Skip to main content

Covid Restart Process & Guidance

Last updated: May 2nd 2021

The Scout Association (TSA) has put out a lot of information over the summer on how we can resume meetings. This page aims to be a concise summary to help you get face-to-face meetings restarted. But it’s also really important to read the Scouts Framework, and other guidance documents listed at the bottom of this page, which go into further detail.

Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As leaders we have a responsibility to protect other volunteers, young people and those who come into contact with the groups from risk to their health. This means we need to assess the risks we face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them. At the same time, we need to recognise that we cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

The Scouts Framework – for face to face activities

The Scouts Framework is aligned with Government-approved guidance for the Youth Sector developed by the National Youth Agency. This framework will apply in every nation within UK Scouting and walks through:

Download the Scouts Framework
Last updated: 10th September 2020

The Restart Process

Most decisions to restart face-to-face activities will begin within a section. The image below details the a process for the checking and approval of restart risk assessments and other preparations.

Taken from Guidance for Commissioners and Executives – Approving local face to face activity, “Making sure everything’s in place” guidance.

Risk Assessments – requirements

Risk Assessments (RAs) cover activities at specific locations. As usual, the general test is: are these risk assessments “suitable and sufficient”? They also have to be workable, understandable and concise (as much as possible).

What’s now also needed is:

The risk assessment being approved is ONLY in relation to Covid safety. Each section remains responsible for documenting and managing normal risk assessments for their programme, but need to assure the approver that they have a Covid-safe programme in hand.

Advice from Wokingham District on RAs

Districts are responsible for supporting leaders to have rigorous written assessments. Wokingham District is asking sections add in all the possible locations so you only submit one Covid-19 RA per section.

What’s important is how Covid-19 safety will be managed. For example: how you will instruct parents to drop off and pick up children? This could mean, and if anyone arrives early they need to wait in their cars.

Specific questions that will be considered

N.B. These are not locally-imposed additional rules, just extra guidance and an indication of how RAs will be assessed.

Please check the checklist

Approvers at Group and District level will evaluate an RA based on the Returning to face-to-face Scouting Approver Checklist, which is available at

Please check your RAs against this checklist before you submit it for Group approval.

Group Covid Policy

To support you, we’re developing a Group Covid Policy. This is available in draft here:

This is being worked on at the moment, and is being modelled on the policy produced by Southwell Scout Group.

Our Buildings


Currently, sections may not use Finchbase for meetings. We anticipate that building will become more available once we have agreed the Group policy and completed a restart RA for the building. The building is being cleared of equipment over the weekend of September 19th/20th, ready for a deep clean.

Currently, Leaders may get equipment from Finchbase, but no young people may enter. The toilets are not yet ready for use, so meeting attendees should use the toilet before they arrive. They may be used in an emergency, but must be cleaned afterwards.

A cleaning process should be followed to ensure anything that has been touched is sanitised. This will be detailed fully ine the Group Covid Policy; until then please use common sense in cleaning what has been touched. Cleaning products will be available. Hand santisier is available at the doors.

Stores at Longwater Lane

If leaders require equipment from the Stores, please liaise with our Quartermaster Ian Blagden to arrange this.

Submitting Risk Assessments

This follows the Restart Process, as detailed above.

  1. Submit your RA to
  2. It goes into the Google Shared Drive at Covid policies and Risk Assessments/Submitted for Review.
  3. The RA is reviewed by our RA Assessor Stuart Page and one of GSL, AGSL or Chair.
  4. It is either approved by the Group or returned with comments.

Once appoved internally, the Group will notify the Executive Committee.

The GSL will submit the RA for District approval using the TSA Risk Assessment Smartsheet.

The RA will be moved in the Google Drive to Covid policies and Risk Assessments/Approved @ {Readiness Rating}, i.e. Approved @ Amber.

The GSL will notify the section of the District response – either approval or changes required.

Once District approval is granted, the section can restart face-to-face meetings.

When risks change

If existing risks change, RAs can be altered and used without needing re-approval.

If new risks are added, RAs should be evaluated and the RA re-submitted for approval.

When the readiness rating changes

We are currently at Amber. If we move back to Red, we will return to digital-only meetings. When we move to Yellow or Green, RAs will need to be re-submitted using the Submitting Risk Assessments procedure above.

Guidance for Leaders – Developing your risk assessments for face to face activity