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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

Applying the Scheme

Applying the Scheme

The Scouts recognises that adults coming into Scouting already have a variety of skills, knowledge and experience which can be applied to their role. They may have gained these skills through their education, employment, life experiences or other voluntary roles within or outside Scouting. They may have been gained through formal or informal learning.

An important aspect of the Adult Training Scheme is the recognition of this prior learning. What is important is that learners can do what they need to carry out their roles, not how they gained these abilities or knowledge. If an adult can demonstrate that they can meet the objectives of a module then it will not be necessary for them to complete further learning for that module. This requires them to show that they can apply the skills that they have gained elsewhere effectively to their role in Scouting. This is checked through the validation process.

An adult may have the skills required for a module but need some help applying them to Scouting, or they may be able to meet most of the module objectives but not all. This may mean them needing to complete some extra learning. This could be achieved in a number of ways including one to one discussion, learning on the job (for example attending meetings), or observation/ shadowing. Some of these adults may still choose to complete full training for the module, but it is important to remember that not everyone will want to do this.

For example, someone who manages a team in their work life may have all the skills needed for the Independent Learning unit; Keeping, Developing and Managing Volunteers, but be unaware of the Adults in Scouting model. In this case the adult may be able to complete the extra learning required through a discussion with their line manager about the Adults in Scouting model and how it applies to their role.

As part of its youth programme, The Scouts operates a Young Leaders’ Scheme. The scheme gives young people in the Explorer Scout section (aged 14-18) the opportunity to act in a leadership role in one of the first three sections. As part of this scheme, Explorer Scouts are required to do some training to support them in their role.

The Young Leaders’ Scheme gives Young Leaders the skills and knowledge to act as part of the section leadership team, and covers subjects such as the quality programme, safeguarding, first aid, practical skills, managing behaviour and leadership skills.

The scheme is built around eleven instruction modules, which can be delivered separately or in various combinations. There are also four missions (projects) which a Young Leader can complete. Other than Module A, the scheme is voluntary, so different Young Leaders may have gained different skills from the scheme.

The learning and experience that an individual has gained from the Young Leaders’ Scheme is recognised under the Adult Training Scheme in the same way as any other prior learning. If an adult has previously been a Young Leader, or indeed a youth member in Scouting, it is likely that they already have a good level of knowledge of Scouting and how it works.

Although the completion of the Young Leaders’ Scheme cannot be used as automatic validation for any module, it should be acknowledged and taken into consideration when agreeing the Personal Learning Plan. When putting together a Personal Learning Plan with a learner who has been a Young Leader it is important to ask them questions which allow them to explain the skills and knowledge they have gained. They will need to validate their modules in the same way as all other learners.

More information on the links between learning gained in the Young Leader’s Scheme and how this can be translated to the Adult Training Scheme can be found in Prior Learning Gained in the Young Leaders' Scheme (FS330094).

Training is any learning activity that helps an individual to gain skills, knowledge or values. The most beneficial training, as far as The Scouts is concerned, is that which helps the adult to fulfil their Scouting role more easily and with increasing success.

It is important that individuals have access to as wide a choice of learning methods as possible. County Training Managers must ensure that at least two delivery methods for each module are available in their County (except Essential Information, Safety, Safeguarding, Trustee Introduction, First Aid and Nights Away). It may be necessary to provide more than two methods to suit the full range of learning styles in the County. Suggested methods for delivering each module are shown on the Module Matrix, and include DVD, elearning, course, small group, one to one, workbook and factsheets. It may sometimes be appropriate to select a number of modules to be run together in a course format.

It's accepted that not every County will be able to offer every method, but it is important that more than one method is offered. It may be that a County agrees to work with a neighbouring County to offer a variety of methods. Training Advisers should be kept up to date about the methods and opportunities available so that they can advise learners.

Learners should work with their Training Adviser when creating the Personal Learning Plan to identify the most appropriate methods for them to use to complete the required modules. The choice will take into account the adult’s personal circumstances, their preferred learning style, additional needs and the opportunities available locally.

Validation is the process of finding out if the learner can put the learning covered by a module into practice in their role in Scouting. All modules required for an appointment must be validated regardless of whether the skills have been gained by previous experience or by planned learning.

Each module has a fixed requirement. There are also usually several validation methods for learners to select from. Validation methods should be simple and effective and should always be something that the learner does as part of their normal role. The focus should be on the learner doing something and this will often be backed up by discussion. Validation should not be seen as an exam – it must be a positive experience in which the learner receives supportive feedback.

There are several methods of validating modules, which are detailed in the Training Adviser’s Guide. Some examples are:

  • a visit to learner to observe them carrying out an activity
  • a written or verbal statement from an observer describing an activity the learner has completed
  • paperwork created for the role; such as programme plans, letters to parents, instructions for
    activities and risk assessments
  • notes from activities or meetings
  • obtaining a qualification, such as a first aid certificate or nights away permit
  • completing a questionnaire
  • discussion with the learner
  • photos of a validation activity
  • videos of a validation activity
  • presentations to adults or young people in Scouting

The learner’s Training Adviser is responsible for ensuring the validation of each module that has been identified in their Personal Learning Plan. The Training Adviser and the learner should agree on the most appropriate validation methods together.

There are two possible areas for grievance:

  • where the learner and the Training Adviser are unable to agree on which modules are required
  • where the learner disagrees with the Training Adviser’s refusal to validate a module

The former is a line management issue and the latter is a training issue.

Disagreement with Training Adviser over required modules

If a learner in the County disagrees with their Training Adviser about the modules necessary for their particular role, the matter is referred to the learner’s line manager. The line manager should seek the advice of the County Training Manager if necessary. If the line manager is unable to resolve the disagreement, it is referred to the District or County Commissioner (as appropriate) whose decision is final.

Disagreement over validation 

If an individual in the County disagrees about whether a module has been successfully validated, the matter must be referred to the County Training Manager. If the County Training Manager cannot resolve the problem (or if the County Training Manager is personally involved), the disagreement is referred to the County Commissioner whose decision is final.

Further guidance on disagreements between adults can be found in Policy, Organisation and Rules, Chapter 15.

What records to keep

Each County will have their own administrative and record keeping systems but there are some elements which will be common to all.

Recording needs

In order to ensure that the training provision in a County meets the needs of learners in that County it's important to record the need for different learning methods, different modules and for Training Advisers. The Personal Learning Plan is the most important tool for recording this information. County Training Managers should ensure that all Personal Learning Plans in the County are collated, and kept updated, as they can then be used to find out how many people require training for a particular module
and what the preferred learning methods are. 

Training teams should also work closely with Appointments Advisory Committees to ensure that they know when new adults are starting the appointment process, and then when they become appointed. This will help the training team plan the provision of Getting Started and the allocation of Training Advisers to new adults as soon as possible.

Recording progress

The progress of learners in the County should also be recorded to ensure that learners are rewarded for their achievements in a timely manner. In particular, learners are entitled to wear the Gilwell woggle, once they complete Getting Started, and should have their Wood Badge presented as soon as possible, after they achieve it.

Recording learners’ progress will also allow County Training Managers to see, for example, how quickly learners are able to progress through the scheme, and if there are any common blockage points.

If a learner’s progress has been effectively recorded then it will be helpful in the future if they change role, or move to another County, in identifying which modules they need to complete.

Once a Personal Learning Plan has been agreed between the learner and Training Adviser it can be entered onto the online membership system Compass. As it is entered the system automatically lets you know which modules are required for the role, then gives the option to add modules for those needing a tailored training package. The system will also alert you of any previous training that the adult has completed which may be relevant to their new Personal Learning Plan. Training Managers are then able to use all this information to plan the training provision in their County, as outlined above.

There are considerable advantages to having member records all held in one place as managers, learners and those involved in training can all have access to the same information at the same time. This enables the learner to easily see what has been achieved, and so feel more in control of their own learning, and their line manager to see what they have achieved and so support and encourage them. It also enables Training Managers to see information on an adult’s role and progress through the
appointment process.