreements must only consider the process carried out and must not consider or review the decision made, unless new information becomes available.  The Head of Safeguarding will review this in conjunction with a UK Chief Commissioner's representative at the UK Headquarters Safeguarding Committee. The individual will receive a written, final outcome after the review. No further rights to appeal are permitted.

16.4.3.1 Stay-away must only be used by the UK Headquarters safeguarding team.

16.4.3.2 A connected person’s stay-away from involvement in the Scouts is intended to protect all involved. It helps to ensure that any investigation is as fair as possible by preventing situations where objectivity could be risked, or further allegations could be made.

16.4.3.3 Stay-away is used where at the point of referral to the UK Headquarters safeguarding team a decision to suspend or not cannot be made due to insufficient, disputed, or inconsistent information.

16.4.3.4 Stay-away must only be used:

  1. when an allegation is made that a connected person has behaved in a way that may be considered a breach of the Scouts’ Safeguarding Policy or safeguarding code of practice (yellow card)
  2. when a concern is raised in regard to a connected person that may suggest unsuitability for a working with youth members (including unsuitability for a position of trust)
  3. where information is received from a statutory agency relating to concerns raised about a connected person

16.4.3.5 The UK Headquarters safeguarding team must ensure that the individual must stay-away from all scouting activities for two weeks. The UK Headquarters safeguarding team must ensure that:

  1. the relevant commissioner has been consulted on the decision
  2. a national safeguarding operations manager approves the stay-away
  3. terms of the stay-away are sent to the individual in writing
  4. the relevant commissioner is asked to offer the individual an independent liaison contact for support

16.4.3.6 Following the stay-away period, the UK Headquarters safeguarding team and relevant commissioner must make a decision to extend the stay-away by two weeks or end the stay-away. A stay-away must not last longer than four weeks.

These rules explain how to close roles and membership, including appeals.

The rules in 16.5 apply only to members aged 18 or over (volunteers or Scout Network members). See Chapter 3 for those aged under 18. 

16.5.1.1 A role holder may resign from their role at any time by notifying their line manager.

16.5.1.2 The role end date will be agreed and recorded on the membership system.

16.5.1.3 If the role holder’s service has been unsatisfactory, the relevant commissioner must ensure that the role is ended as unsatisfactory on the membership system. UK Headquarters may seek further information if necessary.

16.5.2.1 A role must be ended in the following circumstances:

  1. the relevant Trustee Board passes a resolution to end the role. In these cases, there is no obligation for the Trustee Board to state its reasons.
  2. the role is in a scout unit or section that has closed
  3. a formal review under Rule 16.3.3 has led to a decision to end the role

16.5.2.2 If the role holder fails to observe the terms of a suspension under Rule 16.4.2, then the line manager and appointments chair (and for Trustee roles the relevant Trustee Board Chair) may end the role.

16.5.2.3 Acting together, the line manager and appointments chair (and for Trustee roles, the relevant Trustee Board chair) may end a role if the role holder:

  1. receives an unsatisfactory outcome from a personal enquiry
  2. is seen to no longer accept the principles of the movement
  3. has or is likely to bring the name of the Scouts into disrepute
  4. has not achieved a full status for their role within five months from the role start date
  5. has not met the training requirements listed in the roles table
  6. has not completed the required on-going learning as listed in the Roles Table.

16.5.2.4 Discussions around ending roles should happen in a formal review.

16.5.2.5 In cases where the relevant commissioner and their line manager agree it is required, roles may be ended without a formal review. The role holder must be advised of the reason for action in such cases.

16.5.2.6 Exceptionally, UK Headquarters may end a role after consulting the relevant commissioner. The UK Chief Commissioner must ensure that processes and oversight are defined and implemented at UK Headquarters to ensure consistency in such cases. This must include a process for resolving disagreements.

16.5.2.7 There may be occasions where events have led to a number of role holders being investigated for one incident.  In this case, the focus should be on ensuring consistency of process so that all parties are assessed fairly and consistently.  Note that it is the process that must be fair and consistent – the individual outcomes may vary appropriately to reflect the conclusions of the enquiry. 

16.5.3.1 Membership of the Scouts ends when an individual no longer holds any active roles.

16.5.3.2 The relevant Commissioner may end a member's membership. This has the effect of ending all active roles.

16.5.3.3 The membership of any member of The Scout Association may be ended by resolution of the Board of Trustees of The Scout Association, which will be under no obligation to state its reasons.

These obligations apply to the person whose role is ending.

16.5.4.1 Where a role is ended under Rule 16.5.1 or Rule 16.5.2, then the individual concerned must immediately give all assets and data related to their role to the line manager. This includes, but is not limited to:

  1. electronic and paper-based membership data for young people and adults
  2. scouts related financial information and financial assets, including cash, cheque books, bank statements, passwords
  3. equipment, digital, and physical resources owned by a scout unit
  4. keys and other security equipment or information

16.5.4.2 Any Trustee responsibilities held through the role finish at the role end date.

16.5.5.1 In this rule, if there is no Appointments Chair in post then the Trustee Board Chair should request the Appointments Chair from a nearby District or County to assume the role, for the purpose of the appeal only. 

16.5.5.2 In this rule, if there is no Trustee Board Chair in post then the District Commissioner or County Commissioner as appropriate should request the Chair from a nearby District or County to assume the role, for the purpose of the appeal only. 

16.5.5.3 To appeal the non-approval of a role or the ending of role(s), the individual must contact the Appointments Chair within 14 days of being notified of the decision.

16.5.5.4 All appeals must only consider the process carried out and must not consider or review the decision made. In cases where multiple roles have been ended at once, all ended roles must be considered together for a single appeal.

16.5.5.5 The individual, the appointments chair, and a member of the appointments advisory committee should meet.  If the appeal is for non-approval of a role, the member of the appointments advisory committee should not have been involved in the original appointments panel. This meeting is to allow the individual to explain the problem with the process and to try and agree on a resolution.  The appointments chair must ensure that all attendees and the relevant commissioner are provided with the outcome of the meeting in writing. 

16.5.5.6 The individual may make a final appeal, if not satisfied after the first step, by contacting the relevant Trustee Board Chair within 14 days of notification of the first step’s outcome.

16.5.5.7 The Trustee Board Chair may decide an investigation is required. If so, up to three Trustees with no previous involvement with the appointment must be asked to conduct the investigation and provide a confidential report to the Trustee Board Chair.  

16.5.5.8 Although the report itself is confidential, it is important that any action points recorded in the report are actioned promptly.  Where necessary this will require that actions (and the context of the actions) are appropriately shared by the Trustee Board Chair in order to ensure prompt delivery of each action. 

16.5.5.9 The Trustee Board Chair's decision is final and must be provided in writing to the individual and the relevant commissioner. There is no further right to complain or appeal, through any process.

These rules explain what to do if a vacancy arises in a commissioner or charity officer role.

16.6.1.1 If a Group Scout Leader role becomes vacant, the role’s line manager should appoint an acting Group Scout Leader as a temporary measure, to enable a full recruitment process.

16.6.1.2 Whilst there is no acting Group Scout Leader appointed, the line manager assumes the role of acting Group Scout Leader.

16.6.1.3 Their line manager must prioritise filling the vacancy, ideally within six months.

16.6.1.4 The role of acting Group Scout Leader has all the responsibilities of the full role, including those as a Trustee for the relevant charity.

16.6.2.1 If a commissioner role becomes vacant, the role’s line manager should appoint an acting commissioner as a temporary measure, to enable a full recruitment process.

16.6.2.2 Whilst there is no acting commissioner appointed, the line manager assumes the role of acting commissioner.

16.6.2.3 The line manager must prioritise filling the vacancy, ideally within six months.

16.6.2.4 The role of acting commissioner has all responsibilities of the full role, including those as a Trustee for the relevant charity.

16.6.3.1 The Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer roles for each scout unit should always be filled.

16.6.3.2 If a Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer resigns before the next annual general meeting, filling the vacancy as soon as possible should be prioritised. All actions must be taken via a majority vote of the Trustees, with vacancies of the role of Chair also requiring agreement by the relevant Commissioner. These appointments are short-term, until the next annual general meeting. The Trustees must either:
          a) appoint a current Trustee to the role, or
          b) co-opt a Trustee to take the role, subject to provisions in the charity’s constitution for co-opting Trustees

16.6.3.3 There is no role of acting Chair, acting Secretary or acting Treasurer.

16.6.3.4 In extreme circumstances the relevant Commissioner may act as Chair for a short period.

16.7.1.1 The roles table is the authoritative definition of all adult volunteer roles that exist to deliver, manage, support, and govern the scouts’ programme and movement. Individuals must not be appointed to roles that are not listed in the roles table.

16.7.1.2 The roles table is available to download as an Excel spreadsheet and as a PDF document.

16.7.2.1 A helper is a person aged 18 or over who provides Section Leadership Teams with informal support to help them to deliver the programme. They may be, for example, parents or local subject matter experts.

16.7.2.2 Helpers must have a satisfactory Personal Enquiry and be recorded in the adult membership system before they can:

  1. assist with a nights away activity
  2. support four or more times in a 30 day period
  3. have unsupervised access to young people

Helpers who do not need to meet any of the above criteria do not need a Personal Enquiry and must not be recorded on the membership system. 

16.7.2.3 If a Personal Enquiry is required, the helper must be registered on the membership system as an occasional helperSV. These registrations on the membership system are not otherwise part of the appointment process and are only provided as a process to enable the necessary CE and criminal records checks to be conducted. 

