Getting everyone back together safely

in Central Notts

Restarting face-to-face Scouting

Last Updated: 6th Sept 2021

This guidance is provided by Central Notts District Scouts and just gives and overview of the main points in relation to returning safely to face-to-face Scouting.  It should not be used as an alternative to the guidance/framework issued by HQ.  Full guidance can be found at: Getting everyone back together safely

If you have any questions, or require a bit more clarification around Scouting and Coronavirus, please Contact us, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible with an answer.

Check your COVID risk assessment

Don't forget that ahead of restarting face-to-face activities you should review your COVID safe risk assessment and make sure it's current. If nothing significant has changed or only changes to your numbers then this does not need to be re-approved ahead of you restarting.

General Overview

1. Current Readiness Level

Following the recent announcement from the Scout Association, face-to-face Scouting in England has moved to GREEN readiness level from the 6th September.


Residential Activities

Residential activities can resume for members who live in England. Nights Away activities may take place, more details available in the planning COVID-safe Nights Away in 2021 guidance

Residential activities are no longer limited to six people sharing accommodation. This means more flexibility for you when planning your nights away activities, although you should still be managing the spread of COVID-19. We’ve also updated our guidance to explain that members who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days (but are outside of the isolation period) are no longer required to undertake lateral flow testing in order to take part. We’re aware that is could generate false positives and prevent participation.

International Travel: Visits abroad may resume but must follow the FCDO travel advice and still manage the transmission of COVID and ensuring that the trips are safe and accessible.

NOTE: It’s important to remember that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic and we all have the duty to make sure we’re following the letter and spirit of the guidance. Although there is no longer a legal requirement for many things, as Scouts, with a duty of care to others and to young people, we recommend and expect the application of good hygiene and covid-safe approaches to all our meetings, events, activities and residential experiences.   

2. The Covid Code

Getting back together safely: The COVID Code

1. A COVID-safe risk assessment has been completed and we have communicated control measures to volunteers, young people and parents and all are encouraged to raise concerns.

2. Additional hygeine measures are in place.

3. Social Distancing will be observed (check current distance determined by the Government).

4 Maximum group sizes will be limited and determinded by and members will be consistent where possible. 

5. Make adjustments for young people and adults vulnerable or affected by COVID, and consult to make sure return plans are accessible and inclusive.

3. The approval process for restarting

England - Approval process

Following the recent updates to restrictions in England, many of the legal restrictions unique to the youth sector are no longer in place. Therefore the Scout Association have removed the requirement to have COVID-19 risk assessments approved by District or County Commissioners. Groups and sections must still document COVID-19 risks assessments, but like all other risks that we manage every day, it can be agreed within the Group itself (and within the District team for Explorer Units and Scout Networks). For general section meetings, there is no longer a requirement for parent or carer consent to our COVID-19 secure methods.

Nights Away Approval Process


We are changing the COVID-safe approval process for nights away. Camps or Residentials taking place whilst areas are in Yellow must have covid hazards and controls included within the event risk assessment which is submitted along with the Nights Away Notification Form. This will be checked by someone within the District and like any overnight event requires DC approval but does not need to go through the restart risk assessment smartsheet process. Those organising camps or residentials MUST show how they comply with current government guidance on numbers, social distancing and safe use of accommodation and sleeping areas.

Most of the restart decisions will happen at a Scout Group level, however this process may start at other levels such as a District Explorer Scout Unit or a District-led event. In each case, the approver will need to be independent and usually at the next level up in our federated structure.

Group Scout Leader and Chair of the Group Executive check that necessary risk assessment(s) are completed by Section Leaders, informed by volunteers, parents and young people, control measures are in place and leaders/volunteers are prepared to carry them out.

Documents shared with District Commissioner & District Executive's (or their nominee) and if all satisfactory, approval will be given to re-start face-to-face activity. Risk assessments and decision to approve recorded.

Confirmation passed to County Commissioner or nominee and a record maintained in a shared database which can be accessed by both the District and the County.

Group Scout Leader informs young people and parents/carers of section start dates, times and any operating procedures they need to follow. Parents or carers can confirm that they understand the measures and are happy for their young person to attend.

Face-to-face activities begin.

4. Risk assessments/action plans

With your leadership teams, you'll need to consider how you'll operate for the current alert level, and compile and submit written risk assessments for each section and for every environment the group wishes to operate in. You'll need to do this in order to move from each level of alert and also when any significant changes occur.

A template risk assessment is available for you to use from the Scout website, plus you will also be able to watch the video which will help you in completing your COVID-19 restart risk assessment:

Guidance for Leaders - Developing your risk assessments for face to face activity

Once you are ready to request the restart of your section/Group, you should submit your documents via the HQ form.

If you need guidance to help you complete the form you can find it here.

Getting Back together Safely - Smart Sheet

5. Compliance/training (DBS, Safety, Safeguarding, First Aid)

DBS disclosuresAll leaders will need a valid DBS so that they can take part in face-to-face activities. However, for anyone who's DBS has expired during this lockdown period, there will be a 90 day period for outstanding DBS checks to be completed.

Safety & SafeguardingAll leaders will need to have completed both safety and safeguarding training. Anyone who requires to complete this training should do so before they restart face-to-face Scouting. Both modules are available to complete via e-learning and once complete your certificate should be forwarded on to either your line manager, Training Advisor, Local Training Manager or District Commissioner, so that Compass can be updated.

Safety e-learning training module

Safeguarding e-learning training module

First Aidwhilst face-to-face Scouting is suspended, no face-to-face training is able to take place. This is especially challenging for First Response where elements of the programme are required to be demonstrated by participants in order to complete the courses (for example CPR). This challenge means that the completion of online training is not possible and won’t allow people to complete the full requirements of first response.  Whilst we understand trainers will use the opportunity of volunteers being at home to go through theory and pre-work to make face-to-face courses shorter, all first aid validation will still need to take place in person, as well the practical elements of the course.

We know that there will be a backlog of people requiring first aid training once face-to-face Scouting returns, and so in order to reduce the impact of this we are allowing members an extension to their existing first aid expiry date, lasting for 6 months from the time that your area reaches readiness level GREEN.  It is hoped that in this time members will be able to access the first aid training they require for their role and not prevent any Scout activities from taking place.

Nottinghamshire Scouts, are currently running First Aid training in a 'blended' programme of online and face-to-face training/validation. For more information about this process, please click here


Who is on the District approval committee?

The District Commissioner, District Restart Champion, DESC/Executive Committee member, Executive Committee member & Local Training Manager

How do I contact the District Restart Champion?

To contact the District Restart Champion email:

How often will the District approval committee meet?

Every Wednesday, if there are restart risk assessments to approve. Risk assessments should be submitted via the HQ smartsheet form by Monday, to be included for review at the approval meeting.

What will happen if your risk assessment is not approved?

Feedback will be given by the District Restart Champion and you will be able submit your updated risk assessments/documents for approval again.

Does a Group need to submit a risk assessment for each section, or can they prepare one for a Group?

This depends on local circumstances. It may be that only one section is ready and able to restart face to face Scouting. If all sections are restarting and will be meeting at the same location with the same facilities, then a single risk assessment recognising different age ranges would be suitable.

How often does a section or Group need to submit a new risk assessment?

The section or Group will need to submit a new/revised risk assessment for approval when the readiness level changes or their local circumstances change, for example, if they decide to meet at a new location. When you prepare your initial risk assessment, try to think forward and include any different locations you may meet at so you do not need to keep submitting new risk assessments for approval that less information will need to be changed.


- A review that identifies some changes to existing risks does not need re-approval. This could be changes in maximum numbers, changes in arrival procedure, additional hand sanitising etc.  - A review that identifies new risks should be submitted for re-approval. This could be when meeting in a very different environment, when moving indoors to meet, when getting back to residential activity etc. A new risk assessment does not need to be written; the original can have the new risks added.

What does the District approval committee need to check?

A checklist for Approvers is available to view here.

How detailed do our risk assessments need to be?

Focus on the key differences between the current situation and your normal meetings, it should focus on broad areas as outlined in the template and be detailed enough to be useful whilst not overwhelming. A few pages should be sufficient but it will vary. We’re definitely not looking for 50 page risk assessments to be submitted, or for it to include the detail of every activity you plan to do whilst in that level.

Can we run nights away events?

No nights away activities can take place until we have reached the YELLOW readiness level.

Do I need First Aid cover for my section meetings?

Yes, all Scouts activities need access to first aid, with first response being the minimum. For those whose training has expired during this period, they will be offered an extension on this.

Are we able to perform first aid if an incident happens?

Yes, HQ have provided guidance on how to safely administer first aid during the COVID-19 pandemic in this guidance. The priority is to deal with the situation, whilst keeping everyone as safe as practical.

Can more than one section/Group meet at one location at the same time if they remain separate/socially distanced?

Yes, but how you keep socially distant should be part of your risk assessment.

Can a leader help out at more than one section?

Young people must stay in their limited group size but adults will now be able to move between these groups, i.e. across the 25m spacing if outdoors or to a section meeting at a different time on the same day.

Do section leaders, helpers and young leaders need to be recorded on the meeting register?

Yes, everyone present at face-to-face Scouts activities must be recorded in case of track and trace requirements. These records need to be kept for six weeks.

Can Leaders/Adult Volunteers meet up together?

Adult Volunteers and Network members may meet together in line with current Government Guidance, regarding Adults in Social settings.