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Renax127

Requirement Sign Off

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I was talking to one of the other ASM's in the troop who recently took Scoutmaster Specific training, I haven't been able to yet. Anyway he said they were told that Scouts may not sign-off rank requirements, that they may initial it but that a SM/ASM must ensure that the Scout actually has fulfilled what has been signed off. I have been unable to find any BSA rule/guideline that says that, of course I might not have looked in the right place in the multiple documents. Can anybody help me find something on this, either way?

 

Oh every troop I've ever visited or even read about allows First Class and above to sign off requirements, which makes sense to me. 

 

 

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In my troop the PL's sign off for their patrol members.  It is part of their responsibility of taking care of their boys.  If one thinks the boys would be more lax about it than adults would.  I have not found that to be the case in the vast majority of PL's.  Occasionally a PL will seek advice of the SPL or SM if he feels the need to.  When they first start out as PL this happens a bit more frequently.   In the troops that I have been SM, this has always been the policy, boy-led, patrol-method.

 

By the way, a BOR cannot "retest" a boy who has had his requirements signed off, but that doesn't mean the SM can't retest and evaluate during the SMC.  I review heavily with the boys to make sure they are prepped for the BOR.  Generally I don't run into many problems with this.

Edited by Stosh
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I agree with Stosh on this one.  Our Troop operates in the same way with PLs signing off on their Patrol members' advancement.  This wasn't always the case, though.  When I became SM it was very much like how Renax describes in the OP.  Some adult volunteers prefer to keep a tight grasp on the sign-off pen.  However, if the PL, JASM, or TG feel confident a Scout has completed a requirement I am perfectly comfortable having them sign it off.  

 

As for the SM-specific syllabus, I doubt it says in there that adults have the sole power in the advancement trail...

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I sure hope that he didn't hear that at the SM Specific I taught because I sure didn't say that.

 

What is in the literature is that the SM is the final authority on who can and cannot sign off on requirements, and that he can delegate the ability to sign off that to anyone he choses, Scout or Scouter. If he doesn't want a Scouter or Scouter to sign off on requirements, that is the SM's perogative. But I hope he has a darn good reason to no allow the Scout to sign off if his peers can. For me that is a good time for  a SMC, but I digress.

 

In the past I've been invovled in troops that are like Stosh's in which the PLs can sign off on requirements up to their rank or a non-PL with the approval of the SPL. I remember being a regular patrol member teaching First Aid Skill Award with the SPL's approval so I could meet that FA MB requirement back in the day. And as Stosh mentioned, first time I taught withthe ability to sign off, I asked the SPL for advice. 

 

Our older scouts, called the Leadership Corps at the time, could sign off on all the requirements up to First Class. They were Star and higher, served a at least 6 months, usually longer, as a PL, and served as troop level officers: Scribe, instructor, QM, etc.

 

Most of the troops I've been in do not allow Scouts to sign off on Star and above becuase the skills learned are MB skills requiring a MBC. The other requirements involve leadership, Scout Spirit, etc, usually the SM's domain

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The answer is in the Guide to Advancement (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf)

 

​4.2.1.2 The Scout Is Tested

 

The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include his patrol leader, senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader, another Scout, or the unit leader. Merit badge counselors teach and test him on requirements for merit badges.
 
Once a Scout has been tested and signed off by someone approved to do so, the requirement has been met. The unit leader is accountable for ensuring proper advancement procedures are followed. A part of this responsibility includes the careful selection and training of those who approve advancement. If a unit leader believes a boy has not learned the subject matter for a requirement, he or she should see that opportunities are made available for the Scout to practice or teach the requirement, so in this way he may complete his learning and further develop his skills.
 
In our Troop, any scout above First Class can sign off on the First Class requirements but we encourage the sign off to be done by the Troop Guides, Patrol Leaders or Assistant Patrol Leaders.
Edited by Hedgehog
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I agree with Stosh on this one. Our Troop operates in the same way with PLs signing off on their Patrol members' advancement. This wasn't always the case, though. When I became SM it was very much like how Renax describes in the OP. Some adult volunteers prefer to keep a tight grasp on the sign-off pen. However, if the PL, JASM, or TG feel confident a Scout has completed a requirement I am perfectly comfortable having them sign it off.

 

As for the SM-specific syllabus, I doubt it says in there that adults have the sole power in the advancement trail...

Agree on Scouts (Instructors, JASMs) signing off on early rank requirements. They're pretty stringent.

 

Leader-specific instructors like to push the SM/ASM sign off, quoting "BSA Policy". When pushed to show in the GTA or other docs where that's stated, they can't. The only section addressing it is the one above. ;) I think that's left over adult control freaks just trying to stay relevant. ;)

Edited by Mozartbrau

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Agree on Scouts (Instructors, JASMs) signing off on early rank requirements. They're pretty stringent.

