I am adding this section to make it easier to track Scouts Canada changes… the revision table at the front of the downloadable PDF files below will hold the same info. The revisions are detailed at the bottom of this post.
Starting October 1, 2019, updates are coming monthly so you aren’t inundated with update emails.
- Version 3 introduced 2019-12-16 included changes to the numbering, hyperlinks, and table of contents for every page
Policies and Standards
- Revision 1.1 on 2019-03-06 included… (30) First Aid, (33) Swimming, (34) Transportation, (18) Appointment of Scouters
- Revision 1.2 on 2019-04-02 included… (37) Knives and Camping Tools
- Revision 1.3 on 2019-05-21 included… (30 First Aid, (33) Swimming
- Revision 1.3b on 2019-05-28 included… (29) Camping and Outdoor Adventures
- Revision 1.4 on 2019-06-05 included… (38) Safety Equipment
- Revision 1.5 on 2019-06-21 included… (33) Swimming, (33) Swimming September 1
- Revision 1.6 on 2019-07-02 included… (30) First Aid, (33) Swimming
- Revision 1.7 on 2019-07-03 included… (30 2019-09-01) First Aid, (33 2019-09-01) Swimming
- Revision 1.8 on 2019-07-23 included… (29) Camping and Outdoor Adventure Standard
- Revision 1.9 on 2019-08-27 included… (24-b) Property Standards, (35) Firearms and Weapons, (32) Prohibited Activities, (39) Watercraft, renumbering of the downloadable PDF Table of Contents
- Revision 2.0 on 2019-09-01 included… (30) First Aid, (33) Swimming
- Revision 2.1 on 2019-09-06 included… (18) Appointment of Scouters, (43) Group Support
- Revision 2.2 on 2019-09-11 included… (44) Politics and Public Appearances
- Revision 2.3 on 2019-09-18 included… (45) Communications, (46) Emergency Management, (47) Goals and Targets, (48) Incident Management, (49) Learning and Development, (50) Planning, (51) Program, (52) winter camping and outdoor adventures
- Revision 2.4 on 2019-09-25 included… (24-b) Property Standards, (31) International Travel Standards, (36) Shooting Sports Standards, (37) Knives, Axes, Saws, Camp Stoves, Lanterns, and Other Camping Tools Standards, (38) Safety Equipment Standards
- Revision 2.5 on 2019-09-26 included… (50) Planning Standard
- Revision 2.6 on 2019-10-05 and 2019-10-24 included… (29) Camping and Outdoor Adventures Standard
- Revision 2.7 on 2019-10-23 included… (36) Shooting Sports Standard
- Version 3 introduced 2019-12-16 included changes to the numbering, hyperlinks, and table of contents for every page
- Revision 2.0 on 2019-09-06 included… (31-b) Annual Property Standards, (4) NOLB participation, (29) Election of Voting Members, (23) Discipline and Performance Management
- Revision 2.1 on 2019-09-25 included… (34) Scouts Canada Logo and Intellectual Property Procedure
- Revision 2.2 on 2019-09-26 included… (18) Transfer a Youth Participant Procedure, (19) Transfer Rover Scout and Scouter Procedure, (21) Volunteer and Employee Screening Procedure
- Revision 2.3 on 2019-09-27 included… (37) Group Safety Leadership Guideline
- Revision 2.4 on 2019-10-02 included… (19) Transfer Rover Scout and Scouter Procedure
- Revision 2.5 on 2019-10-05 included… (10) Third Party Waivers, Indemnification, and Hold Harmless Agreements Procedure
- Version 3 introduced 2019-12-16 included changes to the numbering, hyperlinks, and table of contents for every page
Scouts Canada is not happy with me for some of the things I stated in my last post about them but I am not happy that they are still releasing their over-reaching regulations on a document a few steps up from crayons on a napkin. They are actually modifying the changes that they announce on the web page which is infinitely better than what they were doing the past decade. There is still no method for SC volunteers to find out about changes aside from the odd email or Facebook post.
With that said, I have been sharing the new three documents that they created on March 2, 2019 with everyone who is interested in a downloadable, searchable, and revisioned PDF file. It has been downloaded over 600 times from the previous posting but today I am going to move the downloads to here and share the current revision and I will endeavor to continue keeping them current until someone at Scouts Canada decides that making the regulations available to scouting volunteers is as important as making the regulations.
The Scouts Canada BP&P Change Log can be viewed here (they appear to have given up on updating the Change Log but it is still available).
- Scouts Canada Bylaws… bpp_bylaw_2019-12-16
- Scouts Canada Policies and Standards… bpp_policies_2019-12-16
- Scouts Canada Procedures… bpp_procedures_2019-12-16
Changes in the downloadable files
Each document now has a revision table including changes made to the website. Before making any group decisions, you should always refer to the only document (if we can even call a webpage a document) that specifies the current regulations… Scouts Canada Policies and Procedures. I am still unsure as to why the page is called that since it also covers bylaws and standards as well, but it’s not my website.
I have also numbered each section and you will see those non-scouting numbers in the revisions within parenthesis. For example…
(8.5) Swimming standard reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
The 8.5 is not a number supported by SC but it is necessary for any revision control system and since I decided to invent a revision control system for these documents, I had to invent a numbered system first. Scouts Canada’s only reference for this policy is to call it policy 33.
There was a document released called “Important Update on Scouts Canada’s Policies and Procedures.pdf” but I am not going to advise you to use it as many people asked me for clarification because of contradictions. It is NOT a legal regulation. It referred to changes in the policies website and there you will find the ONLY version of rules you are asked to follow.
Understand that I am NOT a lawyer. But not being a lawyer does not mean I can’t read and I encourage everyone to read through these policies and procedures on their own. There are many contradictions but any response you get from a Help Desk may help with clarification but will not be any more legal than what is already in the website.
Do your best, and when in doubt, use common sense to safeguard the health and safety of the youth and other scouters. Where have you heard “Do Your Best” before?
