Commissioner Tools Best Practices

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Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of Commissioner Tools.

  • Clear your cache routinely.
  • Try to log your contact entries as soon as possible after the contact has occurred so you neither forget important details of the contact nor forget to log the contact within the 60-day window. Should a commissioner or professional feel it imperative to document a contact after the 60-day window, it is possible to enter a date inside of the 60-day window and make an annotation in the comments that the entry was posted late along with the actual date of the contact. Making this type of “late” entry is completely ethical and in keeping with the intent and spirit of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
  • When running or downloading reports for large councils, try running the reports during off-peak usage hours or break up the report into smaller pieces such as into council service areas or districts if you receive an error message or the report times out.
  • Which report is the “best” report is subjective, but the Unit Health report is a most helpful report especially for roundtable commissioners because this report not only shows the unit, whether it is a new unit, and when it was initially chartered, but also shows when the last assessment was made and by whom, along with the assessment type (simple or detailed), plus the score. It also shows roundtable attendance and how many leaders from each unit were in attendance for each month of the year.
  • If the Commissioner Tools screen doesn’t populate or display information immediately, re-click the last button you clicked on. Or back up one level in the organization structure.
  • When a commissioner needs to be assigned to units in multiple districts, have an administrative commissioner whose natural context allows access to all involved districts assign the units to the commissioner (not the commissioner to the units— because the commissioner should show up in only one district).
  • Before scheduling a Collaborative Assessment (entering a future date in a Detailed Assessment), it is recommended that you contact the unit leaders first to get on their calendars. Scheduled assessment emails are sent from CommissionerTools@scouting.org and may go to their Junk folder, which they may not ever see or open. By having a conversation in advance, unit leaders will be aware that they need to look for the communication.
  • Keep up to date on current events by reading the biweekly status reports online (council commissioners and Commissioner Tools champions—don’t forget to share the status reports with your commissioners) and by joining the Commissioners of the Boy Scouts of AmericaFacebook page.
  • When training new commissioners, teach them how to use Commissioner Tools by having them review the Commissioner Tools videos. The links to the videos are found at http://www.scouting.org/Commissioners/tools.aspx along with a suggested viewing sequence (Viewing Order Matrix). Click here to view the entire commissioners training play list.
  • Look at your my.scouting dashboard and as appropriate update your contact information. Also review your training to have errors corrected and omissions added.
  • If you have a problem, don’t sit on it. Let your council Commissioner Tools champion know, so he or she can help. Or failing that, reach out to the Commissioner Tools Focus Group at CommissionerTools@scouting.org. You might have found a problem that nobody else is seeing. For example, one council could not get its reports to run. It turned out that someone had made a contact entry with a three-digit year. That very unique problem was causing the system to hang up. In another situation, there was a single district in a council where the commissioner list was not loading, but it was loading in every other district.

If you have any best practices that could benefit others, please send a detailed email with your idea to commissioner.support@scouting.org. Include screen shots if they would make explaining your idea easier.