Suitability Checks

The onboarding process

So you’ve decided how much time you can give, and what role you’d like to have – now we need to make sure that you’re suitable for Scouting.

Character Check!

At this point, you’ve already met the team! They’ve probably mentally fitted you into the team somewhere already, and so will have assessed your character for suitability. As you can imagine, working with children, we need to ensure that everyone is safe at all times.

Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Check.

The DBS Check (formerly known as CRB), is performed by The Scouts UK, and requires an amount of data to be entered onto the UK Volunteer Management System (VMS). As part of the DBS check, you will be asked to provide proof of identity (i.e. passport, driving license, ID card), and proof of address (i.e. bank statement, utility bill etc) – these documents are checked by our Group Scout Leader, who will input the neccessary details on to the VMS.

The Scouts UK use the ‘Enhanced DBS with list check’, to assess suitability, which will identify:

  • Any convictions or cautions that are unspent.
  • Details of all spent and unspect convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings (apart from protected convictions and cautions) held on central police records.
  • Any additional information held on local police records that is considered relevant to the role in question.
  • Entry onto the children barred lists, preventing individuals from working with children.

Please don’t be afraid of the DBS checking process, even if you have past convictions. Only a certain list of convictions are considered grounds for disqualification from a Scouting role – if you are found to have one of those convictions, our Group Scout Leader will speak with you (in confidence), and in some cases the decision can be appealed.


Some, but not all, roles in Scouting require a couple of character references. These will normally be people who have known you for a while and can give an accurate assessment of you as a person.

District Appointments Advisory Committee (AAC) Meeting

Some, but not all, roles in Scouting require a short meeting with our AAC members. You’ve come this far, and we’ve already invested a huge amount of time (and money) on you. The AAC meeting is an informal chat to find out what exactly you want to give to and get out of Scouting, and your opportunity to ask questions of someone outside of the group. If they’re available, this is also your opportunity to meet the District Commissioner for another informal chat, and questions opportunity. Usually, you’ll also meet with the District Traning Manager (TM), to discuss the training required for the role (if any).


Assuming you’ve passed through all of those checks (as neccessary), you’ll then be given the appropriate appointment, and you can proceed on your journey into Scouting and get some training….