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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

Lesson 1: Understand the Safety Policy and your responsibilities for keeping young people and adults in Scouts safe

Lesson 1: Understand the Safety Policy and your responsibilities for keeping young people and adults in Scouts safe

Executive Committees are now known as Trustee Boards. This came into effect for members in Scotland in July 2023, and all others from April 2023. 'Executive Committee' and associated wording will still be visible on Compass, in eLearning and the website as we adopt this and other changes to how we volunteer. 

In this workbook Executive Committee can also be read as Trustee Board.  

Scouts delivers everyday adventure skills for life for young people aged 4–25 and volunteers, in the UK and internationally. 

A sense of adventure lies at the heart of our movement and doing things safely is fundamental to everything we do. Knowing about the Safety Policy is a crucial part of keeping Scouts safe, and there are lots of tools and resources to support you with this. This training will help you to understand your responsibilities and where to get support. Over half of all incidents reported to UK headquarters are from activities in or outside the meeting place, not from adventurous activities. People being used to their surroundings can lead to them not identifying hazards and risks. 

Please read the Safety Policy. Here’s a summary of the responsibilities within the Policy.  

Everyone involved in the Scouts must, so far as is reasonably practicable (taken from the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) and to the extent of their role, ability and understanding do the following: 

Properly assess the risk of every activity undertaken in the Scouts. This assessment should be suitable for the activity being undertaken, it must be communicated to all those involved, and it needs to be documented.

The leader in charge makes sure that the activity’s run safely. The leader in charge can change depending on the activity.

People are provided with clear instructions and information in relation to supervising young people, running activities and managing buildings

Make sure where you meet is safe and the equipment you use is stored, used and maintained properly.

Don’t leave them on the shelf. Review them to make sure they’re still relevant and make changes when you need to.

As an adult in our movement, you’re responsible for making sure we deliver Scouts in as safe a way as possible, so never be afraid to change or stop an activity. Make sure you explain this to everyone and include the reasons why.

Know what to do in an emergency and make sure others are also aware, including young people.

You have a duty to record and report incidents. Don’t worry, though – there’s a step-by-step guide in the Purple Card to help you do this

When you complete the assessment at the end of this workbook, you will need to confirm you have read and understood your responsibilities within the Safety Policy. 

If you don’t understand your responsibilities, speak to your line manager or District Commissioner for advice and support. If you don’t know who this is, contact the Support Centre. You can then re-visit this training.

The Purple Card

The Purple Card provides guidance on what to do in an emergency. You’ll find out more about this later in this training.

You can download the Purple Card and safety checklists from the website, order a free copy of the Purple Card from Scouts Store or ask your line manager.

Get a copy of the Safety checklist for Leaders below. 

Other useful resources

There are some handy safety checklists available to help everyone fulfil their roles and responsibilities in keeping everyone safe. There are three different checklists, each to support a specific role: LeadersManagers, and Executive Committees. You’ll have learned more about these roles in Essential Information (module 1).

Choose the card most appropriate to your role and review it fully.

Download the PDF

The Safety workbook is available download and print.

Download the Safety workbook