We want to make volunteering easier and more fun, have the ability to recruit and retain volunteers, resulting in more young people gaining skills for life.

There are some excellent examples of awesome volunteering, but the experience is not the same for everyone. Therefore, we are looking to improve the overall volunteer experience. 

Over the next couple of years we are going to work together to make changes delivering:

A Warmer Welcome for All:

  • Volunteers welcomed with ease.
  • Welcome conversations held locally to the volunteer.
  • Supported through induction with an allocated buddy.
  • Empowering volunteers through self-service tools for learning and development.
  • More tools to support local volunteer recruitment.

More Engaging Learning:

  • Support & management of learning built into structure.
  • Digital first (but not digital only) bite-sized learning.
  • Personalised learning (when you need it and tailored to your role).
  • Existing skills recognised and removal of separate validation.
  • Wood Badge optional but available to all.

Positive Volunteering Everyday:

  • Volunteers working in teams on tasks with a clear purpose.
  • Clearer roles that everyone can understand.
  • Clear expectations with a commitment to building a positive volunteering culture.
  • Individuals contributing in a way that matches their skills, interests and availability.
  • Healthy culture of diversity and inclusion.

How we envisage the new structures will look...

Teams and Tasks Approach

The structures below are to give an idea of how teams could be made up and some of the task each team could undertake. Each section, group and district is unique and teams and tasks will differ as a result.

Speak with your local teams or Will as our Transformation Lead to see how the teams and tasks approach will work in your situation.

Questions from the County Roadshows

Over a week in September, the County Team held a series of Roadshows to share the upcoming transformation plans with the County.

During the Roadshows, we encouraged everyone to ask questions about the upcoming changes. Below are the most frequently asked questions from all of the evenings. 

We have grouped them together into the common themes.

Changes to Our Roles and Team Structure

Where are the people going to come from who make up the new District Team?

These are situations that can always happen but we know that the sustainable solution is not for one person to take on more and more. The new team-based approach should make it easier for people to volunteer flexibly and bring their strengths and skills to the team. The changes to make our welcoming processes simpler will also make it easier for more volunteers to get involved. 

Who has overall responsibility for running a Section?

The Team Leader is ultimately responsible for ensuring tasks are completed, by delegating these out and holding Team members to account. The requirement still stands that every meeting and event must have a named Leader in Charge. 

Why are we changing our role titles? 

Changing role titles makes sure our roles are understood and appealing to people within and outside Scouts. This improves volunteer recruitment. The need to change the Commissioner role title is backed up by consultation with 2000 external people and we’ve asked current volunteers for their views as well. 

You can still be known by your section title, such as Cub leader. There’s also no reason why you can’t be known to your young people as Akela etc. 

Under the new structure, who do I get support from or raise issues to?

As in the current structure, you will still be able to go to your line manager, they'll still be there, just with a different role title. 

What’s the ideal number of people in a team? Is there a maximum team size? 

There’s no one answer – it's up to you, what you need locally, the amount of tasks the volunteers in the team can take on and the scale of what you’re achieving. It might be 3 people, it might be 30. 

What will the role of the Exec Committee now be?

The name will change to 'Trustee Board', which reflects good charity practice. Governance tasks for the Trustee Board will be updated to reflect the regulatory framework appropriate to 2022 and include budgeting and risk assessment and management. 

What is the impact on our constitution? 

Constitutions may need to be reviewed and updated to ensure the correct structure/titles are reflected. The standard version in POR will be updated. 

Where do non-members (DBS Required) roles fit into the structure? It would be useful if these can be viewed in the sections they are ‘working’ with.

They are the same as Occasional Helpers are today - so they sit within the Group, rather than being part of any Section teams. However, they will be visible on the membership system to everyone within each Section of a Group (whereas on Compass this isn't the case).

Can Team Leader delegate such as completing DBSs to other Team Members?


Our New Online Portal

What's happening to Compass?

We’ll be retiring the Compass name with the Compass system. We want to move away from the need for volunteers to access different systems to do different jobs. All the tools we need to do our volunteer roles will be accessed via 

Last time we went live with a membership system it was a real struggle. What are we doing to make sure it’s different this time? 

