18 April, 2009


RN Recognised Sea Scouts

Memorandum Of Agreement Between The Ministry Of Defence And The Scout Association For Royal Navy Recognised Groups Of Sea Scouts

Revised 1999

Administration of Royal Naval Recognised Groups of Sea Scouts in the British Isles Regulations Governing the Organisation

These regulations governing the organisation and administration of Groups of Sea Scouts in the British Isles are issued for the information and guidance of County and District Scout Commissioners and Scout Leaders of Sea Scout Groups qualifying for Royal Navy recognition.


  1. Groups of Sea Scouts may qualify to receive the privileges and amenities detailed in this memorandum only if they are affiliated to, and recommended by, The Scout Association.

  2. The Second Sea Lord and Commander in Chief Naval Home Command holds authority from the Admiralty Board to superintend the RN Recognition Scheme and decide which Groups of Sea Scouts may qualify for it, and withdraw those Groups who fail to meet the required standards. The responsibility for the organisation of the scheme and routine liaison with The Scout Association is delegated, through Director Naval Reserves, to the RN's Staff Officer (Scouts).

  3. No Member of The Scout Association shall receive any pay, allowances, outfit grants or travelling expenses, through Royal Navy channels, from public funds.

  4. The Ministry of Defence may limit the total number of recognised Groups as circumstances may require.

    Procedure For Recognition

  5. The Scout Association may recommend Groups if they fulfil the following conditions:


    1. The Association must guarantee that the financial status of the Group (after crediting any grant made, or other financial assistance given by the Association to the Group) renders it entirely self-supporting.
    2. Groups must have a minimum strength of 24 young people (Scouts and/or Explorer Scouts). A Group may consist of one or more Troops or Units. No maximum strength of a Group will be laid down. In exceptional circumstances, Groups may remain qualified if their strength falls below 24.
    3. The organisation of the Group must be such as to render itself capable of imparting elementary instruction in seamanship to its members in an efficient manner.
    4. The Group must be led by a Warranted Leader.
    5. Before becoming recognised, the Group must pass the inspection of an officer appointed by 2SL/CNH (see Annex A).


  6. On receipt of an application, 2SL/CNH will, if the information provided is satisfactory, arrange for an initial inspection of the Group. If the report of the inspection confirms the suitability of that Group of RN recognition, The Scout Association will be informed that, depending on the standard achieved by the Group, they (the Group) have been placed on either the Waiting or Reserve List. A Group that does not immediately reach the standard may be put on the Waiting List and will then be inspected at approximately annual intervals until it achieves the required standard for recognition. If a Group fails to meet the required standard after two inspections, it will be invited to withdraw its application. Having achieved the required standard, a Group will be placed on the Reserve List and will continue to receive regular (usually annually) inspections.


  7. Groups from the Reserve List will be admitted to the scheme on order of merit as vacancies occur and as decided by 2SL/CNH.


  8. After admission to the scheme, a Group will be subject to periodic inspection, usually not exceeding two-yearly intervals, as arranged by 2SL/CNH, to ensure standards are maintained. Groups failing to maintain the required standard will normally be warned and/or suspended before a decision it taken on their removal from the scheme, though in exceptional circumstances 2SL/CNH may remove recognition without taking such steps.


  9. Inspections will be carried out by the Staff Officer (Scouts). They will be carried out on a cyclical basis with the aim of ensuring that every Group is seen once every 18 months to ensure that the standards within the Group are maintained.

     Concessions Available On Recognition

  10. The granting of the following concessions does not commit the Ministry of Defence to give any other assistance to Groups, or to be in any way responsible for any consequences arising from the use of naval stores.


  11. An annual capitation grant (see Annex B) will be made to The Scout Association. Additional grants will be made for the award of certain badges. These grants will be paid direct to The Scout Association (and not too individual Groups) and will be used to meet expenses connected with the formation, organisation and administration of recognised Groups and for increasing their efficiency. Such grants must not be used for social, religious, building construction/repair or any other purposes other then those outlined above.


