Equal opportunities policy

Young People

The Scout Association is part of a worldwide educational youth movement. The values, which underpin and inspire its work are embodied in the Scout Promise and Law and in the Purpose of the Association.

Within this framework, the Association is The Scout Association - Policy, Organisation and Rules – January 2014 Chapter 2 Page 2 committed to equality of opportunity for all young people.

The Scout Association is committed to extending Scouting, its Purpose and Method to young people in all parts of society.

No young person should receive less favourable treatment on the basis of, nor suffer disadvantage by reason of:

  • Class or socio-economic status;
  • ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race;
  • gender (including gender reassignment);
  • marital or civil partnership status;
  • sexual orientation;
  • disability (including mental or physical ability);
  • political belief;
  • pregnancy;
  • religion or belief (including the absence of belief).

All Members of the Movement should seek to practise that equality, especially in promoting access to Scouting for young people in all parts of society. The Scout Association opposes all forms of racism.

Leaders and other volunteers

To carry out its work the Association seeks to appoint effective and appropriate Leaders, and to involve other volunteers in supporting roles, all of whom are required to accept fully the responsibilities of their commitment.

The overriding considerations in making all appointments in Scouting shall be the safety and security of young people, and their continued development in accordance with the Purpose and Values of the Association.

Accordingly, all those whom the Movement accepts as volunteers must be 'fit and proper' persons to undertake the duties of the particular position to which they have been appointed (including, if relevant, meeting the requirements of the Sponsoring Authority) and, where appropriate, the responsibilities of membership.

In making an appointment to a particular leadership or support position it may be appropriate to consider the gender and/or ethnicity of the potential appointee, in particular to ensure appropriate composition of leadership or supporting teams.
The physical and mental ability of a particular potential appointee to fulfil a particular role will always be a relevant factor to consider.

Within these constraints, and those imposed by the need to ensure:

  • the safety and security of young people;
  • the continued development of young people; and
  • equal opportunities for all;

no person volunteering their services should receive less favourable treatment on the basis of, nor suffer disadvantage by reason of:

  • age;
  • class or socio-economic status;
  • ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race;
  • gender (including gender reassignment);
  • marital or civil partnership status;
  • sexual orientation;
  • disability (including mental or physical ability);
  • political belief;
  • pregnancy;
  • religion or belief (including the absence of belief).


Note: Paedophilia is a bar to any involvement in the Scout Movement.