We hit a lot of problems launching Compass and at the time we got external experts to write us a lessons learned report. We’re using this extensively in the new work to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes. We’re also involving far more local volunteers at a much earlier stage. This will help get the design right, and the intensive testing process will make sure it works. We’re driving the go-live decision by the readiness of the system more than by artificial deadlines.  

What about OSM?

The previously mentioned partnership between Scouts & OSM is no longer being progressed and a suitable alternative will be provided in due course.

How do we ensure everyone's learning needs are met on the new online portal?

The learning system will take a multimedia approach, providing a wide range of visual and audio information in a variety of formats, to be accessible and engaging for as many people as possible. We dislike tedious blocks of text and end-of-topic memory tests just as much as you! Where necessary or appropriate, learning will also be available offline or in-person. 


How much is all of this going to cost?

We have asked this question to Headquarters and we are awaiting a response.

When we are welcoming new volunteers, will there be a clear process to follow?

Yes. Further resources will be available in due course. 

Will we be getting ID cards / name badges?

No. There are currently no plans to do this. 


What are the minimum learning requirements for a team?

All volunteers must complete the core learning. The Team Leader will be responsible for ensuring that collectively the team has the skills required.

What will the changes to the 'Getting Started' Training be?

Getting Started training will now be known as 'Core Learning'. You will have 6 months to complete this in through a digital first approach, to allow volunteers to complete this at a time best suited to them.

Will a Team Leader need a Wood Badge?

No, the Wood Badge will become optional, but accessible to all. 

Why would someone want to complete a Wood Badge if it is not mandatory?

We want the Wood Badge to be something Leaders want to earn and be proud of completing, not something that they are forced to do.

Are there any plans to make the issue of Wood Badges and Long Service awards slicker with the new system?

The new system is aiming to make as much as possible easier and more efficient for volunteers and we are currently testing it to make sure that this is the case.

Is there going to be ILM recognition for the new Learning?

This is something we are currently exploring, along with other external accreditations and recognitions for our future learning offers. We don’t have a firm answer to this yet, but we are considering it carefully.

What will happen to the training teams/roles (like Training Advisors and Training managers) that are in place at the moment? 

Most of these responsibilities will shift to District Volunteering Development Teams, which will also include responsibilities around our volunteering culture, attracting and welcoming volunteers, and recognition and appreciation. District/County Commissioners will take a lead with conversations around building their new teams and how specific people’s current roles will transition. 

Can my Safeguarding Training that I have done at work, be transferred over to Scouting? It is a higher qualification than Scouting offers.

Completing this Scouting specific training is one of the minimum standards of being an adult volunteer in Scouting, failure to complete it will result in suspension. You may have completed a more in depth training through work, but we need to be able to demonstrate that all adults working with our young people have met the same minimum standards, so the rules on this will not change. 

What will happen to those who are part way through the current Training Scheme?

Any already completed training will remain valid and will count towards a new Wood Badge if they wish to complete it once the new scheme goes live. We should encourage those currently part way through, to complete their Wood Badge. 

How will Young Leader Training be recognised in the new Learning Scheme?

Guidance on this will be published in due course, just like the current guidance provided. 

Welcome Conversations

Who’ll be responsible for doing welcome conversations with new volunteers? 

This is not a separate role. For a section role, then it will be someone from the same group and an independent person who’s within Scouts but outside of their group. It may be that we identify these ‘independent people’ to make sure they have the right training/support to take part in the welcome conversations. This is currently still being worked through by the team, in consultation with local volunteers. 

What’s happening to the other bits that AACs do apart from welcome? 

The other tasks that AACs carry out will move into the relevant teams (out of Leadership, Volunteering Development, Programme and Support). The people who are currently part of AACs will be given the option to move into those other teams as appropriate. More detail on this will follow in the next few months. 

What will a Welcome Conversation look like for a Young Leader who turns 18 and wishes to become an adult volunteer?

The Welcome Conversation will be the same as it will be for any new adult joining and it will be a warmer welcome than is currently experienced in some cases. 

Is it possible to have guidance on who can be a referee? (i.e. can the ‘recruiter’ also be a referee)

We have produced guidance for references which sits within the build of the membership system. It states on there who can be a referee- and currently doesn't distinguish that a recruiter can/ can't be a referee (it is based on how long they have known the person and that only one of the two referees should be from Scouting). This is something that we can build into testing too and can look into. 

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