  12. Subject to any conditions laid down by the Ministry of Defence, and to recommendations by 2SL/CHN, the supply of naval stores will be made to recognised Groups as follows:


    1. Groups, on becoming recognised, will be furnished, by 2SL/CHN, with a list of naval stores (see Annex C) which may be provided to RN recognised Sea Scout Groups so that they may have a reasonable amount of instructional equipment. The list is comprised of Permanent Stores and Consumable Stores. Supply will be arranged through Director General Naval Bases and Supply (DGNBS) and carriage will be free. Groups are required, however, to insure permanent stores against loss or damage both on their premises and when taken away for use elsewhere. Such insurance may be affected by extension of existing cover of other property.
    2. Permanent stores as replacements for, or in addition to, those normally allowed may occasionally be supplied on application to 2SL/CNH through The Scout Association Insurance, as detailed in paragraph 12a above, will be required prior to supply and the cost of carriage must be borne by the Group.
    3. Additional consumable stores will be supplied only on prepayment and the cost of carriage must be borne by the Group. Applications should be made to 2SL/CNH through The Scout Association.


  13. All stores provided under paragraph 12 are supplied under the following conditions:


    1. They remain naval property, other than pre-payment items, and Groups will be held responsible for their safety.
    2. It is illegal to sell or give them away, or loan them to a third person.
    3. Supply of all or any items will depend upon whether they can be spared from naval stocks.
    4. Any loss or damage to permanent stores must be reported as soon as possible to 2SL/CNH, as well as the insurance company and, in the case of loss or theft, to the local police.
    5. They may be inspected at any time by a naval officer.
    6. They may be withdrawn by the Navy at any time.
    7. All permanent stores and unused consumable stores must be returned to the nearest naval establishment when no longer required or on the Group's withdrawal from the scheme, at the Group's expense.


  14. On entry to the scheme, the Group Scout leader will be required to confirm in writing the acceptance of these conditions and that the insurance requirements will be met. He commits his successors to their acceptance unless they inform The Scout Association and 2SL/CNH to the contrary, in which case responsibility rests with the signatory until such time as the stores are returned as in paragraph 13g above.


  15. If the exigencies of the service permit, and if no direct expense to public funds is incurred:

    1. Groups may encamp on Government ground subject to the granting of licence by, or with other written approval from, the appropriate naval or military authorities.
    2. Groups may visit HM Ships and establishments and be accommodated therein for short periods, subject to suitable leadership supervision; on occasions, they may be taken to sea in HM Ships. Those Sea Scouts/Explorer Scouts who have gained the Pathfinder Award and Junior Seaman Badge and Invested Sea Scouts/Explorer Scouts may, on occasion, be accommodated overnight or go to sea in one of HM Ships. Applications for parties from Groups to visit HMS Ships and establishments should be forwarded directly to the appropriate Careers Acquaintance and Cadet Training Officer (CACTO), quoting their RN recognition number. They may be victualled against repayment at the current rate of victualling allowances for cadet forces; meals must be paid for pro-rata. No charges will be made for accommodation.
    3. 2SL/CNH will arrange for naval assistance to be given in the instruction of Groups.
    4. Groups may, on occasions, be permitted to use boats and equipment issued to other organisations within the 2SL/CNH Youth Training Area, subject to suitable qualifications and insurance cover.


  16. Sea Scouts/Explorer Scouts of recognised Groups may wear a special naval badge on the right breast of the shirt or jersey, obtainable from Scout Shops Ltd, on the authority of the Activities Office of The Scout Association. Badges are to be removed when a Group ceases to hold 2SL/CNH's recognition.


  17. Recognised Groups are provided with a pennant and a defaced red ensign by The Scout Association. A Group ceasing to be recognised must return them to The Association. The ensign may be worn at the Unit HQ and in craft and boats crewed by members of RN recognised Groups.


