First of all, a huge thank you for volunteering as a trustee with Scouts or for considering this role.
People like you joining our Trustee Boards make sure that we can sustainably deliver a fantastic programme for our young people to develop skills for life – safely, legally, and in line with our charitable purpose.
When you become a Trustee you are signing up to the responsibilities of a charity trustee. There are a number of reasons why a person may not legally be allowed to be a trustee and by signing the declaration, you are agreeing that none of these reasons apply to you a
You can use this information as a starting point for understanding the role and to find out what to do. If there’s anything that you think should be added here, please let us know.
The Scout rule book
Policy, Organisation and Rules (“POR”) contains support and guidance to help us all to run Scouting. You can find it here https://www.scouts.org.uk/por/
Details about running the Group are in Chapter 5.
Depending on how your details are added to the membership system, the declaration is on the appointment form that you will be asked to complete, or it can be viewed electronically when a member of the local team adds your details to the system.
Role of the Trustee Board
The Trustee Board is there to support volunteer line managers, so that they can do their role of supporting leadership teams to provide a great programme for young people. Read more here.
Trustees have independent control over, and legal responsibility for, a Group’s management and administration.
In general, Trustees will:
- be liable to the charity for breach of their trust or fiduciary obligations under trust or company law
- additionally be responsible generally for any breaches of the criminal law they commit
- also sometimes be liable under civil law to third parties either for breaches of contract or for infringement of another’s rights
(For more details see this document from the Charity Commission.)
That’s a lot of responsibility, which is why the Scout Association provides Trustee Indemnity Insurance through Unity Insurance Services to cover Trustees in the event that they’re held personally liable for the loss of charity assets or for making a decision which results in the charity sustaining a loss in financial terms.
The Trustee Liability Insurance covers you for:
- Legal costs and expenses in defence of a claim
- Damages and compensation awarded against you
Learning for Trustees
To support you in your Trustee role, there is some introductory learning to do. It can be completed online and is split into five topics. You can do all five topics at once, or do them one at a time. Find out more here.
It’s usual for Trustees to meet 5 – 7 times a year, as well as a few additional hours a month when needed. Each Trustee Board can decide how often they meet, the dates and whether they will meet in person or “virtually”.
Annual General Meetings (AGMs)
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a compulsory yearly meeting of the Group Scout Council with important legal aspects and key, mandatory business that must be covered. But that doesn’t mean that it needs to be boring, lengthy or tedious.
(All parents, leaders, Patrol Leaders and supporters of the Group are automatically members of the Group Scout Council. It’s the electoral body which supports Scouting in the Scout Group. The Group Trustees Board is accountable to the Group Scout Council.)
What happens at the AGM?
The meeting includes the following items:
- Adopt the model constitution from Policy, Organisation and Rules
- Note the Group’s financial year
- Agree the number of members that may be elected to the Trustee Board
- Agree the quorum for each of the Group Scout Council (including this AGM), meetings of the Group Trustee Board, meetings of any sub-committees
- Receive and consider the Annual Report of the Group Trustee Board including the annual Statement of the Accounts
- [If required] To (re-) appoint Group President and/or Vice-Presidents
- To note any other supporters who may be admitted to membership of the Group Scout Council, including former Scouts and parents, by the Group Scout Leader, the Group Trustee Board or the Group Scout Council
- To approve the Group Scout Leader’s nomination of the Group Chair
- Election of the Group Secretary
- Election of the Group Treasurer
- Elections of members to the Group Trustee Board
- To approve the Group Scout Leader’s nominations to the Group Trustee Board
- To appoint the Scrutineer/Independent Examiner/Auditor
You can download a Group AGM template agenda and script (Word document) This also contains a timeline to help you to prepare for the AGM.
Members of the Group Trustee Board
Members can either be elected by the Group Scout Council, or nominated by the Group Scout Leader.
The Chair, Secretary and Treasurer must all be elected.
The maximum number of other members that can be elected should have been agreed earlier in the meeting (see above). You can elect fewer, but not more than this number.
The number of people that the Group Scout Leader can nominate is no more than were actually elected.
The Annual Report
You can download a template Annual Report here. The Treasurer should have experience in compiling a Receipts and Payments Account including a Statement of Assets and Liabilities, but you can find here specimens to help them.