 

Leader-specific instructors like to push the SM/ASM sign off, quoting "BSA Policy". When pushed to show in the GTA or other docs where that's stated, they can't. The only section addressing it is the one above. ;) I think that's left over adult control freaks just trying to stay relevant. ;)

 

Yeah, I think there is more relevance-maintenance  and control hungriness in Scouting that we would like.   :dry:  But, hey, that's why we have capable GTA looker-uppers like Hedgie, quality trainers like Eagle94, and mentors like Stosh out there to guide us along the way.  

Edited by LeCastor
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Yeah, I think there is more relevance-maintenance  and control hungriness in Scouting that we would like.   :dry:  But, hey, that's why we have capable GTA looker-uppers like Hedgie, quality trainers like Eagle94, and mentors like Stosh out there to guide us along the way.

 

My current SPL actually quoted (via look up) the GTA a few weeks back when addressing a planning and sign off issue for our new scouts. Has the Sweet 16 on PDF on his phone. ;) Future lawyer.

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The answer is in the Guide to Advancement (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf)

 

​4.2.1.2 The Scout Is Tested

 

The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include his patrol leader, senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader, another Scout, or the unit leader. Merit badge counselors teach and test him on requirements for merit badges.
 
Once a Scout has been tested and signed off by someone approved to do so, the requirement has been met. The unit leader is accountable for ensuring proper advancement procedures are followed. A part of this responsibility includes the careful selection and training of those who approve advancement. If a unit leader believes a boy has not learned the subject matter for a requirement, he or she should see that opportunities are made available for the Scout to practice or teach the requirement, so in this way he may complete his learning and further develop his skills.
 
In our Troop, any scout above First Class can sign off on the First Class requirements but we encourage the sign off to be done by the Troop Guides, Patrol Leaders or Assistant Patrol Leaders.
 
Thanks, I knew it was somewhere I guess I just did not have the google-fu to find it this morning.
 
Oh our troop does the First class and above can sign, though some second class patrols leaders have been allowed to sign off on Tenderfoot stuff, depends on the kid though. 
 
I was asking for a specific place it was listed because the SM Specific I'll be taking is taught by the same people and I REALLY hate the "it's common knowledge" thing in Scouting. Ya know gotta wear uniform when traveling, no fixed blade knives etc.

 

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When it comes to some adults in the program with their rules and regulations, the BS in BSA doesn't always stand for Boy Scouts.

 

I noticed that most require their boys to be FC+ to sign off on requirements.  In my troop only the SM and PL can sign off and the PL can be of any rank.  It is his job to take care of the boys in his patrol and if he's a TF in the NSP he signs off on the requirements.  In cases like this these boys do rely on mentoring from the SPL and TG, but the SPL and TG do NOT sign off only the PL and SM.  :)  The highest ranking officer in my troop is the PL.  The SPL and TG only support the work of the PL as needed.  (same for the SM).

Edited by Stosh
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I upped HH's reply because he took the first essential step in teaching any scout skill (and saving Western civilization): referencing.

I upped LC's because, well, because his pic and HH's are similar :huh:, and he kinda used the "anti-reference" technique.

 

Renax, when the ASM told you that, you should have asked him if the class had everyone look up this supposed rule in a copy of the GTA, or if they were instead taught by the inadequate EDGE method.

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I upped HH's reply because he took the first essential step in teaching any scout skill (and saving Western civilization): referencing.

I upped LC's because, well, because his pic and HH's are similar :huh:, and he kinda used the "anti-reference" technique.

 

Renax, when the ASM told you that, you should have asked him if the class had everyone look up this supposed rule in a copy of the GTA, or if they were instead taught by the inadequate EDGE method.

 

ha, my experience with the live classes is that frequently the trainer is only teaching from "what he knows to be true" and never bothers with doing some studying on his own, I've caused more then a little trouble in the few I've been in. usually the trainer say something to the effect of, Well I'm right because I'm the teacher.

 

The other ASM had no intention of pushing that idea it came up because we were talking about SM conferences and how we do them. I did ask him where exactly the BSA documents said that.

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NOTE: Renax, it looks like you might be typing in the quote box rather than below it.  It appears that your text is being confused with Qwase's.

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NOTE: Renax, it looks like you might be typing in the quote box rather than below it.  It appears that your text is being confused with Qwase's.

 

oops

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By the way, a BOR cannot "retest" a boy who has had his requirements signed off, but that doesn't mean the SM can't retest and evaluate during the SMC.  

 

SM can re-evaluate all he wants during a SMC, but the SMC is checked off.  No pass or fail with SMC.  If the scoutmaster designate signed off on the requirement, it's done.  Even the scoutmaster can't undo it.

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