Towards the end of 2023 and throughout 2024 Scouts are introducing changes to improve the experience of our volunteers.

This includes how we welcome new volunteers, the learning opportunities we offer to volunteers, and providing digital tools to make it easier to get things done in Scouts.

A new digital tool to help recruit and welcome volunteers:

  • Recruiters will be able to create adverts and opportunities easily and reach new people.
  • Potential volunteers will be able to explore opportunities, enquire, be matched to their roles and follow their progress.
  • You can monitor where new volunteers are on their volunteer journey – and easily spot where things might need progressing.
  • You won’t need to enter data twice into unconnected systems.
  • Anyone can update their details in the digital tool, and use their existing information to apply for another role in the movement.
  • You can enquire about and make reasonable adjustments for the needs of the volunteer through the welcome conversation.

Redesigning the current appointments process into a welcome conversation:

  • The new welcome conversation will involve two existing volunteers meeting with the new volunteer. One person will work directly with the new volunteer, such as a member of a Group Leadership Team. The other person will be from a different team, such as a volunteer from a Support Team or Section in a different group.
  • The chat can happen in the usual meeting place of the new volunteer or via video call when suitable. This may involve those leading the welcome conversation watching the new volunteer having a go at their role. It should be informal, feel supportive and put the new volunteer at ease.
  • It’ll take place no more than six weeks after the new volunteer has started their role. The suitability of this timescale will be tested.

Read more about our warmer welcome

A summary of our new approach

This video gives you an overview of why we're changing how we volunteer together, what the team-based approach is, and what this means for volunteers.

You'll be talked through the changes by Pete Jeffreys, who is a Deputy County Commissioner and a Transformation Lead. He is one of the volunteers leading how we improve our volunteer experience


Our new principles

  • We volunteer flexibly as part of a team with a shared purpose.
  • Our teams and titles are easier to understand and more appealing to new volunteers.
  • Teams agree how to share tasks between them and this can change over time.

Read more about changes to roles and structures

  • We’re replacing our current Adult Training Scheme. After 20 years, it’s time for more engaging learning for our volunteers.
  • We’re using new digital learning tools to make learning more accessible, personalised and relevant to each volunteer.
  • We’re reducing and removing the heavy administration work of manually recording and validating learning.
  • We’re developing new content that’ll be inclusive, accessible, relevant, and focused on the skills and knowledge volunteers need to deliver great experiences to young people.
  • Content will be broadly split into Core Learning, which is mandatory, and Branching Out, which is optional.
  • The Wood Badge will be structured as a programme of learning personalised to the individual. It’ll be focused on being engaging, relevant and something you’ll want to do. It’ll be part of the Branching Out learning, becoming optional and open to all.

Read more about our engaging learning

In preparation for the Volunteer Experience changes that are coming, Scouts have created a Digital Skills Tools area where you can upskill and complete training in digital areas you may feel you need to learn more about.
There's also a handy quiz that will provide you with recommendations on which digital skills might help you.

From April 2023, we’ll rename Executive Committees and Executive Committee Members as Trustee Boards and Trustees respectively. 

Trustee Boards will focus on governance activities. Support activities (such as fundraising, premises management or administration) currently led by Executive Committees will move to other teams in the Group, District or County/Area/Region(Scotland).

Being clear about trusteeship

Every member of an Executive Committee already acts as a charity trustee. The renaming gives greater clarity on this.
Making the change aligns with guidance from charity regulators and helps Trustee Boards meet their governance responsibilities as charity trustees.
It also aims to help us recruit new volunteers by making roles and responsibilities easier to understand, and helping volunteers to get involved in a way that works for their skills, interests and availability. 

Being clear about the purpose of Trustee Boards

Being clear about Trustee Boards' governance purpose helps trustees to understand their responsibilities and carry these out in an effective way. 
Separating governance and operational tasks will also help as we recruit new volunteers - and to retain those already part of our teams. For example, the person who's great at managing the hall or running fundraising events might not have the skills, interests or time to be a trustee - but they can still be involved, as part of the Leadership Team or Support Team.
Governance tasks for Trustee Boards compared with operational activities

Read more about the move to Trustee Boards

Digital Skills
Scouts have created a Digital Skills Tools area where you can upskill and complete training in digital areas
Document Links
One Page SummaryOne Page Summary

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