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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

7. Emergency procedures For all Scouting activities each party must implement an ‘InTouch’ system. Details of what this needs to include are contained in InTouch (FS120075) All accidents to individuals or involving damage to property must be reported. (See Rule 7.4). In the case of an accident to an individual, a member of the party or their designate must:

  1. alert the appropriate rescue services, if required
  2. advise the home Scout authority
  3. advise the next of kin.  In the case of a serious accident, incident or loss of life by whatever cause call 0345 300 1818 immediately and follow the critical incident directions, to advise UK Headquarters. This support is available 24 hours a day. 

Contacting UK Headquarters ensures that the appropriate incident and media support is available.  UK Headquarters must be informed at the earliest opportunity. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales the relevant Country Headquarters must be notified, support for this will be provided through the critical incident process once UK Headquarters are notified.  Communications with the news media must not be initiated by members of the party or others involved.  

All communication with the news media must be referred to UK Headquarters (see or the home Scout authority.  

The news media may arrive at the incident or get in touch with those involved before any communication with UK Headquarters has been established.  

Take care if the news media contact you. Seek support in these situations before talking to the media by calling UK Headquarters. 

The Duty Media Officer at UK Headquarters will offer advice and assistance in dealing with the news media when emergencies and accidents to individuals occur.  In the case of an accident abroad, involving a stay in hospital or loss of life, a member of the party must advise appropriate agency(ies) required by their travel insurers. The home Scout authority must ensure that:

  1. clear communication links are maintained with a responsible person in the area of the accident, the next of kin and UK Headquarters
  2. appropriate arrangements are made for the return of the party, as necessary
  3. in cases of serious injury, every assistance is available to ensure the next of kin may visit the casualty. UK Headquarters, when notified, will contact the Scout authority of the area in which the incident occurred. The home District Commissioner (or County Commissioner in the case of County activities), in conjunction with the leader of the party or other responsible person, must be prepared, if required by UK Headquarters, to produce a full confidential report relating to authorisation, training, equipment, briefing and leadership of the party involved, together with their observations relating to the sequence of events and possible causes of the accident.

This report must be submitted to the home County Commissioner who must forward it to UK Headquarters accompanied by their own observations relating to the circumstances. The report should include, details of County support for education and training in respect of such activities and, as appropriate, any recommendations they intend to implement in the light of experience gained. In the case of a fatal incident, or an incident that UK Headquarters considers could have resulted in a fatality, the Company Secretary of The Scout Association will establish a learning review on behalf of the Board of Trustees. The appropriate Government Agency must be notified when accidents occur during air activities or during water activities in coastal or deep sea waters. For safety reasons only, the District or County Commissioner (or their nominee) of the area where the activity takes place has an overriding authority (in consultation with the home Commissioner) to direct that any activity should be postponed, stopped or cancelled. Reporting requirements are at This includes the online incident report form which must be used to inform UK Headquarters if any person, whether a member of the movement or not:  

  1. suffers personal injury or illness where that injury or illness necessitates medical treatment (by a doctor, dentist, nurse, paramedic or at a hospital). Minor injuries or illnesses not requiring such treatment must be recorded locally, with UK Headquarters being informed if they subsequently receive medical attention
  2. requires rescuing where rescue involves any Emergency Service: Police, Fire, Ambulance, Mountain Rescue or Coastguard
  3. dies

in the course of, or arising out of, a Scout activity or while on, or in conjunction with, any Scout property. If an accident during a Scout activity results in third party damage, UK Headquarters must be informed at the earliest suitable opportunity. On receipt of this information UK Headquarters will issue the necessary instructions and an incident report form. In the event of any injury or fatality, or damage to third party property, no admission of liability must be made unless advised by UK Headquarters.

(See Rule 7.2 for actions required in the event of an emergency.)