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A Guide to Trustee Boards for Young People

Can I be a trustee?

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.


This guidance is designed to help young people starting their role on Trustee Boards. It should not be seen as a technical guide, but should point you in the right direction when getting started in the role. Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) of The Scout Association contains the up-to-date rules of the Scouts.

Our Trustee Boards play a vital part in the day to day running of local Scouts. They oversee;

  • the local charity making sure that it continues to carry out the purpose for public benefit,
  • that equipment and money the charity owns is used correctly for the good of the charity, and
  • important decisions are made to make sure the charity continues to run within the rules.

As a young person in the Scouts, it’s important you can be represented and be engaged in decision making at all levels.

Can I be a trustee?

All members of Trustee Boards are charity trustees which hold important legal responsibilities and requirements. You cannot be a member of the Trustee Boards if you are disqualified from being a charity trustee by the Charities Acts.

POR sets out who may not act as a charity trustee. Subject to regulatory waiver provisions this includes anyone who:

  • has an unspent conviction for an offence involving dishonesty or deception; or
  • has unspent convictions for the offences of misconduct in a public office; or
  • has unspent convictions for bribery, or money laundering, or perjury or perverting the course of justice or terrorism; or
  • is found guilty of attempting, aiding or abetting the above offences; or
  • has been found in contempt of court; or
  • is designated under terrorist asset-freezing legislation; or
  • is on the sex offenders’ register; or
  • is currently declared bankrupt (or is subject to bankruptcy restrictions or an interim order or sequestration in Scotland) or has an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) with creditors; or
  • is disqualified from being a company director; or
  • has previously been removed as a trustee from any charity by any charity regulator in the UK (or a court) due to misconduct or mismanagement; or
  • is disqualified from being a trustee by an order of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.

Anybody else can be a charity trustee within the Scouts. All Youth Commissioners are ex-officio members of their local District or County Trustee Board. All District and County Trustee Boards should have at least two young people (18-25 year olds) on them -and one of these could be you.

If you're under 18, you cannot act as a charity trustee. However, you can have a full role in any sub-committee of the Trustee Board.