Wanted – Trainers to help us reach new heights safely!

We are part of the largest mixed volunteer-led Movement for young people in Scotland. Scouting exists to make young people’s lives better, helping them to realise their full potential, and providing them with the skills they need to succeed in life. We need some more people to help us achieve our ambitious aims – and reach new heights in training our leaders.

Are you an experienced leader who would like to help others benefit from your experience?  The Region needs some fresh faces in the Training Team, both First Aid specialists and trainers for other modules.

First Aid is a particular issue.  We have around 2,000 leaders and volunteers who need to renew their training every 3 years – that’s around 12 per week on average.  We would need to run 2 courses every month to meet the demand, and the current team simply isn’t big enough to do that.

To be a First Aid trainer you need a minimum of a full, 2 day, First Aid certificate.  If you don’t have one currently, the Region will arrange for an external provider to run a suitable Outdoor First Aid course to give you the qualification you need.   As long as you commit to running 3 sessions per year for the next 3 years there will be no cost to you.  If you already have a suitable First Aid qualification, you need only do modules 28 and 29. Please do let me know, as this can be arranged.   Should you happen to have a valid 2-day First Aid qualification and also modules 28 and 29, or if you are an externally accredited First Aid trainer please let me know about that too – you’re good to go! 

We will be running modules 28 (Facilitating) and 29 (Presenting) on 5–6 October at Bonaly. These are required for all trainers.  Please email me at Training@sesscouts.org.uk if you are interested, whether to be a District trainer running ‘Getting Started’ or a Regional trainer running some other modules such as ‘Growing the Section’.

We don’t usually drop new trainers in at the deep end – initially you would be teamed up with an experienced trainer and share the presentation with them.  We have resources based on Gilwell requirements for each module, so no-one’s starting from a blank page.

Craigalmond District Training Weekend – a great success!

Over the weekend 22nd-24th February, Craigalmond District held their annual training event at Bonaly Scout Centre. The event was attended by over 80 adults from throughout the District and offered a range of training. It was run on a drop-in basis with some participants attending one or two learning session and some who stayed for the whole weekend!

Throughout the weekend 16 sessions were run including conventional modular training such as Getting Started for leaders and executive members, First Response, modules 12A & 12B, and Safeguarding.  Additionally there were also a number of ongoing learning options including Visits Abroad training, Mental Health First Aid and a session focusing on Inclusion.

On Saturday evening around 40 people enjoyed a three course dinner followed by a presentation from Andrew Sharkey Chief Commissioner for Scotland) who spoke about the 2018-2023 strategy and helped us to celebrate Longcraig Scout Centre’s 50th anniversary.

The weekend was, as always, a great opportunity for leaders to carry out training with others from the District whilst sharing experiences and ideas and making friends too!

Are you up to date with your Safeguarding training?

If not, please sign up now for a course, just click on https://sesscouts.org.uk/adult-training/. If none are available or suit you, just contact your District Commissioner or ADC Training to ask me for a safeguarding course to be run. We can run a course in any District whenever we are asked!

It has been a busy year for safeguarding trainers in South East Scotland. 15 courses were delivered in 2018 and 3 have already been completed and another one planned so far this year. Courses have taken place in Galashiels, Hawick, Selkirk, Cardrona, Dalkeith and several Edinburgh venues. 224 adults were trained during 2018.

A new safeguarding course is being rolled out from the end of March 2019, once all trainers have completed their “Train the Trainer” course. The course is much improved and covers more current topics.

Generally, Scouting is a safe environment for young people and adult members. The Safeguarding Team and the Regional Leadership Team are committed to making sure that Scouting is enjoyable and safe for everyone who takes part. 

It is the policy of The Scout Association to safeguard the welfare of all members. It is also important to understand that all members have a duty to report any suspicions of safeguarding issues through their line management. Remember the myth that ‘It can’t happen here’. It can, and does, so we fail the young people in our care if we do not pass on concerns.

