Everything you need to deliver a welcoming and effective Appointments Panel meeting
This guidance is for Appointment Panel members, to help prepare for the appointments meeting. Take a look at:
- Guidance on the purpose of the Appointments Panel and how to carry this out
- Our conversation guide to help you include everything you need to, every time
- A webinar from Reunion 2020, exploring how to modernise Appointments Panel meetings
- Resources to help you invite volunteers to Appointment Panel meetings quickly and easily, with template text and links to the key documents they and you will need
- Welcome the new volunteer to the Scouts.
- Ensure that new volunteers are aware and accept the values, policies and promise of the Scouts.
- Support volunteers to understand the requirements of their role.
- Check that the new volunteer knows where to go for support and who to ask if they need some help.
- It is really important to put yourselves in the shoes of the new volunteer and consider, where they are likely to feel the most comfortable; after all we are welcoming them into our organisation and first impressions count!
- The meeting could be held online or in person, at the place where the volunteer will be volunteering.
- If the meeting will be in person, things to consider about the venue are; whether it is inclusive for people with religious/cultural requirements, if it feels safe (particularly if people are leaving alone, after dark) and how accessible it is by public transport and for those with a disability.
- Three members of the Appointments Advisory Committee should form an Appointments Panel, who will meet with the volunteer.
- There can be more than one appointments panel meeting, at the same time, in more than one location, including online.
- Appointments Panel members, should reflect the diversity of the local population, so that new volunteers can relate in some way, to at least, one person on the Appointments Panel; this will go a long way to helping them get the best welcome and experience.
- Having someone aged 18-25 on the Appointments Panel and someone who is new to volunteering with the Scouts, would be beneficial.
- The volunteer needs to be added to Compass before attending the Appointments Panel.
- The volunteer does not need to have completed their training, received their disclosure check or have references completed, before they attend the Appointments meeting.
- The Appointments Secretary will send an invite to the volunteer.
- The invite should include the following documents in a print or digital format:
- The volunteer does not need to complete their training, received their disclosure check or have references completed, before they attend the Appointments meeting.
- It is important to allow time for the Appointments Panel to meet beforehand to:
- check everyone understands the purpose of the conversation,
- review the list of new volunteers that the Panel will see and know what roles they will be doing
- recap what the next steps in the appointment process are, for the new volunteer and
- recap what the Appointments Panel needs to do following the conversation.
- Have available the values, key polices, promises, ‘Young People First’ (Yellow Card) and how to access Getting Started Training
- Be positive, smile a lot, avoid assumptions and do everything you can, to help put the new volunteer at ease. The conversation should feel informal, welcoming and not like an interview. Take the lead from their responses and do not ask questions, if you feel they have already been answered.
- The volunteer line manager may have agreed to adapt the role to allow for, opportunities for experience, gaining qualifications, greater flexibility to accommodate for work and family commitments, which may benefit both them and the Scouts.
- If you feel that the new volunteer does not understand the requirements of their role and/or that additional training or support will be needed (beyond what is provided) this is not a reason to recommend that they are not appointed. Instead suggest that they speak with their volunteer line manager to discuss this further; you may need to remind them of who that person is and how to contact them. Flag this with the Appointments Secretary, when you make the recommendation, who will ask the volunteer line manager (GSL/DC/CC) to contact the new volunteer for a further discussion about the role.
- Training is something most volunteers want and expect, so talk about it positively.
- It is important that you feel confident that new volunteer is aware and accepts the Scouts values and key policies and is willing to make the promise (role depending). This does not mean they need to be able to recall each of the policies, promise and values, but they need to know where to find them and confirm they are happy to accept them. Reassure them that these topics will be revisited during their online training.
- Inform the new volunteer, if there is anything that needs further discussion with the volunteer line manager.
- Remember to thank them for their time and everything they have done so far to get started as a Scouts volunteer
Inform the Appointments Secretary of the Appointment Panel’s recommendation, including any additional training or support that may have been identified.
If the recommendation is to not appoint the volunteer, then further discussions might be needed between the Appointments Chair, members of the Appointments Panel and then the approving Commissioner.
- Once agreed the Appointments Secretary will pass the recommendation and any other related information to the approving Commissioner.
- Make sure the outcome is communicated to the new volunteer and to the volunteer line manager. Include information about any training or specific support that the new volunteer might need, which would not be covered by the standard training scheme or support provided.
Helpful resources for the volunteer
Here is some information you may like to share with the volunteer so they know what to expect.
Dear <insert name of volunteer>
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with <insert name of Group/District or County>. As part of our induction and welcome process, we would like to invite you to meet our Appointments Panel.
Your allocated time will be at <insert time, duration and date>. Please confirm if this is convenient or let us know if you cannot attend ASAP so we can reallocate the time slot to another new volunteer.
