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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

Award Certificates

Updated October 2021

From 1 May 2021 a redesigned certificate involving a purple border (for all Good Service awards, Length of Service awards as well as Meritorious Conduct and Gallantry awards) came into circulation.

Feedback received during 2021/2022 resulted in text amendments being made to certificates for awards achieved after 1 November 2022.

What’s changing?

The Chief Scout's Length of Service Awards:

  • 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 years’ service


Good Service Awards:

  • The Chief Scout's Commendation for Good Service
  • The Award for Merit
  • The Bar to the Award for Merit
  • The Silver Acorn
  • The Bar to the Silver Acorn
  • The Silver Wolf


Meritorious Conduct Awards:

  • The Chief Scouts Commendation for Meritorious Conduct
  • The Medal for Meritorious Conduct


Gallantry Awards:

  • The Gilt Cross
  • The Silver Cross
  • The Bronze Cross


Other Awards:

  • Chief Scout’s Personal Award
  • Cornwell Scout Badge

No, not at this time.



How are the certificates different?

How Scout award certificates differ (before & after 1 May 2021)
Embossing examples




Good Service and Length of Service certificate examples
Meritorious Conduct and Gallantry certificate examples
Cornwell Scout Badge and Chief Scout's Personal Award certificate examples

When and why are they changing?

The purple border designed award certificates have been is use from 1 May 2021 and will continue to be used moving forward.

The award certificates were last updated prior to the 2002 rebrand.

In 2018, we launched an award-winning brand for Scouts. As we want to make sure everything we produce is consistent with our brand, including our award certificates, in 2021 the purple border designed award certificates came into circulation. The redesigned certificates are now more modern, the language is more accessible, and the paper and printing are higher quality too.

The 2021 redesign also gave us an opportunity to add the history of the award to each certificate and with the review of feedback received in 2021/2022, the wording on each award certificate was slightly amended to reflect how our membership wishes to be thanked for their service.

We hope that, when recipients hold their certificates, they know how much we value them and feel really proud of their achievement.

Each award certificate will have on it a date of issue. The design of the certificate will match this date:

  • If your award is dated on or before 30 April 2021, your certificate (including any replacements) will be printed on the old cream background style award certificates (as long as stock of these are available).
  • If your award is dated on or after 1 May 2021, your certificate (including any replacements) will be printed on the purple border designed award certificates.
  • If your award is dated on or after 1 November 2022, your certificate (including any replacements) will be printed on the purple border designed award certificates, with the amended wording. 



Further information

With the move to the purple border designed certificates, some text concerning the history of each award was also added to the certificates.

The first awards for young people, the Silver Wolf (combination of high achievement and gallantry) and the first three gallantry medals, were launched in 1908 in Scouting for Boys but over the years, the name and design of these awards have changed many times. Meritorious Conduct and Gallantry Awards can now be given out to youth and adult members.

The first award where volunteers could be nominated for the quality of their volunteering was the Gilt Medal of Merit in 1915. This award was redesigned and relaunched as the Medal of Merit in 1918 and later became the Award of Merit however, the history of the highest Good Service award, the Silver Wolf, is complex as it’s served several different purposes since it was launched in 1908:


  • The Silver Wolf was first referred to in Scouting for Boys in 1908 as a reward for Scouts of very special distinction (recognising young people for a combination of high achievement and gallantry).
  • The Headquarters’ Gazette reports the first Scout to achieve this prestigious award was B.J. Fairfax Francklin of 1st Syston Troop, and it was presented at the Crystal Palace Scout Rally in September 1909.
  • The criteria was then developed and it was presented to Kings’ Scouts who demonstrated exceptionally high achievement and service.
  • The Chief Scout, Robert Baden-Powell, also personally gifted an Honorary Silver Wolf to adults of any rank in Scouting who had carried out exceptionally valuable work on behalf of the Movement. This included UK volunteers, international commissioners he met during foreign visits and Headquarters staff such Vera Barclay when she left her role as the first ever Wolf Cub Secretary in 1920.
  • From 1920 County Commissioners could recommend Scout volunteers for the Silver Wolf which would be awarded at the discretion of the Chief Scout.
  • From 1922 the Silver Wolf became an exclusively adult award.
  • Today the Silver Wolf is still gifted by the Chief Scout following an approved nomination for service of exceptional nature and it continues to be the highest award which can be earnt by anyone who holds a volunteer appointment as a member of the UK Scouts.

The certificates are printed on paper which is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. FSC is a chain of custody that ensures products can be traced from source to take care of the forests, people and wildlife who call them home. The UK is the 5th largest producer of printed products in the world. By choosing an FSC accredited product you demonstrate the paper you use comes from well managed forests.


The company who print our base stock of certificates:

  • Have an IS014001 certificate (ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an independently accredited environmental management system).
  • Only use biodegradable inks.
  • Are signed up to a carbon capture/balance scheme backed by the World Land Trust and Woodland Trust, meaning they donate money (at their own cost) to plant new trees and protect existing habitat for every piece of paper they print on.