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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

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Trustee Board Meeting Agenda Prompts

Topics to discuss at your regular Trustee Board meetings.

Executive Committees are 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 and the website as we move to our new way of volunteering.

To learn more about what we are doing to improve how we volunteer at Scouts, visit the Volunteer Experience webpages.

Here’s an overview of some of the topics you may need to discuss at your meetings, and suggestions of how often to have these discussions. Depending on your Group’s, District’s, or County’s/Area’s/Region’s (Scotland) size, structure, and needs, you might want to include other topics with different frequencies. The order you approach the topics might vary depending on your local situation.  

Remember, Trustee Boards should focus on governance, while wider teams (including sub-teams, Group Leadership Teams, and District/County Support Teams) focus on support and operational tasks. At Trustee Board meetings, you may talk about the day-to-day running of Scouts, but your focus should be on making sure things are going to plan, the budget is well-managed, and there’s support in place.  

Trustees Boards need to feel confident and be competent when carrying out their responsibilities, especially with safeguarding and safety compliance. To make sure this happens, it’s important that Trustee Boards look for technical help when they need it, such as by networking with other Trustee Boards.

Every meeting

Topics to discuss at every Trustee Board meeting.

Annual budget. How are you following up with your spending? Are you spending what you expect to, based on your annual budget? Are you receiving the income you expected? If not, you might want to discuss actions to resolve this (such as fundraising or changing your planned activities).  

Grants and funds. Are there any grants or funds available you could apply for? Discover grants and funds resources.  

Policies review. Were there any changes on local charity law, POR, or other Scouts policies since your last meeting? If there were, you may need to take actions to make sure you’re compliant with these. 

Safety. Are there any recent updates, incidents, or concerns? Have you completed all risk assessments for the activities taking place? Is all your equipment in good working order? You may also want to review progress against any improvement plans. Find resources on Safety.

Documentation. How is the Group retaining important compliance documents in a secured way that future Trustees and other relevant members can access them? 

Make sure the documents are compliant with data retention requirements. Example documents could include accounts, building servicing and safety records, asbestos, fire and gas records.  

Risk management. Are there any risks that need your attention? You might have some risks with a high severity rating that you’d like to discuss at every meeting. You might also want to discuss any risks that’ve changed since your last meeting. Find out more about Risk Registers.

Monitoring safety. Review all incidents and near misses recorded by the Group in the accident book. Check they’re all being recorded. Do volunteers need information and confidence to carry that out effectively? After reviewing, what remedial actions need to be carried out or supported? 

Succession planning. Do you have enough team members to keep your Sections running effectively and safely? Are they due to finish their term/expectation for being a volunteer? 

Annual plan. Are you on track for your annual plan? Are there any decisions you need to make? You may need updates from your Lead Volunteers, Team Leaders, Youth Leads or sub-teams. If you aren’t on track, you can discuss how to address this and agree on next steps.  

Safeguarding. Are there any recent updates, incidents, or concerns? You may also want to review progress against any improvement plans. Find resources on Safeguarding.

Learning compliance. Are your local volunteers compliant with mandatory learning? What support and resources do you need to offer? Do volunteers have the training they need to operate activities safely, such as specific activity permits or support to gain appropriate experience?  

Disclosures compliance. Are your local volunteers compliant disclosures? What support and resources do you need to offer? 

[Districts only] Progress of Groups in the District. How are your Groups getting on? Do they need further support? You may want an update from your Group Lead Volunteers. 

[Counties only] Progress of Districts in the County. How are your Districts getting on? Do they need any further support? You may want an update from your District Lead Volunteers. 

Every 6 months

These topics may not need to be discussed all together, and could be spread across the year.

Review budget. Make sure spending is prioritised and consider Group growth and safety matters (such as essential servicing, remedial actions, and safe equipment for Sections).

Premises considerations. Are you carrying out your required checks relating to your asbestos or legionella management plans? What remedial works need completing and what’s the desired timescale?

Growth and inclusion. Are you on track for your development plan? You may need updates from your Lead Volunteer and to review the Census data to understand this better. If you aren’t on track, you can discuss how to address this. Find out more about development planning.  

Trustee Board recruitment and skills. Are there any Trustees coming to the end of their term? Are there any skills missing from your Board? If there are, you’ll need to agree a plan to fill those skills gaps with appointed or co-opted Trustees. Discover resources to help you recruit Trustees.       

Saying thank you and celebrating success. When and how can you say thank you and well done to your Trustees, volunteer teams and local community? Discover resources to thank volunteers and read tips on celebrating success

Every year

These topics may not need to be discussed all together, and could be spread across the year.

Annual budget. Based on your expected income and the annual plan, agree the budget for the year, as well as how you’ll keep track of this. Prioritise the regular outgoings you’re aware of, including Census subscription, insurance, and safety compliance.  

Reserves policy. Decide on how much money you’ll keep aside for unexpected costs. NCVO has guidance on how to set a reserves policy.

Policies review. Were there any changes on local charity law or Scouts policies since your last review? Do you need to agree any new policy for your charity? 

Annual accounts and reporting. When do you need your annual accounts and reporting by? Do you need to share it with a Scrutineer, Independent Examiner or Auditor prior to the AGM? Do you need to send a copy to the charity regulator? Find out more about annual accounts and reporting


Preparation for the Annual General meeting. How will you organise the appointments and nominations processes? What documents and reports do you need to prepare for the AGM, and when do you need to share them with the Scout Council? What conversations do you need to have prior to the AGM? Find out more about the AGM.  

Safety. Review the premises audit to cover the majority of compliance and safety needs for the premises (whether owned by or as a tenant). 

Carry out a new or check existing fire risk assessment. What remedial actions need to be carried out, and by whom? 

Insurance. Do you have the right insurance in place? If not, you may want to discuss how you’ll get this in place. Find out more about insurance here. Check whether the additional activities or activity equipment you have need special coverage. 

Risk management. Is your risk register up to date? Are the risks being monitored? Find out more about Risk Registers

Annual plan. What will you deliver over the next year? This includes key events like camps or Census. As part of this plan, you need to make sure you have enough money and volunteers to deliver the plan. It’s best to do this with your annual budget planning. 

Administration of the Board. Does your Board have a general administration plan? Do all Trustees understand what their individual and collective tasks and responsibilities are? Have you agreed who’ll look after records of ownership of property and equipment? Do you need to set up any sub-teams? 

Growth and inclusion. What are your plans to grow Scouts? Is your patch diverse and representative of the local community? Are your plans connected to your District or County/Area/Region (Scotland)? You might want to create a development plan. Find out more about development planning.  

Onboarding new Trustees after AGM. What information do you need to give to your new Trustees? What documents and processes do they need to be aware of or sign? Have they been added to the Board’s communication channels? Have they started the Trustee Introduction training? Discover resources to support new Trustees

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