Changes to Permit requirements

Changes to Permit requirements

A reminder of a couple of permit changes – please make sure you are familiar with the new requirements if relevant to you.

Standup paddleboarding (SUP) – a SUP permit will be required for this activity from 1 April 2024 (other than class C waters).

We are seeking an assessor – if you are willing to become an assessor please let me know. In the meantime, any urgent applications for a permit, please discuss with Bruce.

Off road cycling – from 31 August 2024 the permit requirements have been updated.

Brief Summary:

Off-road cycling level 1 – Permit holder must be no more than 2.5km or 30 minutes walking distance from emergency vehicle support.

Off-road cycling level 2 – Permit holder will be able to safely lead / manage and teach cycling activity on red or black

For individuals looking at a permit assessment these will take place in the appropriate environment for “ Off-road cycling “ level they are looking to supervise.

More detailed information about “Off Road Cycling” and the assessment checklist can be found here :-…/general…/off-road-cycling/

Any questions please contact Bruce

Safety and Safeguarding is everyone’s  responsibility

Safety and Safeguarding is everyone’s  responsibility


Quick links

Doing things safely is fundamental to everything we do in Scouting. 

It is important to understand that Safety and Safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone. Leaders may believe that we do not have any cause for concern. However, there were 183 Safeguarding referrals to Gilwell from across the UK during March 2022, including several from South East Scotland. In addition, there were 32 incidents in the year to September 2021 where young people from the Region were injured either during section activities or during camps.   

Support from your Safeguarding and Safety Adviser. Please remember that Russell Shoulder, our Safeguarding and Safety Adviser is available to provide support across the Region on Safety and Safeguarding matters. Russell is available to help you promote a culture of Safe Scouting across your District/Group/Section. You can also contact him for information and support about events. He’ll check your event is in line with Scout policies, and make sure it’s being delivered safely. If you’re a manager, please reach out to him, so he can support you in your role. 

A lot of relevant information is available at Staying safe and safeguarding | Scouts 

Remember, you must always follow the Yellow, Green and Purple Cards.   


All adult members must complete the mandatory on-going training at least every 3 years. (Safety, Safeguarding, and First Aid). Gilwell has analysed data over several years and concluded that there is a strong correlation between Safety and Safeguarding incidents and the length of time since training was undertaken. Safety and Safeguarding training are available on-line and each course takes less than 30 minutes to complete. 

In addition to the mandatory training (stated above) leaders also need to complete module 17 (Running Safe Activities) to get their Wood Badge.  

Safeguarding Policy  

It is also important that all adult volunteers understand the  Safeguarding Policy | Scouts and how to keep young people and adults at risk safe.

  • Our Safeguarding Policy keeps young people safe from harm. The Scout code of practice says, ‘Young People First’, and it’s at the centre of all that we do. It’s the policy of Scouts to safeguard the welfare of all young people and adults at risk, by protecting them from neglect, and from physical, sexual and emotional harm.   
  • *We must recognise that that some people may have additional or complex needs. In certain circumstances, they can be particularly vulnerable to abuse.  
  • *An adult at risk is a person over the age of 18 that: 
    •  -needs care and support, 
    • – is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and 
    • – as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it. 
  • * As a consequence of the above: 
    • – everyone in Scouts must be able to recognise, respond to and refer any reported allegations or concerns correctly.  
    • – everyone must understand their responsibility to follow the correct procedures for protecting young people and adults at risk from harm.   
    • – the Safeguarding Policy is for everyone within Scouts, including all volunteers and staff. Scouts understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and is embedded across our organisation.  

    • All adults must make sure that their behaviour is always appropriate, as laid out in the Young People First Safeguarding Code of Practice (Yellow Card)

Have you completed your mandatory on-going safeguarding training?
 Safeguarding | Scouts 

What should you do if you are worried about a young person? First, don’t panic. It’s your duty to report your concerns to your line manager, who’s there to help you. Whether your concerns are about a young person’s life inside or outside of Scouts, make sure you report it your line manager. 

You must: 

  • * Allow them to speak without interruption and accept what they say  
  • * Be understanding and reassuring – do not give your opinion  
  • * Tell them you will try to help but you must pass the information on  
  • * Report it to your line manager as soon as possible  
  • * Do NOT investigate any allegations yourself 

If you have any 
Safeguarding concerns, contact your line manager or DC. Your Line Manager or DC should then raise the concern with Gilwell. Raising a concern | Scouts

If the young person is at immediate risk of significant harm, call 999 and request the Police. Inform your GSL and DC immediately and copy

Travelling with Young People  

The Safeguarding team does get a lot of enquiries about the rules around travelling with Young People. For clarification: 

  • * An adult in Scouting cannot be alone in a vehicle with any young person who they are not the parent or guardian of.  
  • * However, any adult involved in Scouting can transport their own child to a meeting or to a Scout camp.  
  • * An adult involved in Scouting can also collect a friend or another Scout on the way to a meeting/camp and drop them off on the way home, as long as they won’t be alone in the vehicle at any time with the young person who isn’t their child.  
  • * If an adult leader needs to transport a group of young people (i.e. more than one) to a Scouting event in their own vehicle, this is also acceptable, as long their insurance allows for this. But in these circumstances, they must ensure that they are not alone in the vehicle with any one of the young people. Therefore, make sure they pick up the group together and drop them off together. 

