Commissioner Awards and Recognition

The Role of Recognition

Recognition has been a fundamental part of Scouting from its beginning. Done well, it is a powerful tool that can help leaders set goals, define accomplishments, encourage skill development, celebrate commitment and achievement, and inspire others to strive for similar success.

Effective recognition is essential to effective unit service:

  • It provides clear definition of success: the attitude, skills, training and behaviors needed to perform effectively
  • It helps identify and recruit volunteers to serve as commissioners
  • It helps retain commissioners

For commissioners, effective recognition supports recruiting and developing a team that helps unit leaders start, build, and grow strong, sustainable units that will ensure every member of the BSA has a great Scouting experience.


While there are many definitions of “commission,” they share common threads: a “Commission” is an authorization to act; an act of entrusting or giving authority; an appointment or assignment to a task or function.

In Scouting, only professional staff members and commissioners are eligible to be commissioned. Just as the wreath of service is a unique design element of their badges of office, commissioning is a unique opportunity for individuals in those positions to publicly commit to providing service in Scouting and to celebrate their commitment.

Commissioners are recruited and commit to serve one year at a time; a commissioning ceremony is a great opportunity to publicly formalize and celebrate their commitment.

For commissioners who are renewing their commitment to serve, a review of achievements over the past year and plans for the year to come (Assess – Plan – Act) provide great preparation for a commissioning ceremony.

Commissioning ceremonies – and preparation for them – help recognize and celebrate success and retain commissioners.

Everything needed to conduct commissioning ceremonies is just a click away:

Commissioner Recognition

Commissioner recognition and this awards and recognition website have three objectives:

  1. Establish recognition opportunities for all commissioners.
  2. Establish consistent requirements that incorporate the contemporary tools and techniques commissioners use.
  3. Provide easy access to information, including opportunities, requirements, progress records, certificates, and available recognition items.

There are three categories of commissioner awards and recognition:

  • Recognition of an individual’s commitment to serve.
  • Recognition of an individual’s development.
  • Recognition of an individual’s impact.

There are also three classifications of commissioner awards and recognition:

  • Recognition from an individual’s selection to serve.
  • Recognition from an individual’s application for an award.
  • Recognition from an individual’s nomination for an award.

Requirements and Progress Records

Requirements and progress records (or nomination forms) have been consolidated into a single pdf form that can be downloaded and saved to a local device. The forms can be completed by simply positioning the cursor in the first (or next desired) field and entering the applicable information. Applicants can track their progress and when all requirements are completed the progress record can be emailed (or printed and delivered) for review, approval and processing. Those wishing to nominate an individual for an award can follow a similar process.


Recognition certificates are also available as pdf forms. They can be completed online (or downloaded to a local device) and printed. Paper stock selection determines the final product. Using standard printer paper provides a good result; using higher quality stock (e.g., “resume’ paper”) provides a higher quality certificate suitable for framing. Download Commissioner Training Certificates