Follow This Post:
If you like or follow this post, you should get an update every time I make a change and I will make a change every time I update the PDF files. Alternatively you can follow my blog or Facebook page but then you will get notified when I write about everything… and that will undoubtedly give you a headache.
Unlike Scouts Canada, I will also let you know what changed in the files. I will post the changes at the bottom of the blog post and just keep editing this page and I will also amend the revision table at the front of each of the downloadable files above.
If you look at the Policies page, you would think it was the original webpage they activated on March 2, 2019 but it has been modified twice and five pages have seen changes. This is why revisions are so critical in documents like these and why being able to subscribe to changes should be available to users of the information.
(policy 30) First Aid was reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
The claim is that the standard they published March 2, 2019 will be implemented on September 1, 2019.
(policy 33) Swimming standard reverted back to BP&P 2014‐09
There was a huge misconception that national started forcing everyone to have lifeguards at every aquatic activity. Let’s be clear here and look at where we are right now:
The policy restricts swimming activities not at a pool. At least one “water activity supervisor” per ten swimmers, any youth acting as “Water activity supervisors” must have Bronze Cross and be 16. “Water activity supervisors” must be within “easy reach” of swimmers. I assume, and always have, that adults qualify as “water activity supervisors” and easy reach means you can reach the swimmer before they disappear from reach. Water depth, clarity, and current are some factors that must be assessed here.
As of September 1, 2019, if there are no further changes, section 4.a and 4.b state that nobody will be able to do any activities at any waterfront (without a definition you could call a spray park a waterfront) unless they have at least two people with Bronze Cross (adults no longer count).
Of course, 4.f contradicts 4.a but only if two adults have the Life Saving Society Safeguard Award which is currently only in Ontario.
(policy 34) Transportation 2.b was removed
This is a great example of where you need to be reading the website because the March 6th announcement made everyone excited (myself included) when we read this line…
The requirement that two adults (parents, adult helpers) be in the vehicle when transporting youth during an activity has been modified from a requirement to a recommendation.
The new standard was to clarify and “ensure the new standard was both straightforward and clear”. It turns out to be neither.
They removed the rule in the bullet points (please don’t ever use bullet points in a document like this) that stated, “both adults in a… vehicle should be qualified drivers”. The first rule never required it, just suggested it, so there was no reason to remove it… but they did.
Section 1 states that parents are responsible for transporting youth to and from “Scouting adventures” but then they claim to think we can’t send them with a neighbor or friend. For some reason they state that we are allowed to send them with “family members or other parents”. Either we are in charge of transport or you are. Make up your mind.
Section 2.b was removed but it never applied because it contradicted 2.a above it.
Clearly if 2.a states that…
2.a The Two Scouter Rule applies in all situations where Scouters are with youth, including while transporting youth.
Then any situation covered in 2.b would have fit into the clear “all situations” of 2.a in the first place.
So they removed a couple lines but made zero change to the transportation standard. They did not clarify anything for me and still leave the problem of two rules contradicting one another. In this case, the first rule typically supersedes anything below it.
1. Parents are responsible for arranging transportation of their children to and from Scouting adventures.
Once you drop your child off, or arrive at the adventure, you now must adhere to the two-scouter-rule no matter who you are, for any youth that are not your own.
(policy 18) Appointment of Scouters 5.e removed “(Canadian Path)”
This change was advertised as a change from “Wood Badge I for The Canadian Path” to “role appropriate Wood Badge I” but the new standard just removed the words “(Canadian Path)”. You must complete Wood Badge I and there is no specification for which role you complete or which section you serve with.
(policy 37) Camping Tool Standards 2 removed “members will only use folding, lock‐blade knives” and blade length limit was moved from 8.5cm to 10cm (3.94”)
This heading should actually be “(8.9) Knives, axes, saws, stoves, lanterns, and other camping tools standards: 2 removed “members will only use folding, lock‐blade knives” and blade length limit was moved from 8.5cm to 10cm (3.94”)” but that is way too long; [EDIT] 3 removed “are not permitted” and “as detailed and approved on the Outdoor Activity application form and”
It would be nice if section 8.9 was just called Camping Tools Standards but that would be too simple I suppose. Instead it is policy-37 “Knives, Axes, Saws, Camp Stoves, Lanterns, and Other Camping Tools Standards”.
In this case they made two huge changes. First they removed the requirement to only allow locking blades. This was a huge safety issue because everyone who has ever taught or learned the knife safety permit knows that locking blades are more dangerous than fixed blades. Many countries’ scouting organizations have actually outlawed locking blades completely.
SC also increased the knife length limit from 8.5cm (3.45″) to 10cm (3.94″). This still makes my son’s 4″ fixed blade illegal so we will stick with the GC signature for events which is still allowed. This is also still a requirement if you are setting up a kitchen as most kitchens have a bread knife or butchers knife. I would hate to see the mess from trying to cut a watermelon with a 4″ knife.
A couple people asked me if we could get away without the GC signature because the requirement is for “program activities” but I have always considered the kitchen an activity. You are going to need a sign-off for every single event for your own knife so cover the kitchen at the same time. We are constantly teaching and watching at all activities, including the scout kitchen, even if only to prevent terminal stupidity.
[EDIT] they also edited point 3 where they removed the requirement to mention the larger knives on the COAA which they are calling the Outdoor Activity application now. The document hasn’t changed (though I am sure I haven’t been the only one complaining about it) and the link is still the same… http://www.scouts.ca/wp-content/uploads/forms/Camping-Outdoor-Activity-Application.pdf
Thanks to Norma for keeping me on my toes!
(policy 30) First Aid had a red note-box added to the top of the current standard and the September 1, 2019 standard and the latter saw significant modification.
For the first aid standards coming into effect on September 1, 2019, please consider reading the entire standard as virtually everything changed.
(policy 33) Swimming had a red note-box added to the top of the current standard and the September 1, 2019 standard.
Nothing changed in the standard except the not box at the top of the page.
