Compass Update

Firstly we want to say again that we know the transition to Compass and especially the past three months have been extremely difficult to carry out many Scouting tasks without a functioning database. Your feedback and support during this period is greatly appreciated.

We are now in a position to be able to give some clearer information on the plan for Compass going forward.

We have said throughout this offline period that we are not going to restore Compass until we are confident the system is secure. As you know we conducted thorough testing on the system during this offline period which identified the security challenges, but also other matters that need to be addressed before we go live again. All this has meant that it has taken longer to restore Compass than any of us would have liked.

Many of you have additionally fed back that we should not go live again until we are confident the system works and also that we should stagger releasing functionality bit by bit, rather than releasing it all in one go.

Taking into account the range of views expressed, going forward we will restore Compass in several stages, testing at each stage as we go. This will provide ‘MMS’ (the previous membership system before Compass) equivalent functionality from early autumn.

This date is a best estimate of what can be achieved as we write this note in April. As dates firm up we will be tighter and more specific on timeframes. We will communicate this as soon as we are able.

Later in April we will give Appointment Secretaries and Commissioners (Regional Commissioners, County/Area/Region (Scotland) Commissioners, District Commissioners and all acting Commissioners in the same roles) registered on Compass the ability to:

  • Run a standard report listing adults with their disclosure status. This means you can identify who has been through the disclosure process. This list will also enable you to identify those adults whose roles should be closed.
  • Run a standard report listing the core details of all adults in a Group, District, County/Area or Region; the data contained in this report can be exported into many formats, such as Excel.

Further details about these reports and how to access them will be shared with members who are able to access the reports shortly.

Looking to the medium and longer term we are considering a range of options to ensure we have a digital platform that is future proofed and makes the delivery of Scouting easier.

What are the interim arrangements while Compass is offline?

Currently you are able to upload records for new adults to be added to Compass to request a disclosure check. We are also automatically requesting disclosures for those adults who are on Compass and their disclosure is about to expire.

From last week we have been issuing Wood Badges for those whose records on Compass show they have completed their Wood Badge training.

You can see the full list of interim processes we have put in place at

It is worth being aware that as part of our work to get a system back online as quickly as possible, we are looking at the possibility of turning Compass back on for a limited number of users so that there is at least one person in each Scout District and County/Region/Area who can access and update the system. However, this does require a full assessment of this potential solution taking external advice and a full assessment of the security risks. Once we have completed this assessment we will communicate with you letting you know the outcome. This will be investigated in parallel with the work to restore Compass as mentioned above.

How will we learn from this experience?

We are instigating an external, independent review of the Compass project over the last five years to ensure that we have learnt all the lessons we can. Clearly your input and feedback to date will be fed into this process and has been incredibly helpful in this work to date.

Census 2016

We are proceeding on the basis that the Census for 2016 will be carried out using the same online system that has been used for the last ten years.

DBS (England and Wales only)

We are also very aware that there are problems with the whole DBS process and we shall be reviewing this, listening to the feedback we have been given, with a view to making improvements. This will not be possible in 2015, but we wanted to assure you that we will act on concerns that have been raised.

Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation. If you have any questions please contact the Scout Information Centre.

Wayne Bulpitt                             Matt Hyde

UK Chief Commissioner            Chief Executive

The Scout Association

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