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Approval process in England, Scotland and Wales

Following the recent updates to restrictions, many of the legal restrictions unique to the youth sector are no longer in place. We’re removing the requirement to have COVID-19 risk assessments approved by District or County/Area Commissioners. Groups and sections must still document COVID-19 risks assessments, but like all other risks that we manage every day, it can be agreed within the Group itself (and within the District team for Explorer Units and Scout Networks). For general section meetings, there is no longer a requirement for parent or carer consent to our COVID-19 secure methods.

Although there is no approval process required Commissioners are encouraged to reach out to Groups who have not yet restarted to ensure that they are supported in getting their Sections back together again.

Approval process in Northern Ireland

Most of the restart decisions will happen at a Scout Group level, which is why we’ve given the example below. However, this process may start at other levels such as a District Explorer Scout Unit or a County-led event. In each case, the approver will need to be independent and usually at the next level up in our federated structure. For District Explorer Units, we are content that the approver may be within the same District, with delegated authority from the District Executive and Commissioner if they are assured that there is no conflict of interest.

Section Leaders, Group Scout Leaders should review these risk assessments regularly, or when readiness levels change. They should record any adjustments and send back to the District Approver when the risks change enough for the control measures to change.

Note: If when moving from one level to another if the COVID-safe controls and the way you do things do not change this does not require re-submission. Equally if you have already had your risk assessment approved, then suspended your activities when you resume you do not have to have this resubmitted for approval if nothing has changed.


Group Scout Leader and the Group Executive support Section Leaders to develop a Covid-safe Risk Assessment and check that they've been informed by other volunteers, parents and young people, control measures in place and leaders/volunteers are prepared to carry them out. 


Documents shared with the nominee of the District Commissioner and District Executive (or them directly) and if all satisfactory, approval given to restart face-to-face activity. Risk assessments and decision to approve should be recorded. 


The Section leadership team informs young people and parents/carers of section start dates, times and any operating procedures they need to follow. Parents or carers confirm that they understand the measures and are happy for their young person to attend. Face-to-face activities begin. 

Nights Away Approval Process

Nights away activities taking place whilst areas are in Yellow must have COVID hazards and controls included within the event risk assessment which is submitted along with the Nights Away Notification Form. This will be checked by someone within the District and like any overnight event requires DC approval. Those organising camps or residentials MUST show how they comply with current government guidance on numbers, social distancing and safe use of accommodation and sleeping areas.