Friends in Scouting,
As you are aware, after 18 months of member consultations and discussions, Scouts Canada announced new Policies, Standards and Procedures on March 2. Since then, we have received feedback from Scouters across the country on the effect these new Policies, Standards and Procedures have on Group operations and areas that need clarification. Upon receiving this feedback, we acted quickly on knife standards to lessen the restrictions on maximum blade length, and removed the requirement for folding, lockable blades. Additionally, we adjusted the effective date of the new First Aid and Swimming Standard to September 1, allowing Groups time to implement.
Over the past several weeks, we have reviewed your feedback on the new First Aid Standard and considered best practices of other organizations and provincial standards. Coupled with an evaluation of our own incident experience, we are comfortable adopting less stringent requirements, as follows:
- A minimum of one qualified first aider must be present at every activity, including the normal meeting place, where there are fewer than 25 participants.
- A minimum of two qualified first aiders must be present at every activity, including the normal meeting place, where there are over 25 participants.
- When an activity does not take place at the normal meeting place and is more than three hours’ travelling time from a medical care facility or access route that can take an ordinary road-going ambulance, there shall be at least one designated first aider holding a current wilderness first aid certification.
- Emphasis has been placed on the Scouter in Charge to ensure all activities and meetings have the first aid equipment appropriate for the activity.
- Those who work in professions that have a first aid element (such as nurses, police officers and others as referenced in the standards) can be exempted with Group Commissioner approval.
- The new First Aid Standard will come into effect September 1, 2019.
Many thanks to you all for your engagement and feedback on these matters. Based on input regarding the Swimming Standard, we are currently reviewing the standards, due to be in effect September 1, 2019, and are working as quickly, and diligently, as possible to ensure standards reflect appropriate risk controls.
We continue to welcome your questions and comments to the Help Centre. Working together, we will continue to make Scouts Canada’s Policies, Standards and Procedures clearer and more accessible to every member.
Yours in Scouting,
Annabelle Loder, National Youth Commissioner
Tim Welch, National Commissioner
Andrew Price, Executive Commissioner and CEO