Responsibilities and commitments of your appointment and our appointments process

All new appointments within scouting involve a number of responsibilities and commitments and everyone taking on a new role will have hopes and expectations. Some of these will be realised and some won't. Therefore, a realistic compromise needs to be worked out and we call this a 'mutual agreement'.

The success and quality of the partnership between our new adults and scouting will ultimately depend on how open it is. From the outset, the mutual agreement needs to explain what we expect from you and what you expect from scouting. We also need to be clear about what help and support scouting can provide you in your role.

This volunteer agreement is a step towards this and covers the overarching aspects of volunteering with scouting within South London but you need to discuss more local matters with your line manager. A good mutual agreement consists of:

  • a description of the role you have agreed to undertake
  • the specific tasks involved and the time we expect them to take
  • details of the support required and expected
  • an agreed date when we will review the agreement
  • an understanding that you, as a new person to scouting, accept the fundamentals of scouting and this volunteer agreement
  • what we hope to offer.

Our adult appointment process

All adults wishing to hold an adult appointment in scouting must complete the association’s adult information form and will start their journey through our appointments process. There are four stages to the adult appointment process, these are:

  • Application: where a line manager agrees to support an adult applying for an appointment
  • Approval: where independent checking, (the successful outcome of the disclosure and barring service (DBS) criminal record check and (where appropriate) two references), concludes that the person is suitable for an appointment
  • Appointment: welcome meeting with the district appointments panel and the completion of the relevant ‘getting started’ training modules
  • Induction: where the line manager ensures that the adult receives a welcome and induction in scouting

All adults, no matter what their role, go through the stages of the appointment process and will be provided with information on the key policies of the Association and the training obligations of the role they are applying for.

It is the policy of The Scout Association to check all adult volunteers to ensure that: only adults appropriate for a role are permitted to undertake responsibilities in scouting; and that regular reviews are undertaken of adult volunteers to ensure their continued suitability.

The Scout Association does not accept DBS criminal record checks from other organisations. This is because the nature of the information that may be disclosed on a scout DBS criminal record check may differ from that provided to another organisation.

Our checks are an important part of the process in order to safeguard our young people, as well as giving assurance to parents and the general public. New volunteers (members or non-members) must not attend any organised residential events until their DBS disclosure has been successful.

We seek to be open and accessible to all. A lack of experience or a criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent an individual from volunteering. This will, however, depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background of their offences.

Occasional helpers

Adults who are volunteering some of their time with scouting on an ‘occasional basis’s’ in ‘regulated activity’, (as define by the UK Government as: on 4 or more days in a 30-day period, or overnight), or may have unsupervised access to young people, or will be involved with the handling or management of money but are not an adult member of the association are required to complete an enhanced DBS record check through The Scout Association.

Repeat Disclosure and Barring Service checks

DBS record checks provide a snapshot in time and have limited validity. In the association a DBS record check is valid for up to five years. So, all adult members must complete a repeat check at least in five year intervals.

We will contact you regarding your DBS renewal a few months before it is due. New DBS checks may also be required in certain circumstances (e.g. following a suspension or on the request of a commissioner or UKHQ).

A further criminal record check is not necessary if an individual moves from one appointment to another within England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, provided there is a valid check for the initial appointment, and the individual has had no break in service.

The Vetting Policy

It is the policy of The Scout Association to check all adult volunteers to ensure that: only adults appropriate for a role are permitted to undertake responsibilities in Scouting; and that regular reviews are undertaken of adult volunteers to ensure their continued suitability.

Accordingly, The Scout Association is committed to:

  • following a defined process for appointing adult volunteers that establishes the applicant’s suitability taking into account the fundamentals of scouting; the child protection (safeguarding), policy, anti- bullying policy, safety policy and the equal opportunities policy
  • refusing offers from applicants that are found to be unsuitable
  • putting in place robust vetting arrangements and ensuring that these arrangements are made clear to applicants and to the public
  • taking into account relevant information from The Scout Association’s records, police forces, relevant statutory authorities, personal references and other credible sources.

As part of the vetting arrangements, The Scout Association will undertake a personal enquiry which involves a check made against records at UK Headquarters for all adult volunteers and for certain roles a criminal record disclosure check. For foreign nationals or british overseas territory citizens operating abroad in british scouting overseas and overseas branches, checks must be made according to arrangements authorised by the head of safeguarding at UK Headquarters.