Welcome to the Transformation pages. Here is the information, guides and links which cover all aspects of this significant programme of change which impacts across all of Scouts in the United Kingdom.
You may be looking at these pages for the first time or, be a regular visitor or, somewhere in between but hopefully, there will be bits of information, interest, and insight.
If you are new to Scouts or maybe have not seen, heard, or read much about Transformation, a good place to start is to look at the background to this major change to Scouting in the UK. Just click on the link.
THE VOLUNTEER JOURNEY
You will be aware that the changes to the Volunteer Journey, a key part of Transformation, looks at four elements. There is a full update of the position against each of these elements which can be followed by clicking the required area below.
We cannot grow to meet our ambitions for young people, from section level to the whole of the UK, without making some fundamental changes.
OUR VOLUNTEERING CULTURE
Transformation is not just about tangible or material changes; it is also about how we all approach Scouting. This is captured in our Volunteering Culture which sets out three sets of aims to help everyone have a positive, safe, and rewarding experience by being part of Scouts, these are.
What Scouts will provide.
What the individual will undertake or do.
What Scouts and the individual will achieve together.
For the full Volunteering Culture document, please go to the following page at Scouts.org.uk. Volunteering Culture
Our Volunteering Culture is about “being the best we can be”, have a look at this short video to find out more,
click here https://vimeo.com/828324950?share=copy
REPLACING EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES WITH TRUSTEE BOARDS
In April 2023, Policy, Organisation & Rules (POR) contained details of the transition of Executive Committees to Trustee Boards. This was an automatic change and did not require any resolution or approval by the individual Boards.
Scouts has taken the opportunity with the current change environment to catch up and align with the relevant regulatory requirements governed by, amongst others, The Charities Commission.
This is more than just a change of name. The Trustee Board will be focused on making sure the charity is well managed, risks are assessed and mitigated, buildings and equipment are in good working order, and everyone follows legal requirements and Policy, Organisation and Rules. Trustee Boards will no longer have responsibility for the operational matters previously undertaken in Executive Committees such as premises or equipment maintenance, social or fund-raising functions or media and outreach.
These operational tasks and responsibilities will need to be migrated before the Annual General Meeting in 2024. For Groups, this will mean shifting such matters to either the Group Leadership Team or, if appropriate, a Sub Team of that Group Leadership Team. In Districts and counties, such matters are likely to be migrated to the District / County Support Teams.
There are to be other changes introduced to Trustee Boards ahead of the 2024 AGM, more details will be available in the New Year.
COMPASS CLEAN UP
The clean up of current Compass data has been operational for several month now and appears to be drawing to a close. As with any such change activity, there is always a “tail” and currently this is being managed to get the task completed.
This work is vital to ensure that migrated data is as tidy and correct as possible so, if you are contacted, please do support the clean up.
Whilst migration to the new Membership System is still a few months away, having undertaken that extensive piece of work, it is vital that we all must ensure that we keep those records in Compass as clean as possible. Therefore, this responsibility falls on us all to
Keep our personal records up to date.
Complete all data sections for new volunteers including Emergency Contacts
Ensure that new or changed appointments are correctly recorded avoiding Group Section Assistants or Multi Section Appointments as these will not easily “map” to new roles in the Membership System next year.
One of the primary pillars of Transformation is to increase the use of Digital Tools so that, for many elements it is “Digital First”. Our digital strategy supports our members, grows our movement, and puts our people at the heart of what we do.
Becoming a digital first organisation allows us to transform the Scouts experience. It helps us produce tools and services for our volunteers, staff and young people which are easy, enjoyable, engaging, and efficient. Being “digital first” is not about being digital only, and it is not about being digital for the sake of it.
Developing digital skills is important to all of us as citizens, as well as in our Scouting roles working with, or supporting, young people who are ‘digital natives’. Scouts are aware that volunteers have a range of different digital skills and confidence levels so some help, to enhance, improve, even start, would be very valuable.
As new digital tools are rolled out to help with Scouting, supporting all volunteers to feel confident using them is key to making things easier and therefore, Scouts has created a new learning and resources tool.
The Digital Skills Tool provides tailored learning content – has been co-created with volunteers and can be used to assess their own skills and gaps in their knowledge, use the resources available and ask questions and request help from other volunteer ‘Digital Champions’.
The Tool has been operating for some months now and has been popular. It is certainly worth a look to see what additional skills you can learn or perhaps refresh what you already use. The plan is that once the new Membership System is launched in Spring 2024, the Digital Skills Tool will be an integrated part. For now, it is a “stand alone” webpage so, jump in and put your digital skills to the test. Just click below to try it out.
Scouts does recognise that Digital will not be for everyone and, where possible / practical, some alternatives will be developed and rolled out. Further details around the topic of Digital Inclusion can be found in the Headquarters Briefing, click below.
NEW DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP SYSTEM
A key element of Transformation will be the introduction of a new Membership System. This will be accessible to all adult volunteers through a single sign on from within the Scouts.org.uk Web pages. The new system will incorporate three areas covering.