Even with this minuscule change, the revision table needs to be updated even though Scouts Canada refuses to post updates in the area that they have placed sub-headings that look like this is what they are for. They did post a revision date in one of the standards for Knives and axes. Cudos to them for following their own standard once… baby steps right?
Revisions 2019-05-24 (questionable)
(policy 29) Camping and outdoor adventures: introduction includes definitions for activity categories
We have no idea when this was updated but the change was brought to our attention on the A2ZwithADHD Facebook page by Norma… so I called it 1.3b since we already had an update this week called 1.3. That revision came out three days ago, yet I haven’t seen a single statement from Scouts Canada that BP&P has been revised again… yet. I am sure my letter is in the mail.
I didn’t want to add much in the way of commentary to these revision updates, but with the hell that SC has put me through by requesting that these PDF files be taken down I have to say that their inability to maintain the weak standards that they set demands that we continue to do our own things. They clearly have no interest in helping volunteers do their jobs, so we create our own risk assessments, training materials, and BP&P manuals.
I expect that the organization will find a way to track revisions on their front page. I ask that they find a way to allow volunteers to be notified of changes. But I demand that they use the fields that THEY create, like the “Updates” at the bottom of every single page. This post has highlighted at least eight changes to the original BP&P web page they built yet ONLY two have dates in the “Updates” section…
(policy 30) First aid standards that come into effect on September 1, 2019 have a revision date of May 21.
(policy 37) Knives… and other camping tools has a revision date of April 2, 2019.
I am trying to be respectful but I need to know… Is it fair to ask the people who can’t include the revision dates in their documents, where they typed in “Updates”, to figure out how to create revision tables? How could we expect them to find a way to include revision dates on the first page of their site?
With all due respect, because I have zero patience for another phone call or meeting about this, feel free to steal anything you want from the PDF files above if you need the help.
(policy 29) Camping and outdoor adventures: updated the update date
I was going to give them more time to release this change update but I have to make another change to the BP&P PDF After opening a ticket with the help desk, it was determined that they updated the 1.3b update on May 22, 2019. They have since changed the updated date on the web page and I still have an open ticket trying to get the other five pages updated with their update date.
(policy 38) Safety Equipment Standards
2(a) was amended to include the word “ziplining” and a period was added to the end of 2(a) and 2(b).
Once again, the update date was June 4th or 5th but they have not entered the date on their web page so who really knows. I have entered this on the date I noticed and I have added this page to my update ticket with the help desk.
(policy 33) Swimming Standard: removed the line “You can expect updates to be posted on Scouts.ca before May 31st.”)
This change was a simply one. They promised an update before May 31st and they delivered on June 21st. Of course they didn’t think to put the revision date at the bottom of the page (again). I will add it to my existing ticket.
(policy 33) Swimming Standard (effective September 1): changed most of the standards for the September 1, 2019 release date.
Long list of changes here. Make sure you download the new PDF from up top and check out the new standard on the Scouts.ca webpage.
Removed the line, “You can expect updates to be posted on Scouts.ca – before May 31st.” the same as the current standard now that the update is done they have removed the promise to have it done last month.
The following first paragraph was added to the introduction:
Scouts Canada is committed to fun, safe adventures and using the water as an integral component of our outdoor learning environment. We believe that everyone involved in Scouts Canada should have the opportunity to be appropriately competent in swimming-related emergency aid to others e.g. National Lifeguard Standard, Bronze Cross or equivalent certification. This is part of our goal to prepare youth for success in life.
Added the phrase “including as part of an aquatic activity (e.g. canoe expedition),” to the second paragraph of the introduction to ensure that you know the new standard includes anything that touches water.
Section 2 was totally changed from talking about Beaver requirements to saying that Group Commissioners do the same thing that they have always done…
2. The Group Commissioner approves all aquatic and / or swimming-activities and reviews risk management plans prior to commencement for all camping and outdoor adventures as part of the Camping and Outdoor Adventures Applications procedure.
Section 3 is new as well…
First off, it basically outlines a bunch of aquatic facilities that you are allowed to attend. It DOES NOT tell you whether you are allowed at other places. The law would assume that we are no longer allowed to participate in any activity in the ocean, at a lake, in a river, etc. This is going to require some modification before the next jamboree because as of Sept. 1 there is no longer any sailing allowed.
I still have a problem with their wording too because what use is an “aquatic personnel” (which I have to assume means a third-party lifeguard, but could be a hotel towel boy) if you are canoeing down a river or across a lake or sailing out in the ocean or large lake?
It gets better…
Not only do beavers need whatever “staff aquatic personnel” are, but they DON’T need life jackets. I honestly hate rules but putting a life jacket on anyone under 8 is a no brainer to me. Who would argue against this?
Then they have point 4:
The problem is that they are using this to separate older sections from Beavers by saying that cubs and up can participate in aquatic activities without a “certified lifeguard” if the meet all these new criteria… the problem here is that point 3 above did NOT specifically say that Beavers needed a “certified lifeguard”.
Point 4 allows for activities without |aquatic activity supervisors”…
…but the examples they use are basically not allowed as none of these places fit in the narrow field of point 3. What is the point? If they are using point 3 to over-rule point 4 by allowing activities in a “non-established waterfront” then they have so many new problems (and horrible wording).
First off, they require everyone, even adults, to have a PFD. Then they recommend a swim test. How do you test someone wearing a PFD?
I have several other issues with this new policy but they all pale in comparison to my disbelief at how many times they have re-written this policy since March and still end up with something that makes in illegal to do 80% of the aquatic activities we have been participating in for the past decade.
Enjoy reading and sitting with your GC to try to figure out what is allowed and what is not allowed.
Policy number changes from the standard created to the policy numbers that Scouts Canada is now using. This includes updating all index tables and revision tables.
I have relabeled all standards as per the new policy numbers that SC is using for each policy on their website. They don’t actually post the numbers anywhere but since they aren’t revisioning and barely use numbering systems inside each standard and policy, I don’t think they really care.