16.7.2.4 In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland this role is called “occasional helper.” In Scotland this role is called “PVG Only”. SV

16.7.2.5 Helpers are not entitled to membership status or any benefits for members of the Scouts including not being covered by Scouts insurance. 

16.7.2.6 Where a helper is no longer providing informal support either because they have become a member or when they have stopped, the adult membership system must be updated accordingly. 

16.7.3.1 The processes set out in this chapter do not apply for scout council member roles.

16.7.4.1 A scout charity may employ staff, with salaries paid using charity funds.

16.7.4.2 The Trustee Board should seek professional advice about employment law, conditions of employment, tax requirements, and pension arrangements.

16.7.4.3 Employees must be added to the membership system and maintain a satisfactory personal enquiry.

16.7.4.4 Scout charities may choose to employ one or more Administrator(s) to undertake the role of the Secretary in supporting the work of the Trustee Board or the charity. In all other circumstances, Trustees may not be remunerated or paid a salary by the charity. If the Secretary role is undertaken by an employee, that employee should not normally be a Trustee.

16.7.5.1 Membership of a Scout Network is not a volunteer role, and the processes set out in this chapter do not apply.

16.7.5.2 Scout Network members must be registered on the membership system. This will automatically start a personal enquiry with no criminal records check.

16.8.1.1 See separate table provided with POR.

Updated 2023 – v1.8

Overview

This guidance relates only to subjects who are adult volunteers. Where we refer to an adult this refers to members of The Scout Association who are 18 years old or older.

An exclusion will be considered where the total information available about the individual implies that their involvement may adversely affect the:
a) health and welfare of young people
b) welfare of adults, scouting operations or the individual concerned
c) reputation of scouting

The Chief Safeguarding Officer reserves the right for the Safeguarding Team to use professional judgement to make risk based decisions.

Offences and behaviours within each section are not exhaustive.
We should recognise that our understanding of safeguarding and safer recruitment changes over time. Past decisions made by Scouts may be considered differently by future standards.

NOTE:
Exclusions under boxes 1 to 5 below are permanent.
Exclusions under boxes 6 to 10 below may be reconsidered in some circumstances after some period of time. For example, if the application now meets the test of “0, 1 or 2 minor offences committed more than five years ago” as given in box 12.

 

 

1. On Barred or Disqualified List

Individual barred.  It is a criminal offence for a person who is on the Children’s Barred List to volunteer in any capacity for Scouting.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Northern Ireland Order

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006

Individual is on the Vulnerable Adults Barred List. Scouts does not ask for information about the Vulnerable Adults list, but is often informed of it.

Next steps: Exclusion – no appeal

 

2. Any offence perpetrated as an adult against a child demonstrating a sexual interest in children or behaviour indicative of a sexual interest in children

A range of threshold applied by different statutory agencies, be that an outcome of admission of guilt, conviction, caution, reprimand or Community Resolution Order.

A finding of guilt made in a criminal court (‘beyond reasonable doubt’) or in civil courts (‘balance of probability’).

This includes offences defined by the:

  1. Sexual Offences Act 2003
  2. Protection of Children Act 1978
  3. Criminal Justice Act 1988
  4. Coroners and Justice Act 2009

It includes offences of:

  1. rape and other sexual assaults
  2. indecent images of children
  3. Grooming
  4. trafficking (children)
  5. voyeurism (children)
  6. exposure of genitals with intent to distress or alarm (children)

This also includes sexual offences against children in another jurisdiction, such as outside the UK.

Where the adult is 18 or 19 years old at the time of the offence and the young person was 17 years old, and statutory agencies deemed the offence to be ‘age appropriate’ and consensual, it would be more appropriate to consider the offence under Section 7.

Next steps: Exclusion – no appeal

 

3. Other offences or behaviours perpetrated by an adult against a child whereby a child has suffered significant harm (physical or psychological)

A court or police outcome of admission of guilt, conviction, caution, reprimand or Community Resolution Order in the criminal or judicial finding in another court defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as non-sexual child abuse.

This should include the offence of child neglect where the adult was convicted in the criminal court or made an admission of guilt, accepted a caution or a finding was made in the civil courts.

This also includes behaviour which is assessed by statutory agencies as posing an ongoing risk of harm and is unlikely to change over time.

Where the adult is 18 or 19 years old at the time of the offence and the young person is 17 years old, it may be more appropriate to consider the offence under Section 7.

Next steps: Exclusion – no appeal

 

4. Adverse reference from a statutory agency or other professional source

 The source should be a statutory agency such as:

  1. the police
  2. children services
  3. a Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
  4. a government department, agency or other public body

An adverse reference must be in writing confirming that the agency advises that this person should never be allowed to hold a role that brings them into contact with children.

