This month it is timely to look at the Adults in Scouting policy and remind all team leaders that it is time to undertake the Adult Development Plans (ADP) with your direct reports. The Life Cycle of an Adult in Scouting covers three stages but it is the third stage of the Life Cycle, the decision for the future, which many Adults in Scouting struggle with. This is the process to deliberately make decision for future roles following the review and self-appraisal in joint discussion. Do you reassign the person to a new role, retire them, or renew their current appointment. All Commissioner roles are for three plus three years and normally are not renewed. Section Leaders may be renewed if appropriate.

Review process

Most people work better if they have, from time to time, the opportunity to discuss how they are doing and where they are going.


A review in Scouting is simply an opportunity to look at what has happened since someone started their role, or since their last review, and to see what further support and guidance they might need. It should not be confused with the performance appraisals that many people have experienced at work. Reviews can be both formal and informal, depending on what stage an individual is at in the course of their appointment.

An informal review is held at least annually, to build on the chats you have during the year. It is a chance to take stock and plan for the future.

A formal review takes place at the end of an appointment and an agreement is made whether the individual’s appointment should be renewed, whether they should take on a different role, or whether they will retire.

The review consists of meeting with the adult involved, in comfortable surroundings, and discussing how the last year in Scouting has gone for them. The benefits are that the team is more motivated, and the manager knows more about how the individuals in the team feel and their views on the future. It helps us in making sure that people are in the right roles, both for themselves and for Scouting, leading to happier Leaders and better Scouting delivered for our young people to enjoy.

As a result of the review process you may choose to recommend any of several possible courses of action:

  • Provide the adult with training and support in addition to that which he or she has already received.
  • Renew the adult’s appointment in her or his current role.
  • Reassign the adult to another position elsewhere within the Branch, Region, District, or Group.
  • Retire the Leader from the Association.

Remember our first priority, from the Association’s perspective, is the absolute importance of ensuring that the Youth Program is best served. If the Leader is failing to deliver a quality program, or if not a section leader, to ensure the welfare, progress and training of members then then appointment should not be renewed unless an alternative position is available, in which the individual could make full use of the competencies which he or she possesses.