I needed some way to track the different policies and revisions, so I created the old numbering system. It has been totally changed as of the 21st, and published on 2019-06-23.
(policy 30) First Aid Standard: removal of red box thanking people for feedback on standard.
This change was basically cosmetic just removing the bright red box that said “thank you” to the people who gave feedback on the ever-changing First Aid standard
(policy 33) Swimming Standard: removal of red box thanking people for feedback on standard.
This change was basically cosmetic just removing the bright red box that said “thank you” to the people who gave feedback on the ever-changing Swimming standard
I would like to add a quick comment here that neither of these pages has a date in the “Updates” section at the bottom of the page. First Aid has been updated three times since the March 2, 2018 release and Swimming has been updated four times. Granted these are not huge updates but they are revisions. A revision tracks a change in a document and these are changes.
There is also a new Change Log that tracks changes to the online BP&P (I am very exited about this revelation). Of course it doesn’t include half the changes that have been logged on this site, including the two that happened today. Baby steps right?
(policy 30-sep1) First Aid Standard: removal of red box thanking people for feedback on standard.
This change was basically cosmetic just removing the bright red box that said “thank you” to the people who gave feedback on the ever-changing First Aid standard.
(policy 33-sep1) Swimming Standard: removal of red box thanking people for feedback on standard.
This change was basically cosmetic just removing the bright red box that said “thank you” to the people who gave feedback on the ever-changing Swimming standard.
While the change log still hasn’t been updated (these two pages weren’t updated with dates at the bottom either), we can assume that SC is simply making the call that revisions and changes are only changes if they deem them large enough. It is your call as to whether you agree. I will continue updating the PDF files above and tracking changes until they are replacing my efforts. One more point, the date on the swimming policy still has an update date of June 26th, though it is reflecting the changes published on June 21st. Just in case you were more confused than I was.
(policy 29) Camping and Outdoor Adventure Standard
This change was quite significant as the definition for a Category 3 activity was changed. Two days ago, the line read…
Category 3 Activities include long-term overnight activities of three nights or longer, or activities of shorter duration, but requiring advanced levels of skills and competencies, as well as any activities requiring members to leave their home province.
This was a marked change from the previous definition that included any out of country travel. Yesterday SC decided to erase the requirement for groups leaving their province. Granted this only covers 2-night camps or less, but for groups close to provincial borders this is a huge change. The new standard simply reads…
Category 3 Activities include long-term overnight activities of three nights or longer, or activities of shorter duration, but requiring advanced levels of skills and competencies.
I would like to point out though, that the bottom of the page still has the past modified date of May 22, 2019. It was clear that the individuals who were editing the standards on the new website have no idea that there is an “Updates” section at the bottom of the page that they are meant to type the date into when they save a change, but I had huge hopes for the Change Log and the apparent desire for SC to track changes somewhere. It turns out that introducing a Change Log page and missing the past two changes doesn’t really make it an Change Log. It truly isn’t logging anything.
Revision 1.9 2019-08-27 (actual change was before 2019-07-15)
(policy 24-b) Property Standard
This was a huge change but totally got missed because it was NOT on my radar to track. I can tell you that the page was NOT in the published website on March 2, 2019 and it WAS on the website on July 15, 2019. I have no idea when it was added in between however. This is not a change to an existing policy but the addition of a whole new policy. It was never noted in the Change Log as it was an existing change before the log was created but the page clearly says that it was posted on March 2, 2019 as an original post but even the numbering they gave it, policy-24-b tells us that it was an after-thought. I simply have no idea when it was posted because I didn’t give up on Scouts Canada figuring out Revision Control until mid-July when I started monitoring their website for BP&P.
(policy 35) Firearms and Weapons Standard (2019-07-26)
There were many changes yesterday to this standard but they can be summed up by saying that firearms are now allowed at SC properties and activities for shooting sports. They also removed all seven instances of the word “weapon” from the standard, including the definition. Basically anything that was preventing Nerf guns is now gone from BP&P. Woohoo.
I love the changes but am confused as to why the standard still has the word “weapons” in it if the word and definition were carefully removed. I also don’t understand how it went into effect on August 1, and why the Change log says it was issues on the first even though it was clearly changed on August 26th.
SC is improving vastly but they need to get a handle on this revision control and when they release a standard it should always be released with a future “effective date”. It makes so much sense to draft it for publication to the website on August 1 for a September 1 effective date… but since when do things happen around here that make sense? I mean I am still taking more time off work to update SC BP&P than I do for almost anything else… not counting scout camps of course. I mean, priorities right?
(policy 32) Prohibited Activities Standard (2019-07-26)
“Trampolining” was added to the prohibited activities list as #7.
I was almost surprised after seeing all the changes added to the Change Log (not all correct, but they were there), and then to see nothing at the bottom of this Standard. This is not rocket science folks. When you make a change to a standard… you change the updated date at the bottom… then you go document the changes in the Change Log. There are ONLY three steps to the process. Why do we keep getting it wrong?
(policy 39) Watercraft Standard
Section 3 (f) was added clarifying the definition of a “watercraft activity”.
Scouts Canada Swimming Standards apply to all watercraft activities (including but not limited to: paddling, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, boating and sailing).
Table of Contents
The numbering in PDF bookmarks was changed to reflect the new policy numbers that are using on the BP&P web pages now.
Revision 2.0 2019-09-01
(policy 30) First Aid Standard (this hyperlink will be modified when SC updates their website)
This standard did not actually change but the First Aid Standard that was waiting for the September 1 effective date. The standard did not actually change online, though realistically, the standard that is on the web page is no longer in effect because there was a published standard to come to effect yesterday. In any case, the First Aid Standard that is posted is dead and the September 1 standard is now in effect.
