What to expect and where to start
First of all, a huge thank you for volunteering as a trustee with Scouts or for considering this role.
People like you joining our Trustee Board make sure that we can sustainably deliver a fantastic programme for our young people to develop skills for life - safely, legally, and in line with our charitable purpose.
Use this information as a starting point for understanding the role and to find out what to do first.
If you're joining as a Scouts volunteer for the first time, your local team will help you complete the following steps:
- Get your role created on Compass (the membership database),
- Complete your Disclosure (DBS in England /PVG in Scotland/Access NI in Northern Ireland),
- Sign the trustee declaration
- Support you with your learning for the role
When you become a Trustee you are signing up to the responsibilities of a charity trustee. There are a number of reasons why a person may not legally be allowed to be a trustee and by signing the declaration, you are agreeing that none of these reasons apply to you and that you are wiling to act as a trustee.
Depending on how your details are added to the membership system, the declaration is on the appointment form that you will be asked to complete, or it can be viewed electronically when a member of the local team adds your details to the system.
Read the trustee declaration and agreement
The Trustee Board is a team of volunteers who work together to make sure Scouts is run safely and legally.
Together, Trustees make sure the charity is well managed, risks are assessed and mitigated, buildings and equipment are in good working order, and everyone follows legal requirements and Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR). Their support helps other volunteers run a fantastic programme that gives young people skills for life (and experiences they’ll remember forever).
Read the Trustee Boards role description to find out more about the role and tasks for Trustee Boards.
Everyone on the Trustee Board takes on the responsibilities of a charity trustee; they act collectively and in the interests of the members of Scouts locally.
Here are some things to remember about being a trustee:
1. Maintain confidentiality
2. Use personal skills and experience to help inform discussions
3. Act honestly and reasonably, in the interests of Scouting locally
4. Let people know, if at any point, your involvement might cause a conflict of interest
5. Get external professional, specialist advice when needed
6. Only use the charity's money for the purpose of Scouting locally
7. If staff are employed, act as a responsible employer and ensure clear line management responsibility and communication
Taking on a new role can feel a little daunting and you maybe a little unsure about what to expect at your first meeting. It's likely that there will be other new people at this meeting and so there will be opportunities for introductions and asking plenty of questions if you are not sure.
Check that you have received the agenda and any other paperwork before the meeting and feel free to contribute during the meeting. Take notes of any actions you agree to do and ask for support following the meeting if you have questions or need something explaining.
Take a look at our Trustee Board Meeting agenda Prompts, so that you can see what topics might be discussed.
To support you in your Trustee role, there is some introductory learning to do. It can be completed online and is split into five topics. You can do all five topics at once, or do them one at a time.
It's a good idea to get started as soon as you can, as this will help with your understanding of Scouting, our values and key policies, and your role as a trustee.
Scouts is organised into Groups, Districts and Counties/Areas/Regions and each has a volunteer line manager who has overall authority. At each level there is also a group of volunteer Trustees that form the Trustee Board.
You'll meet other Trustees at your first meeting and find out how they divide the tasks. Knowing who to contact and how best to do this is a great is a great way to start to feel part of the team.
If you haven't already, ask someone in the team to share information about the local Scouts structure, so you can see who does what and where you fit in.
Further information and supportExplore our guidance, webinars and more
Trustee Safety Induction Workshops
Do you know your responsibilities for safety? Do you want to learn more and know where to find support? Join a trustee safety induction session, sign up for a workshop below: