What’s New

16th March 2016

All adult members now have full access to Compass appropriate for their roles. Read the ‘who can do what’ document here and find resources to get you started here.

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Chief Scout’s Length of Service Awards – Pre August 2016

As part of the ongoing work to improve the data quality in Compass, a data fix has been implemented to add Length of Service awards that were awarded before August 2016 to member’s records. Members can view their awards on Compass from the Awards” tab on their profile page. 



An award has been added to my Compass record, should I have received a certificate as well?

The purpose of this data fix is to ensure that Compass reflects the awards that have already been sent out prior to August 2016. Therefore, the certificates and emblems for these awards had already been sent to Commissioners at the time the Length of Service award was due. If you have not received your certificate please get in touch with your Commissioner. 

Why is the Awarded Date or Award Location different to what is on my certificate?

Up until August 2016, Length of Service awards were being sent out based on data from the previous membership database, MMS. Where possible, we have tried to ensure that the details of the award, such as date and location, reflected on members’ Compass profiles are as accurate as possible to the data from MMS. However, due to updates in members’ role history or inaccuracies in the previous data set, in some cases the date or award location may not be an exact match. We apologise for any inaccuracies in these details, however the priority was to ensure that the correct level of award (e.g. 5, 10, 15 etc year awards) was recorded on member’s profiles.

What about other awards that I have received but are not showing on Compass yet?

Whilst the current priority is focused on Length of Service awards, there are still plans to ensure that the rest of the adult awards that have been issued are also recorded on Compass. Further communications will be sent out when we have more to update on this piece of work.

What about Length of Service Awards that have not been sent out yet?

We have been working on developing the functionality within Compass to generate Length of Service Awards to enable us to resume sending these out. Development and testing is progressing well with the aim of sending out the outstanding certificates to Commissioners in Autumn 2017. Further communications will be sent out over the coming months. We thank you for your patience whilst we are undertaking this work.

Length of Service will be calculated based on the start and end dates for eligible roles that are recorded on members’ Compass profiles. In order to ensure that members receive the correct Length of Service awards, it will be important to ensure that members’ role history is up to date and any historical service is added to their records, where possible.

Updates to Compass and Atlantic Data – 07/06/2017

Updates to Compass and Atlantic Data

We have made a few changes to Compass and Atlantic Data on the back of the feedback you have been providing to us.

In Compass we have made the following changes:

  • A bug has been fixed that was causing a small number of training records to no longer be displayed when a member’s role was closed. The bug was affecting some members who had previously held a Parent role on Compass and who had training records that had been added before January 2016. If this has affected your record please contact your local training team who will be able to update your record based on your training history.
  • A bug has been fixed to allow the District Explorer Scout Administrator to be able to use the export and email functions.
  • The role variant “Communications Manager – Media” has been made available.
  • New roles have been added for members in Scotland for the Chair of the District Youth Advisory Group and Member of the District Youth Advisory Group.
  • A bug has been fixed that was previously preventing GSL, DESCs and DSNCs from adding their own ongoing learning.
  • A bug relating to the CE check process for a small number of roles has been fixed.
  • A bug has been fixed that was causing the start date to change for roles added using the “replace role” function.

In Atlantic Data we have made the following changes:

  • An additional security question has been added as part of the password reset process.

In addition, the following FAQs have been added:

For further support and advice with regards to these changes please contact The Scout Information Centre.

Updates to Compass – February 2017

Updates to Compass 

In February, we have made a few changes to Compass on the back of the feedback you have been providing to us.

In Compass we have made the following changes –

  • As part of the ongoing work to improve the data quality in Compass, members who had a closed role that appeared twice on their role record should now see that duplicate role entry removed. This data fix will only apply if both the closed roles are the same role, have the same role start and end dates and are in the same location.
  • The role variant “Assistant Commissioner – Growth” has been made available.

For further support and advice with regards to these changes please contact The Scout Information Centre.

Our Digital Journey – February 2017

It’s been some time since we updated you on our work on digital solutions. This update is intended to provide you with an insight on where we have been, what we are doing now, and what we will achieve in the future. We are aiming to bring greater transparency to this area of our work and to ensure that you fully understand how it currently affects, and more importantly, will positively impact you in the future to support you delivering Scouting locally.

