Tips for kick-starting an effective Executive

Every Scout Group has charitable status in its own right, regardless of being registered with the Charity Commission. Members of the Group Executives are Charity Trustees.

These tips are for quick reference only and should not replace the proper induction or briefing of new Executive Members.

Quick tips:

Ensure that Executive members are fit for their role
Make sure that all committee members complete an Adult Information Form (AIF), to ensure that they are registered with the Association and that a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check), is carried out on them.

See Policy, Organisation & Rules for details on persons not allowed to act as Charity Trustees.

Being fit for their role also means that they are not contravening The Scout Associations’ rules on Executive Members ; e.g. that appointed Section Leaders cannot take on Administrator roles (Chair, Secretary, Treasurer), nor may GSLs act as Group Chair.

Ensure that Members of the Executive understand their role
Executive Members, like all adults in Scouting should have a role description, be inducted into their role, and receive appropriate support and Module 1E: Essential Information Training. Providing them with a copy of our County Group Executive Committee Members Guide, ‘Help Make a Difference’, is a great starting point!

As well as understanding their individual roles on the Executive, Members should also understand the purpose and function of the Executive Committee and their role (and responsibilities) as a Charity Trustee.

Executives should seek professional advice as required
Executives should be willing to seek (and pay for!) advice on specialist matters as appropriate, when they are unable to resolve an issue.

Implement Statement of Recommended Practice ‘SORP’ regulations
his covers the requirements for financial reporting. For information on SORP reporting see the Charity Commission website:

Ensure that the Executive Committee meets regularly
Meetings of the Executive should be scheduled regularly and should also be effective as should the AGM for more details on how to run a great meeting see our section on effective meetings.

Ensure the Executive puts together (and adheres to) financial plans
Budgeting plays a key role in the successful running of the Group. Executives that are able to keep their Group within the set annual budget are in a better position to ensure that the Group is sustainable in the future and will ensure solvency; those that cannot will soon encounter financial problems.

Ensure the Executive agrees a Constitution
The Constitution should deal with practical issues such as the size of the Executive, working practices and cover the formation of sub-Committees. Any sub-Committees formed should have a clear remit. It should detail what they are going to do and for how long, their responsibilities and authorities.

Ensure that record keeping is clear and accurate
All meetings should have a record taken in the form of minutes. They typically should describe the events and discussions of the meeting, starting with a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues and a list of action points to summarise.

Sponsorship or Partnership Agreements
Executives should ensure that Sponsorship or Partnership Agreements (for Sponsored Groups) are kept up to date and that both sides fulfil their obligations as per the Agreement.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls