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Does a patrol admin approves an advancement and awards it or is there a setting that only approves and the advancement processor reliewes and awards

A Patrol Admin has the permissions to mark advancements as Completed, Approved, and Awarded. If the unit only wants Patrol Admins to mark items as Completed, then education usually works pretty well.

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Ok, can you please explain “education usually works pertty well”. I’m new to the Scoutbook and the new internet advancement site. I am the committee chair and do the advancement processing for the troop. Under the old system any rank advancements had to be signed off by the committee chair. It seems this is no longer required if a Patrol Admin can approve and award advancements. Could you clarify, thanks for the help

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Are you using Scoutbook or Internet Advancement? You only need to use one.

Hi, @BradfordFruge,

@JenniferOlinger is getting at the fact that a Patrol Admin (a position limited to adult Scoutbook accounts) can mark any and all requirements, awards, merit badges, and ranks Complete, Approved or Awarded in Scoutbook (except possibly Eagle). Any leader who has the permission levels to Approve in Scoutbook can also mark an item as Awarded. There is no separation of these permissions in Scoutbook.

“Education” in this case refers to creating, enforcing, and informing your leaders about a unit level policy that would govern who will mark Complete, Approve, or Awarded any requirements, ranks or awards.

For example, in my unit, each patrol has a Patrol Admin assigned in Scoutbook. We are supposed to, by policy, only mark rank and award items Complete or Approved. Merit badges are marked Complete and Approved by our Advancement Chair when she receives the blue cards from our scouts. All ranks, merit badge, and awards are marked Awarded only by the Advancement Chair or her designee according to policy.

In Scoutbook there is no way to enforce such a separation of duties, since any leader with Edit Advancement or Full Control permissions can marked everything Complete, Approved, and Awarded.


The Committee Chair has never, at least not in my years of working with BSA, had the authority to sign off advancement. Advancement is under the purvue of the Scoutmaster for troops, Den Leader for packs, Advisor for crews and Skipper for ships. See the Guide to Advancement for more details.

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I only use Internet advancement to process MB’s and rank advancements, to generate reports to send to counsel {scout shop} for items needed. I’m understanding how you use scout book by, as committee chair, limit other admin leaders as what they can actually do. Correct?

Hi, @BradfordFruge,

Our committee, not our Chair, developed an agreed-upon policy as to what authority each adult role would be assigned in Scoutbook. For example, all ASMs are assigned Edit Advancement, and I have Full Control permissions since I serve as our unit’s primary Scoutbook Admin, mostly because I am more familiar with it than other members of the adult leadership.

Our unit has working policies as to how we coordinate between the committee and the scoutmaster corps, but where they overlap on advancement, they are coordinated between the Scoutmaster and the Advancement Chair directly. Our Committee Chair doesn’t really come into it.

As @edavignon alluded to, advancement approval is in the Scoutmaster’s scope, not the Committee Chair’s, at least as far as I have ever been aware. Advancement is part of program implementation which is the responsibility of the Scoutmaster and his or her designees. The committee is generally responsible for providing a Board of Review, but it is the board members, not the Committee Chair, who review whether or not the scout has completed all of the requirements. It is the Scoutmaster and his or her designee(s) who sign the handbook/mark items Approved in Scoutbook to approve that something is completed. If the committee doesn’t believe that the Scoutmaster or one of the ASMs is doing his or her job, they can, of course, replace the Scoutmaster, and we all serve at the pleasure of the chartering organization.

Although our committee approves our Scoutmaster and all ASMs, they largely stay out of actually implementing the program, except as specifically required or requested. Before we started using Scoutbook, the Advancement Chair handled all Advancement submittals to Council, upon notification from the Scoutmaster . Now, she fills the same role using Scoutbook. When she receives notice from the Board of Review that a scout has successfully completed the board (or from the Scoutmaster that the conference had been completed for Scout rank), she approves that rank in Scoutbook. Our Committee Chair is busy enough herding the cats he already has to herd, and delegates as much as he can so he can focus on things that uniquely require his attention.

What is a “leader”

The Guide to Advancement 2019 limits “leaders” to adult leaders. The Troop Leader Guidebook includes certain youth leaders as “leaders” for recording completion of an advancement requirement.

The Scout BSA Handbook for Girls, 2019, has “Leader initial” for rank advancement requirements and merit badges; and “Scoutmaster or adult signature” for the leadership & training log, hiking log, camping log, and service log. (Merit Badges are signed completed by the Merit Badge Counselor on a MB application card (“blue card”) before being entered in the handbook.)

Guide to Advancement 2019

What Does “Unit Leader” Mean?

Throughout this publication the term “unit leader” refers only to a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Venturing crew Advisor, Sea Scout Skipper, or Lone Scout friend and counselor. “Unit leadership” and “leader” are used as generic references to any registered adult leader in a unit and as such would include the unit leader. Unit Advancement Responsibilities

Unit advancement coordinators and those who assist them have the basic responsibility to support the unit’s advancement and award program to maximize achievement, and otherwise facilitate a smooth implementation of the process. Specific responsibilities are outlined in the leader literature for each program. …

    1. Support and facilitate the unit leader’s vision for rank advancement or Venturing awards, providing consultation on the policies and procedures put forth in the Guide to Advancement .
    1. Know and understand the advancement procedures for the program served, especially those applicable to Eagle Scout, Summit, and Quartermaster candidates.

Troop Leader Guidebook

Troop Leader Guidebook, vol. 1, 33009, 2018 printing, SKU 647785, © Boy Scouts of America, Section 5, “Advancement and Awards”

The Four Steps to Advancement
Step 2 - The Scout is Tested.
p. 98

A Scout … must demonstrate to a leader that the skill has been mastered at the level expected. In a new-Scout patrol, that leader might be the assistant Scoutmaster or troop guide assigned to the patrol. A Scout in a traditional or older-Scout patrol might be tested by an adult troop leader or by the patrol leader, troop guide, or another junior leader, provided that the youth leader has already earned the rank for which the Scout is being tested. …

When a Scout successfully demonstrates completion of a requirement, a leader acknowledges that fact and records the achievement in the youth’s Scouts BSA handbook and with the troop scribe. The scribes keeps track of every Scout;s advancement progress in the Troop Record Book or with a computer software program. … Finally, a designated adult submits an advancement report to the local council. …

The Scoutmaster Conference

… A Scout can’t “pass” or “fail” a Scoutmaster conference. The Scout meets the requirement simply by participating.

Step 3 - The Scout is Reviewed

p. 99

The purpose of the board of review is not to retest the Scout, but rather to determine the quality of the Scout’s experience, decide whether the requirements have been completed, and if so, encourage the Scout to continue the quest for the next rank. …

BSA Advancement Team

Per @ Twitter: AdvBSA

The National Advancement Team is responsible for Boy Scouts of America advancement policies and procedures. Send questions to

Updated: 2019-07-30

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I guess what is confuseing in how I state things, is my situation , our troop is small compared to a lot of others, so the committe members wear several hats at the same time. until recently there was only three. Its very hard to recruit adults that truly will take the time to be active with the troop and take on responsibilities within the troop committee. I know they do what they can, as they can. I guess some help is better than no help. My biggest question was how does Scoutbook work with Internet advancement, but as one reply stated, use one or the other. Thanks to all for the help.

Bradford, Scoutbook and the new Internet Advancement both write to the same database. The main thing that is different is the user interface. Your unit can use either one.

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July-August 2019 Advancement News

There is a “Scouts BSA” article in the July-August 2019 Advancement News, pp. 6-10, that is worth reading and

is designed to assist troop Scoutmasters, committee members, parents, and – especially new Scouts BSA troop advancement coordinators. It is designed to support everyone involved in advancement at any level to accomplish their goal to help all Scouts succeed

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Anyone the SM says can approve advancement. But, only adults with patrol or troop admin rights can approve advancement in Scoutbook.

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@WilliamSutter Admin positions have nothing to do with Approvals - any Adult with a Leader position and a Connection to a Scout of Edit Advancement or Higher can approve an Advancement in Scoutbook

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Per the Guide to Advancement 2019 - Mechanics of Advancement in Scouts BSA: The Scout Is Tested

The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include the patrol leader, the senior patrol leader, the unit leader, an assistant unit leader, or another Scout. Merit badge counselors teach and test Scouts on requirements for merit badges.

NOTE: 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.

Good morning Bradford, my name is Hector E. Perez a 55 years scouter so far. I am stilll learning to use the proper forums so, my apology if this is not the correct one. I have a strong concern regarding advancvement. Please kindly let me share with you just one example. We have in our troop a new scout that came from a former unit. As New Member Coordinator for our unit, I went to the local council to register this boy. To my surprise, he has not even earned the Tenderfoot Rank and he has on his record, two merit badges . Our SM asked him about this two MB and the boy frankly did not know anything within the subjects comprised on the merit badges - I mean, he did not know -. His mom told us he earned both merit bedges at a Merit Badge Marathon (something I personally dislike) , My point. Bothe meirt badges, are duly acredited on Scoutbook. What do we do. We can not erase those I believe. Can we just redo both MB with the boy ? I mean, make the boy take them again. I am confused. Can you please share with me some ideas, some help? If you want, feel free to contact me at Big fraternal hug for you Bradford. Regards Hector (Luigi) Perez.

@HectorPerez1 - there are a few that concern me with your post. First, rank is not required in order to earn merit badges. Second, the merit badge program is not meant to generate content experts nor PHD’s. Third is that you have no right to re-test the scout or make then do the merit badge over. I suggest that you STOP right there are get a copy of the guide to Advancement before do anything else.

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@HectorPerez1 once the badge, requirements, or rank has been signed off and approved you have no right to retest or revoke these ranks or badges. Why are you retesting or questioning what has been earned in the first place?

So there is no correcting a clerical error?