BaseCamp -Q&As

Updated 14/06/2023

Various questions were put to our HQ Change Team speakers and the County Team. These are summarised below by themes:

General Questions

Safety - Who has/will have responsibility for safety within the new team structures?

A. In Sections the volunteer(s) leading the activity on the day have responsibility for ensuring that appropriate safety measures/ risk assessments and are in place and the rules for the activity are followed including any requirement for a permit holder to be present.

Clarity is provided by the GSL/Lead Volunteer and through Group Scouters meetings, HQ, County and District updates.  If in doubt advice must be sought from the Group’s Lead Volunteer or the District team before the activity goes ahead.

Ultimately, the Local Trustee Board has overall responsibility for ensuring the Group, District or County is compliant with current safety and safeguarding requirements.

Transition dates - why are different Counties given different dates when not all are in the 10 county trial?

A. There are two different dates for full transition. In November 2023, the 10 early adopter counties will have access to the new Digital system that supports Go Live. Cambridgeshire is part of the remaining 90% of Counties that will Go Live in February 2024. Before then, considerable preparation and co-ordination needs to be undertaken by each County and its Districts /Groups, to ensure we’re ready to Go Live in February 2024. Groups will hear more about the actions to be taken from their  District Commissioner and the County Transformation Lead through the summer and Autumn 2023 terms.

Will there be any financial help to change our posters/stationery ?

A. On-brand stationery, posters, flyers etc. can already be designed and downloaded (free) by members using the Brand Centre templates.

Why do this training now when all the answers are “we don’t know until after the trial”? Why not wait? ?

A. Considerable preparation is needed  to ensure we’re ready for the major changes that  go live (in Cambridgeshire) Feb 24. Today is about ensuring that everyone is are aware of the changes and how they form part of the wider picture of change.  Changes have already started for every Group, District & County with  changes from Executives to Trustee Boards from 18 April 2023, with more changes  being phased in during the summer and Autumn 2023 terms. The scale of the changes also means that there would be enough time to provide updates for everyone between November 23 and the end of January 24.

Culture and role titles

Safety - Who has/will have responsibility for safety within the new team structures?

A. Ultimately this will rest with the Trustee Board, however the volunteer(s) leading the activity have responsibility for ensuring that appropriate safety measures/ risk assessments and are in place and the rules for the activity are followed including any requirements for a permit holder to be present.

Is there a change in role title for the Trustee Group?

A. All Executive Committees and their “members” were renamed “Trustee Boards” and “Trustees” respectively by the POR  update of 18 April 2023. There is no change to the role names for “Chairs” and “Treasurers”

New Team structures

What should we do to widen the change information and ensure change happens?

A. Possible questions to be asked, by DCs/CCs etc, when drawing up the revised district/county structures might include: What are you doing now (in terms of tasks)? What would you like to do in the new team/structure?

With so many Groups lacking GSLs, who will manage the Group Leadership team?

A. Where a GSL is not in post the DC becomes GSL (Acting)/Lead Volunteer for the Scout Group or they can appoint someone as GSL (Acting)/Lead Volunteer for the Scout Group as a temporary role for up to six months. 

Does each Section have a Team Leader(s) or is it one per Group?

A. Each Section will have Team Leader(s), Team members and Young Leaders. 

Who is the line manager for those with section-based roles?

A. The Lead Volunteer of the Group will be the line manager for Section-based volunteers within a Group. As all Explorer Scout Units are District Units, regardless of any partnership agreements, the line manager will be the Lead volunteer of the District 14-18 Team (currently the DESC).

Trustee Boards

Trustee Boards-Where do non-governance tasks move to within a Group team, as there is no Support team as for Districts/Counties?

A. They are dealt with in a sub-team of the Leadership team.  Suggestion made that this should be shown on the Group team structure chart.

Trustee Boards-Won't the transfer of responsibilities from Boards to the Leadership team increase the GSLs'/DCs' responsibilities?

A. Lead Volunteers should be focussed on the leadership and management (strategy and directing) not doing the tasks. The Trustee Board’s role is making governance related decisions and its up to the lead volunteer to ask the appropriate questions and ensure there are good answers.

Trustee Boards-Will the Trustee Board be run on team approach rather than have specified roles?

A. Trustee Boards will continue to have a Chair and Treasurer, as now. The role of secretary will be optional.

The Trustee Board is a team of volunteers who work together, as charity Trustees, to make sure the Scouts is run safely and legally. At the heart of their role is a focus on strategy, performance and assurance. (POR

Members of the Trustee Board must act collectively as charity trustees of their charity, and in the best interests of the charity’s members. (POR

Trustee Boards - Can joint Scout & Guide Executive continue, albeit as joint S&G Trustee Boards?

