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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

Managing volunteers with overdue training

Information for Commissioners

Watch the below video overview on managing volunteers with overdue training

To watch in full screen, double click the video

Supporting volunteers to complete their training

Most of mandatory training can be done online. Safety, Safeguarding, GDPR and Essential Information modules only take around 20-30 minutes each.

There are many ways line managers and Commissioners can work together to support a volunteer. An example might be to ask another volunteer to be there or provide additional support whilst the volunteer completes their training, particularly if they need help accessing the training online. 

There is guidance for having conversations about overdue training with suggested actions you can propose to help volunteers complete their training, and tools such as mutually agreed restrictions to help ensure suspension or cancellation of role or membership is a last resort.   

Options for Commissioners when training remains overdue 

In most cases, volunteers will complete or renew the training requirements for their role before the deadline or after a reminder. However, where volunteers continue to have overdue training, there are a number of options for Commissioners: 

You may wish to suspend a volunteer’s role for a set period while they complete their overdue training. By suspending the role, the volunteer should not take part in any Scouting activities until the ongoing learning has been completed and the suspension process has been completed. Before suspending the volunteer, you must communicate with them directly (and any line managers they report into, if applicable) to explain the reasons for the suspension. We’ve created a template email which you could use to explain the suspension.

Following the suspension period, you’re required to decide the outcome which includes reinstating, modifying or revoking the role. If they complete the learning during this period, you should reinstate their role first and then validate their learning on Compass.

Read our guidance for the suspension process

If a volunteer hasn't completed or renewed their training within the given timescales or after having a restriction or suspension applied, then it will be necessary for you to cancel the volunteer's role or membership.

Read POR Chapter 16.5: End a role for detail on when this is appropriate.

You may also retire a role if the volunteer is no longer able (for any reason) to continue their active service but wishes to retain an attachment to the movement. The retired member role should never be used for anyone who has any trustee responsibilities or responsibilities for young people, and should never be used as an alternative for suspending a volunteer. There are a number of conditions a volunteer must meet if their role is to be retired.

Read more about the conditions and the retired member role.



Some volunteers might be going through a difficult time, and that could be stopping them from completing their training. County/ Area/ Region (Scotland) Commissioners can temporarily exempt volunteers from suspension if there is a justified reason why training hasn’t been completed, such as medical or personal reasons and if the volunteer is not carrying out their role(s).

County/ Area/ Region (Scotland) Commissioners should evaluate exemptions case by case, decide on the length of the exemption period (preferably no longer than six months) and notify UK headquarters of the request through the Mandatory Training Exemption Form.

Independent learning workbooks

Workbooks may be used to support volunteers who, for accessibility reasons, cannot complete training using the eLearning.

Discover workbooks

Additional accessibility guidance

Additional guidance is available to support Training Managers and Training Advisers when volunteers are unable to complete eLearning. 

Read accessibility guidance for Training Managers