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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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Guidance for applicants

Guidance for applicants

There is no compulsory training scheme that you need to complete before going forward for an assessment and no requirement to hold any other qualification such as a National Governing Body (NGB) qualification. It is important to prove that you have the skills during the assessment, not where you got them from. There are a number of places that you can find training and support. 

We always recommend training courses accredited by NGBs as the best places to learn skills. Alternatively, there are a number of Scout Counties, Districts and teams that provide activity training and opportunities to gain experience in an open format. 

Each County also has a local support structure for Activities led by the programme team, this is a useful group to contact initially who can then put you in contact with specialists who can assist. 

To get a permit you should apply directly through the membership system which will help you find an assessor. There are a number of ways that you can find an assessor, more details on which are detailed below.  

Although there is no requirement to get approval from anyone in applying for a permit, it is good practice to let your GSL / team leader or Commissioner / lead volunteer  know of your intentions beforehand. They can often provide valuable guidance and support. 

Once you have been assessed by the assessor, they will fill in a recommendation for the level of permit they believe your skills and experience are capable of fulfilling. This is not yet a permit. This recommendation is put into the membership system and then goes to the Commissioner / Lead Volunteer or permit approver who will do the other checks before granting you your permit. When your permit is granted, your permit will be recorded in the membership system. Any restrictions to your permit should be explained to you so you understand what you can and can't do with it, these will be visible on the permit within the membership system.  

During your technical competence assessment, you will be assessed for your technical skills, knowledge and experience relevant to the activity. This is likely to be through a practical assessment, but can also make use of looking at other qualifications held (e.g. NGB awards or previous permits), logged experience and talking through questions and scenarios.  

Assessment is not supposed to trick you or catch you out, it is to assess your level of technical competence. Full details of the syllabus you will be assessed against can be found in the appropriate assessment checklist. If you are unsure about anything to do with the assessment or how it will be run, please talk to your assessor beforehand. 

If the assessor or Commissioner / permit approver recommends or applies restrictions on your permit, they should let you know why this is. They should also be able to tell you what further experience or skills you require to gain a permit with fewer restrictions.  

Not everyone has the skills or experience to hold a permit, the assessor's role is to identify if you can deliver the activity safely and to the standards within the assessment checklist. Your Commissioner / permit approver or lead volunteer may consider you unsuitable to lead adventurous activities. 

Once you have gained your permit you can use it to run the activity it is for up to the level permitted by any restrictions placed on it. POR requires all activities to have the approval of your Commissioner / Lead Volunteer and that they are operated within the rules of POR and relevant activity guidance.  

Although there is no requirement to hold a first aid qualification to gain or use an activity permit, you are required to have a first aid holder present at every activity to the level laid down in POR. If you are in a role which requires first aid training, and this expires you can be suspended, and your permits cannot be used at this time.  

Permits last for a maximum of five years at which point they expire. The expiry date can be found on your permit record. If you have not applied for and been granted a new permit before the expiry date on your permit, then you will no longer be able to lead the activity once the expiry date has passed. 

To get a new permit once / before your current permit has expired you need to go through the same process as gaining your first permit. You will apply, an assessor will assess you and provide a recommendation, a Commissioner / permit approver will complete the remaining checks and grant the permit. The assessment by the assessor may use different methods to confirm your competence as you will have held a permit for a number of years and have more logged experience from this time that can be used as evidence. 

It is perfectly feasible that under 18’s can gain an activity permit if they have the right experience and skills in the activity. 

If you're under 18 and would like to gain a permit for an activity you’re experienced in, we would recommend approaching your Section Leadership Team to help put you in touch with an assessor and support you through the application process. The application process is the same as it is for adults, with the exception that you do not need to complete the safety and safeguarding elements. When you turn 18 any permits you have will automatically expire until you complete your safety and safeguarding requirements after which you can get a new permit as an adult. 

If you have a personal permit for an activity this will expire when you turn 18. You will have to apply for a new leadership or supervisory permit if you wish to lead that activity. If you hold a leadership or supervisory permit it is important to remember that although you can lead an activity, you must have the correct adult leaders in place for the activity to run.