Adult Leader Selection Process

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has a multilayered adult leader selection process that includes criminal background checks administered by a nationally recognized third party and other screening efforts.

STEP 1: Application

All adults who have been selected as potential leaders of youth by a chartered organization must provide references, past addresses, other community affiliations and affirm that they have had no criminal accusations made against them.

STEP 2: Youth Protection Training

No person can become a registered leader in Scouting without first completing the BSA’s Youth Protection Training, and all registered adult volunteers are required to complete the training every two years. The training is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is regularly updated to include the latest strategies for recognizing, responding to and preventing abuse.

Step 3: References

Every potential volunteer is asked to provide local references from within the community they seek to serve. Chartered organizations (civic groups, schools, etc.), which establish Scouting units and provide local insight and ongoing supervision, are responsible for reviewing each application and determining which potential volunteers to move forward to the next phase of the leader selection process.

STEP 4: Criminal Background Checks

The BSA requires criminal background checks for all Scouting leaders. The background checks are administered by a nationally recognized third party that also provides this service to many local, state and federal governments; educational institutions; and other nonprofits. 

STEP 5: Volunteer Screening Database Check

Before an applicant can join or volunteer with Scouting, the BSA verifies that he or she is not included in our database of individuals who have been prohibited from participation. The Volunteer Screening Database is in place to prevent the registration of individuals who do not meet the BSA’s standards due to known or suspected abuse or misconduct within or outside of the organization.