Appreciating the efforts of our volunteers is an essential part of who we are and what we do.

Taking the time to say “thank you” to others is easy to do but often overlooked in the frantic world of Scouting.

When individuals regularly do more than we expect we have to opportunity to look at more formal ways to say thank you and that’s when the Awards and Recognition team can help.

Commissioners can give a Commissioner’s Commendation at any time.

Anyone can nominate an individual for a Good Service Award.

There’s lots of information about all the available awards on the Scout Association’s Awards and Recognition pages.

We’ve put together some tips to help you think about awards.

Making a nomination

  • Anyone (including volunteers, parents and young people) can nominate a person for an award
  • The person nominated has to be an adult member of the Scout Association
  • Young people can be nominated for Commissioner’s Commendations and for Meritorious Conduct and bravery awards
  • Whilst the national awards process works on a quarterly cycle, you’re encouraged to submit nominations at any time.
  • There are some forms involved and they are all on the Scout Association’s website. There are also some requirements that need to be met and these are set out on the forms.
  • The citation in the nomination will need to stress the extra effort they put in along with examples of how their work has benefited others. You’ll need to show how they work above and beyond their primary role. Good Service Awards are not awarded for just having done a role for a long time.
  • Citations should contain specific examples of good service by the individual. That should be limited to the period since they last received an award and we recommend emphasising the last six months.
  • Example citations are available on the Scout Association’s website.
  • Please ensure that all citations and the nomination forms are proof-read for spelling and grammatical errors prior to submission. Submissions should be in MS Word format and not as a PDF.
  • Nominations need to be sent to the local District Commissioner. If you don’t know who that is, use the District Contacts list on our Yellow Pages.
  • It’s possible that, once a nomination is made, the level of award could be raised or lowered. This is a normal part of the process and ensures that individuals receive the award that’s most appropriate.
  • Do not be nervous about submitting nominations. If you have not done one before, we can help you and once you have done the first one you will realise how easy it is for an adult to get a deserved award.
  • The County Awards Team are available to give you the help and advice you need. You can contact them here

Who makes the decision?

  • District Commissioners have the authority to sign off and submit nominations for the Chief Scouts Commendation for Good Service and the Award for Merit. They are submitted by completing the relevant Smart Sheet form on the Scout Association website
  • Other Awards require authorisation by the District Commissioner and then the County Commissioner.
  • The County Awards Team deal with these requests on behalf of the County Commissioner so send them to The County Awards Advisory Group supports the County Commissioner to make award decisions.
  • For the Bar to the Award for Merit and The Silver Acorn authorisation is just required at the County level and the Awards Team submit the relevant Smart Sheet entry on behalf of the County Commissioner.
  • The Bar to the Silver Acorn and the Silver Wolf require the support of the District Commissioner (as before) and then the support of the County Commissioner before they are submitted to the Scout Association’s National Awards Committee for consideration and approval.
  • We would strongly suggest that each District has a Local Awards Advisory Group (LAAG) to support the District Commissioner. The LAAG can process the nominations and the LAAG Chair can be delegated to sign off the awards. The LAAG members can also look around your District for the ‘quiet’ but hard-working adults. There’s advice on setting up and running an Awards Advisory Group here.

Timing and process

  • The Scout Association works on a quarterly cycle for most awards and publish deadlines on their Awards web pages. Essex Scouts also has awards deadlines.
  • Any award that requires County approval should be sent to at least a month before the Scout Association submission date.
  • Although many awards are submitted using the online Smart Sheet form, the nomination form must still be competed and held locally. The Scout Association has an audit and moderation process that looks at up to 10% of awards submissions each quarter and so Commissioners may be asked to provide the form before and sometimes after the award is processed.

Other tips on submission

  • Nominations can be submitted at any time, you do not have to wait for the deadline.
  • Anyone can nominate, it does not have to be a senior leader, manager or commissioner.
  • To avoid issues, District Commissioners (or the LAAG) must ensure that the mandatory criteria for the requested award is met before submitting a nomination. These criteria include length of service, time since previous award and completion of training (including mandatory ongoing learning) for all roles held.
  • Make sure that all of the sections of the nomination form are completed. For higher awards, please ensure that the Supporter Statement and Statement A are completed.
  • Ensure any text is within the boxes on the form.
  • Please look at the Scout Association Awards web pages which are really good and informative you will also find all the forms you require there.
Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls