Guidelines and Procedures for Conducting Unit Self-Assessments

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Process: Prior to the meeting, the unit Key 3 should fill out page one of the JTE spreadsheet located online at the Scouting’s Journey to Excellence website and print out unit self-assessment form results.

Who should attend?

The unit Key 3—the unit leader, unit committee chair, and chartered organization representative—and the unit commissioner (or district executive whenever a commissioner is unavailable).

What is the purpose of a unit self-assessment?

  • To evaluate the unit’s progress toward achieving the Journey to Excellence standards
  • To review the unit’s goals, successes, and vision for the coming year
  • To identify any areas of improvement—leadership, program, and membership
  • To determine any specific actions needing to be taken to assist with unit improvements and
  • Identify who will follow up on those actions
  • To schedule any necessary and immediate follow-up to monitor progress
  • To provide unit retention

When should meetings be conducted?

  • After the unit commissioner has visited the unit for the first time
  • Annually to review strengths and areas of improvement to help provide direction for needed support, preferably six months prior to the annual charter renewal
  • As needed when a problem arises
  • When unit leadership changes

How should the arrangements for this meeting be set up?

  • The unit commissioner speaks to the unit leader during the first unit visit to schedule the meeting date, time, and location.
  • The dialog should include:
    • Approaching the unit leader after the meeting and requesting that a second meeting be set up with the unit Key 3: unit leader, unit committee chair, and chartered organization representative.
    • Setting the meeting, preferably at the unit leader’s, chair’s, or COR’s home.
    • Asking them to complete the unit health self-assessment JTE form prior to the meeting.
    • Letting them know the visit will include a discussion of the JTE unit self-Assessment Form and how the goals and vision of their unit’s program can be supported.

Why should only the unit leader, unit committee chair, chartered organization representative, and the unit commissioner (or district chair if not available) attend the meeting?

  • Because the unit Key 3 and the unit commissioner help provide leadership and guidance to the unit. Since it is a smaller representative group, it can be more open to analyzing their program, unit needs, and necessary steps to help resolve any issues.
  • It also helps open a dialog between the unit and the district. Once they meet and determine what needs to be done, others can be involved in helping determine which direction to go and any potential support or resources needed.

What preparation should be made prior to the action planning meeting?

  • Review the statistics of the unit available from the local council and the district team, especially focusing on the following:
    • Journey to Excellence status: Bronze, Silver, or Gold
    • Outdoor program participation
    • Advancement reports
    • Trained leadership status
    • Unit Succession Plan
    • Youth Protection training
    • Participation in district and council events
    • Roundtable attendance
  • If the JTE unit self-assessment form had not yet been completed prior to the visit, do so at this time. Analyze and make observations, and review the statistics gathered from the council and/or district prior to the action planning meeting.
  • Set another time and meeting for a follow-up prior to rechartering the unit
  • The national BSA membership audit validation procedures requires unit self-assessments to be conducted two times a year and the completed form to be added into the unit file at the council office.
  • Document the health assessment meetings and visits in UVTS.
  • Provide positive encouragement to the unit, and most importantly, recognize the unit with its JTE recognition at one of their gatherings.