(policy 33) Swimming Standard (this hyperlink will be modified when SC updates their website)
The Swimming Standard changed on August 31 but those changes didn’t come into effect until September 1 so I held off on posting the changes. I actually gave them another day to do updates since it was a long weekend but I gave up. I was not impressed that the changes to the Swimming Standard did not include an Update date at the bottom of the standard (still says June 21) but I am starting to think that the people who update the standards aren’t aware that the date is there to be revised. The Standard may have actually been modified during the day on the 30th but I didn’t see the change until the 31st. The Change Log tracked the changes on August 28 but once again, they didn’t come into effect until September 1, and I was really hoping to see more clarification, or at the very least, some clean-up and standardization of the standard.
The changes include the addition of the entire Section 6 which basically says that if you are in less than a foot of water (like a spray park or wading pool), no PFD or life jacket is required for participants.
Opinion time: While this update is nice, it would have been much nicer had they legalized scuba diving again or clarified their stance on it. I was also hoping that SC would have posted some clarification as to Beavers in non-supervised waterfronts. There are lots of rules for all other sections, including Rovers (these are adults still right?) but they go out of their way to exclude Beavers from these additional rules. Some people have told me that this means that Beavers are not allowed at these places but this is simply NOT what the wording states. Beavers do not have to adhere to any restrictions in section 4. Do your AAF (Activity Application Forms) and Risk Assessments and submit them to your GC. If the GC has a problem, then it is on them to take their concerns to council, but they have no reason to stop beavers from attending any water activities that comply with the other sections.
If you decide to read the FAQ that SC posted about the standards, be my guest but keep this one thing in mind, especially if you are taking to email or Facebook to discuss something you think I am wrong about… the FAQ is just the opinion. It has no legal bearing. It does NOT and CANNOT supersede the words in the standard. It bothers me to no end that the Swimming Standard is 877 words and the FAQ on the Swimming Standard is 749 words. If the standard needed that much clarification, then it seems clear to me that you needed to do more than add four lines to the September 1 release.
I have also opened a ticket with the help desk with high hopes that SC can create some sort of standard for their standards. I don’t know who writes, proof-reads, or edits these documents but the Swimming Standard has the worse formatting I have ever seen in any professional standard or policy in my life. Here is what my ticket requested:
I know that it is late but you just updated the swimming standards today and the items still aren’t numbered. I was hoping to give you an opportunity to number the standard properly before releasing it tomorrow.
There is no structure to the bullets, sometimes they have a number and then letter (like 2 a)…
sometimes they go right to lower roman numerals (like 3 ii)…
but sometimes they have both separated (like 3 b)…
and then they also have both combined (like 4 f ii)…
but then sometimes they duplicate (like everything from 4 a to 4 f shows up twice)…
and the revision today uses bullet points (like 6).
I asked very nicely for this to be cleaned up and for people to stop using bullet points. It makes it very difficult for people to discuss the standard when they have to say “the first bullet under 6” or “the second 4 b”. I would rather no bullet points in any documentation but at least pick a standard and stick with it.
Ideally I would love if you added everything between the first 4a to the second 4a under 4.1 a-f and then 4.2 a-f. Actually ideally there would be no letters but that is your prerogative.
It seems a little ludicrous that I have the opportunity to write something like this about an organization as large as Scouts Canada, but maybe that is part of the problem. It appears to me that there is huge progress in the recent past, but that withstanding, I still don’t know how to complain about the wording of section 4.b. of the swimming standard because it appears twice…
If anyone in Canada submitted this document to a high school English teacher they would be booked in for some remedial tutoring. There simply cannot be a 3.i. and a 3.a. in the same document, and there certainly can’t be two 4.b. sections.
Regardless, until the next update I will wait patiently. There will probably be an update this week but I will not be writing about the removal of the old standards and re-indexing of the two standards that replaced their older documents on September 1 because I will just consider this SC catching up to cleaning up their website and not actual changes to standards.
Revision 2.1 2019-09-06
If you recall from the last update, I wasn’t going to post the modifications to the September 1 release of the new Swimming or First Aid standards but I have to take a moment to let you know that they did make the change and remove the expired standards on September 4th. I totally forgive them because it was a long weekend. Well, let’s say I cut them a lot of slack because they are the least construction IT team I have ever seen AND it was a long weekend. The two together help you understand my leniency. And on the 4th, they did update the Change Log which pleased me to no end. The last updates were all changed on the web pages but NOT in the Change Log.
I suppose them posting that the changes were effective on September 1 was acceptable since the standards said they were available on the 1st… but then they updated the Change Log again on September 6th for some reason. There was no change to the swimming standard but they just wanted to make a clarification I guess. That is acceptable right?
But wait a second… there were actually some changes to the Scouts Canada Policies and Standards on September 6, 2019… but neither was mentioned in the Change Log. I am starting to think that SC introduced the Change Log just for me… because they figured the only thing that would drive my anal personality more nuts than not having any revision control would be to have a solution and not to use it. They were right.
(policy 18) Appointment of Scouters Standard
They changed almost everything in this standard which basically came down to saying that all group committee roles were appointed by the Group Commissioner and the GC will be appointed by the CK3 (Council Key Three). I don’t know when this started (I have been told a long time ago) but we always had elections at our AGM (Annual General Meeting). I am not a fan of this new centralized communist approach but it isn’t my company so I don’t really get a say.
For a change, the updated date was on the web page. Of course without it being posted to the Change Log, nobody would ever have a clue to look for the update so not sure what they are trying to say here.
(policy 43) Group Support Standard
They changed almost everything again. Oh wait, this is actually a brand new standard so they literally changed everything. Enjoy the read.
Once again, they posted the new date on the web page but nowhere else.
Procedures Revision 2.0 2019-09-06
Here we introduce a new problem. SC has now revised the Procedures document and because they separated the three documents from the single model, we can have three different revisions. In a perfect world, there would be changes once a year that were voted on rather than just posted to a website by a Help Desk tech, but we live here. In this world, we will be numbering the revisions with a major each year and then sub-revisions for the duration of the year. If we ever get to that perfect world, our revisions will be 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 without any dot ones. Until then, I will simply be hoping that we don’t ever hit 2.99 because nobody’s got time for that.
But let’s take a few minutes to chat about the first revision to the Procedures document… or the first one I ever noticed. And considering how many people are emailing, texting, messaging, and tagging me when SC makes a change, I am shocked at how many changes were missed by all of us.
(procedure 31-b) Annual Property Standards Procedure (unknown date)
This is another brand new procedure so everything is new but I have no idea when it was added. I can tell you that it was there on July 15th when I first scanned the procedure page, but it was not there on March 2 when I took the first screenshot of the same page.
What blows my mind about this procedure is not that the change wasn’t mentioned in the Change Log because it didn’t exist. I am not surprised that the update date was empty because it probably wasn’t updated since its creation. I didn’t even expect a true date in the effective date because clearly someone just lies and puts March 2 in when they don’t know when it was uploaded.
What really gets me is that SC made a Property Policy and a Property Standard but instead of creating a Property Procedure they decide to make something called the Annual Property Standards Procedure. That will never confuse anyone. I mean damn. What the hell are they thinking putting the word “standard” into a procedure? Why isn’t the standard called the Property Policy Standard? Because it would be as insane as using the Standard Property Procedure Bylaw for the bylaw name.
(procedure 4) No One Left Behind (NOLB) Participation Procedure (unknown date)
This is a fun one too because they changed the name of the procedure in the table of contents on the website…
That was it. They didn’t change the name of the procedure or a single character in the procedure, just the name of the procedure on the table of contents. That could never lead to confusion could it?
(procedure 29) Election of Voting Members Procedure (unknown date)
This is just gone. Probably closer to March 2 than anything else but there is a policy with the same name so I suspect someone realized this one wasn’t needed after the website was published.
(procedure 23) Discipline & Revoking Appointment Procedure (unknown date)
This is one of the funnest revisions I have ever seen… enjoy the ride… try to stay with me through this one…
Sometime between March 2 and July 15, the name was changed to the Discipline & Performance Management Procedure but no notification was ever made anywhere of this change and the updates date on the web page was never adjusted. Surprise. But it gets better…
(procedure 23) Discipline & Performance Management Procedure
On September 6, 2019, SC removed “Performance Management” and changed name to “Discipline Procedure” in the table of contents and re-worded almost every point in the procedure but the procedure name actually remained the same. They even changed the graphic on the policy but not the actual procedure name.
You will have to re-read this policy because there were so many changes in the body, but I have left it as the Discipline & Performance Management Procedure because the name was never actually changed.
I am sure this won’t surprise you but the Change Log had no mention of this (or any of the three changes published on this date). The updates date is still empty as well. As seems common now, they have modified the effective date (which should never change from the first day the document is published) to September 6th. In effect, they are trying to convince us that this is a brand new procedure. If it wasn’t for all these screen shots and these scans we do every day, I wouldn’t even be able to argue with them.
But I can. *smile*
Policies & Standards Revision 2.2 2019-09-11
(policy 44) Politics and Public Appearances Standard
This is a brand new standard that defines the SC non-partisan position. The Change Log was actually updated with this new standard but the standard itself has no date in the “Effective Date” field so I am not sure if SC even wants us to follow this standard.
Revision 2.3 2019-09-18
Because this update was basically SC adding eight brand new standards, I am not going to discuss them much here or we would be here all day. I will leave your rants for the Scouts Canada Unofficial FB Group. What I will do, is simply list the new standards below and give links to their web addresses.
Also, because I believe it would be hypocritical to not mention this, these standards all come into effect on October 1, 2019 for groups and sections across Canada (except Policy 46 which we’ll discuss below). The last one we can discuss briefly at the end because it is an odd duck of sorts again for another reason.
The fact is that EVERY single addition this week was added to the revision table in the Change Log website and they all had the proper effective date at the bottom of each standard. Read that last line again because I know you don’t believe it.
After all this time, if SC could figure out a way to allow scouting volunteers to subscribe to a change notification I could get a few hours a week back for my family or something and stop updating this blog post. I am more hopeful than ever and maybe a little excited even… not sexually, but just kinda tingly… I wouldn’t call it aroused… I suppose I have a hopeful exuberance toward SC BP&P at the moment. I bet you wish there was a way to go back and just not read this paragraph eh?
(policy 45) Communication Standard
(policy 46) Emergency Management Standard
This standard had a different effective date for camps and SC properties but this won’t affect 99% of the people reading this.
(policy 47) Goals and Targets Standard
(policy 48) Incident Management Standard
(policy 49) Learning and Development Standard
(policy 50) Planning Standard
(policy 51) Program Standard
(policy 52) Winter Camping and Outdoor Adventures Standard
Right about here, someone from SC is reading this post thinking they might soon be rid of me. They would have been much closer had they not decided to stick their heads up their butts on this last standard.
For some reason, and I am going to assume aesthetics of the Table of Contents, they decided to put “Winter Sports” in the table of contents for this standard. It is not referred to the Winter Sports Standard anywhere else so I have to assume they still have opted out of proof reading their documents before publishing or have a different person doing each step, which is insanely odd.
As you can see, the top standard has 70 characters… and I complained about that name in a paragraph way up somewhere in this post (hit control-F and search for stoves) but now they are changing the name because 50 characters is too much, but they are ONLY changing it in the Table of Contents. This is unacceptable in my OCD world.
No matter the reason, the Table of Contents has a different name than the name of the standard. They may have made this conscious decision to help create a standard since they did the same thing to the Discipline Procedure earlier this month. Now they have two out of three Table of Contents with a title that does not match the name of the policy or procedure that they point to.
Let’s give them a few weeks to add a misnamed Bylaw before making final judgement.
Change Log 2019-09-25
I don’t usually track changes in the Change Log. This is mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t actually represent any regulations. And partly due to the fact that only a fraction of the changes get noted in it.
