The Appointments process

This page is intended as a one-stop shop for you to find out about the various steps involved in getting involved in the work of the Scout Association. See “At a glance” 

Scout Association Appointments Process page.  The appointment process in Scouting helps us to make sure that we appoint suitable adults into volunteer roles that are right for them.  Whether you want to be a Leader or Manager, Trainer or Administrator, Skills Instructor or Executive Committee Member, the appointment process aims to make sure that you take on a role that suits your availability, skills and interests.  

Occasional Helpers and Section Assistants – info

Occasional Helpers are adult volunteers who are required to complete a Disclosure Check (DBS) but who are not taking on a formal appointment. 

Section Assistants are formal appointed members of the Scout Association and are adult volunteers who assist the Section Leaders and Assistant Section Leaders in delivering the programme to young people in Scouting. They may support one section, or different sections within a Group depending on where their help is needed.

Broadly, if a person is helping out more than once a month, they should not be an Occasional Helper. See this useful comparison table.

The process – so, someone is interested in helping out….what next?

  1. Agree with the candidate what their role should be and discuss Scouting and its key policies (Who does this? The “line manager” – in effect, the Section leader or the GSL)  A candidate might at this stage come along to an activity or a night to see if it is for them. They can do this once or perhaps twice at most, but they should NOT be left unsupervised with young people at this stage. If they are going to be an Occasional Helper, go to step 3). 
  2. Adult Information form Have the candidate fill this in with two references. Collect it, check it, and send it to the Secretary of the Appointments Advisory Committee – Mrs Ann Holland. One reference only can be another Scouter.
  3. Add a new adult in COMPASS. You must have their FULL name, postal address, a phone number, and an email address. The last thing you do in COMPASS is request a Disclosure Check. If you need help with COMPASS please contact Robert Holyoake or the DC. 
  4. Start the DBS check at For a disclosure, various ID is required – see here for which different ID can be used. For the majority of cases, we need:
    1. Passport number, start and end date
    2. Drivers license number including trailing two digits, start date
    3. Date of a recent (last quarter) utility bill or bank statement
  5. Only when the DBS check is successfully completed. can the candidate assist with youth work.  If the DBS check is not successful, only the DC and the candidate will be informed. These matters are dealt with in gravest discretion. A paper copy of the DBS is not required. For most candidates the DBS check will take 70-80 hours at most once you and they have entered all the information correctly.  For some candidates, particularly anyone who has ever held a firearms license, it can take months. 
  6. When, and only when, the references are in, the candidate is invited to a panel meeting with three members of the District Appointments Advisory Committee.  This is an important meeting which will seek to verify that the candidate has fully understood what is required of the role. 
  7. After that, the candidate will receive a provisional appointment and Welcome Pack. From this date the candidate has FIVE months to complete Modules 1, 2 and 3. Courses are available more than once a quarter. See the District Diary for details. Costs incurred in doing these courses should be borne by the Group.
    1. Module 1 Essential Information (including safeguarding)
    2. Module 2 “Personal Learning Plan” – have a plan. Discuss your plan with a senior Scouter, ADC or Training Adviser, and write down your plan – template here. Bottom line? If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen…
    3. Module 3 Tools for the Role (Section Leaders) (even though it says “section leaders” everyone’s gotta do it.
  8. When these three modules are completed and validated, the appointment will be FULL. “Validation” is the process of assessing that the learning has not gone in one ear and out the other.. It takes the form of some searching questions about the modules, based on “validation criteria” in the Adults Personal Learning File. Some of these questions can be answered on pro forma sheets and sent to a Training Advisor for “marking”.

Check out this useful Training Module Matrix