Next steps: Exclusion – no appeal

 

5. Conviction for serious offences against the person (adult)

A court or police outcome of admission of guilt, conviction, caution, reprimand or Community Resolution Order.

To include:

  1. murder
  2. rape
  3. manslaughter
  4. crimes associated with organising sexual exploitation
  5. offences under the Terrorism Act(s)
  6. serious crimes of violence including grievous bodily harm (GBH)
  7. convictions for abuse or exploitation of a vulnerable adult
  8. criminal offences where the conduct is associated to domestic abuse (Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004)
  9. drug, arms or people trafficking
  10. sexual exploitation

Next steps: Exclusion – no appeal

 

Amber category: The account from the subject will be requested and the options available are:


a) exclusion with the right of appeal (see appeal process)
b) decline (cancelled membership) up to a maximum period of 5 years 
c) district decision or appointments advisory committee

 

6. Individual under 18 at time of an offence or behaviour that if committed after aged 18 would attract national attention and or fall into above ‘red’ criteria

The decision makers must have a clear understanding that some childhood behaviours can become more embedded rather than dissipating with age such as some child-on-child sexual offending.  Each case must be considered individually, informed by the best research.

Next steps: Further consideration by UK Headquarters.

 

7. Offence which causes serious doubt about suitability

For example:

  1. offences against the person (including threats of violence)
  2. supplying any controlled substance
  3. possession of controlled substances
    • isolated incident of possession of Class A controlled substances within the past 5 years
    • isolated incident of possession of Class B or C controlled substances within the past 2 years
  4. causing death by dangerous driving
  5. physical chastisement
  6. offences under the Public Order Act 1986
  7. offences under the Firearms Acts 1968

Some sexual offences committed against an adult victim, Public Order offences.  This includes where someone has received a civil order “Sexual Risk Order” under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, as they are considered to pose a risk of harm.

An allegation of a sexual offence (adult victim) not progressed to trial.

Information held on confidential systems or an allegation of inappropriate behaviour.

Presumption of exclusion where the total information available about the individual implies that their involvement may adversely affect the:

  1. health or welfare of young people
  2. welfare or other adults, Scouting operations or the individual concerned
  3. reputation of scouting

Next steps: Further consideration by UK Headquarters.

 

8. Offence which causes doubt about the individual’s compatibility with Scouting values

Not an exhaustive list:

  1. harassment
  2. blackmail
  3. hate crime - any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or anybody else, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone’s protected characteristics

Information held on UK Headquarters safeguarding confidential systems or an allegation(s) of a Yellow Card or Safeguarding Policy breach, breaches of POR.

Offences or behaviour which are in conflict with Scouting values, for example failure to cooperate with a safeguarding local enquiry, lack of respect to:

  1. young people
  2. volunteers
  3. parents
  4. carers

Presumption of exclusion where the total information available about the individual implies that their involvement may adversely affect the:

  1. health or welfare of young people
  2. welfare of other adults, Scouting operations or the individual concerned
  3. reputation of Scouting

Next steps: Further consideration by UK Headquarters.

 

9. Non-conviction information provided by other sources or held on UK Headquarters confidential records

Adverse information held on confidential systems at UK Headquarters whereby membership has been cancelled or an individual as resigned, and concerns have been alleged about an individual’s behaviour or conduct.

The sources include but are not limited to:

a) statutory agencies
b) government departments
c) education establishments
d) other charities where the information is deemed to be reputable

Where required passed to medical advisor or appropriate health care professional for guidance.

Presumption of exclusion where the total information available about the individual implies that their involvement may adversely affect the:

g) health or welfare of young people
h) welfare or other adults, Scouting operations or the individual concerned
i) reputation of scouting

Next steps: Further consideration by UK Headquarters.

 

10. Barred from Trusteeship

Only applies to individuals for roles providing trustee status where the individual is disqualified by law from acting as a charity trustee, such as an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception.

Where a trustee is subject of an allegation or misconduct or a safeguarding concern they would fall into the sections 1 to 9.

Next steps: Further consideration by UK Headquarters.

 

11. Other conviction, caution or admission of guilt

Disclosure information will be passed to relevant commissioner and appointment advisory committee with technical advice for consideration following Rule 16.1  (Appoint an individual to a role) and in line with the codes of practice of the relevant disclosure authority ensuring confidentiality.

 

12. Minor and unrelated (to Scouting) offences

For example: minor motoring offences, minor thefts, and criminal damage.

0, 1 or 2 minor offences, that don’t fall into another category, committed more than 5 years ago.

Disclosure considered to be ‘clear’ for Scouting purposes.

 

 

Scouting’s activities are delivered or supported by adults in various roles. These roles are listed in the table below.

Where to access the learners' modules: