Update from Alexis Cheshire

Since my last blog, lots of work has been undertaken to ensure that Compass is ready to be reintroduced.

As you will have seen from the various more formal updates, we have undertaken extensive testing of the functionality, including going out to a number of Districts from across the UK so that they could try out the system “in the field”. We have also successfully undertaken a number of back-end upgrades to the infrastructure.

You will be pleased to hear that subject to a few final technical processes, and the necessary go-live approvals from our governance structure, we anticipate that Compass will be reintroduced to Phase 1 Users (Commissioners, Appointment Secretaries and Superusers) during the last week of January.

Once we go live we will of course need to monitor carefully the load and performance of the system, however subject to system performance being as expected, we anticipate to be able to be able to reintroduce Compass to Phase 2 users (ie Phase 1 users plus GSLs, DESCs, DSNCs & SASU Managers) approximately two weeks later.

In order to reintroduce Compass and have it all ready we need to switch off the adult upload function from Monday 18 January. Phase 1 users will be able to add new adults, (as well as undertake a wide range of other functions) when they gain access to Compass.

Over the next few weeks you may notice some changes to the Compass User Support website, this is one part of the work to provide additional support when we start the reintroduction.

Throughout the reintroduction process, both the reports and Atlantic Data (the Disclosure system for England and Wales) functions will continue to be available to everyone that currently has access. It will also be important that the focus on ensuring that everyone has a valid disclosure is maintained.

Compass update

Before 2015 ends we wanted to update you on the plans for January’s phased roll out to restore local access to adult records. Testing has finished and we’re on schedule to roll out phased local access to Compass. We are confident that the system is as ready as it can be and are very grateful to the large number of members who have supported the testing of Compass locally.

Phased roll out timetable

Early January
A short period (anticipated to be no more than two days) with no access to the ’add adult tool’ and reports while systems are prepared. Advanced warning of this shutdown will be given.

Mid January
Webinar sessions for phase one users. The ’add adult tool’ will close and you will be able to add adults again within Compass once available.

Late January
Phase one local Compass access begins. Online Compass support goes live.

At what phase will I get access to Compass?
Download the diagram to see at which of the four phases you have access.

Local support for Compass
During the phased roll out, a team within your County/Area/Region will be the first point of contact for supporting local members with Compass. Details about who to contact will be communicated by your County/Area/Region team.

National support will be expanded and available via the Scout Information Centre. The opening hours will be extended to include both Saturday and Sunday for a short period after the re-introduction.

No youth data
Don’t forget, as mentioned in November’s Compass update email, only data and functionality to manage adult members, including Scout Network members will be available. No youth data and functionality for managing youth members aged 6 to 18 and their parents will be available when local access is restored.

We will be back in touch in early January to notify when the ‘add adult tool’ and reports will be unavailable for a short period.

And finally, as 2015 draws to a close we’d both like to thank you for your time and commitment, especially during a particularly challenging year, to provide even greater opportunities for more young people to experience the fun and challenge of Scouting.

Movement Readiness – a blog by Hamish Stout

This blog is focussed towards line managers (especially County/Area/Region (Scotland) Commissioners) and is made available to everybody as part of our ‘open’ approach.

We continue to make good progress towards preparing local access to Compass for January 2016. The supplier has completed what we expect to be the release version of the software and the final sequence of functionality, performance and security tests is currently being performed.

Right now we need to focus on ensuring that we are all (in our Groups, Districts and Counties/Areas/Regions) ready for Compass and prepared so that we can make full use of it as quickly as practicable.

When an adult logs on to Compass, we want them to see accurate data about them, and can access functions that work to help them in their role.

For the movement to be ready requires local leadership (County/Area/Region (Scotland) Commissioners) to support. There will be many questions raised by individuals when local access to Compass is restored, especially relating to data that is only available locally, for example training or permits detail.

So, what are some key local ‘projects’ to prepare for the restoration of Compass:

  1. Updating roles and Disclosures.
    Each County/Area/Region (Scotland) needs to ensure that Compass is updated so that it is up-to-date for every adult currently active in Scouting, so that:
  • All currently active adults have a Compass record and are showing their current open role(s) on Compass. It is important that all roles are there but please put an initial focus on the roles in the table at the end of POR that show as Criminal Records Check Required.
  • All open roles are at the correct status – pre-provisional, provisional, full (because this affects their access to Compass, and to Atlantic Data in England and Wales).
  • All ‘past’ roles, those that are no longer active, are closed on Compass.
  • District Scout Network Commissioner role is now available within Compass.
  • All adults who SHOULD have a Disclosure DO have a Disclosure.

These updates are made using the current offline processes and need to be completed by mid-December. Disclosures are processed using the processes appropriate in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  1. Permits (nights away and activity permits)
    It is important that all permits are recorded on Compass.
    When local access is restored the Compass database will have been updated to reflect the permits data that was in MMS as well as data added to Compass prior to January 2015. So, once Compass is locally available, a project will be required in each County/Area/Region (Scotland) in order to update adult records with permits awarded since January 2015.
  2. Training data
    It’s very important that each adult members training is accurately reflected in Compass. This supports adults having the correct role status (pre-provisional, provisional and full) and is necessary in order to award Wood Badges.
    When local access is restored, the database will have been updated, as far as is possible, to reflect the training data that was in MMS, plus any Wood Badges awarded since then. So, once Compass is locally available, a project will be required in each ‘County’ to input training data in order to ensure that each adult’s record accurately reflects their training. Each module entered will need to show, as a minimum, validation date and validator membership number.
  3. Local support
    Because Compass data will reflect all data that was in MMS, and any added to Compass while it was locally live in 2014/early 2015, it is inevitable that the majority of user questions that cannot be answered by the new Compass support materials will require local answers. The data to support those will simply not be available at Gilwell Park.

So each County/Area/Region (Scotland) needs to consider:

  • How users will register their support questions? Phone? Email? Local drop-in sessions? – and how will you tell your users how to access support?
  • How will the questions get answered? Again, phone or email or …? And who will do this?
  • How all users in your County/Area/Region (Scotland) will be made aware of and use your support route?

We know that every County/Area/Region(Scotland) is different in size, organisation and culture so there is no ‘one size fits all’ right answer to any of the above ‘projects’. But if you need advice, or have questions, please contact us via compass@scouts.org.uk.

Please help restoring local access of Compass to be as smooth as possible by ensuring that local support and action is fully in place by the time the Compass restoration starts in January.

Update from Alexis Cheshire

During this Autumn we continue the long process of testing so that Compass is ready for local access. We’ve been working with our supplier to check security and performance of the system as well as testing by external experts, staff and volunteers.

When local access to Compass is restored, youth data will not be available. Our current focus is re-launching the system to support adult records. We’ve concentrated efforts to ensure that the adult functionality is working correctly before progressing to the next stage. Youth records are securely retained and we will update you at a later date for plans on youth data access.

Local access to Compass is taking a long time to restore as we want to be confident the system is secure and working effectively. We have involved volunteers in complex programmes of testing and we’ve been methodical to work with our suppliers to ensure everything is ready for use.

The phased roll out to Compass adult records will start with focused access to specific roles including local line managers and Appointment Secretaries. Over the coming month we are developing a range of support resources to assist these roles and will update this website with new materials. Guidance around interim processes will also remain available during this time.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers and staff who have supported testing and to thank you for your continued support.