How To Create Job/Role Description

Why is it Needed

Your National Scout Organization (NSO) needs to have adequate adult leadership and adult support to develop, grow, and function effectively. You need the right people in the right job at the right time and in the right place. Your NSO needs to have a clear view of its needs and clear recruitment and appointment process for its adults.

Job/role descriptions are often the only documents that totally define what a role is, what skills are required to perform it, and where the role fits in your NSO. Properly written descriptions make it easier to identify individuals that are a good fit for the job/role and to hold individuals accountable if they are not performing essential duties that are required.

What is it

A basic job/role description is an internal document that clearly states the essential job or task requirements in terms of duties, responsibilities, and skills needed to perform a specific job/role.  A more detailed job/role description covers how success is measured in the job/role. It can be used to evaluate individual performance.  For Scouting, detailed job/role descriptions are preferred. Your NSO should have a set of clear job/role descriptions or duty statements that specifically state what is required in a particular role at a particular time and in a particular place. Job/role descriptions are fluid documents that grow and develop as Scouting does. 

Note: Job/role descriptions follow on from a NSO needs analysis in which your NSO has identified the people to effectively deliver its Youth Programme.

How is it Used

No two job/role descriptions are the same. They are developed and written for specific responsibilities and due to specific circumstances or situations, they must be updated over time.  Review job/role descriptions periodically, especially when your NSO is changing strategic direction.
Use the following steps in creating or reviewing the description:

  1. Use a template to ensure you are consistent in what you require, especially across those criteria that overlap many jobs/roles. 
  2. Ensure that the Job/Role Title is clear in intent and meaning. For example, if it reads ‘National Commissioner, Youth Programme’, then that’s what the rest of the job/role description should be about.
  3. Begin the document with a descriptive summary of the job/role.
  4. Detail the essential job/role duties and job/role responsibilities.  Be specific and clear.  Do not make statements that could be challenged because of confusing language. State only the things that are necessary for this one job/role.  List them in order of importance.  Use complete sentences. Start with verbs. Use present tense and gender-neutral language.  Bullet points are useful.
  5. Detail the essential requirements and qualifications necessary for the job/role.  Education, experience, specific skills, and personal characteristics are the norm, but you may have other essential requirements related to the specific job or role.
  6. Define success in the job/role which, for example, could be related to the strategic direction your NSO is taking.
  7. State who the job/role reports to.
  8. List any other jobs/roles that report into the role.
  9. Indicate if there is a period of probation (if applicable).
  10. State clearly that the job/role incumbent will undergo a performance evaluation after a specific period.
Example

Job/Role: National Commissioner Adult Training and Development (NCATD)

Role Summary: To lead the National Training Team; to plan, develop, implement and maintain a scheme of Adult Training and Development for both volunteers in Scouting and professional staff in accordance with the policies of the World Bureau (World Adults in Scouting Policy), the  Region, and NSO.  

Reports and Responsible to: NSO Chief Commissioner 

Role Status: Volunteer, Rank – Commissioner (National Appointment)

Values and Behaviors: The NCATD will demonstrate behaviours in accordance with the Association’s Aim, Principles and Values and will adhere to the Adult Code of Conduct and at all times practice Safe from Harm principles.

Direct Working Relationships: The NCATD manages and leads the following:

  • Deputy National Commissioner, AT&D (volunteer)
  • Deputy National Commissioner, Adventurous Activities (volunteer)
  • National Training Administrative Officer, (part-time paid employee)

The NCATD enthuses and indirectly leads and motivates respective Branch Commissioners, Adult Training & Development.

Essential Job/Role Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • To lead the National Training Team.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of existing training and adult development programmes and methods and to redevelop and refresh programs to meet the needs of the NSO.
  • To develop and implement new adult training and development programmes in accordance with the needs of the NSO.
  • To seek and develop new training techniques and methods that will provide flexibility and innovation in the delivery of training programs to Adults in Scouting.
  • To grow and further develop the eLearning training and development programme of the NSO.
  • To provide positive leadership to the Branch Commissioners for Adult Training and Development, their teams and to chair the National Training Committee.
  • To lead the Course for Leader Trainers (CLT) every two years.
  • To perform such other duties as may be requested by the Chief Commissioner, particularly with respect to the assistance of Scouting in other Scouting countries in the Region.
  • To attend Training and Youth Program Team Meetings, Conferences and Seminars to support the National Commissioner Youth Program and the Branch Commissioners for Adult Training and Development.
  •  To be an active member of the National Team led by the Chief Commissioner supporting other portfolios as and when necessary.

Selection Criteria:

This person must have:

  • An unequivocal belief in the Aim and Principles, Promise and Law and Method, of the Scout Movement.
  • An ability to work with volunteers and professional staff and to be able to enthuse and motivate people in the achievement of tasks and goals.
  • Well-developed interpersonal and team leadership skills.
  • The willingness and ability to devote considerable time during the day, evenings and weekends to the NSO.
  • A high level of personal motivation/organisation and the ability to be able to be innovative and creative in achieving desired outcomes.
  • Highly effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Good working knowledge and understanding of the various Youth Programs embraced within Scouting, including their activities, method and purpose.
  • Degree qualified (in a relevant discipline, i.e. Education, Training, HR, Management), with considerable practical experience in adult training and development programs, essential.
  • Wood Badge Leader Trainer qualification along with practical experience delivering Wood Badge and other relevant Courses.

 Indicative Commitments:

  • Chair the National Training Committee (2 weekend meetings per year plus one or two virtual meetings when necessary).
  • Member of the NEC/NOC (3 weekend meetings per year, plus a strategic planning workshop every two years).
  • Member of the National Team (3 weekend meetings per year, plus virtual when required)
  • Member of the Adults in Scouting Committee (1 weekend meeting per year)
  • Attendance at National Youth Program and Branch Training workshops as required (minimum 5) weekend meetings per year).
  • Conduct one 5-day training course every two years (CLT).
  • Delegate/Observer at World or Region Scout Conferences respectively (approximately 1 week each). 

Role Achievement: Success in the role supports the strategic direction of the NSO.

Term of Appointment: Initial appointment – 3 years, in accordance with the National Adults in Scouting Policy of the NSO, with an extension of another 3 years subject to achievement and satisfactory performance.


See also:

Adult Recruitment

How to Create a Job Description eLearning


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