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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

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Safeguarding procedures for Commissioners

Safeguarding procedures for District, County, Area, Region (Scotland), Island, Bailiwick, Region and Chief Commissioners.

We’ve changed the process of reporting safeguarding concerns to everyone reporting directly to the UK HQ Safeguarding Team. This makes sure we’re aware of concerns as soon as possible and can put measures in place to minimise risks to children, young people and adults at risk. 

Everyone will be expected to follow the new procedures from 1 January 2024.

The UK HQ Safeguarding team will continue to work with Commissioners and local lead volunteers as part of our joint approach to handling concerns.

Another change is that anyone reporting a concern who has a personal relationship or family connection with those involved needs to step back from the situation and inform the UK HQ Safeguarding Team.

We’ve prepared some FAQs, but any further queries should be directed to the Scout Support Centre at

There will be a new version of the Grey Card available early in 2024 to support Commissioners with the implementation of the new procedures. Here’s some guidance:  

If someone has told you about a concern, you must tell them to report it to the UK HQ Safeguarding Team directly.  

You can support them to report the concern if they need it and give them reassurance that reporting it is the right action to take.  

You’ll also need to contact the UK HQ Safeguarding Team yourself to make sure the report has been made and all relevant information shared. Do not assume this has been done – you must seek assurance.

Everyone has a duty to report concerns. You must follow the instructions on the Yellow Card if you receive details of:

  • A safeguarding or welfare concern
  • Suspicions or an allegation that a child or young person is or could be at risk of harm
  • Contact by statutory agency (for example, the police, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or children’s services) involvement regarding a member
  • A member not acting in line with the Yellow Card or Green Card

All safeguarding concerns must be reported to the UK HQ Safeguarding Team as soon as possible and always within 24 hours. This applies to all concerns, no matter how insignificant they might seem, when they happened and whether they happened inside or outside of Scouts.

If you have a personal friendship or family connection to anyone involved in the safeguarding concern, you must tell the UK HQ Safeguarding Team, then step away from the case.

Use the reporting form to report the concern to the UK HQ Safeguarding Team, including as much information as possible. Telephone numbers for key contacts such as parents are essential; the UK HQ Safeguarding Team don’t have access to these as they’re held locally, not nationally.

Find out when those involved are next attending a Scout meeting or activity.

If you are unable to complete the form online, call +44(0)20 8433 7164 or email

Once reported, the UK HQ Safeguarding Team will refer the report to the relevant authorities if appropriate. 

If the concern has an effect on you or the group, manage this with your line manager, the Group Lead Volunteer or the County Lead Volunteer to make sure anyone affected gets the support they need.

The UK HQ Safeguarding Team will take the necessary action and will liaise with the Lead Volunteer or Volunteer Safeguarding Lead about the concern.

Take no further action, unless the UK HQ Safeguarding Team tell you to.

Ask the UK HQ Safeguarding Team if you’re not sure what to do. They are there to help.

If you are in any doubt about what to do, contact the UK HQ Safeguarding Team on +44(0)20 8433 7164 (open 9am-5pm weekdays). 

In an out-of-hours emergency, contact the UK HQ Safeguarding Team via the Scouts Support Centre on +(0)345 300 1818.

You can also contact the UK HQ Safeguarding Team via email

If you need to contact a media officer out of working hours in an emergency, call +44(0)7977 539 630


Safeguarding reporting form

Please complete as much of this form as possible including essential information before contacting the safeguarding team.

Download the reporting form

The current Grey Card

Safeguarding Procedures for County and District Commissioners (Grey Card)

Download the Grey Card

The Yellow Card

Our code of practice (also known as the Yellow card) sets out guidance for all adults in Scouts.

Read the Yellow Card

More Information

Please contact the Scout Support Centre on 0845 300 1818 or