It is important to understand that Nights Away camps will not be approved if your safeguarding, first response or safety training modules are not up to date. It is also good practice to provide parent helpers or parents attending a group camp with copies of both the yellow and green cards.

Finally, I would like to thank my team of trainers who freely give up their time to travel large distances on occasion to deliver these courses.

Russell Shoulder
Safeguarding Awareness Coordinator.

Deadline Approaching for Mandatory GDPR Training


Following the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018, Scout HQ introduced a new mandatory training module on the subject.

While new volunteers have this module automatically added to the Getting Started set of modules they need to complete, existing leaders need to have the module added to their Compass record manually by either their training adviser or Assistant District Commissioner (Adult Training). Please take the time to check whether your Compass record is up to date for this module and any other training.

The GDPR module is only available as online training (https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/4800) and it does not take long to complete (20-30mins).  The completion certificate produced should be sent to your Training Advisor or ADC (Adult Training) so that they can validate the module on your Compass record.

Thank you very much if you have already completed this module and had your training record updated.  However, if you have still to do this module, it needs to be completed by 31 December 2018.

Hillwalking training update

Hillwalking training update

There has been an excellent response to last month’s announcement of two complementary initiatives to provide training for Hillwalking permits (see original article).

David Newton

David, the DESC for Craigalmond, is going ahead with organising a Regional residential training weekend this Autumn, similar to the successful one he organised for his District last year, to be followed by an assessment weekend with Lochgoilhead staff next Spring. There has been sufficient interest to make this viable and further applications will be welcomed with a deadline of 20 May. He gives details and asks for replies using a survey (please note, this will be live until 20 May).

Davy Virdee

Davy’s project, offering single day and evening modular training courses, is under way.  He gives details of this and invites further applications in a separate article.

DofE and other Expeditions and Terrain Permits

Davy’s article also explains some of the matters to be considered when organising expeditions in the hills – which is most of Scotland!  Bear in mind that you can also contact the Regional Adviser (DofE), John Buchanan, for advice on DofE.

Hillwalking training update

Hillwalking and climbing information

The Region ran a taster training session on 30 April. Eight leaders from across the Region spent an evening with Mountaineering Instructors Davy Virdee and Martin Holland looking at the skills needed to move towards gaining a hillwalking permit.

There’s lots of demand for hillwalking training, and Davy Virdee – the Regional assessor – will now start to schedule more training events. Feel free to contact him for more information. (Photos Nikki Maclean)

Night navigation in the hills

Duke of Edinburgh and Remote Supervision

Duke of Edinburgh expeditions are common amongst many Explorer Units.

For remotely supervised expeditions in Terrain 1 and Terrain 2 a supervisory permit is required in addition to your leadership permit. To get a supervisory permit, you should have a good leadership experience in your chosen terrain and be able to draw up comprehensive supervision plans for the groups you are intending to remotely supervise. Most, if not all Silver and Gold expeditions will fall into Terrain 1 and Terrain 2.

Bronze expeditions, typically take place in Terrain Zero, and so no leadership nor supervisory hillwalking permits are needed. However, District Commissioner Authorisation is required. As part of this notification should be to produce a comprehensive supervision plan for your expedition. If in doubt, you can pass along expedition plans to Davy Virdee for advice.

Hillwalking in the Pentland and Lammermuir Hills – Terrain Zero

The Pentland and Lammermuir Hills are on doorstep of the Region – and with good planning, much of it falls into Terrain Zero (https://members.scouts.org.uk/por9.28) and as such you do not need a permit to explore them.

However, you must follow the rules which can be found here:


These include asking for authorisation and providing route plans and risk assessments.

The Regional assessor is happy to consider restricted permits to leaders wanting to take groups to the tops of hills like Lammer Law and Carnethy Hill. Please contact Davy for more details.


Davy Virdee is also Regional assessor for all climbing and other mountaineering based activities.

More Information and Contact