Join Zoom Meeting
<insert link to join zoom meeting>
Meeting ID: <insert meeting ID details>
Passcode: <insert passcode details>
The link should take you into a waiting room, please enter the passcode. You may need to wait to be admitted; this should not be long. If you have problems or can’t make it on the night then please <text or call> me on <insert contact details>.
Please try to join us two or three minutes before the time given.
The meeting is a welcome to Scouting and we will be chatting to you about the following:
If you have not been given this information yet, you can use the links above. If you have any questions before the meeting about please get in touch with your line manager.
We look forward to meeting you
Who will I meet at the Appointment meeting?
You will meet with three people that volunteer as part of the District/County/Area teams, who make up the the Appointments Panel.
How long is the Appointment meeting?
As a guide, it would be a good idea, to allow 30 minutes for the meeting.
What is the meeting about?
The meeting is an opportunity for Scouts to welcome and thank you for expressing an interest in volunteering with the organisation and to discuss with you, what your volunteering will involve.
There will be an opportunity for you to share what you are hoping to get out of your volunteering, for you to ask any questions and to check that you know where to access support.
Do I need to prepare anything for the meeting?
It would be useful to take a look at the following information,
Don't worry, if you don't get chance, it will be discussed with you, during the meeting.
Where will the appointment meeting be held?
The location of the meeting will be shared with you through your invitation email and will most likely take place, either online, or at the place where you usually volunteer or at another agreed location.
What happens after the meeting?
The volunteers on the Appointments Panel will explain to you, what the next steps are. They will provide you with guidance on the training you will need to complete and support you with completing your disclosure check (DBS, PVG, or AccessNI) if this has not already been done.
They will also pass on their recommendation, about your appointment to the relevant commissioner and you and your line manager will be notified of the outcome.
To complete the appointment process you need to have done the following:
- DBS Check
- Commissioner Approval (follows the Appointment meeting)
- Getting Started (initial training)
Appointment Advisory Committees
The Appointments Advisory Committee’s main function is to assist with the process of appointing and welcoming volunteers into the Scouts by advising on their suitability.
It's important to remember that the committee is not a ‘rubber-stamping’ body. It must carry out its responsibilities with integrity and with the welfare of the Movement and its Members in mind. On the one hand, it has an important role in ensuring those who are unsuitable to work with young people or look after funds do not have access to either. On the other, it should not be a barrier to those who are genuinely interested in and suitable for taking on a role.
Ultimately, the Appointments Advisory Committee exists to support the relevant commissioner, who has overall responsibility for Scouting in their locality.
Find out more about Module 37, which is the course that volunteers, who are members of the Appointments Advisory Committee, will need to complete as part of their training.
The AAC is responsible for the following:
- Appointment Panels: welcoming new volunteers. This includes introducing their role, values, policies and promise; and making sure they know where to go for support and who to ask if they need some help.
- Appointment Reviews: making sure the Appointment Review process is working well across the District or County.
- Suspensions: supporting the Commissioner in dealing with the consequences of this process, specifically supporting and advising on whether to lift the suspension and reinstate the person.
- Complaints: support the manager by considering the findings of an investigation, if necessary.
- Cancellations: To support and advise the relevant Commissioner, if necessary. They also make sure cancellations and suspension are recorded on Compass correctly
- Appointments Chair: The Appointments Chair leads the Appointments Advisory Committee, they must not be the Chair of the relevant Executive Committee.
- Appointments Secretary: The Secretary ensures that the required administration is carried out for the Appointments Advisory Committee.
- Appointments Members: Appointment Members are a pool of people that can join Appointment Panels when needed.
The Appointments Advisory Committee is appointed by the Executive Committee. All AAC members must be over 18 years old and have successfully completed a Personal Enquiry.
It is best practice to have a wide range of skills and attributes so bear this in mind when building the committee. As a youth shaped organisation we also want to make sure young people’s views are considered when making decisions. Appointments Advisory Committee's should have at least two young people between the age of 18 and 25 years old.
Appointments Advisory Committees can be shared across locations so long as each Executive Committee:
- agrees and records the decision by resolution,
- agrees the appointment of the Appointments Chair and the other members,
- has an Appointments Secretary to carry out the role on their behalf (an individual may act as Appointments Secretary for more than one Executive Committee if agreed by all),
- the Appointments Chair is not the Chair of any Executive Committee on whose behalf the Appointments Advisory Committee acts.
Districts and Counties/Areas/Regions (Scotland) may have more than one Appointments Advisory Committee so long as each one:
- is appointed by the relevant Executive Committee
- has a clearly defined responsibility for appointments (for example, by geographical area or type of appointment) which must be recorded by resolution of the relevant Executive Committee.
There's lots to include in an Appointments Panel meeting - our guide is here to help with prompts covering the questions to ask and information to share to make sure you've covered all the ground you need toFollow the guide
Modernising your approach
This webinar from Reunion in 2020 discusses how you can modernise your approach to appointment panelsWatch the webinar