* A parent or Guardian cannot give you permission to break any our policies. 

Safety Policy  

It is very important that all adult volunteers:

  • * understand the Safety Policy | Scouts and your responsibilities for keeping young people and adults in our movement safe.   
  • * can demonstrate how to assess and manage risk.   
  • * understand the role of the leader in charge.   
  • * know what to do in an emergency, and how to report incidents and near misses.   
  • * know where to access safety resources, activity rules and guidance for the safe management of activities. 

Have you completed your mandatory on-going safety training?
Safety Training | Scouts 

Premises Safety  

The Region can deliver a premises safety seminar, on request, that is primarily targeted at groups that have their own premises. However, it is also of value to groups that hire premises as you would then be able to assess whether such premises have the necessary safety safeguards. 

Staying safe in the summer

As the weather gets better, and a little warmer, let’s make sure we’re considering the risks of hot weather for both young people and adult volunteers. You can find help in our Hot weather and Summer activity advice | Scouts 

Preparing for nights away activities

Now we’re preparing for our first summer after the pandemic, it’s important we remember the key steps of the Nights Away process. When planning for nights away, make sure you check disclosures and training for adult volunteers, and consider the risks involved with your programme. Leaders must not attend camp if they have not completed their mandatory on-going training as a minimum. (Getting Started, Safety, Safeguarding, GDPR and First Aid). Please check you’ve got a permit holder in place, and you’ve done the Nights Away Notification Form (NAN) well in advance of the proposed activity. 

Health and hygiene at camp

To support volunteers, Gilwell recently updated guidance for maintaining good health, hygiene and wellbeing for all involved in Scouting Health, hygiene and wellbeing | Scouts. This guidance includes some new guidance for menstrual hygiene Managing menstrual hygiene on camp | Scouts 

Alcohol and young people

If you’re holding any events or nights away, please remember to follow the Green Card scouting-and-alcohol-green-card.pdf ( During scouting events attended by under18s the following apply: 

  • * Under 18s must not consume alcohol under any circumstances. 
  • *Adults must not consume alcohol in the presence of under 18s. 
  • * At any one time there should be the correct ratio of responsible adults who must not consume alcohol. 
  • * Where adults do consume alcohol, it should be in a separate area from the young people and identified as an adult only area. 
  • * Adults who do consume alcohol during “off duty” periods should be mindful of the need to follow the yellow card. 

District Commissioners should check that all leaders attending camp have completed the necessary training before signing off the NAN form and that they have current Yellow, Green and Purple cards. 

Remember, Scouting should be fun, exciting and safe for everyone involved so please ensure that you: 

  • * create an environment where young people feel safe, are treated with respect, and are listened to. 
  • * report any concerns about young people or the behaviour of any adults.  
  • * keep your training up to date.  
  • * act in the best interests of young people at all times and follow the Yellow Card.

nd remember that, our code of practice says, ‘Young People First’ and that is at the centre of all that we do.

If you require any general advice or would like a Safety and Safeguarding seminar for your Group or District, please contact myself. 

Russell Shoulder 
Safety and Safeguarding Adviser  
South East Scotland Scouts 

Keep on Scouting – Safety Requirements and Programme Ideas

Keep on Scouting – Safety Requirements and Programme Ideas

Some key reminders to enable you to Keep on Scouting safely:

  1. Tier Status

This table provides information about the do’s and don’ts Scouting guidelines for each Tier as well as a link to the Scottish Government Postcode Checker to determine which Tier your Group or Section falls into

2. Risk Assessments

There is a requirement to undertake risk assessments for re-starting Scouting under Covid conditions as well as for general activities, which become mandatory from January 2021. This link provides some guidance and additional links to other helpful information. In addition, our Regional Assessors have put togethers some useful tools to help you create Risk Assessments for adventurous activities which can be found here.

3. Activity Planning

Whether you are Scouting virtually or meeting face to face either outdoors, or indoors, there are lots of Programme Activity ideas available via these links:

Scout Activity Planner 

Additional Programme Activity Ideas

Press-play-and-go – videos, guidance, tips and tricks to help you run Scouts online 

Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer 

Risk Assessment Guidance

We have been asked to provide a reminder of the requirements for undertaking Risk Assessments, both as part of restarting scouting and also as part of general Scouting activities.