Our village’s joint Scout & Guide Executive has worked well for many years and makes operates as the combined Exec for both the Scout and Guides sides. All Leaders are willing to be on the Trustees. Can this arrangement continue, albeit as a joint Trustee Board.

A. The “governance” related discussions/decisions that relate to “Scouting” on the one hand and “Guiding” on the other need to be separated out, so that the Trustees  are clear when making decisions “Scouting” only matters they have a “Scout Trustee” hat on and are bound by POR. Conversely for “Guiding” matters, as Scouts and Guides are separate charities with different HQ and rules.

Will the restriction on being both a Section Leader and Group Treasurer or both a Group and District Treasurer be changed ?

A. This has already changed; see POR  The individual must be able to recognise and manage any conflicts of interest between current roles.


Welcome conversations

What's the purpose of the welcome conversation, is it for the volunteer to find out about the role?

A. No. It’s for scouting to find out about the volunteer

Is a welcome conversation needed on change of role?

A. Yes. Conversation need to be held, but will be a much shorter one than for the new volunteer as they are already known to Scouting.

How crucial is it to be able to use a computer?

A. There will be some roles where the ability to use a computer will be mandatory as the person will not be able to do the role without this ability.

Can a welcome conversation take place in the Group for a group volunteer?

A. Every welcome conversation takes place locally and is expected to include a representative of the Group/Section where the person will be volunteering and someone independent of the Group concerned but usually an experienced member of the section concerned, perhaps from another Group or from the District team. Details to be confirmed by HQ.

Is a welcome conversation needed when a volunteer moves from one county to another?

For instance, does an individual who has been a leader in (say) Lancashire – when a student – then need to have a full welcome conversation when they come back to (say) Cambridgeshire and apply to volunteer there?

A. Hamish asked DB to note the question and pass to him to get a response from the wider HQ team.

Will the warmer process be different for Explorers/Young Leaders moving to adult roles?

A. No. The Scouts have a clear cut off between youth and adult participation in Scouting and all new adults getting involved need to go through a warm welcome into adult volunteering. Our new welcoming process and systems will make this far easier than it is today. The separate 14 – 24 programme will review ways to streamline this transition further in the future.

Could a Scout Leader appoint a new ASL with GSL/Lead Volunteer approval under the new process?

A. No. Membership system admin rights will manage this. Lead volunteers for the Group (or District for District roles) will manage movement of volunteers between their teams.

Trustees declaration - what checks will be made via the new Membership Management system?

A. Checks will be made against Companies House database etc. to ensure the person is eligible to be a Trustee. Local (manual) checks must also be made as you’re the only person who knows the individual and can get the information.

What record is made/retained regarding the local checks undertaken?

A. The person making the checks is required to confirm an electronic declaration (within the new Membership Management system) that they have made the … checks. The system will have an inbuilt electronic audit trail that shows the name of the person who, for instance, certifies, that  “I …. name…. have made the …. checks and confirm that  X is not disqualified from  being a Trustee” It will also show the date that the certificate is made.

Trustees declaration - should these be given/refreshed each year?

As situations occur leading to a person’s eligibility to be a Trustee do occasionally change between one year and the next, should they be asked to make a fresh declarations each year?

A. Hamish asked that DB noted the question and sent it to him to pass to the wider HQ to consider.

How soon after after expressing an interest does a new volunteer have to have a disclosure obtained through Scouting?

A. Until a disclosure has been obtained through Scouting no individual may either have unsupervised access to young people or take part in any regulated activity. No change to the current process will be made as a result of the introduction of changes to the Volunteer Experience.

Will those undertaking the welcome conversation need to do additional learning?

A. Yes, there will be a new learning module and a list of points which must be covered.

When can Districts stop holding appointment panel meetings?

A. At the point your County/District transitions to the new arrangements. For Cambridgeshire this will be February 2024, although the October POR will contain the  they key changes for the 10 early adopting counties to use from November 2023 and so other counties are aware of them.

The learning teams will need to ensure arrangements are in place for those who are to undertake the welcome conversation to complete the learning between November 23 and February 2024.

Am I correct in thinking that we're not diluting the role of the (former) Appointments Advisory Committee - it's just being done differently?

A. Yes, Usually in much more friendly and welcoming way. It’s likely to be a new set of people  undertaking the conversation to ensure we actually change  our approach. The new Membership system will , for electronic audit trail,  contain a record of the person who noted the conversation on the record and the name of the independent welcomer.


First aid - was it to be part of the mandatory training?

A. First Aid will continue in its current format for the present. No clarity as yet as to future applicable roles.


Can I take all my leaders away for a fun camp and deliver training in a F2F format ?

