Transformation – Frequently Asked Questions
Undoubtedly, change brings questions, and we welcome curiosity!
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Last updated 15/01/2023
Timing of the Changes
When can we start making changes?
For all changes, we will communicate and guide everyone through clearly. We ask everyone not to jump ahead too soon; we will tell you what has changed and how to implement it. This is very much a journey, where our final destination becomes clearer the closer we move towards it.
What is the process for starting a new leader tomorrow?
There is no immediate change. You will all be guided through clearly as changes take place.
How will we encourage new volunteers for the sections – are there any district plans?
The changes are intended to make volunteering easier. The district are working with regional scouting to recruit Group Lead Volunteers (GSLs) at the moment where we have gaps, and will continue to provide advice and support to groups who are actively recruiting.
Will there still be a distinction between volunteers and occasional helpers as before?
We are awaiting further clarity on this, but we anticipate that all volunteers who undertake regulated activity (overnight residentials or volunteering more than 3 times in a 30 day period) will be members of a team.
Volunteering – our new District and Group structures
What will leaders/assistant leaders will be called?
Group Scout Leaders will become Group Lead Volunteers. Each section will have a Volunteer Team Leader, and the team will comprise of Volunteer Team Members.
When will be able to start a new or existing member into one of the new 15 role titles? Will that only be available in the new ‘portal’?
Implementing the change of roles in Compass would be time consuming and expensive, it does not make sense to do that for a system that we are retiring. No hard date is set yet for the launch of the new membership system, this is likely to be into 2024. Until that point, we will be able to get used to the new titles of “Lead Volunteer”, “Team Leader”, “Team Member” etc in our communications and inside the organization in parallel with those titles hard coded into compass.
Are the District Volunteer Team Leaders separate roles to the ones inside the teams, or is one of the team members also the team leader?
This will be a mix of both! The team leaders do not have to have a specific role inside the team, but equally they can have. Mike is currently working through these appointments. If someone is interested in either the team leader roles at District level or any of the vacant roles inside the teams please get in touch. The new district team will be announced in March 2023.
Where do Scout Active Support (SAS) Teams fit in the new structure?
District SAS Teams will fit as part of the Programme Support Team and continue to offer people and skills to support district and group programme activities.
Is the Radio comms team changing at district?
The Scout Active Support communications team will not change. It will continue to be part of the Programme Support Team.
What will happen to Group Executive Committees?
They will become trustee boards which will be more closely aligned to the Charities Commission requirements. Secretaries will become non-trustee roles. Each board of trustees will be accountable for governance and compliance of the group/district and will not play an operational role.
Will Group Constitutions and Policies need to change as these changes flow through?
They will certainly need reviewing. Changes are expected in P.O.R. releases and as we get these we will provide guidance. We recommend that Executives/Trustee Board review their constitutions and policies on a regular basis as best practice, this has not changed.
Will joint Scout & Guide Groups be affected by the change?
Joint “Family” groups are expected to continue to operate as they do now; the transformation changes only apply to Scouting. Family groups may need to review constitutions and policies that span both organisations for impact as details of changes are announced.
If a new volunteer comes on board now, will it be the current training scheme or new?
We expect the new core training to launch in early 2024; until then we will continue with the existing modules and requirement to complete Mods 1,2,3, GDPR, Safety and Safeguarding within 5 months of starting.
Will training and permits remain current when we transition to the new system?
Expiry dates on permits and training validations will remain in place when they are carried over to the new systems. We will let you know if there are any changes to core training that require a review.
If the wood badge becomes optional, should I continue with training under the current scheme?
Both the current and the new modules offer a range of learning that may be relevant to your role or interests. If you need to learn something to support you in your role and make it more enjoyable then continue with booking onto training courses offered at County or District level.
In addition, volunteers that are just a few modules away from completing their wood badge may want to complete this during the transition. In future, gaining a wood badge will be done once, not repeated for change of roles.
Digital and Data
Who do we contact to “make sure all data is accurate” before the transfer to the new system?
We are asking everyone to check their own compass data. Anyone needing help accessing compass can refer to the “Compass made Easy” guide. Help is available at District HQ on a Tuesday night. There will also be future communications encouraging and supporting volunteers with ensuring data is accurate.
Is the heavy lifting (data cleansing & validation) being delegated down to the individual groups? Has the impact of this on top of existing volunteer commitments been considered? The size of the tasks shouldn’t be underestimated.
We are currently asking and supporting individual volunteers to check and update their own data rather than asking Group Lead Volunteers to do this. There will be additional campaigns and initiative to support this. In addition, each group Board of Trustees (Executive committee) has a legal responsibility for data management and accuracy under GDPR, this has been the case since GDPR was introduced in 2018; so we do encourage local groups to also review and encourage data accuracy in Compass. It’s a team effort.
If I can’t change something in COMPASS that is wrong, who do we contact to get it sorted?
Contact the District Administrator or submit a “Contact Us” enquiry on the district website.
How much support will there be for non-IT competent folks?
All new learning content will also be available to via a non-IT systems. We will also provide simple “How to” guides for those who will appreciate extra help, as well as providing access to others who can help. Scouting is an inclusive organisation, so we will take steps to overcome any barriers that our volunteers face. We are also a big family, so nobody should be afraid to ask someone in the organisation for help with learning new skills.
Will the new Adult system allow lookups on “known” names?
It should be much more capable and user friendly than compass to use as it is being designed by people within Scouting, who understand Scouting.
Will scouts be also updating uniform to match the move to collaborative teams… e.g Polo shirts? More technical or less formal clothing etc.?
We are aware of a uniform review taking place that kicked-off in 2019 and was deferred due to the pandemic. We have no information about any outcome, and this is not a strong focus area for the transformation at this time.
Will there be cost to groups for all the change?
No additional cost is expected.
Will we need to move away from OSM for youth data?
A system for managing youth membership information is planned, but it is very early days on that. Cheshire Scouts have committed to funding Gold membership on OSM until that system is launched. This is likely to be 2026 at the earliest.
How does this change affect things like top award signoffs which sometimes need to be done by specific district or country commissioners?
This is likely to be one of the team responsibilities at District and County Level. These will be owned by a team member at District or County level (this may not be the County or District Lead Volunteer).