– Reflections on the past twelve months

This time last year we were cautiously returning Compass to service. We know the impact that it had when it was offline and therefore returning it to service to ease the pressure on routine tasks locally was critically important, we had to get it right! We supported you with the return to service through the Compass Support Centre along with a range of support materials. We are pleased that the system is robust and supporting member administration locally one year on.

Over the summer we developed functionality to support the vetting process so as to ensure that all adults requiring a valid disclosure in Scouting have one. The functionality went live in the autumn and we are hugely grateful for your concerted efforts and support during the introduction of that critical functionality.

– The current focus and priorities

We’re conscious that there are many administrative tasks that you would like Compass to perform, but with limited resources (both human and financial) we have to make some choices and consequently prioritise our work in this area. We’re currently working on the following:

– We’re working hard to improve the quality of our data. The automatic upload process available during the period Compass was offline, showed us that whilst there were processes in place to reduce the possible number of duplicates, they were not failsafe, resulting in a number of duplicate records. We need to eliminate these records utilising functionality to merge duplicate records. This is currently being developed. It is anticipated that this will be completed in the spring.

The impact of us having data which is not accurate for you delivering Scouting locally is, for example, that we are currently unable to produce appointment cards (albeit we are looking at moving to a digital solution to provide you with an electronic appointment card as opposed to continuing to issue plastic cards); and that we are currently unable to print and issue Long Service certificates. We realise the impact this has locally and are working as hard as we can to resolve these issues. It could be a number of months before this is resolved, but we aim to have a solution implemented during the autumn. We may, however, have to look at alternative methods to issue Long Service certificates if we deem we cannot resolve the issue in a reasonable timescale.

In addition, we’re working to restore the training data that was not migrated from our previous membership system. Significant progress has been made, although further work needs to be undertaken before the functionality can be fully implemented. Once ready to be implemented we will provide detailed guidance on what has been achieved and the mechanisms available to deal with any outstanding issues.

– We’re working to future proof our back-end infrastructure so that we have platforms enabling us to exchange data between the various systems we have to provide the range of services we offer to members. This ranges from supporting the delivery of segmented content to members through ScoutingPlus, to the integration of systems that support the important work we do to safeguard young people. Our current plans determine that this area of work will realise benefits over the next year, much of which will be in the background.

– We’re working to make functionality to administer youth data available. This has taken a lot longer than anyone would have wished, however, we are continuing to pro-actively explore and are in active dialogue regarding a range of possible options. We are keen (linked to the previous point on our back-end infrastructure) to potentially work with external partners to support them to develop tools, services and functionality to support the delivery and administration of Scouting locally. The key consideration is that we can maintain the security and integrity of member data, so as to understand who our members are, and ultimately design and deliver services to enhance the experience of young people and adults in Scouting.

– Looking ahead to transforming our services

We are clear that to enhance the experience of young people and adults in Scouting we have to transform our services through a range of digital solutions. It’s clear that our most popular service, the Scout Information Centre, needs bolstering to ensure that we can provide a high quality service to members and to the public. Our website needs an overhaul to ensure we can make tools, resources, services, etc., more accessible to more members. It is our aspiration to radically re-shape how we deliver services to members locally. This ranges from how members access support and advice in ways that work for them, to providing content and resources to support the delivery of the Programme.

We’re currently in the process of recruiting a Chief Digital Officer who will report to the Director of Scouting Operations to drive change across the organisation to make our ambitions a reality.

The journey won’t be quick, but we have learned so much over the last few years and with a renewed approach to developing our services, we’ll succeed. We’re committed to making Scouting simpler to operate locally and more efficient nationally so as to keep the cost of Scouting proportionate, but ensure that we continue to change as many young peoples’ lives as possible.

Once our Chief Digital Officer is appointed and has had the chance to gather their thoughts they will be back in touch (and will be more regularly), primarily to bring transparency to this important aspect of our work.

A blog version will be made more widely available to all adults in Scouting through ScoutingPlus later this week.

Ross Maloney

Director of Scouting Operations

The Scout Association