Frequently Asked Questions
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Important Updates to the Boy Scouts of America’s Youth Protection Training Policies
BSA continually seeks to increase awareness of this societal problem and to create even greater barriers to abuse than already exist today in Scouting.
BSA Policy is:
Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers.
Youth Protection training must be taken every two years. If a volunteer does not meet the BSA’s Youth Protection training requirement at the time of recharter, the volunteer will not be reregistered.
To find out more about the Youth Protection policies of the Boy Scouts of America and how to help Scouting keep your family safe, see the Parent’s Guide in any of the Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting handbooks, or go to http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection.aspx.
Mandatory Report of Child Abuse
All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good-faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physically or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography; online solicitation; enticement; or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person.
Notify your Scout executive of this report, or of any violation of BSA’s Youth Protection policies, so that he or she may take appropriate action for the safety of our Scouts, make appropriate notifications, and follow up with investigating agencies.
Questions and Answers
The following are answers to some of the questions we have received about these important updates. To read more, visit
Q1: What is your policy?
A1: All registered adult volunteers—no matter what their position entails—must complete Youth Protection training.
Q2: Why is Youth Protection Training Required?
A2: Youth safety is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America, therefore, it is important to implement this training at all levels of the organization. The BSA is always reevaluating and reassessing its policies to ensure the safest youth program and the best training are offered. The BSA’s Youth Protection training has been in existence long enough for it to be understood and accepted as a mandated training for all registered BSA adult volunteers.
Q3: When does Youth Protection Training have to be taken?
A3: All registered leaders are required to renew their Youth Protection training every two years. No individual leader will be able to register without being up-to-date on his or her Youth Protection training.
Q4: Is there a grace period to get all registered adults trained?
A4: If a leader’s Youth Protection training is not current, the volunteer must take or renew this training immediately. Every effort should be taken so that all adults involved in Scouting have a current certificate of completion of the youth protection training.
Q5: Does “all registered volunteers” mean all registered volunteers — even board members and council presidents?
A5: Yes. The goal is to have all registered volunteers Youth Protection trained. This is important to the Boy Scouts of America as a youth organization and reinforces the BSA’s commitment to the well-being of all youth members and volunteers.
Q6: I am sure I know all there is to know about youth protection. Can I “test out” by only taking the Youth Protection online quiz?
A6: No. Youth protection requires sustained vigilance and a commitment to helping protect youth. You must complete the entire online training in order for your Youth Protection certificate to be valid. This ensures you receive the latest information on BSA Youth Protection.
Q7: Does the executive officer (institutional head) of a unit need to take Youth Protection training?
A7: We believe everyone should take youth protection training, however, the executive officer is not a registered leader so, he or she is not required to complete Youth Protection training, although it is strongly recommended. If the executive officer is a registered member of the BSA, then he or she must complete Youth Protection training.
Q8: I am a Tiger Cub adult partner and ScoutParent. Do I need to take Youth Protection training?
A8: All registered adults are required to take Youth Protection training. The Tiger Cub adult partner and ScoutParent designations are not registered adult positions; therefore, mandatory Youth Protection training is not required. However, under the initiative “Youth Protection Begins with You,” it is strongly recommended that all adults involved in Scouting take Youth Protection training.
Q9: I am an Explorer post Advisor. Does this new policy apply to me?
A9: Yes. All registered adults are required to take Youth Protection training.
Q10: Do leaders need to wait until they have final clearance on the background check to meet with youth?
A10: No. As long as their application is fully completed, submitted to the council service center, and approved, they will be able to interact with other registered & trained adult leaders and youth members while the criminal background check (CBC) is still pending.
Q11: Do merit badge counselors need to take Youth Protection training?
A11: Yes. A merit badge counselor is a registered volunteer position.
Q12: Can units that have some adult leaders who have not completed Youth Protection training be rechartered?
A12: In order for a unit to be rechartered, it must have all the required positions filled with Youth Protection–trained adults. Adults who do not have current (within the past two years) Youth Protection training will not be reregistered.
Q13: Can a council or district organize Youth Protection group training for its adults?
A13: Yes. It is encouraged that adults take the training via the online module, but the instructor-led model is still acceptable as long as the most current version of the Youth Protection DVD is used and the end-of-course quiz is proctored by the trainer at the end of the training session. Reminder: It is critical that training completion certificates be issued after successful completion and that a formal training record roster be submitted to the council registrar so proper credit can be recorded in the profiles of each participant.
Q14: Will both the regular and Venturing leader versions of Youth Protection training meet the requirement?
A14: Yes, as long as the most current versions of the DVDs are used for group training. The online version is the preferred method, as it allows for those taking the training to get one-on-one training and take all the time they need for review. The individual is issued an immediate certificate of completion, which allows for the updating of the volunteer’s ScoutNet record.
Q15: If a person is not a registered leader, how can he or she log in and take the Youth Protection training?
A15: A person does not have to be a registered volunteer to take Youth Protection training. To take the training, access http://my.scouting.org and click on the “Create Account” button. After you have confirmed your new my.scouting account username and password, log into my.scouting.org and click on the “Youth Protection Begins With You” logo on the right side of the page to access the Youth Protection training page.
All three adult Youth Protection training courses can be accessed from this location. Upon completion, print your certificate to submit with the completed adult leader application to your unit leader or local council representative for processing. Remember to keep a copy for your records.