Mutual Agreement Template

for Adult Volunteers in Scouting in an NSO/NSA

The Mutual Agreement highlights the common commitment to pursuing the NSOs/NSAs goals through a culture of mutual support and shared values where adults’ interests, expectations, motivation, concerns, and issues are considered, discussed and properly addressed. It also provides an opportunity for each NSO/NSA to explain the policies, regulations and rules (internal and external) that all members of the NSO/NSA need to be aware of and must comply with and follow. This also includes the NSO/NSA ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Code of Ethics’, as it is expected that the Adult Volunteer has read and is aware of the content of these.

In the Mutual Agreement referred to in this document, ‘NSO/NSA’ is used as an example. However, the ‘template’ and information can easily be adapted and applied to any level in Scouting and is particularly useful at the Group level.

The Mutual Agreement is based on the principles of negotiation and allows the NSO/NSA and its adult volunteers to set out a clear agreement concerning reciprocal obligations, time commitments and the rights and responsibilities of both the NSO/NSA and the adult volunteer.

NSOs/NSAs should ensure that the Agreement is a two-way process so that it is clear what the adult volunteer will offer Scouting and what Scouting will offer the adult volunteer. The Mutual Agreement sets out the level of commitment to be expected, as well as the training obligations and support that will be available and/or required. It provides the basis for managing performance on one side and creates ​a positive volunteer experience on the other.

This Mutual Agreement is just a ‘Template’. The information provided here is for NSOs/NSAs seeking to develop, implement or improve the Mutual Agreement for Adults in Scouting. Each NSO/NSA needs to develop and implement its own written procedures and necessary resources to establish and support the process of the Mutual Agreement and ensure that it is inclusive of all adult members. The role/appointment of the National Commissioner, Youth Programme is used as an example in this Template to illustrate the type of information that could relate to the respective heading. It should be relatively simple to adapt to other roles/appointments.

While the templates provided may be all very formal and regimented, the NSO/NSA is encouraged to make sure that any discussions or conversation with the adult volunteer takes place in a relaxed, informal, and comfortable environment.

Mutual Agreement Model

Mutual Agreement Form

__________ (name of Adult Volunteer) and the

__________ (name of NSO/NSA)

hereby enter into a Mutual Agreement. Upon acceptance, both parties agree to adhere to the Agreement.

The Mutual Agreement includes the following:

  • appropriate behaviour, based on the Scout Promise and Law and the Mission and Principles of the Scout Movement, expected from all parties,
  • compliance of the Adult Volunteer with the NSO/NSA Volunteer Code of Conduct and NSO/NSA Code of Ethics,
  • description of the Adult Volunteer’s role or function, term of role or function and renewal conditions, necessary and relevant skills and experience required, and any other requirements and conditions,
  • outline of training offered by the NSO/NSA for the role or function,
  • goal setting and Implementation Plan, and a plan for monitoring and evaluation,
  • ongoing support and mentoring process for the Adult Volunteer, including a Personal Development Plan,
  • completion of the Safe from Harm requirements and acceptance of the general laws, rules and regulations that pertain to the Adult Volunteer’s participation in the respective role/appointment described in the Mutual Agreement.

The NSO/NSA may, following the NSO/NSA internal policies and procedures, reimburse the Adult Volunteer for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in their volunteering activities, such as travel and other material expenses.

The contact person for the NSO/NSA is: ______________________________________

The contact person can be reached by E-mail: ________ or by Phone: ______ (number).

It is expected that both parties respect the terms of the Mutual Agreement, and understood that if circumstances change, and both parties agree, the Agreement can be amended based on mutual understanding and agreement.

In case of non-compliance of any elements of the Mutual Agreement, the Agreement may be terminated by either party. However, a discussion between the parties to determine a solution should occur. Any matters of a serious nature are handled by the NSO/NSA’s highest governing body, for example, the ‘Court of Honour’, or a body with a similar function.

Date: ___________

Adult Volunteer: ______________________________ Signature: _________________

NSO/NSA Authorised Person: ____________________ Signature: __________________

1. Role or Function Description

The role or function description includes the tasks/job, terms of role or function and renewal conditions, description of the knowledge (competencies) required, personal attributes, previous experience and other conditions/requirements (as in a published call for applications for the role or function). NSOs/NSAs should interview the candidates to verify and validate their suitability and view evidence cited by the applicant.

Role/Function Description

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme: As outlined in the Position Description provided. The appointee is primarily responsible for the ongoing growth and development of the Youth Programme, and to ensure that adequate and responsible leadership is provided at all levels and an effective documented National Youth Programme is in place.

Term of Role/Function and Renewal Conditions

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme: The initial appointment is for 3 years and, subject to review of performance and progress, for a further 3 years. The maximum term for an adult in the same appointment is 6 years.

Description of Knowledge (Competencies)

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme: Leadership and Management of Teams; Project Management Skills; Communication Skills; Demonstrated understanding and experience of the Youth Sections of the NSO/NSA.

Previous Experience (required and desirable)

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme: Leadership and management experience at a high level; Demonstrable and successful experience with working with Youth; Demonstrated skills in Project Management; Working with diverse Teams; …

Current Skills / Knowledge / Prior Learning recognized

Examples may include; Current employment as a Manager; Project Director for an NGO; Experience in outdoor skills and working with Youth; Has a degree in education (recognized and appropriate prior learning).

Other conditions/requirements

Examples might include: Willingness to work at the National level of the NSO/NSA; Experience/skills in leadership and management; Experience in working with Teams; Experience with large projects or events.

2. Setting the Role/Function Goals and Plan of Implementation

Ideally, this component is conducted in an informal and relaxed environment, but professionally with the ‘authorised person’ as indicated in the Mutual Agreement Model. Remember, this is for a new role/appointment and any goals and method of implementation should be developed to aim for success in the role/appointment.

The goals include quantitative and qualitative indicators, for monitoring and evaluating achievements and efficiency. The goals, timeline and Implementation Plan are developed jointly by the NSO/NSA and the Adult Volunteer. After discussion and agreement, they are added to the Mutual Agreement. The Plan should contain the estimated time frame and all the steps necessary to achieve the goals.

The NSO/NSA and Adult Volunteer jointly determine the support and/or training required to achieve the best results. They both agree on the method to be used to monitor progress, as well as who will be included (leaders, adult peers, other adults) and who is responsible (team lead, person in charge, colleague in the leadership team). If the agreed goals are to be changed, these need to be mutually agreed upon and reaffirmed.

The Final Evaluation is conducted at the end of the term of appointment or upon completion of the agreed work or assignment.

After the role or function is completed, an interview (a relaxed and informal chat) is held about a Decision for the Future. The Adult Volunteer proposes their preferred options regarding their future engagement (the 3Rs) and the NSO/NSA, depending on the needs of the NSO/NSA, considers these options and a decision is jointly reached with the Adult Volunteer.

If the Adult Volunteer needs to withdraw from the Agreement at any time, he or she will do so in consultation with the NSO/NSA. If a new Agreement is to be entered into the process is repeated.

Goals (quantitative and qualitative)

Example – new role/appointment, National Commissioner, Youth Programme: Complete (specified) training for the appointment and undertake additional advanced training as required, Review the current National Youth Programme, undertake the necessary updates, and implement within 3 years, Increase the Youth Programme leadership at the local level by 20%.

Implementation Plan

Estimated time frame, necessary resources, required assistance: 3 months – complete required training (work with a Peer for assistance),12 months – complete Advanced Training if required (Peer to assist),3 years – Youth Programme reviewed, revised, and implemented (with e.g., 12 monthly reviews during the period) (Review Team established, financial resources determined, Implementation Plan agreed),3 years – 20% increase in Youth Programme leadership at the local level (Senior leadership support, focused teams, adequate financial resources where required).

Implementation Monitoring and Support

(Method, frequency, who is included, who is responsible):

All 3 Goals – Monthly ‘check-in’/communication with a Peer / practical on-the-job support by those responsible. Annual review of progress and achievement.

Implementation of Final Evaluation

(Method, who is included, who is responsible):

Meeting (face-to-face/virtual); Appropriate stakeholders, including Peer leader/adult support, if appropriate; Review outcomes at end of term (progress against goals set, recognize Milestones achieved along the way.

The decision for the Future – Process Plan

Informal ‘Interview’ and Discussion – 3R’s – consider goal attainment and performance in role/appointment Revisit set goals, Consider new goals if current goals are achieved (if term extended another 3 years – new Goals agreed and listed), Agree on Support Plan, monitoring and ongoing support.

Volunteer’s possible reasons for withdrawal from the Agreement

Examples of specific reasons for withdrawal from the Agreement could include: Life circumstances have changed and can no longer commit the time needed. Support promised was not provided. No longer motivated by or committed to the role or function. The experience of the role or function was different to that expected and the Adult Volunteer is no longer interested.

NSO/NSA Specific Reasons for withdrawal from the Agreement

Examples of specific reasons for withdrawal from the Agreement could include: Safe from Harm issues, Breach of the NSO/NSA Code of Conduct or Code of Ethics, Failure to act responsibly and appropriately on a safety issue or concern, Inappropriate behaviour with adult peers or Youth members, Not completing the training required of the role/appointment.
3. Determining the Role/Appointment Support Plan

The support the NSO/NSA offers the Adult Volunteer includes the specified required training, induction and/or advanced training, and development in areas that are required for the performance of the role/function/task. This can be outlined as part of the NSO/NSA Adult Training and Development Scheme, set out in a matrix, flow chart or diagram.

The NSO/NSA and Adult Volunteer jointly agree on participation in meetings or events that are not necessarily only of an educational nature but bring added value to the work of the Adult Volunteer (e.g., conferences, seminars, meetings, forums etc.). Support can also include workgroups, expert counselling and/or guidance, the professional support of an expert group or subject matter expert. The Support Plan outlines the levels of support required to assist the adult in undertaking the role/function and is designed to facilitate success. Components should include:

Required initial training

Refer to the NSO/NSA Training Scheme Matrix /Flow Chart/Diagram. hands-on learning, experience with the activities associated with the role/appointment) Example, National Commissioner, Youth Programme: complete initial training as soon as possible in the role/appointment, but within 3 months, attend and participate in role/appointment activities to gain insights and experience, undertake ‘hands-on activity’ (learning by doing) through engagement in specific and focused training and activities to increase knowledge, skill development and further understanding.

Induction process

The induction process must be focused, relevant and undertaken professionally. This could include as examples: a face-to-face or virtual Induction process is aligned to the role/function, and includes peers and others whose roles are interconnected, is conducted over 3 weeks with a review and ongoing support agreed, is reviewed at the conclusion, key areas needing support are identified, and resultant further steps and actions are agreed.

Ongoing training support and timeframes

NSOs/NSAs manage adult training and development aligned to its needs and related to the Youth Programme. If relevant Training progress and respective timeframes are indicated in the Matrix/Flow Chart/Diagram, then this should be highlighted. If not the case, an example for this component could include: Advanced Training (where applicable to the Adult) to be completed within e.g., 6 months (depending on the NSO/NSA) of initial appointment.

Other forms of support

Examples relevant to the NSO/NSA could include peer support and coaching, other adult support, attending relevant seminars/workshops/additional training. The support provided is reviewed in the light of progress and development.

Wellbeing measures

NSO/NSA measures may include as examples: regular checks – regular phone calls/personal visits (as required), messages of support periodically, ‘how are you going?’ type conversations, including ‘what do you need?’ ‘coffee chats’ (if possible), informal catch-ups (if appropriate).
4. Personal Development Plan Process and Mentoring

The support provided by the NSO/NSA should be available to the Adult Volunteer for the duration of their volunteering in the role or function. That means, support for the Adult Volunteer is maintained throughout their role/appointment and particularly up to the completion of their Advanced Training, gaining their Wood Badge. A Mentor can assist in providing the support required and in supporting initiatives and goals outlined in the individual Adult Volunteer’s Personal Development Plan. Where NSOs/NSAs utilise a ‘mentor process’, they provide valuable support and the encouragement necessary to support new Adult Volunteers.

The mentoring process can include:

  • Mentor assistance to set personal goals and/or define a Personal Development Plan (What I need to personally improve, achieve, develop by performing the role/function/task). The personal goals should assist the Adult Volunteer’s motivation to stay involved and engaged.
  • Selecting a Mentor or defining other support mechanisms to help the Adult Volunteer achieve his or her goals by monitoring their progress. The Mentor must possess the necessary competencies to perform this role and should agree to perform it for the duration of the Adult Volunteer’s appointment.
  • Agreement on the form of collaboration/personal support between the Mentor and the Adult Volunteer during the role/function/task (e.g., monthly catch-up meetings, telephone chats). Upon completion of the role/function, or after the required task is completed, the Mentor assists by identifying, documenting, and recognizing achievements (this could be a reference letter or Certificate on personal progress). It is recommended that the Adult Volunteer and Mentor confirm any agreements in writing.

The Personal Development Plan outlines goals and initiatives that the Adult Volunteer would like to achieve during their term in the role/function and can be in addition to the goals required of the role/function by the NSO. These are ‘personal development goals’, and as such should lead to the greater personal development of the Adult Volunteer than just role/function related. Generally, only 2/3 Personal Goals should be outlined.

Setting personal goals (Personal Development Plan)

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme – could include: complete any additional skills training that would assist the role/function,in reviewing the current National Youth Programme, explore technology options that might allow online access for Youth Progress/Achievement to be recorded, during the 3 years,increase the Youth Programme leadership at the local level by 20%, focusing on disadvantaged groups. 3 Groups to be specifically targeted, complete additional ‘virtual platforms’ training within 12 months,assist in the development of Youth Leadership Development Training in another NSO/NSA.

Selecting a competent Mentor (from the pool of Mentors)

Using the National Commissioner, Youth Program example, and depending on the role or function, the Mentor could be a relevant peer at the National level, a suitable person with the necessary experience at a senior level. Age-appropriate and willing to undertake the role should be considered.

Agreement on the form of collaboration between the Adult Volunteer and Mentor

Examples could include: both parties agree on regular communication (at least every 2 or 3 weeks).contact is made when needed or when specific assistance is face-to-face at least quarterly, more regularly if appropriate.
5. Alignment with the general Laws, Rules and Regulations, Policies Applicable

The Adult Volunteer must know, understand, and accept the Laws, Rules and Regulations and Policies that relate to working in their respective role/function/task. Regardless of the role/function, examples could include: The country of the NSO/NSA laws and regulations applicable for volunteers, safety measures in the workplace, Safe from Harm requirements, risk management, policies relating to voluntary work, statement of confidentiality, conflict of interest, data protection, etc.)

Example – National Commissioner, Youth Programme: Complete the ‘Safe from Harm’ course for a new appointment, Has read and can discuss the NSO/NSA Risk Management Policy, and can describe relevant country legislation and requirements related to Scouting, Complete the required ‘Conflict of Interest’ documentation of the NSO/NSA.
Mutual Agreement Model – Expanded

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