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Position of Responsibility Approval process

What is the correct procedure to log that the Scoutmaster has approved (ie given credit) for a Position of Responsibility for a scout?

From what I can tell, the parent can ‘Approve’ [GREEN CHECK] a scout’s Leadership Position. BUT this is not the same as the leadership position being approved by the Scoutmaster (for rank).

Since the leadership position can be shown to be ‘Approved’ even if the Scoutmaster has not or will not be giving credit for the position, Scoutbook makes it look like the position is approved (green check and all) and this makes the scout (and family) think that the rank req has been satisfied.

Am I missing something?

By marking off the requirement in rank


Hi, @JenniferMcCarthy,

Parents can mark items “Completed” (green check), but only a registered leader can mark them “Leader Approved” (blue check). As @DonovanMcNeil noted, the leader “Approves” (or doesn’t) the rank requirement. There are a fair number of stipulations/limitations in the Guide to Advancement on when the unit leader can decline to approve a leadership position in which a scout has already served (i.e. decline to approve after the scout has nominally completed his or her minimum required tenure in the position). I recommend that any leader who is inclined to not approve a scout’s PoR as qualifying after having served in the position review those limits carefully.

In a more general sense, you are correct that Scoutbook shows completion based on what items are marked “Complete” rather than based on what items are marked “Leader Approved”. I’ve argued that there should be some other name for “Completed” since, IMHO, many items are not actually completed until they have been tested by an adult or youth leader approved to sign-off on the requirement (e.g. requirements that the youth demonstrate a skill to someone who signs off on the demonstration). That hasn’t gotten much traction, since the BSA’s public position via SUAC has been that “Completed” is equivalent to putting a checkmark in the column on the left hand side of the handbook signature pages, which is the equivalent of the scout saying he or she is ready to be tested.

We handle this with unit-level policy, wherein if someone marks any requirement or group of requirements “Complete”, the person marking them is supposed to document how and when it was actually completed, as well as the name of the person who signed-off the requirement(s). This can also be accomplished with a photo of the relevant handbook page. That way, the leader who marks the requirement “Leader Approved” is able to verify that the requirement was actually completed, even if he or she wasn’t the one who actually signed it off. This is particularly important for us since our unit permits specific youth leaders (e.g. SPL, ASPLs, instructors, troop guides) to sign-off on rank requirements up through First Class, but youth can’t Leader Approve items in Scoutbook.

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We will do so. Thank you for the advise.

After the scouts’ terms they are asked to write or meet with the SM to review and state what they did during the term. Prior to and during the term the scouts are explained and reminded and expected to do the jobs related to their Position. If they are falling short they are warned that they will not get credit for their position if they do not do anything in their position. We are careful to have actual expectations for the positions. But we will review the Guide.

We have scouts right now who are pointing to the leadership log on Scoutbook and entering that information onto their Eagle Application. Just because the information is there does not mean that the Position of Responsibility was fulfilled and given credit.

So we just need to educate the scouts that that log does not indicate approved POR. As Donovan stated the process needs to be that the scout and SM talk and he gets that rank req signed by the SM.

We have a Life scout who is pointing to the leadership logged on SB that he did over a year ago and for a different Scoutmaster- so the situation is complex. The current SM was an ASM involved in the position for which the scout is saying he worked and that ASM now SM has no recollection of the scout actually working in that position.

I am really looking for a way to tighten up our process so this does not happen again, and SB does not appear to be where I can turn to log official credit for a position.

Again, when a parent can just enter and ‘APPROVE’ a Leadership Position it becomes an issue, and sometimes a fight, to counter that action when the leadership position was not actually fulfilled.

Thanks again.

I see where the problems can arise, but I want to make sure that it’s clear that marking something “Completed” is not the same thing as marking it “Leader Approved” in Scoutbook. Only a registered leader can mark anything in Scoutbook “Leader Approved”. I agree that the current logs in Scoutbook don’t have a mechanism to indicate Leader Approval.

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For the Leadership positions log, the parent or anyone is actually placing a checkmark at “Position Approved”. It is so odd to me and confusing that they use the word “Approved” here when throughout the rest of Scoutbook, only a leader can APPROVE anything. But here in Leadership Positions, a parent can ‘Approve’. But it doesn’t really mean approved!!!


This is a bug. We will report it to the development team.

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Yeah, I wasn’t aware that was possible. I thought it was only restricted to registered leaders to be able to mark it as “Position Approved”. Even so, that only means that the holding of the position was approved (i.e. the scout was elected/appointed to this position), not that any requirements that might include holding a position are approved (e.g. for Star/Life/Eagle ranks).

OK, Thank you for taking a look.

I have been told that the Leadership log on SB is just that, a log, and not intended to hold a log of positions that were approved or for which credit was given. For our unit, after every election we put names on a paper which shows all scouts elected or signed up to a position. If they do not earn credit we cross off their name and put the sheet in the file. With Scoutbook being such a visible record of a scout’s journey, it would be helpful for the Leadership log to be an accurate depiction of his or her leadership and show the ones for which credit was given.

One way to do that with the current system capabilities is for the SM/ASM responsible for approving the rank requirement to add a note to the rank requirement identifying the relevant leadership position(s) that was(were) applied for that rank. If it’s not noted in the advancement requirement, it hasn’t been counted yet, unless signed-off in the handbook.

Yes, I will make that suggestion.

This very thing happened at out last Troop meeting. We had scouts wanting their service req signed off. The req states that they can not use the same service hours as they did for Tenderfoot. While the Tenderfoot rank req for service was signed off, there was no record of which service was used. So it took some deduction to at least figure out which service had not been used- according to dates. Thank goodness these new scouts are good at logging their service hours in their handbook! But it would have been much better to have logged the detailed info into SB.

@JenniferMcCarthy Bear in mind that completing the log does not update the item in the rank requirements screen…

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