New member joining
In November 2023, the build of the new Membership System was completed. A comprehensive programme of testing is now underway looking at many areas such as security, performance, accessibility, and functionality. Testing is being carried out by different groups of individuals from IT professionals through to volunteer end users with little (or no) digital skills.
Below you’ll find a link to a video, filmed at Gilwell Reunion, showing the functionality as of the beginning of September.
During testing, the team are collecting feedback which may lead to some changes and improvements. Therefore, please bear in mind that how features work, what they are called, and how the system looks may change before it goes live.
New Membership System Sign -On
Watch out for details closer to Transformation about how to sign into the new Membership System. There will be instructions and I am expecting some simple “how to” videos.
Log in will be via the Scouts.org.uk Website and you will need a unique* e-mail address to do this. Compliance with GDPR is essential and the system will only recognise one e-mail address against one membership. You can select to have a secondary e-mail address to receive information, if you choose but it is not essential, you can use the same e-mail address for Sign -On and to receive / send mail messages.
*Unique to Scouts i.e., a shared e-mail address is permissible so long as only one party is a member of Scouts. If two or more parties are members of Scouts, even in different Groups, Districts or Counties, only one will be accepted.
It is possible to use a business or work mail address (subject to the above) however, some corporate systems have firewalls and mail blocking software to protect from hackers and spam. This may result in you not receiving important messages about things like expiring learning or permit applications etc.
Change can bring uncertainty, discussion, debate, and some resentment, which is inevitable of many changes in which we are engaged. There will also be work to undertake, sometimes against some stretching deadlines so it may not all be “plain sailing.” Change does, however, also bring reward, refreshed interest, improvements and reflect the current expectations and environment.
If you want to know a bit more about change, click on the link below for more information from Scouts.
WHEN WILL ALL THIS HAPPEN ?
In recent weeks, the delivery timescale for the whole of the delivery of the Volunteer Journey was extended into 2024. This was to allow additional time to undertake the testing of the new membership System as this is one of the pivotal elements of delivery.
With the year-end holiday period followed closely by Census 2024, it was not practical or desired to undertake the migration of data or introduce the new functionality to the Early Adopter Counties* until February 2024. The exact date is still to be finalised, but it expected to be around mid-month.
[* 10 Counties and Areas across the UK selected to be a “pilot” and to undertake migration and utilisation of new tools and systems ahead of the remainder of the UK. These Early Adopter Counties and Areas were selected for specific reasons to ensure an appropriate mix to test all the variables and functions. They have been working for around 12 months, slightly ahead of the remainder of the UK to prepare for early exposure and change. Somerset is not one of the Early Adopter Counties]
For the remaining Counties and Areas, there is a need to have a “fire break” to assess the impacts and make any delivery changes prompted by the experience of the Early Adopters. The current expectation is that the remaining Counties and Areas will migrate to the new tools and systems towards the end of April 2024.
Once more is known around this migration, including the period from which time all Compass records will be “frozen” and supporting documents and videos to assist initial sign on and any required local activity, this will be widely shared.
Looking ahead over the next couple of months we will see
A further phase of Compass clean-up – This will look at outstanding elements ahead of migration and focus on
Outstanding learning, including that which has yet to be validated.
Appointments not yet at Full because of either outstanding administration (references, approvals, or checks) or incomplete training (Getting Started).
Any outstanding or missing personal data including where a single e-mail address is being used in Compass by two (or more) current members.
Finalise, Progress or Start the process which will see all volunteers move into updated Teams. For some, this could be a big change and for many others, it is likely to be very close to what they currently do.
Within the Scout County and the Districts, this work is already underway with individuals being contacted to identify options and consider where the individual will support Scouting after Transformation. In these areas, we will see a significant number of changes as many of the current roles are being withdrawn including Deputy Commissioners, Scout Active Support Units, Appointments Teams, Instructors , Advisers and Supporters.
Within Groups, the changes are much less and for most, the change, for most members, will be centred around the role title and how they work within their Sections. In some circumstances, there will be changes to the learning required for those in Section / Group Teams. Finally, this work will include the migration of any operational tasks, previously managed by an Executive Committee.
As we move into 2024, further considerations and changes around the structure of and responsibilities relating to the Trustee Boards will be announced. These will need to be considered and implemented ahead of the 2024 Annual General Meeting.
More information about the introduction of Growing Roots to replace Getting Started.
Starting to work towards migration of data and the introduction of temporary systems to ensure Scouts can continue as easily as possible through the transition phase when systems like Compass may not be accessible.
As the Transformation programme progresses, there will be further updates via the web page here as well as, short updates, detailed guide notes, meetings and presentations in your Districts so do watch out for those.
Please, if you have any thoughts, comments, or questions, please do get in touch by mailing the following address email@example.com
I look forward to your continued support in the weeks and months ahead.
Last Update: December 2023