The purpose of the Code of Good Practice (SID 39/05) is “to provide a common understanding within the Association of the behaviours and practices expected of adults involved in Scouting and to inform parents of these behaviours and practices”.
It declares that:
- Scouting Ireland has an obligation to all its members to provide an environment within which Scouting activities can be enjoyed in a safe, non-discriminatory, and respectful manner.
- When applying for membership of Scouting Ireland adults should declare that they have read, understood, and will implement the Code of Good Practice.
- Each Group Council, Scout County Board should at their respective Annual General Meeting discuss this Code of Good Practice, reaffirm their commitment to its implementation and will forward any concerns or suggestions to the National Management Committee.
- All Committees or Teams proposing new policies, procedures or programme will confirm that these comply with this Code of Good Practice and the Association’s Child Protection Policy.
- The Code of Good Practice will be reviewed annually by the National Management Committee to ensure fitness for purpose and to take best practice into account as it emerges.
It sets out aspects of how Scouters should behave towards and in the presence of youth members as well as towards the parents / guardians of youth members. It includes guidelines concerning the use of photography as well as recognising child abuse and responding to disclosure.
It also includes the following concerning Scouters behaviour more generally:
- Scouting enjoys widespread respect in the community because of its positive contribution to the lives of young people. It is important that this respect is maintained by exercising the correct personal behaviour that society expects of adults working with young people.
- Adults by their example should be a positive influence on the behaviour of young people in respecting themselves, other Scouters, parents and youth members and the property of themselves and others.
- At adult events where alcohol is available it should be consumed in a manner that shows respect for self and for others.
- Scouters should speak respectfully of others Scouts and Scouters and not involve young people in conversations that are critical of others.
It should be noted that the date of the current version is given as March 2019 although references to Adult Training on pages 29 and 30 seem to pre-date that.
The latest guidance on introducing adults to Scouting (Induction) and Adult Training can be found at these links:
The official and current version of the Code of Good Practice can be found at scouts.ie, this is the definitive source which should be used for reference and guidance at any point in the future
The version which was current when this article was written can be read here
If you need support with the subject matter you should contact your Group Leader, County Commissioner, Provincial Commissioner or local support staff in the first instance.