A. All “core learning” will be digital or workbook only, no facility for F2F delivery (another delegate suggested all have APP open on devices and they can go through it and complete together).  LR added that some “growing” modules would be F2F. Whilst it may be possible to, perhaps, build a camp around those modules – courses would have to be delivered by members of the Volunteer Development team, not by camp members.

What is the time frame going to be for completion of Core learning?

A. Time frame has still to be defined, but likely to be greater than the current 5 months.

Will modules still require validation?

A. Modules will be self assessments built into the digital structure so formal validation will not be required.

Will the role of TA still exist?

A. In the current format, no, but there will still be a requirement for team member support on a local level from the District/County Volunteer Development team.


Will team leaders have access on the new digital platform to oversee team learning progress ?

A. Yes. There will still be a requirement for team leaders to have an oversight of team learning and to support/encourage completion of Core learning within the agreed time frame.

If the time frame is extended, will there be a mandated requirement to complete the safety module first/early?

A1. The was agreement in the room that allowing new team members to be active in sections for 5 months (let alone longer) was a risk. A delegate cited government children services policy where anyone working with children have to complete mandatory safeguarding training BEFORE they commence in role.
A2. This has not been raised as an issue before, but AS could see the logic of it. He agreed to escalate this to the team for consideration.

Trustee learning - if there are any new Charity Commission regulation updates/changes will these be communicated to Trustees?

A. Yes. If there are any changes/updates a bitesize piece of learning will be developed and all on the system with a trusteed role will receive notification and link to new learning.

If Wood Badge is now optional, is there a risk that there will be an overall reduction in the skill set leadership teams will hold?

A1. it is hoped the more accessible, bitesize format for learning will encourage more engagement and proactive learning, such that team members are keen to learn the areas that interest them. Acknowledgement that there will need to be an oversight and some direction from team leaders in order to ensure all key task area learning is covered by at least one member of the team.
A2. A futher Q came off-session regarding this. LR discussed with a small group that the core learning will be more robust and will included elements of some of the existing modules, such that all learners will in fact have an enhanced baseline. Unfortunately, the slide showing this wasn’t displayed.


New Membership Management system: Will it help improve our District's communications which are poor?

A1. Where District comms are not good, it’s really a matter for Districts to work on/improve perhaps via its District Comms  & GSLs’ network.

A2. Action: Hamish & Andrew will take the wider issue of how the new Membership may able to support improved information flows across teams.  14/06: Updated reply from UKHQ: The teams approach will facilitate communication across the District, eg: through teams like the Leadership Team, the Programme Team, the Support Team and the Volunteer Development Team.  As today, data extracts from the membership system will be available to support emailing local volunteers, with the right controls in place to protect personal data.

New Membership Management system: Will Leaders get access to the beta version prior to transition (Feb 2024)?

A. No. Only the ten “early adopter” counties will have access before February 2024 but Cambridgeshire members can be involved via The Scouts‘  Testing Hub

How are you going to accommodate leaders who don't have a personal/scouting email or online service available? Are they still needed?

A. For those people who do not have a personal email address a ‘proxy’ option will be available.

New Membership Management system: Will it replace OnLine Scout Manager ?

A. Not yet but ultimately yes

New Membership Management system: How long will it be for adults only and before Youth data is included?

A. The Scout’s focus and resources are on ensuring that the new Adult Membership Management system replaces Compass by February 2024.  As the first phase of research for a new Youth Membership system has only just completed, further information will be provided by HQ as the work progresses with local volunteers’ input. Meanwhile you may continue to use OSM to support your Section’s programme/progress records.

New Membership Management system: Will applications for new permits and renewals be made through the new system?

A. Yes, these will be all be made online through the new system. Whilst it’s expected that this function will be available in Feb 24, this has still to be confirmed

New Membership Management system: Will personal permits for 12-17 year olds be recorded on the new system?

A. No. There are no changes as to how they are recorded or who can hold a Permit.

Permits applications - can the new system, link to external databases for logged experience?

A. HQ advise: Not directly. However, PDFs and Word documents can be uploaded after download from tools like the Mountain Training system.

Will there be an API for the new Membership system or third-party system support ?

A. HQ advise that they are keen to integrate with other systems where it makes sense and where data security is protected in the exchange. They are starting with a small series of integrations, for example Atlantic data for disclosure checks across much of the UK.  Others can be considered in the future.

Will the search function be improved on

A. HQ advise that they have invested in improving the search function over the two years to June 2023 and results have definitely improved. A key focus on the volunteer experience programme is to ensure that all content is tagged with the right words to enable the search. Search algorithms learn as you go. If the fifth offered search result is the one everyone clicks, then it will soon rise to the top of the list, so the more we use our the search function the better it gets.


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