But I wanted to point out the glaring issue that there is no proof reading of these standards. In last week’s changes to the Change Log someone turned the word OF to the word OR. You don’t have to be an English teacher to know that those two words are not interchangeable. Now let’s chat about some more significant changes…
Policies & Standards Revision 2.4 & 2.5 2019-09-26
There were a significant number of changes in the past week but the vast majority were so insignificant that I decided not to republish the PDF files until they came up with something worth the 3-4 hour effort… and then the 27th came along and I had to set some time aside. Here are the six changes to the Policies and Standards before we get into the Procedure changes.
It is worth noting that not one of these changes was mentioned in either the Change Log or the updates date in any of the policy pages.
(policy 24-b) Property Standards
The link for “Related Standards and Procedures for Delegation of Property Transaction Approval Procedure” was changed from a Procedure to a Standard. I told you that it was insignificant.
(policy 31) International Travel Standards
The link for the “Scouts Canada International Commissioner and International Program Team” was removed from the Resources list.
(policy 36) Shooting Sports Standards
The link for “Archery Canada Range Rules” was removed from the Resources list.
(policy 37) Knives, Axes, Saws, Camp Stoves, Lanterns, and Other Camping Tools Standards
The links to the “Knife Safety Blog” and the “Field Book for Canadian Scouting” were removed from the Resources list.
(policy 38) Safety Equipment Standards
The links for “Field Book for Canadian Scouting” and “Transport Canada – life jackets and personal flotation devices” were removed from the Resources list.
(policy 50) Planning Standard (2019-09-26)
The “(Business) Planning Standard” link was removed from the “Related Policies” list.
Procedures Revision 2.1 2019-09-25
(procedure 34) Scouts Canada Logo and Intellectual Property Procedure
Once again, more minor changes… “Scout shops” was turned into “Scouts Shops” and “assuring” was changed to “ensuring”.
Once again, there was no mention in the Change Log and no edit to the Updated Date at the bottom of the procedure itself.
Procedures Revision 2.2 2019-09-26
(procedure 18) Transfer a Youth Participant Procedure
(procedure 19) Transfer Rover Scout and Scouter Procedure
(procedure 21) Volunteer and Employee Screening Procedure
In all three of the above procedures, all “Myscouts” were changed to “MyScouts”. I can’t be the only person wondering why their spell-check didn’t catch this on anyone’s computer who proof-read these procedures. Did my using the word “proof-read” make you laugh a little?
Procedures Revision 2.3 2019-09-27
(procedure 37) Group Safety Leadership Guideline
We finally arrived at the change that makes these hours of love re-building the two PDF files all worth it. The other 12 changes were all cosmetic but this is a BRAND NEW procedure… or guideline.
I am not even sure what a guideline is doing in the procedures PDF but that is where SC threw it so I have to follow suit. I actually don’t even understand the purpose of the guideline.
To top it all off. at the end of the guideline is a link to the AAF (Adventure Activity Form) which is supposed to replace the COAA (Camping and Outdoor Activity Application) at some point but I never expected it before Christmas and here it is. Actually, the link for the AAF points to the COAA… not sure what the message there is. Why can’t they just say that this is the COAA form instead of the AAF and confuse people?
The gist of the new guideline seems to be to ensure that everyone understands that the safety of everyone at all events is the responsibility of the Group Committee. You heard me right. Safety is not the responsibility of the Group Commissioner who is appointed by council (I was only just informed that Group Committees cannot appoint or vote on Group Commissioners any longer but they are appointed by council). These are the Group Commissioners who they are flying across the country at huge expense to train and educate as to all these new rules and what their new roles are in the organization.
But they are not accountable for safety of our youth. And it is not falling on the Scouter in Charge or the Section Lead. Instead, SC wants us to know that the Group Committee is responsible for safety. But how do you hold a group of individual volunteers responsible for something? They are a group of people after all. This might be a good time to point out that the Group Commissioner is the one who approved the risk assessment and the Activity Application Form. Why is he not responsible?
I mean in the grand scheme of things, the GC is in charge of the Group Committee, so it would pass up to him in my mind, but why would SC go through all this work to point out that the buck stops at the Group Committee for safety?
All this might be an effort in futility because once again, there is no mention of the new guideline in the Change Log and the Effective Date has been left blank. This is just another new regulation that they have published that nobody knows if it is actually in effect. Does it really even matter if it is in effect if it is only a guideline?
UPDATES FOR OCTOBER 2019
September saw 25 different updates so I decided that spending hours and hours each week and sending a dozen update emails wasn’t serving anyone well. For October, I tried to amalgamate the five updates from October into four revisions and one update to the documentation, blog, and email notification. Let me know if you would rather get faster updates no matter how often they come.
Procedures Revision 2.4 2019-10-02
(procedure 19) Transfer Rover Scout and Scouter Procedure
The Procedure has been updated to ensure robust screening. Pending or Inactive Rover Scouts or Scouters cannot transfer from one Group to another without completing all screening requirements. The “Scouts Canada Interview Guide for Transferring Scouters and Rover Scouts” has been added as a resource. The changes were not super significant and the Change Log and procedure both disagree on when the change was enacted.
Procedures Revision 2.5 2019-10-05
(procedure 10) Third Party Waivers, Indemnification, and Hold Harmless Agreements Procedure
Parents can now sign waivers for their children at locations that do not have indemnification agreements with Scouts Canada. This is by far the biggest change of October updates. The fact that groups can now book any activities they want so long as they are not prohibited under policy 32.
Policies and Standards Revision 2.6 2019-10-04 and 2019-10-25
(policy 29) Adventure Standards
The new Adventure Standard replaces the old Camping and Outdoor Adventures Standard completely. Read this one from front to back. There were minor link adjustments on October 25th as well but the page shows the latest update as being October 4, 2019.
Policies and Standards Revision 2.7 2019-10-23
(policy 36) Shooting Sports Standards
By definition change, you can now have a category 2 shooting sport. I am not sure what this activity looks like but I would be very interested to hear your comments.
