As we begin the period prior to the Christmas holiday, I thought we should look at the importance of the selection interviews when obtaining new adults for various roles. When we have the occasion to investigate incidents with some Groups the importance of the initial interview sometimes appears to have been overlooked.


Much of the work of the Personnel Committee/Group Leader or Group Support Committee will necessarily involve the interviewing both of prospective new adults and adults who have been involved in Scouting for varying periods of time and have a corresponding amount of experience. The technique of interviews remain the most widely used selection process throughout the business world and we rely on them in Scouting. The challenge, therefore, is for us to make sure that the interviews we conduct are as good as we can make them, and give us the correct outcome as often as possible. This means that all involved in using interviews within the Scouting framework must develop our competence in interviewing.


Interviews are most likely to produce successful outcomes when the interviewers ensure careful preparation and a systematic approach. Most of the interviews that will be conducted are concerned with the selection of new Leaders and the assignment, reassignment or perhaps retirement of existing Leaders, so it is possible to set down several simple guidelines which will help this process.

The overall process of selection, assignment etc., can be summarised in the following process:

  1. Confirm selection criteria
  2. Obtain referee reports
  3. Conduct interview
  4. Make overall assessment
  5. Make your recommendations


Often in Scouting referee reports are overlooked and we must remember that these are a key aspect of the new Leader selection process. We need to remember we are involved in selecting people who will assume positions of trust within the world’s largest youth organisation. No matter how good we get at interviewing, the interview gives us input only from the person whose selection we are concerned with.

Referees should ideally be spoken to by more than one person although this will not always be possible and sometimes the Chairman or another delegated person of the Committee, will make the contact and report back. Certainly the contact with the referees should be personal rather than by letter.

Keep the questions specific. Ensure you get the information you want, rather than the information the referee is trying to give you. We are all prone to generalisations, and often draw wide-sweeping conclusions from one or two examples which may or may not be valid. You need to understand the evidence on which options are based. Document the comments clearly.


In accordance with Policy and Rules a formal agreement is establish between the Association and the new recruit at the sign up. The Mutual Agreement defines the relationship between the parties and recognises that both parties are accepting certain responsibilities. This needs to be explained clearly including the Leader training requirements (e-learning and face to face training) for all Leaders.

Once the application for appointment (A1) and Blue Card applications are completed this will lead to their appointment and membership of the Association once the suitability checks are confirmed.


Many of you will be heading to Sydney after Christmas for AJ2016. I will be attending for the final few days and hope to catch up with as many young Queenslanders as possible and of course those wonderful volunteers who have given up their holidays to attend.


Christmas will be celebrated in many parts of the world on December 25th. The Eastern churches, the Ethiopian Orthodox church, Russian Orthodox church and the Armenian church celebrate Christmas on January 6th or 7th. No doubt there will be many rituals, parties and celebrations at this time of year. Maybe even Santa Claus / Father Christmas / Saint Nicholas will visit you and your family. Please stay safe over the Christmas/New Year period and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you for all you have done volunteering for Scouting over the past year, the picture below describes your wonderful contribution…