  18. Sea Scout leaders will, when possible, be treated for accommodation purposes in the same way as officers of the Sea Cadet Corps. However, on occasions this may not be possible. Circumstances may dictate that accommodation of a suitable standard may not be available (e.g. at the Annual Swimming Gala).


  19. The Ministry of Defence will continue to run the Sea Scout Annual Swimming Gala at HMS RALEIGH (or, if necessary, at another location) for the foreseeable future.

     Powers And Duties Of The Scout Association

  20. The Association will hold the Scouter in charge of a recognised Group responsible for ensuring that:  

    1. The conditions laid down in this memorandum (and any supplements or subsequent amendments to it) and local rules are complied with.
    2. A roll is kept showing the strength of a Group, the age of each young person and the date of their enrolment in, and departure from, the Group.
    3. A record is kept of each young person's attendance at regular meetings and those returns are accurately and regularly made on the prescribed form of record.


  21. Subject to the observance of the above general rules, the detailed organisation of Groups will be a matter for the Association.


  22. These regulations will be reviewed three years after the date of signature, or earlier if deemed necessary by either or both parties.


RN Recognition Inspections
  1. Inspections are designed to enable the Inspection Officer to assess the appearance, standards and efficiency of the Scout Troop in the normal ranges of their activities, as well as providing the opportunity to witness the ceremonial aspects. Groups may wish to include representatives of their Cub packs and Beaver colonies in the inspection. Whilst that is acceptable, it should not significantly reduce the amount of time spend with the Scouts/Explorer Scouts. If appropriate Cubs participating in a Link programme will be inspected with the Scouts.

  2. Inspections may take place throughout the year. Those held between April and October should, conditions permitting, be programmed to include water activities. Inspections during the winter months should include a range of activities appropriate to the Group's facilities, training programme and weather conditions.

  3. The format of the inspection will depend on a variety of conditions including time of sunset, weather and tides etc, which will dictate whether the activities take place before or after the formal inspection. Groups are responsible for arranging their inspection programme, consulting the Inspection Officer as appropriate. Each inspection should include, as a minimum, the following serials:

    • Colours/FlagBreak
    • Formal Inspection
    • Activities (Water and /or shore based)
    • Sunset/Flag Down

  4. During the course of an inspection, the Inspecting Officer will expect to meet, when possible representatives of:

    • County
    • District
    • The Group Executive
    • Parents Local VIPs (at GSL's discretion)

  5. The Inspecting Officer will be happy to participate in press/PR interviews and photographic opportunities if required, subject to his line-manager or MOD's approval as necessary.

  6. Groups will be expected to carry out the ceremonies of Colours/Flag Break and Sunset/Flag Down during the inspection, using a boatswain's call as appropriate.

  7. The Inspection Officer will carry out a formal inspection during which he will speak to each Leader, Explorer Scout and Scout, whilst assessing standards of appearance, dress, bearing and badgework.

  8. During the activities inspection, the Inspecting Officer will usually join Scouts on the water in one of the Group's craft. He will expect to see a full range of activities undertaken, including formal instruction if desired and will inject incidents, e.g. capsize drills, man-overboard and casualties, appropriate to the skills levels of the Scouts involved. The advice of a Leader/Instructor will normally be sought to confirm any constraints on activities/evolutions. Groups may also include shore-based activities and specialised demonstrations of skills in this phase if desired.

  9. On completion of the inspection the Inspecting Officer will address the Group and provide a debrief. Leaders should allow 10 minutes for this in the programme.

  10. A written report of the inspection will be forwarded to The Scout Association, the County Commissioner and the Group (with a Recognition certificate if appropriate).


Funding Of Capitation And Proficiency Grants

  1. The capitation rate for Sea Scouts/Explorer Scouts is determined by the Ministry of Defence, and is currently set at £3 per Scout/Explorer Scout per annum. Any uplift to the current rate will be considered in line with the capitation rate for the Sea Cadet Corps. It is payable to all Scouts/Explorer Scouts. Proficiency grants are also payable for the award of certain Scout badges (see Appendix 1).


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