Adult Appointment Process

Before any adult appointment in scouting can be confirmed we must be satisfied that the person taking on the role is a ‘fit and proper’ person’ to work with children and young people. To help us do this we have a simple appointments process which is made up of three stages, these are:

Stage one: Application

During this stage you will begin your new role in Scouting. Please remember that if you are working with our young people, you can start to get involved immediately but only in a supervised capacity for now, as it is the policy of The Scout Association that unsupervised access to young people is not permitted until a clear Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) certificate has been received.

Which criminal convictions or disciplinary proceedings disqualify me from taking on a role in scouting?

All convictions, including those that are spent will show on a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Some criminal convictions, disciplinary proceedings or behaviour may disqualify adults from certain roles in Scouting, specifically any convictions or disciplinary proceedings which involve the harming of children, young people or vulnerable adults in any way. For more information please contact the Records Department at UKHQ on 0845 300 1818.

Stage two: Approval

Approval Group A

Leaders and Manager
(All appointments except Executive Committee Members, Administrators and Scout Active Support Members)

Once we have received your cleared DBS check and references we will invite you to a short welcome meeting. The purpose of these meetings is for the other volunteers you meet can satisfy the district that all adults applying for a role in scouting are suitable for the appointment.

After the meeting the ‘small panel’ will make its recommendation (normally that evening), regarding their decision to grant your adult appointment. Soon after you will receive notification of the panel’s decision; you will also receive a certificate of provisional appointment.

Approval Group B

Executive Committee Members, Administrators and Scout Active Support Members

For Executive Committee members:
Your Scout Council (normally at the Annual General Meeting), will approve your election or nomination.

For co-opted members of Executive Committees or Administrators:
Your Executive Committee will approve your appointment.

For Members of Scout Active Support:
Your Scout Active Support Manager will approve your appointment.

A list of the adult appointments that do and do not need to attend a meeting with the appropriate appointments panel can be found in appointments process section of the current edition of The Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association which can be found at:

Getting started in scouting – agreeing your role

Now that you’ve said ‘YES’

Most people will be asking themselves all sorts of questions. For example:

“What have I let myself in for?”
“Have I got any useful skills?”
“Will I get the hang of it?”
“Can I ever be as capable as the other adults?”
“What needs to be my first step?”

Don’t worry, such questions are quite normal, but they do suggest that, like the rest of us, you need support. Whether you are going to be working with young people, leading other adults or supporting a Scout Group in another capacity, we cannot expect you to be able to get started on your own.

The first few weeks are challenging whenever we tackle something new. It is this period when we are finding our feet and when plans for the future are laid. It is clearly a very important time and deserves time and effort. The key elements are:

  • discussing your new scouting role
  • identifying the support you need
  • making plans to get that support
  • having a go at the role

Who needs to be involved?

This will depend on the role that you are to undertake. There are, however, some basic rules. You need to have someone who will act as the focus for your help and support. They need to have sufficient experience to be able to do the job but they will also need to be:

  • friendly and supportive
  • prepared to make time for this important task
  • accessible and acceptable to YOU

Discuss your new role in detail

There is only one way to do this. It involves a face to face discussion, usually with the person who recruited you.

Together you can discuss the information, introductions and personal support that you will need to get started. There are lots of roles in Scouting as a starting point we have generic role descriptions for many role and can be found by click the relevant level below:

Executive committee roles
Group roles
District roles
County roles
Scout Active Support roles

You can make some simple plans to make sure you get this help. Remember that at this stage the plans should cover the early weeks, perhaps the first two months. At intervals, together you can take stock and see how things are going. You can modify the plans if necessary and introduce more of your ideas as you get more involved.

Identifying the support you need

When starting something new we all need support. Experience tells us that at the start, support probably comes under the following headings:

  • information to help you understand Scouting
  • meeting other people
  • contributing existing knowledge, skills and experience
  • learning and using practical skills
  • personal support and encouragement

When you have discussed and listed the needs for each area, your supporter will then be in a position to help you make some plans.

Making plans to get support

The lists of needs that have evolved during your discussions now need to be turned into a support plan. Against each need detail?

  • how each need will be met the METHOD
  • what is to happen the ACTION
  • who will do it by WHOM
  • when it will happen by WHEN

Although it seems a little formal at first, making plans in this way is a very effective and reassuring way of planning support. It makes sure that both of you and others involved know what is needed, how support is to be provided, by whom and by when. It avoids confusion and allows you have say in your own progress.

Try to prioritise the items on the support plan so that initially you concentrate on the things that are most important. Both you and your supporter should share the responsibility for taking action. If all of the responsibility is placed on one person, that person can get overloaded while the other gets frustrated by the lack of progress.

The plan can be used to meet and get support from different people in Scouting. This will help you to make friends with new people and feel that you belong. It also helps share the load of providing the support. But remember Scouting has a responsibility to support you if you are to help Scouting.

Making and carrying out the support plan is only part of the process. Getting together with your supporter to review how things have gone is just as important.

Get stuck in

Nothing boosts people’s confidence more than achieving something. This is particularly true for new adults in Scouting. They establish credibility with their colleagues, the young people and/or other adults and most importantly with themselves.

It makes sense to find something with which you are familiar and, if possible, is something fresh and new to those who you are working with. Running a game that you are familiar with but which is new to the section you are working in may be ideal. You will have the confidence of knowing the game and the members or the section would have something fresh and will not compare you with whoever usually does that game.

Basing an activity around a hobby or interest is another useful way to get started; such as collecting, modelling, cooking or fishing. If you are a newcomer who will be involve in Scouting in another way, working with a more experienced person on a bigger project may also work. This is often a good way of getting involved if you are very unsure.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls