background image





Our volunteer agreemen


what you can expect from us

and what w

e expect from y


background image






Why you need to read this… 


The purpose of Scouting 


Scouting’s values 


The Scout method 


The Scout Promise & Scout Law 


South London Scouts 


So who is a volunteer? 


Adults in Scouting 


Definitions of Adult Membership 


Responsibilities and commitments of your appointment 


Our adult appointment process 


Repeat Disclosure and Barring Service checks 


Our commitment to diversity 




Child protection 


Data protection 


UKHQ membership database – Compass 


Personal expenses 




Volunteer expectations 


Volunteer responsibilities 



Induction and training obligations of your appointment 






Responsible smoking 



Alcohol in Scouting 



Blogging and social networking 



E-mails and text messaging 



Filming and rights in works created by you 



Concerns about Scouting 



Conflicts of interest 



Review process 



Suspension of adult membership and Associated Membership 



Termination of adult membership and Associated Membership 






Exit interviews 



Your role 



A final note 



Adult code of conduct 



Some dos and don’ts for volunteers 



Our vision 



Our commitment and responsibilities  



Policy history  



background image



Why you need to read this…  

Adult volunteers are crucial to the success of Scouting 
across South London as without volunteers Scouting 
simply wouldn’t exist. With this in mind we realise it is 
important for us all to know what we can expect of each 
The purpose of this volunteer agreement is to ensure that 
you know and understand the policies, processes and best 
practices of The Scout Association. Please take some time 
to read this intentionally detailed booklet which pulls 
together important information from various sources to 
provide you with the information you need to know as a 
volunteer in Scouting.  
If there is anything you do not understand or require 
further clarification on, please speak to your volunteer line 
manager or visit


This agreement is best used in conjunction with the Policies, Organisation and Rules of The 
Scout Association (referred to as POR), available to download from



The purpose of Scouting 

Scouting exists to actively engage and support young people in their personal development, 
empowering them to make a positive contribution to society. 


Scouting’s values 

As Scouts we are guided by these values: 



We act with integrity; we are honest, trustworthy and loyal. 


We have self-respect and respect for others. 


We support others and take care of the world in which we live. 


We explore our faiths, beliefs and attitudes. 


We make a positive difference; we cooperate with others and make friends. 


The Scout method 

Scouting takes place when young people, in partnership with adults, work together based on 
the values of Scouting and: 



enjoy what they are doing and have fun, 


take part in activities indoors and outdoors, 


learn by doing, 


share in spiritual reflection, 


take responsibility and make choices, 


undertake new and challenging activities, 


make and live by their Promise. 




background image



The Scout Promise & Scout Law 

Scouting has a simple and positive Promise that all Members are required to make. The 
Promise, together with the Scout Law, gives a distinctive ethos to the practices of the 
Movement and acts as a bond with Scouts in other countries.  


Everyone in Scouting expresses their Membership and acceptance of the values of Scouting 
by taking the Scout Promise and following the Scout Law. Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts 
have their own version of the Promise and Law, which is relevant for their age. 
The Promise is something that we do and the way in which we live our lives. It is not 
something that we just say on occasions. It is important that the words of the Promise and 
the Law mean something to the people making them. The words in the Promise and Law 
might therefore change over time. This is to ensure that today’s Members understand them 
and that they cater for diverse backgrounds and cultures. 


The Scout Promise 
(for Scouts, Explorer Scouts, the Scout Network and adults) 


On my honour, 
I promise that I will do my best 
to do my duty to God and to The Queen, 
to help other people 
and to keep the Scout Law. 



The Scout Law 
1.  A Scout is to be trusted. 
2.  A Scout is loyal. 
3.  A Scout is friendly and considerate. 
4.  A Scout belongs to the world-wide family of Scouts 
5.  A Scout has courage in all difficulties. 
6.  A Scout makes good use of time and is careful  
     of possessions and property. 
7.  A Scout has self-respect and respect for others. 


Scouting is open to people of all faiths and of none and we therefore take in to account the 
different religious obligations of our Members while upholding the essential spirit of the 


Further details of the alternative wording of the Promise that young people and adults may 
wish to use to best reflect their own beliefs can be found in the current edition of the Policy, 
Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association.  


South London Scouts  

Greater London South County Scout Council, known as South London Scouts, 

is an 

unincorporated association (registered charity no. 303883) constituted in accordance with the 
rules of The Scout Association. It exists to provide leadership, advice and support for its Scout 
Districts and Scout Groups (autonomous charities within the provisions of the same rules), in 
the area covered by the London Boroughs of Royal Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, 
Lambeth and Wandsworth. 


South London Scouts engages over 1,500 volunteers who carry out a variety of roles at 
County, District and Group level and we recognises the important contribution our volunteers 
make to the ongoing success of Scouting in our local communities. We believe in investing in 
all our volunteers, and aim to provide appropriate ongoing support and training to enable 

background image



you to develop your skills in order to enhance your volunteering work within Scouting across 
Greater London South Scout County.  


This agreement seeks to:  



identify how South London Scouts and its Districts appoints and involves volunteers,  


demonstrate our strong commitment to supporting our volunteers,  


clarify what volunteers can expect from South London Scouts and its Districts and 
Groups and in return what is expected of them,  


signpost volunteers to a range of policies and resources that have been designed to 
support their engagement within South London Scouts on a local and national level.  

So who is a volunteer? 

Usually the definition implies that you 

‘give your time freely for the benefit of others’. The 

Scout Association is an organisation made up of volunteers who give freely of their time 
because they are committed to the aims and principles of the Movement and enjoy working 
with young people in our informal educational context. 
Scouting is made up of many different types of volunteers some are members, others are 
associate members or supporters and others are parents or young people wanting to do 
something to help achieve the aims and principles of the Movement. Some are not even 
aware that they are doing this whilst others view this as their lifetimes challenge. 
Volunteers come to us in various ways but clearly share these common objectives. As a 
member of your local Scout Group, Scout District and Greater London South Scout County 
you may not recognise this volunteering aspect to your membership, however it is 
increasingly evident in today’s world that we need to understand some fundamental 
principles of volunteering and recognise, value and celebrate our volunteers and their 
This volunteering agreement has been developed with this in mind and complements the 
additional guidance papers available on roles and responsibilities to further develop our work 
with young people. 

Adults in Scouting 

Adults are the lynchpin of Scouting. All adults in Scouting are 'leaders' in the sense of 
'leading the young people'. Without the adult 'Leaders' Scouting would simply not exist. All 
people taking adult roles in Scouting must be aged over 18.  
Some of the ways Adults support Scouting are: 



working directly with the youth membership, by being a 
Leader, Assistant Leader, Sectional Assistant, Occasional 
Helper or by being part of an Active Support Team, 


support the adults in their roles, by providing technical or 
personal support, these people are usually Group Scout 
Leaders, Skills Instructors, District Commissioners and 
their Assistants and the Scout Active Support Team, 


run the administrative side of Scouting. Every Group, 
District and the County has a 'business' side, and 
therefore people take on roles as Chairman, Secretary, 
Administrator and Treasurer, or as a member of Group or 
District sub-committees. 

background image



Adults in Scouting are from all walks of life. The one thing they share is the enjoyment of 
working together and helping young people reach their potential. 
Whilst all our volunteers are passionate about what they do, many help out on a flexible basis 
due to other commitments. Some may help out once a week or fortnight whereas others help 
once a month, term or at the annual camp. 
To carry out our work we seek to appoint effective and appropriate leaders and supporters, 
all of whom are required to accept fully the responsibilities of their commitment.  
We recognise the important contribution that our adult volunteers make to our organisation. 
We believe that we should invest in our volunteers. To this end, we provide regular and  
on-going support, supervision and training, to enable volunteers to develop their skills, both 
in order to enhance their volunteering work with us and to help them contribute to the wider 
Our overriding considerations when making all appointments in Scouting is the safety and 
security of our young people, and their continued development in accordance with the 
purpose of the Association. 
Accordingly, all those whom we accept as volunteers must be “fit and proper‟ persons to 
undertake the duties of the particular role to which they have been appointed (including, if 
relevant, meeting the requirements of the Sponsoring Authority) and, where appropriate, the 
responsibilities of membership.  
All volunteers, regardless of their level or length of involvement, have rights and 
responsibilities to work within the policies of The Scout Association. This includes any 
involvement in a variety of decision making bodies, the payment of out of pocket expenses 
(where possible), and access to grievance procedures. 

Definitions of Adult Membership 

There are two types of adult membership of The Scout Association – Member or Associate 
Member. Adults who are prepared to follow the Association's principles may become 
Members or Associate Members of the Scout Movement (subject to the rules contained 
within POR).  
Adults who, by choice or because of the requirements of their appointment, become 
Members of The Scout Association, make the Scout Promise. 
Members of the Movement may: 



wear the approved adult uniform and associated badges, (see below), 


wear the World Membership badge, 


receive benefits provided by any Group, District, and County to which the Member 
belongs and of The Scout Association and the World Organisation of the Scout 

When an individual becomes an adult Member that person becomes a member of a Group, 
District and County (as appropriate). They also become a Member of The Scout Association 
and of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.  

background image



Associate Members 
Adults who volunteer with Scouting but do not have the requirement of being a member of 
the Association as part of their appointment may choose to become Associate Members of 
The Scout Association. This involves signing an Associate Members declaration but they do 
not have to make the Scout Promise. 
Associate Members of the Movement may: 



wear the approved adult uniform and associated badges, (see below)  
but cannot wear the World Membership badge, 


receive benefits provided by any Group, District, and County to which the Member 

When an individual becomes an Associate Member that person becomes an Associate 
member of a Group, District and County, (as appropriate). They also become an Associate 
Member of The Scout Association. 
There is no maximum age limit for adult membership but all appointments are subject to a 
minimum age limit of 18 years. No individual aged 18 or over may be permitted to undertake 
any responsibilities or involvement within Scouting until the appropriate enquiries have been 
made, (see below). 
Members or Associate Members do not have any rights, actual or implied, to take part in the 
national management of The Scout Association or the World Organisation of the Scout 

Responsibilities and commitments of your appointment 

All new appointments within Scouting involve a number of responsibilities and commitments 
and everyone taking on a new role in Scouting 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 in 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. 


background image



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 


•  Approval: where independent checking, (the successful outcome of the Disclosure and 

Barring Service (DBS) record check and (where appropriate) two references), concludes 
that the person is suitable for an appointment.  

•  Appointment: following a meeting with the appropriate appointments panel 
•  Induction: where the line manager ensures that the adult receives a welcome and 

induction in Scouting. 


All adults, no matter what their role, will 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 (as applicable). 


Adults who are volunteering some of their time to Scouting on an ‘occasional basis’ 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 have 
involvement with the handling or management of money, but are not adult member of the 
Association are required to complete an enhanced DBS record check through The Scout 
The Scout Association does not accept DBS criminal record checks from other organisations. 
This is because the nature of the information that may be


isclosed on a 


cout 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. 


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. 

background image



Our commitment to diversity 


We are firmly committed to diversity in all areas 
of our work. We believe that we have much to 
learn and gain from diverse cultures and 
perspectives, and that diversity will make our 
organisation more effective in meeting the 
needs of children, young people and adults.  
We are committed to developing and maintaining an organisation in which differing ideas, 
abilities, backgrounds and needs are fostered and valued, and where those with diverse 
backgrounds and experiences are able to participate and contribute.  



We are committed to being a leading organisation in health and safety management. 
Together, we can all help to ensure the health and safety of ourselves and others. This is why 
you are expected to follow our safety in Scouting guidance which is detailed in the ‘Staying 
Safe checklist’ that accompanies this agreement.  


Child protection 

We have a clear code of behaviour called ‘Young people first’, a copy of which accompanies 
this agreement. This applies to all adults working in Scouting, regardless of their role. This is 
also included in the training that you will receive and provides guidelines about how young 
people should be treated. We expect everyone to follow it. 


The Law and Scouting - A duty of care 
Under the terms of the Children Act 1989, Leaders have a duty of care towards the young 
people in their custody. This means that adults should adopt a common sense approach 
when dealing with injuries and illnesses. If you act reasonably when dealing with a problem, it 
is unlikely that you can be accused of unreasonable action after the event. 


Data protection  

We hold and process data on you for a number of purposes connected with your role as a 
volunteer, and in taking up your appointment you consent to the Association retaining your 
personal data during your membership and also beyond to facilitate any present or potential 
future involvement with Scouting. We make every effort to ensure that any data held about 
you is accurate, relevant and not misused. The Scout Association is registered as a data 


UKHQ membership database - Compass 

Once your appointment has been made full it is your responsibility to keep your personal 
details up to date on the national membership database which is called Compass. This will 
ensure you are kept up to date and informed of what’s going on. You can register and login 
to Compass at



Personal expenses  

We strongly believe that expenses and fees should not be a barrier to any adult’s participation 
in Scouting, and in principle volunteers should not be out of pocket. Please refer to local 
policy on personal expenses for more information. 



background image




Scouting is a uniformed organisation. Therefore, uniform 
appropriate to your role should be worn as detailed 


Items of official uniform:  



stone long sleeve or short sleeve shirt or blouse,  


Group / Explorer Scout Unit / Scout Network / 
District / County / Gilwell / Scout Active Support 
scarf (as entitled) or, on formal occasions a blue 
tie is available to wear,  


Scout, Young Leaders or Explorer Award belt.  


Items of official uniform for which there is a personal choice:  



navy blue activity trousers; or  


smart navy blue trousers (any high street brand); or 


smart navy blue skirt.  


Optional items a Group / Explorer Scout Unit / Scout Network / Scout Active Support Unit may 
decide to have as part of its official adult uniform:  



navy blue shorts;  


grey fleece;  


navy blue baseball cap.  


Optional items for activity dress:  



navy blue sweatshirt;  


stone polo shirt  



When cultural requirements or religious needs require, members of recognised faith 
communities may wear appropriate clothing of a style and fashion in accordance with their 
beliefs as part of their Scout uniform. 


Volunteer expectations  

Everyone who volunteers with Scouting within the Scout County of Greater London South is 
entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. You have a right to:  



accurate information on Scouting at local and national level,  


a clear description of the role you have taken on (role descriptions can be found  



a safe working environment,  


negotiate a choice of roles and tasks on a flexible basis,  


a named person (volunteer Line Manager), you can go to for advice, support  
and peer mentoring and a Training Adviser, 


protection from exploitation by other volunteers and service users,   


say ‘no’ without feeling guilty,   


have your contribution valued by all areas of the organisation,  


receive constructive feedback on your contribution, 


have opportunities to develop skills, 


have opportunities for training, 


have local Scouting deal with disciplinary and grievance matters, 


to volunteer in a friendly atmosphere. 

background image




Volunteer responsibilities  

In return, you are required to commit to Scouting’s values and abide by our organisational 
policies, rules and procedures. Specifically, you are expected to:  



wear Scout Association uniform as appropriate to your role, 


treat everyone associated with Scouting (children and adults) with courtesy & respect, 


cooperate with other volunteers and staff, 


carry out agreed roles and tasks to the best of your abilities, 


be committed, reliable and punctual, 


ask for help or support when needed, 


follow and adhere to the policies, procedures and rules of The Scout Association, 


refrain from public criticism of Scouting, 


undertake relevant training as necessary,   


exchange information and offer feedback,   




the appropriate person if












your volunteer duty.   


All adults in Scouting are expected to operate in accordance with the key policies of The 
Scout Association. These are: 



The Purpose of Scouting  
(the fundamentals), 




Equal Opportunities, 




Child Protection, 






Further details on all these policies can be found in the current edition of The Policy, 
Organisation & Rules of The Scout Association (



Induction and training obligations  
of your appointment 

It is likely that while you will already meet many of the 
requirements of your new appointment, there will be 
other areas where you will need further learning. In 
addition to this there may also be subjects for which 
training is obligatory. Your line manager and Training 
Advisor should discuss appropriate training and learning 
requirements and opportunities with you. 


We are committed to helping our volunteers develop their skills and knowledge. Training is 
provided at County level and as required locally through evening and weekend workshops 
and training days. Our current training programme can be found at:



All our volunteers are required to complete training relevant to their role which includes 
Getting Started training, this must be completed as soon as possible after starting in your 
new role and must be completed within five months from the date of your provisional 
appointment being issued.  


Upon accepting an appointment in the Scout Association you are required to show, that you 
have the skills and knowledge appropriate to your role. For those appointments that require 
formal adult training the relevant training modules needed to gain Wood Badge recognition 
must be completed within a period of three years. If it is not completed within three years of 
the full appointment, the appointment may be cancelled.  Further information on our Adult 
Training scheme can be found at in the member’s area at


background image






All our Leaders, Active Support Members and Executive Officers are covered by arrange of 
comprehensive insurance policies while taking part in Scouting, these are: 



Public Liability, 


Personal Accident and Medical Expenses, 


Trustees Indemnity, 


Further details on the cover these policies provide can be found at:


(Non-members, such as supporters and occasional helpers are not provided with the same 

automatic basic Personal Accident Insurance as members.) 


Responsible smoking  

We understand that our adult members and supporters have the right to smoke and we 
recognise that people have a choice.  


As an adult in Scouting, you are a role model for the young people in your care. Young 
people are impressionable and will inevitably be influenced by adults' behaviour - especially 
that of those whom they respect. 


Whilst it is understood that it is not illegal to smoke, Scouting is about developing young 
people, including their health and welfare. As such, smoking in front of scouts of any age 
must be avoided. 


Also, the law ensures that all Scouting premises are smoke-free. This includes premises which 
are rented on section nights, and also buildings on campsites. 


It is important that our adult volunteers do not smoke around young people. Not only does 
smoking around young people subject them to passive smoking, but it also increases the fire 
risk. If you do smoke, try to refrain from smoking during a section meeting. The majority of 
section meetings run for two hours or less and any adult should be able to refrain from 
smoking for such a short period of time. 


We all have a responsibility to make sure we offer Scouting to young people in a safe 

environment. The well-being of the young people in Scouting is paramount and we must 
ensure that no young person is subjected to tobacco smoke. Smoking during Scouting 
activities or evening meetings by our youth members over the age of 18 should be 


Further guidance, including how to deal with young people who smoke, can be found in the 

information sheet – ‘The right to smoke-free Scouting’ available to download from:



Alcohol in Scouting 

All our adults need to be physically and mentally fit to undertake the responsibilities of their 

role. When responsible for young people, adults must not drink alcohol. 


During ‘off duty’ periods, adults in Scouting also need to take into account the effects alcohol 

can have and how it may affect their fitness to fulfil their Scouting duties for the duration of 
the section meeting, activity or event.  


Further guidance on alcohol can be found in the information sheet – ‘Alcohol and Scouting’ 
available to download from


background image




Blogging and social networking  

We understand that it is likely you’ll be keen to use social media to 
share your experiences and feelings about being part of Scouting. If 
you have a blog or a profile on a social networking site such as 
Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Google+, Foursquare (or any other social 
GPS positioning apps) and you have stated that you volunteer for 
Scouting, then any comment or opinion you put forward will become 
associated with Scouting. This includes but is not limited to blog 
entries, photo and video uploads, status updates, tweets, or check-ins.  


Of course, we are happy for you to mention that you are involved in Scouting in general 
terms. This might include comments such as 

‘I’m excited about tonight’s Troop meeting’, or 

‘Had great fun working with the Cubs today’. However, we ask that you please avoid 
mentioning any real specific details of the operations within your Group or District and 
particularly avoid posting negative feelings, comments or points of view on any situation that 
may occur. 


We also recognise that social media can be useful for specific Scouting projects. Our advice is 
that you need to be very conscious of the context in which these sites are used and ensure 
the public cannot view any personal information of our members. 


When posting on social media sites please always remember that you are representing our 
organisation and we trust you, so act accordingly. 


Be professional; remember that you are an ambassador for Scouting.  
Be responsible; and honest at all times. When you gain insight; share it   
with others but only when appropriate. 
Be credible; accurate, fair, and thorough and make sure you are doing 
the right thing. 
Be responsive; in a similar way to how you would respond to a letter or 
email. Visit and check frequently the online spaces and feeds where 
you/we have a presence or could be mentioned and respond positively 
and promptly to the comments and conversations. 


Always remember that participation online results in your comments being permanently 
available and open to being republished in other media by other people. 


You need to be especially careful about those you accept as ‘friends’ on sites such as 
‘Facebook’. These sites are essentially designed for peer-to-peer contact. It is vitally important 
to ask yourself “Is the content of the messages and photographs available to be viewed on 
my profile suitable for young people (or their parents) in my section to see?” If the answer is 
‘no’, or even a hesitation then do not put it up. 


Further guidance on using social media in Scouting is provided in the information sheet – 
‘Social Networking Sites and Scouting’ available to download from


E-mails and text messaging  

The Internet and mobile phones have changed the way we live and communicate and these 
methods can be very helpful when confirming arrangements about activities or events. As 
adults in Scouting we need to make the best use of these and new technologies, whilst 
protecting both the young people in our care and ourselves from being placed in a  
vulnerable position. 

background image




For Beaver Scouts and Cub Scouts any communications using these channels should always 
be addressed to the young person’s parent or carer. Information for those in the Scout and 
Explorer Scout Sections may be sent to the young people themselves if necessary, with copies 
to their parents or carers.   


Before using email or text messaging to communicate with young people gain permission 
from their parents/carers to contact them and ask them what the most appropriate methods 
of contact for their child is. Remember, that all communication should be in a Scouting 
context and before sending an email or a text, ask yourself “would you be happy to copy in 
the young person’s parents/carers?” If the answer is ‘no’ then do not send it. 
Most young people have a mobile phone and most of them will say they can’t do without it. 
With mobile phones also come text messages. Leaders of Scouts and Explorer Scouts may 
well find this the best method of sending out quick notices, like asking Members to 
remember to bring summer camp fees with them or to remind them of the meeting venue 
and time. If you send a text message to any young person, you should once again try to 
ensure that the content of the message or call could not be misinterpreted.  


If you receive an email or text message from a young person which causes you concern, refer 
to our ‘Young People First’ code of good practice in the first instance and follow the guidance 
in it. The code is often referred to as the yellow card, a copy is enclosed with this agreement 
or it can be found online at



Further guidance on emailing and texting young people is provided in the information sheet –
‘Email and Text Messaging Guidance for Leaders’ available to download from



Filming and rights in works created by you  

As part of your volunteer role, you may be filmed, photographed, or recorded. In taking up 
this role, you agree that Scouting (and any third parties who are authorised by us) is entitled 
to film, photograph or record you, and that we (and our authorised third parties) will be 
entitled to use and reproduce these images or recordings and your name in connection with 


Concerns about Scouting 

We hope that everyone who comes into contact with Scouting will have a positive 
experience. However, it is inevitable that on occasions, concerns may arise which require 
investigation. As the majority of Scouting activity takes place locally within our community it 
is expected that most of these concerns will be dealt with quickly and courteously in an 
informal way by your Section Leader, Group Scout Leader or District Commissioner as 
appropriate. However, it is possible that a complaint may arise that requires a more formal 
investigation and response. We are committed to seeking to resolve these complaints fairly 
and in the best interests of everyone involved. 


Should you ever have a concern about a matter within your Section or Scout Group please 
initially contact your Group Scout Leader. They will listen to the issues and will do their best 
to answer and resolve them. If you do not want to discuss the matter with the Group Scout 
Leader, or if they cannot deal with your concerns, or if your query is more serious, your 
District Commissioner will assist you. 


All formal complaints must be lodged within 3 months of reasonably knowing sufficient facts 
about the situation. Our aim is to resolve all issues raised within four weeks of receiving your 
concerns. However, this may take longer depending on the nature of the issue. If the 
timescale needs to be extended, you should expect to be kept informed of progress. 

background image




If after receiving a response you are concerned that it was not handled appropriately, or still 
consider that you have not had a satisfactory answer, you may express these concerns to the 
next level of Scouting using our formal appeal process. So, if your concern was originally dealt 
with at Scout Group level this will mean contacting the District Commissioner. If it was originally 
dealt with by the District Commissioner, then the County Commissioner should be contacted.  


It is the Association’s policy that the original response to a complaint may be reviewed using 
our formal appeal process just once. This means that once you have appealed against the  
initial consideration or outcome of your original issue, and a review has been undertaken and a 
response made to you, the matter will be closed and no further appeal or review will be possible. 


Any appeal must be made within three months of being notified of the outcome of the 
original consideration. You may be asked to state clearly why you are unhappy with the 
outcome of the consideration of your concerns, or dissatisfied with the way it was handled. 


We do not accept and investigate anonymous complaints, complaints received from a third 
party, (except about youth members), or complaints that are broadly or substantively the 
same as previously received complaints. We also do not progress complaints that are found to 
be vexatious or malicious. 


Conflicts of interest  

As a member of The Scout Association you should not engage in any activity or be associated 
with any activity, person or organisation which operates against the interests or values of 
Scouting, or could be seen to affect your impartiality in carrying out your role. Volunteers are 
expected to clear any potential or actual conflicts of interests before joining us. If we are 
unable to manage any actual or potential conflict of interest you might have, we may need to 
remove you from your volunteer role.  


Review process 

Most people perform better if they have the opportunity to discuss how they are doing and 
where they are going from time to time. 


A review in Scouting is simply an opportunity to look at what has happened since you  
started in your role, or since your last review, and to see what further support and guidance 
you might need. It should not be confused with the performance appraisals that many people 
have experienced at work. Reviews can be both formal and informal, depending on what 
stage you are at in the course of your appointment. 


An informal review is held at least annually, to build on the chats you have during the year. It 
is a chance to take stock and plan for the future. 


A formal review takes place with your volunteer line manager at the end of your agreed 
appointment period although you can be called for a formal review at any time. During the 
meeting you will both get the opportunity to express your views. Your review will then go on 
to look at the successes you have had in your role, the progress you have made on your 
training (if appropriate), where you can best contribute to Scouting in the future and the role 
you would prefer in Scouting going forward. The kind of things you will discuss are: 



are you happy in your current role? 


what challenges have you faced in your role? 


do you wish to continue, or would your expertise be best used in another role,  
or should you retire from Scouting?  


At the end of the review a decision can then be made about your future role, and any 
support that you will require.  

background image




Suspension of adult Membership and Associate Membership 

Suspension of Membership or Associate Membership is a neutral act intended to protect all 
persons involved. It assists to ensure that any investigation or inquiry proceeds in as fair and 
objective manner as possible by preventing situations arising which could give rise to further 
concerns or allegations or which could potentially cause further compromise. 


Suspension may be necessary in the following circumstances: 



when an allegation is made that a Member or Associate Member has committed a  
serious criminal offence,  


when a disagreement or dispute between adults remains unresolved for a period of  
more than 30 days, 


if a Member or Associate Member makes a formal, public challenge to a non-Scouting 
organisation, body or forum against the decision or policy, 


where the intentional action or inaction of an individual could seriously harm the 
reputation of the Movement, 


when the action of a Member or Associate Member may constitute gross misconduct. 


Termination of adult Membership and Associate Membership  

Adult Membership and Associate Membership may be terminated by:  





in the case of adults not holding a particular appointment, by resolution of the Group, 
District or County Executive as appropriate, 


in the case of a suspension, failure to observe the terms of the suspension imposed in 
accordance with the Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association, 


failure to meet the training obligations of the role within the require time period. 



Volunteers who do not adhere to the organisation’s rules or who fail to perform their 
volunteer role satisfactorily may be subject to dismissal following a formal review. Anyone in 
this situation will be given the chance to discuss the reasons for dismissal with the 
appropriate Appointments Panel.  


Grounds for dismissal include but are not limited to, gross misconduct, being under the 
influence of drugs or excessive alcohol, theft, misuse or unsafe use of equipment, abuse of 
co-volunteers and staff, breaches of confidentiality, failure to abide to the policies of the 
Association, failure to meet the training requirements for the role or failure to complete the 
duties within the role to a satisfactory standard, (further details can be found in the 
Appointment Process section of POR). 


Exit Interviews 

Where possible informal exit interviews will be held with anyone leaving the Movement. The 
interview is an opportunity to explore why they are leaving, their experience and any 
suggestions they can offer to improve the running of our organisation. Feedback forms are 
sent out to people on leaving an appointment and constructive feedback is always welcome. 


Your role  

By accepting a role in Scouting you will be giving your time to help provide or support 
Scouting on an unpaid voluntary basis. This volunteer agreement is binding in honour only, 
and is not intended that any employment or worker relationship be created either now or in 
the future. You may withdraw your voluntary services at any time and Local Scouting may 
cancel its engagement with you at any time using the processes detailed in this agreement. 
Whilst we will comply with our statutory obligations to provide insurance and ensure a safe 
and secure environment, you are providing your services at your own risk.  

background image




A Final note


Our volunteers are important to us and It is important that you as a volunteer enjoy your 
experience with Scouting and that your needs and expectations are met. If you have 
questions, concerns or if you are unhappy about anything, please talk with your line 
manager, Group Scout Leader or District Commissioner. Many problems can be sorted out 
through discussion. 


This agreement reflects the hopes and intentions of the volunteer and the charity, and is not 
contractually binding in any way on either party. 

Adult code of conduct 

All our volunteers are expected to behave in accordance with our code of conduct which is 
detailed below. By agreeing to take on a role in Scouting in South London, you agree to 
abide by the code of conduct and the policies, rules and procedures which are relevant to 
volunteers as detailed in the current edition of Policy, Organisation & Rules and this 



If you are unable to attend a section meeting or ‘business’ meeting please let 
your section leader or the appropriate chair know in good time and preferably at 
least 24 hours before. 



