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Safeguarding Procedures for County and District Commissioners (Grey Card)

What happens if…?
An at-a-glance guide to protecting young people

What happens if someone makes an allegation of abuse?

Young people’s welfare is our main concern. All allegations or suspicions of abuse must be referred to the District Commissioner immediately. This applies to all concerns, no matter how insignificant they might seem or where or when they happened. If you receive details of an allegation or suspicion of child abuse, you must follow this guide’s procedures. Some cases will be reported to the County, Area or Regional (Scotland) Commissioner. They must also follow this guide’s procedures.

What action should I take?

As District Commissioner, you should take action as soon as possible (always within 24 hours). You must contact the Safeguarding Team. Do not investigate the matter or question anyone involved. The Safeguarding Team will contact the appropriate authorities who are best placed to take any necessary action.


If you are in any doubt about what to do, contact either the Safeguarding Team (020 8433 7164) or the Support Centre (0845 3001818). The Scout Support Centre has an out-of-hours service for urgent calls.

If a child is at immediate risk of harm you should immediately contact the police by calling 999.

Procedures to follow

1. Take notes

  • Include dates, times, facts and observations.

    • Arrange to collect any notes and reports from the person reporting the allegation.

    • Make sure that the notes include the correct names of all the people involved and details of the allegation.

2. Contact the Safeguarding Team

• Phone 0845 300 1818 or 020 8433 7164. (Both numbers are available 24 hours a day and include an out-of-hours system for urgent calls.)

• When you call, please have details of all the people involved and copies of your notes to hand.

• Agree an action plan with the Safeguarding Team.

• The Safeguarding Team will refer all allegations or suspicions to the appropriate authorities.

3. Contact the County, Area or Regional Commissioner (Scotland):

Phone: ..................................................................................................

• Tell your Commissioner about the issue and the action plan you have agreed with the Safeguarding Team.

• Tell the Northern Ireland Scout Headquarters, Field Commissioner (Wales) or the Scottish Scout Headquarters, as appropriate, about the issue.

4. Follow advice and prepare a confidential file

• Record all notes, conversations and advice you receive. Make sure the person reporting the allegation signs and dates your records.

• Make sure you date, time and sign your notes.

• Take no further action unless the Safeguarding Team advises you to.

The Grey Card

Safeguarding Procedures for County and District Commissioners (Grey Card)

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