Youth Protection Training
Youth Protection training is designed to help you keep our youth safe from abuse and is required of all registered adult members and recommended for all scouting parents. You will learn the Boy Scouts of America's Youth Protection Guidelines, signs of abuse, and how to report suspected abuse. After each section of material, you will answer questions about that section's topic. This course must be completed to earn the "Trained" emblem. Completion is NOT always noted automatically in the BSA training records database and you should always send your council office a copy of your YPT certificate of completion. Estimated time to complete: 25 minutes.
YPT Policy Change Announcement
April 30, 2015
To: All Council Executive Boards
From: Western Regional Youth Protection Task Force and Western Region Key Three
Subject: Youth Protection Training Policy Changes and Goals
As a group, the Western Regional Youth Protection Task Force and the Western Region Key Three would like to thank you for all your efforts to bring the benefits of the Boy Scouts of America program to the youth in your communities. We know you share our commitment to make the Boy Scouts of America the premier youth serving organization in the Nation.
There is no more important part of the Scouting Program than the protection of all our youth members.
We know you share our desire to make the Boy Scouts of America the premier youth protection organization in the Nation. Experience has proven the best way to accomplish this is to provide effective training on a continuing basis to all adults involved in Scouting at every level with no exceptions. Only when everyone is involved and trained in youth protection will we have achieved the safe environment that is critical to protecting our youth.
Gary Butler Deputy Chief Scout Executive captured the essence of what we must do when he said, “Youth Protection will become so engrained in the BSA culture that it is second in recognition only to the Scout Oath and Scout Law”
Accordingly, the Western Region Board has adopted the following policy change and goals:
Policy Changes effective immediately:
- Current Youth Protection Training is mandatory for all new registrations or re-chartering.
- Youth Protection Training must be completed annually.
- 100% of all registered adults will be current in their youth protection training. To set an example, 100% of all Council Executive Board members will have current Youth Protection Training completed by June 30, 2015. The Region has led the way. Anyone serving on the Regional Board or any Committee as well as the Leadership of all five Areas and all Area Committee Members are current in their YPT.
- Every Council will have a policy and plan to attain 100% Youth Protection Training put in place by June 30, 2015.
We know many of you have already achieved a very high level of Youth Protection Training in your Council and we are grateful for your good work. You are setting the example. To help you complete your efforts to get to 100% or to help those Councils still struggling with this important training we are including “How to” instructions and sample policy statements and training letters that you can use or modify to get your Council to 100%.
We realize that these policy changes may appear to create more work for already busy volunteers and professionals. They may at first, but on a continuing basis we guarantee that they will make the entire process easier as Youth Protection Training becomes systematic with registration and re-chartering.
There is nothing more important than protecting the youth in our program. There is nothing more important that adult leaders and professionals can be involved with. We encourage you to move rapidly and see that your Council reaches 100% in Youth Protection Training.
Annual vs Biannual
From: John Cottam
Date: Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 5:42 PM
Subject: National verse Western Region YPT (Annual vs Biannual)
Recently a Scoutmaster and Council President in Southern California raised the issue of the difference in training, i.e. annual vs biannual. I took some time to respond to them, I am copying below my email to the Scoutmaster. I thought it might be useful to you as we continue to address the occasional Council that is still not on board. Thanks again for all you do.
"First of all thank you for your service as Scoutmaster. You are literally where the "rubber meets the road" and we appreciate all you do. Those of us serving at the Regional level want to help in any way we can and certainly not make things more difficult.
I understand why you think requiring annual training for YPT is more difficult than the nationally required biannual training. But it all depends on what the objective is. The objective is to protect the youth in our program. Western Region YPT prior to the middle of this year was totally unsatisfactory. We had the lowest number of trained leaders in the nation. We were not making progress. Our youth were more at risk. We had to make a significant change.
Since we have asked for annual training and strict enforcement of YPT before registration or re-charter we have greatly improved the number of trained leaders. Frankly, it has been gratifying to see the rapid change. We feel we are more fully meeting our responsibility to protect our youth.
YPT is evolving. There are more changes underway. While yet undecided, it is possible the National will go to a one year requirement.
There are other benefits to requiring annual training. Once Councils put this into place it becomes systematic with registration and re-charter. It will be one system, not two. Without this requirement Councils are forever chasing "promised" training when they accepted registrations without YPT. This requires far more time and effort on the staff and volunteers part than the very minimal effort required of a volunteer to take the training. So, the annual requirement actually simplifies the process.
Also, annual training makes our leaders better trained. It is one thing to go through the training, it is another to put that training into action. Unless leaders act on the training, the training is useless. Experience has shown that the more often people are exposed to training the more completely they internalize it and act upon it. Again, this meets the objective of protecting our youth.
There is another way to think about more frequent training. I have been in the manufacturing business for 40 years. We place incredible emphasis on safety training. We do this because it protects workers and, frankly, saves us money in workers compensation costs. I submit that YPT is no different; better trained leaders will better protect our youth and also save BSA from millions of dollars in legal costs that can result from a single case of abuse. Industry spends as much time in the average week in safety training as we are asking our leaders to spend in a year.
I know your role as Scoutmaster is a demanding one, but please look at this from a little different perspective and I think you will see that is makes a lot of sense. Those of us serving at the Region level have been where you are. We understand the commitment and we appreciate your service. Thanks for asking about this, we want everyone to understand the reasons behind the change. If you need anything else, please let me know."