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Badges and Awards

Making adjustments or adaptations for young people with additional needs, medical conditions or disabilities can support and enable them to access their badge and award.

Each young person who participates in the Programme, including badges and awards, should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted according to each young person’s individual needs.

The guiding principle throughout the Programme should be that young people are being challenged, while having fun. The requirements for badges provide a wide range of choice for young people, and most will be able to access the badges of their choice.

You may need to adjust the challenge to ensure that young people of different abilities all experience a similar level of challenge.

Adaptations made for young people with additional needs, medical conditions or disabilities should be aimed at improving access to the badge rather than reducing the challenge of its requirements or changing the focus. This may involve adapting some or all of the requirements and/or providing appropriate additional support.

In some instances, it may be appropriate to support the young people in your section to understand the adjustments, explaining that being fair doesn’t always mean everyone doing exactly the same thing. In this situation, fair is about everyone being able to access the activity and experience a similar level of challenge. The nature of your conversation should take into consideration the age of the young people involved, the specific circumstances and the adaptations being made.

It's entirely up to the Leader how to adapt some or all of the  badge or award requirements, in consultation with the young person and their parents or carers.

Things to consider:

  • Whether the individual requirements can be adapted or whether they need to be replaced by an entirely different activity.
  • Whether to change the requirements for one young person or whether it is more appropriate to change them for the whole section to ensure the young person doesn't feel singled out.
  • Adapting some of the individual challenges into a team challenge, so that the young person can use their individual strengths and abilities to achieve a team goal. Again, this avoids one Member being singled out. 
  • When a badge or award is being undertaken as part of a group activity, it may be appropriate for all of the young people to be involved in the decision to alter the requirements. This will support the young people to better understand the reasons for the changes and be able to offer peer support.

The only exceptions are Scout top awards (Queen Scout Award and Explorer Belt)and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Flexibility is built-in to these wards to support participation of all young people, however, due to their status as top awards adaptations should be approved before activity is undertaken.

Adaptions to the Scout top awards should be approved by the County Commissioner. Adaptations within the Duke of Edinburgh award (bronze, silver and gold) needs to be approved in advance by the licensing organisation. 

For further support and guidance please contact info.centre@scouts.org.uk