  1. General Activities

A reminder that the changes to how we approach Risk Assessments, launched on 18 August 2020, are currently in the transition period through to 1 January 2021.

You’ll find helpful resources on the risk assessment pages of the website, including guidance documents, FAQs, template risk assessment forms and a bank of examples risk assessments.

There’s always been a requirement to undertake risk assessments for all activities within the Scouts, whether in your normal meeting place, on nights away or out on adventurous activities with the encouragement to document them. These changes now require the documenting of the risk assessment. To help with this change we’ve provided lots of methods you can use.

The guidance also reinforces the need to communicate the hazards, risks and control measures to those involved, including young people. In doing this effectively it will help others to develop the ability to identify and manage risk, building another vital skill for life. Remember too that repetitive elements, e.g. your opening and closing ceremonies only need to be written once and dynamically checked in subsequent weeks, or reviewed if you meet in a different place, e.g. in a park on a summer evening.

The normal risk assessments for activities do not require the approval of someone from your District or the Region (with the exception of Nights Away activities and Visits Abroad). It’s about the leadership team working together to undertake, document, communicate and review their risk assessments. Making sure that in doing so we are providing Scouts in as safe a way as possible to, and with, all our members.

2. Restarting Scouting 

It’s also important to remind you this is separate from the restart approval process, which requires a documented risk assessment to be submitted for approval ahead of moving between readiness levels in the restart of face-to-face scouting.

There are lots of really helpful resources available here including:

  • Videos on the approval process and how to write risk assessments
  • Risk Assessment Templates and Examples
  • Checklists for risk assessment submitters and approvers –these are very helpful in keeping you right in terms of what needs to be included and the level of detail

This link provides details of the Requestor approval process.

To date, nearly half of the Sections in the Region have had a Risk Assessment (either Yellow and/or Amber) approved to allow them to re-start face to face Scouting which is great news!

A reminder though that there is no pressure to return to face to face Scouting. You know your young people, you know the limitations of your meeting place, the ability of your leaders to be able to return and what your parents are willing to sign back up to.

If you need any specific support with Risk Assessments please contact your line manager in the first instance. In addition, Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer would be happy to provide advice and support (

Getting Everyone Back Together Safely

Getting Everyone Back Together Safely

As lockdown measures start to ease, UK Scouts/SHQ are working with youth sector partners and other Government bodies to understand what a safe return to face to face Scouts may look like when the readiness level reduces from red.

A framework and set of guidance on how elements of face to face Scouts could take place and the safety measures we would need to take into account has been produced.

 You can also watch a webinar explaining more on how you can re-start Scouts. 

Please remember, face to face Scouts is still suspended as the readiness level for Scotland is still red – but this is guidance to help you prepare for a for a time where restrictions may ease enough to allow it. 

If you wish, you can review this guidance now and start to make local plans for how you would implement some face to face activities once the readiness level in the nation is reduced but please ensure you adhere to the guidance and the associated sign off processes BEFORE engaging young people in any indoor or outdoor face to face Scouting. In addition, please check with your Group/District about other local requirements e.g. who approves risk assessments.

However, please do not feel pressurised to take any action at this stage if you prefer not to.

We will continue to update you on advice given going forward.


Mike Treanor
Scouting Support Officer 

A Reminder: Are you up to date with your safety training?

A Reminder: Are you up to date with your safety training?

Did you know that it is a mandatory requirement for all leaders in Scouting to have completed safety training?


Safety is at the forefront of all our minds just now after the fatal accident in North Wales, and we will be criticised very heavily if we have not done the training. Safety training is mandatory in Scouting.

Have you done the safety training? And is your safety training up-to-date on your own personal record on Compass?

Please can you make sure that you have had safety training in ‘Getting Started’ training, and then in ‘Running Safe Activities for Section Leaders’, or the ‘Safety module’ of the Managers and Supporters training. You can also do safety training online and it only takes 30 mins.

If you are not sure what you should do, please can you ask your GSL, your Training Adviser or your Assistant District Commissioner Adult Training (ADC AT.  In addition, you can seek advice from Mary Dick, Assistant Regional Commissioner – Adult Training.

I am going to ask for a check to be run on all leaders’ Compass records in two months’ time to ensure everyone is up to date. I will then discuss with District Commissioners what action to take, should we still have leaders who have not completed their mandatory training.

Please do the training as soon as possible – more details were provided in the January Regional Newsletter.

Start the safety ongoing training e-learning.

Ongoing Safety Training FAQs.

Margery Naylor
Regional Commissioner, South East Scotland Scouts