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A check on our National Good Service Awards

Graham Haddock of the National Awards Advisory Group explains how the Awards Team randomly tests online Good Service Award submissions, to make sure the right people get the recognition they deserve every year.

The National Awards Advisory Group has looked at how nominations for the National Good Service Awards were made from September 2018 when the new nomination processes were introduced, and checked who was approved for: the Chief Scout’s Commendation for Good Service; the Award for Merit; the Bar to the Award for Merit; and the Silver Acorn. This is to make sure that each nominee has an up-to-date disclosure, appropriate training for their role, suitable length of service and the correct previous award.

The Group looked at a random selection of 10% of the awards submitted. These submissions are normally checked to make sure the person meets the criteria for the award. If they don’t meet the criteria, the relevant County Commissioner is informed and the award submission withdrawn. Just to make sure, the team will then check another submission from the same location to see if this is a one-off.

At the moment, between 4% and 10% of these award approvals don’t meet the criteria, for one reason or another. In other words, some people are approving awards for people who don’t actually qualify for them. We decided to have a closer look at Awards for Merit approvals to see why this was happening.

In the April-June 2019 quarter, there were 393 submissions for an Award for Merit. This award requires 12 years’ service as an adult leader (or 10 years in exceptional circumstances). 34 of the 393 (8.65%) were sent back to the approving Commissioner:

14 didn’t have sufficient service, and of these:

  • One had only six years’ service
  • One had only seven years’ service
  • Four had only eight years’ service
  • Eight had only nine years’ service
  • Three people had already received this award
  • 16 people had sufficient service, but hadn’t completed the relevant Wood Badge training for their role
  • One person had sufficient service, but no up-to-date disclosure.

It’s disappointing for us to see so many award submissions get rejected for not meeting eligibility criteria. We plan to keep dip-testing this new system to try to make sure that we can keep recognising those who have gone above and beyond for our cause. If we find that any District or County/Area/Region (Scotland) continues to approve ineligible awards, we may need to take action to resolve the problem.

If you or anyone you know needs help submitting awards, including checking the eligibility criteria and writing citations, or wish to contact the National Awards Advisory Group, please speak to the Awards Team.



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