You wouldn’t leave a Beaver Scout alone with a fire or let a Scout go hiking without the correct equipment. We all agree that keeping young people and adults safe in Scouting is a key part of all our roles and that is why ensuring that everyone has the right (and most up to date) training to help them is so essential and why Scouting at every level from UK HQ to local sections are working so hard to ensure that all adult volunteers have completed the correct training for their role. This means that for relevant roles; Getting Started within 5 months, Wood Badge within 3 years, Safeguarding and Safety updated every 3 years. 

The current nationwide drive to ensure that these requirements are met does not mean that the work being done by volunteers is not appreciated – volunteers absolutely should be, and are, appreciated.  Various people can offer some help and support to meet these training requirements, e.g. Training Adviser, ADC (Adult Training), GSL, District Commissioner.  Ultimately though, the training requirements for the role need to be met.    There have been a number of recent cases of issues where leaders have not received correct training:

    1. court cases where ‘reasonable adjustments’ were not made to accommodate a young person with additional needs;
    2. Safeguarding incidents, where other leaders were not fully aware of the warning signs to look out for, and how to report concerns;
    3. accidents where young people come to significant harm, including the death of an Explorer where it was found the leaders had insufficient knowledge of the safety policy.

These show why receiving correct training is so important and why, when prospective adult members sign the Adult Information form (previously Adult Application) they accept the requirement to undertake the appropriate learning and/ or training within the time-scale as laid down by the Association; ‘ and should be asked when they meet the Appointments Advisory committee if they are willing to undertake required training – if they are not willing, they will not be approved.

As part of ‘Getting Started’ a Personal Learning Plan is agreed with a Training Adviser.  This isn’t intended to be a tick-box exercise and while flexibility over the order of modules or specific dates is fine, reasonable progress needs to be made.  Targeting only 2 or 3 modules per term will get you through a Wood Badge in 3 years.

The available training sessions are on the Region’s website, updates are provided in the Newsletter, and list of courses and dates are circulated as appropriate.

It is important to note that these requirements are not new – it has been in POR for at least the last 15 years that Getting Started is to be completed in 5 months, and the Wood Badge in 3 years.

Training is readily available, pre-Covid we were running face to face sessions for each module at least once per term, since May last year we have run a lot of courses over Zoom.  Some training can also be done in other ways (e.g. e-learning, workbooks), but it needs to be done.  There is no reason that a leader can’t cover all modules in a 3-year period. 

Please take ownership of this – check your training record on Compass to see what progress you have made to date, and consider how to move forwards.

GSLs and Commissioners – check the progress of your teams, and have a conversation with anyone who may be struggling.  Please ask for or provide support if it’s needed now, don’t wait until August!

Resources to assist:

Region’s online calendar and booking system:             

Compass login page (includes how to register):            

SHQ Leaders’ Training Guide:                                         

Information on modules (includes workbooks and eLearning)


Mary Dick
ARC (Adult Training)