Version 3 updated December 16, 2019
Due to the sheer volume of changes, this entry will be the last for this post and also the first of a new BP&P post and I have decided to call the December 16, 2019 change version 3 and we will start revisioning at zero again… well 3.0 anyway.
This post exists, and has been updated so many times, for three reasons.
- BP&P changes need to be trackable (it would be nice to be able to subscribe and get emails when changes happen),
- they need to be documented (there is a Change Log but not all changes are included), and
- searchable (volunteers need to be able to search for key words in the entire document).
On December 16, 2019, Scouts Canada decided that the most important of the three was to make the document searchable. The new site is amazing in this regard. They now allow you to search for words with ease and very high effectiveness. Of course you can’t search for more than one word so you better really know what you are looking for. They decided to make the search fast rather than useful but I will give them high marks for speed and accuracy on that one word you are searching.
I think I finally understand the the disconnect between myself and SC with regards to this. They fundamentally believe that BP&P’s primary purpose is to look pretty on a web page. I believe that it’s primary function is to provide access to rules and regulations informing 20,000 volunteers how to do the things that we do.
There are so many changes aside from the basic search-ability that I am not going to go through them. I will instead recommend, as SC recommends, that you peruse the entire site again just to refresh yourself with the things that you might have missed (like not requiring indemnification agreements any longer) in the abundant changes this past 9 months have brought.
There are a couple changes that I will mention however, before we kick off a brand new post to start tracking changes to version 3 of the new BP&P:
Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures
(all BP&P) All bylaws, Policies, and Procedures no longer have numbers
Yes they fixed the search but one of my biggest complaints about the document was that it wasn’t written in a numerical format which would allow someone to say you needed to check policy 23 section 2.13 to find specific information. They simply didn’t use any logical design for these documents (see my comments above on the swimming standard from the Revision 2.0 2019-09-01 changes). I suppose that within the group headings that make no sense, they did sort the individual standards in alphabetical order. I now worry that when they add new policies or procedures in the future that they will stick them in alphabetical order just squeezing them in where-ever they fit, rather than having them go in some sort of logical order.
The one thing I did like, was that they numbered each policy or standard in the link that you used to click on so that you could see that somewhere in the background there was someone that wanted to be able to track something… there was hope at least. The adventure standard used to go to https://www.scouts.ca/bpp/policy-29/ but now it goes to https://www.scouts.ca/resources/bpp/policies/adventure-standards.html for some reason.
They have totally lost touch with the fact that volunteers and staff need the ability to refer to specific lines of individual regulations. Taking away the old policy numbers was a bad move but not one in which I needed to adhere to for my copy. Since they changed so many individual names and totally resorted them quasi-alphabetically, I simply started over and numbered them according to their new ordering scheme and will adhere to this format until they release another huge version change.
The have duplicated many items as well, which is slightly baffling. Since the items appear as individual items under different headings, I have duplicated them and given each one a different number.
You can get to it from two policy groups: Communications and Stakeholder Relations and Data, Document, and Information. I have no idea why they invented two different groups to point to the same policy file when there is nothing else in either of the groups. I can’t even fathom how they plan to do a revision if they decide to change one of the policies and not the other. Why on earth would we ever want two Privacy Policies?
It gets so bad in the procedures that they invented the Data, Document and Information group for the sole purpose of duplicating the two procedures that already (and still) exist in the Incident Management group.
In the procedures there is a under headings for Youth Protection and . Again, both headings have no other procedures except this one and I have read through it twice and have no idea how someone decided it should be in a group called Youth Protection.
The Youth Protection group used to only have one procedure in it called Youth Protection Reporting Procedure. That procedure is now located under the new group called Group Operations. If you aren’t scratching your head because it is no longer under the Youth Protection group, just wait… The Youth Protection group has only one procedure in it, the Scouts Canada Logo and Intellectual Property Procedure. This procedure is duplicated under the Communications and Stakeholder Relations group
Not only does Scouts Canada want us to read the entire BP&P every time we need something, but they force us to use the search now because they have destroyed the indexing by removing the numbers. Now they are putting rules under headings that make no sense and inventing groupings for the sole purpose of hosting duplicated rules. They actually want us to now read the same rules multiple times.
Renaming for the sake of renaming
For some bizarre reason they decided to rename the old NOLB Activity Procedure to the new NOLB Participation Procedure. Someone is looking for make work projects. Again, I have no idea what they have a Change Log for anymore. They ignored small changes like grammar and spelling corrections but nobody was sure where the line was between what they deemed a “significant” change but clearly changing the name of the procedure warrants a mention in the Change Log or a modification of the “effective date” but neither is mentioned in the vast majority of changes including this one.
Mixing pages up
One of the problems Scouts Canada has, is that they allow incompetent people to update the documentation. I am not saying that these people are incompetent at their regular jobs, they just don’t know anything about documentation or quality control. They need give this documentation to someone who can put a system in place to ensure that accidents are mitigated. For an organization that thinks all accidents are preventable, how do they transpose two pages that are so clearly mislabeled as the last two bylaws:
- Article XIII – Interpretations
- Schedule A – List of Councils
Clearly when you look at the two links you will see that the pages are mixed up but the headings are properly attached to the links so until they fix it we have to document what they say. But you all will quickly realize that when you click on Schedule A you will NOT see a list of councils. Of course this will be rectified right away when they find time to rebuild the two pages and I can almost guarantee that there will be no mention in the change log even though every single character in both bylaws will change.
Keep in mind that according to the Change Log, not one of these or any other changes was made on December 16. And there is no mention to a whole whack of more changes that were made this week.
I have been waiting for them to fix the Change Log typo that they added a few months back too, but it still says “we also took this opportunity to update many or our Policies”. They changed it from “of” to “or” a few months ago for some reason but since the change log isn’t part of the documentation, and it doesn’t reflect any changes they are making anymore, I feel bad even linking to it. It is basically a web page to convince volunteers that nothing has changed since October which totally invalidates every regulation in the eyes of the law. They are not only not helping you keep up with updates, but they are hindering your accessibility by lying about changes that have been made.