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Occasional Helpers and Section Assistants FAQs

I have parents coming to help out on camp this year; do they need to become an Occasional Helper?

If the answer to any of the below is 'yes', then they will need to be recorded as an Occasional Helper on Compass:

If the answer is no, then they do not need to complete a Disclosure Check and do not need to be recorded as an Occasional Helper.

I have a parent rota for helping with weekly meetings; do the parents on it need to become Occasional Helpers?

If the answer to any of the below is 'yes', then they will need to be recorded as an Occasional Helper on Compass:

If the answer is no, then they do not need to complete a Disclosure Check and do not need to be recorded as an Occasional Helper.

When does someone stop being an Occasional Helper and start being a Section Assistant?

The difference between an Occasional Helper and a Section Assistant is not necessarily related to how often they volunteer. Section Assistants receive a number of benefits which are not available to Occasional Helpers.

Therefore, Section Leaders should ensure parents and Occasional Helpers who are involved on a regular basis are aware of the appointment opportunities available to them (especially as Section Assistants or Scout Active Support Members).

What happens if an Occasional Helper takes on an appointment?

If an Occasional Helper takes on a new, formal appointment, their Occasional Helper role should be cancelled on Compass by the Appointments Secretary. The new role can then be added to Compass and they will go through the relevant appointment process.

I've heard that Section Assistants can choose to become Members or Associate Members. What’s the difference?

Section Assistants have the choice to become either Full or Associate Members of the Scout Association.

A Full Member of the Scout Association receives all the benefits of membership (including the magazine, more training, and a higher level of insurance coverage), can wear the uniform if they chose to, and will take the Promise.

As an Associate Member you still receive all the benefits of membership, and can wear the uniform (without the World Membership Badge), but do not need to take the Promise.

What about Executive Committee Members?

Executive Committee Members are formal appointments and should not be recorded as Occasional Helpers on Compass. 

What about Scout Network members?

New members of Scout Network who are also new to Scouting should complete the Adult Information Form and be recorded on Compass.

Scout Network members who do not have an adult role in scouting do not require a DBS check, as Scout Network members are not adult volunteers but are required to be a member of The Scout Association which involves being recorded on the association’s membership database.

Those Scout Network members who do not have an adult appointment in Scouting must not have unsupervised access to youth members without undertaking the national vetting procedures.

More information on the differences between sectional assistants and occasional helpers can be found here

Note: This information applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland only.

 

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