All adults are required to take responsibility, with the other leaders in their group, 
for the activities they provide both indoors and outdoors.  



All accidents must be reported to the Group Scout Leader and logged in the 
accident book. 



No smoking is allowed during section meetings. Any smoking on a designated 
break must be away from the activities and young people in a safe place. 



Drug/alcohol abuse will not be tolerated.  



Adults should try and ensure that all young people have equal opportunities to 
take part in activities. 



Adults need to be aware of any disruptive, bullying or aggressive behaviour of 
any young people, and seek help from others in dealing with them. Try to have a 
consistent approach to these throughout the team. 



Physical restraint of children is not permissible, unless it is to ensure the safety of 
the child, other children, volunteers or other people. All incidents must be 
recorded in an incident book and reported to your Group Scout Leader. 



If a child talks to you regarding a child protection disclosure or any other personal 
issue the correct procedures must be followed. Please refer to our Young people 
first code of practice or our County Safeguarding Coordinator for further 



Any grievances received from parents or members of the public should be 
referred to your Group Scout Leader or District Commissioner as appropriate. 



You should avoid taking responsibility for young people’s personal belongings. 



Adults need to familiarise themselves with all the policies, rules & procedures of 
The Scout Association these are available in 

The Policy, Organisation and Rules of 

The Scout Association, (referred to as POR.) available to download from


background image





Some DO’s and DON’Ts for volunteers 



 think about why you want to volunteer. 




 start volunteering until you know what is expected of you. 




 ask about local Scouting and where you will fit in. 




 over commit yourself - reliability is vital. 




 make sure you know to whom you are responsible and to whom you can go 

for help and advice. 




 leave because you are fed-up or are having problems. Discuss how you 

feel with others in your Group, District or the County. 




 accept volunteer expenses. You can always give them back  

as a donation to your Group if you do not need reimbursing. 




 ever accept money as payment from someone you  

have helped in the course of volunteering. Explain to them 
that they can make a donation to Scouting if they so wish. 




 keep any arrangements you have made. If you cannot  

make a meeting, or you are going to be late, let others  
know in plenty of time. 



 betray any confidences entrusted to you In  

the course of your day to day volunteering  
(i.e. things discussed at team or Executive Committee  




enjoy yourself and encourage others who may  

be interested in volunteering with Scouting.  



background image




We are committed to the purpose of Scouting. We are committed to continuing to develop 
our Scout Groups so they… 



operate a programme that is relevant enjoyable, attractive and locally achievable, 


are equally available and accessible to all young people within the 6 to 25 age  
range in our communities, 


are effectively and appropriately supported by adult volunteers, 


are shaped by young people in partnership with adults, 


have a positive image and identity, 


are growing, 


communicate effectively within Scouting and to the community, 


are making a positive impact in our communities, 


are preparing young people to be active citizens, 


are contributing to social change. 


Our County and Districts support structures deliver practical services that support and are 
accessible to all adults in Scouting whatever their role.  These include: 



support for the youth programme, including camping and adventurous activities, 


growth and development of Scouting across South London, 


coordination of our Scout Groups, Explorer Scout Units and Scout Networks, 


the formal appointment of adults and ensuring that all our adult volunteers are vetted 
before they are authorised to undertake a role in the Movement, 


induction, training, motivation, review and development of adults in our Districts, 
including delivery of the Associations adult training programme in partnership with the 
County Training Team, 


the implementation of the policies and rules of the Association, 


relationships with other organisations and bodies, 


helping young people take part in decision making within our Groups, Districts  
and the County, 


support for our Scout Active Support Units, 


recommendations for decorations and awards, 


advice on financial and administrative matters, particularly relating to charity trusteeship, 


provide an effective chain of communication between our Scout Groups, Districts, 
County, Region and National Headquarters (UKHQ).



background image








 edition, first print: January 2015 

Produced by South London Scouts County Development Service (County Charity Number 303883)  

 South London Scout Centre, Grange Lane, Dulwich, London, SE21 7HL  
  0843 289 1548      


Policy History  

Version 1; January 2015: 


Pocket policies accompanying this agreement: 



Staying Safe checklist 


Young peopled first -  
safeguarding a code of practice 


Safe Scouting & what to do in  
an emergency