Boards of Review for Scout Rank Advancement

Scouters interview Scouts to ensure they have earned their next rank

Adapted, March 30, 2004

A Board of Review is a meeting between a Scout and Scouters held after a Scout has finished all the requirements for their next rank. If the Scout passes the Board, they will be advanced.

A Board of Review is an opportunity to:

The Board of Review is a final check to ensure that Scouts have truly earned their rank before they are advanced. The Board is an important part of a four-step Scout rank advancement system:

  1. The Scout learns by doing.
  2. The Scout is tested (badge achievement).
  3. The Scout is reviewed (Board of Review).
  4. The Scout is recognized (rank presentation).

The guidelines in this document are geared towards Scout troops in Canada. Troops should feel free to adapt it to their needs.

Who to Involve

The Board is usually composed of two to four Scouters drawn from the group. It is preferable that the Scout's own Scouters not be included to allow for greater candour from the Scout. The inclusion of a Scouter from a different Scout group provides the opportunity for outside feedback on the troop's program.


Before the interview begins, the Board should take time to review the Scout's record, including badges earned and events attended. This will help Board members to formulate questions.

When the Scout arrives, someone the Scout knows should welcome them and introduce the members of the Board. The Scout should be assured that what is said during the Board is between the Scout and the Board. It will not be repeated outside of the Board. However, information gathered during the reviews should be used to help improve troop programs.

The Board should give the Scout a "once over" on their uniform. This is a chance for the Scout to show pride in their uniform and in badges earned. This is not meant to be a formal uniform inspection, but it should be used as another opportunity to make certain that the uniform is worn correctly. The Board should also looks at how the Scout presents themself. Do they hold their head high or do they slouch? Do they shake hands confidently? The Board should coach the Scout on how they can better make a positive, confident impression on the people they meet.

The main part of the Board is a conversation facilitated through a series of questions to the Scout.


Below is a series of sample questions that may be used by a Board of Review. These are a starting point. A board will not use all of these questions and other questions may need to be added to help the Board assess if a Scout has earned their rank advancement.

There is not a single right or wrong answer to any of the questions. They are a tool. The Board's first responsibility is to make certain that Scouts understand what they have achieved with their pending rank advancement and the additional responsibilities that they will assume as they grow within the Troop. One of the greatest needs of young people is confidence. In advancing, the Scout builds that confidence. Scouts should walk away from the Board knowing that what they have achieved is something very worthwhile. Make it a pleasant experience for the Scout and the Board. There are times when criticism can motivate a person to do better. There should still be an overall positive outcome to the meeting. The type of criticism, if any, should be discussed by Board members beforehand.

The Board of Review is not just a question and answer period. The Board does not retest the candidate on specific badge requirements. Rather, the Board should attempt to determine the Scout's attitude and their acceptance of Scouting's ideals. A discussion of the Scout Promise and Law is in keeping with the purpose of the review, in order to make certain that the candidate recognizes and understands the value of Scouting in their home, troop, school, and community. The Board should remember that the Scout advancing to Voyageur will not have the same kind of answers as a Scout advancing to the rank of Chief's Scout. During the review, each member of the board must form a judgement concerning the Scout's qualifications.


A Board of Review for advancement to Voyageur Scout or Pathfinder Scout should last about 15 minutes. A Board for Chief's Scout should be 20-30 minutes. Once Board members are finished speaking with the Scout, the Scout leaves the room while the members take a few minutes (in addition to the times given above) to deliberate. Some questions Board members should ask themselves:

If the members of the Board are satisfied that the Scout has earned their next rank, they congratulate the Scout and inform the Scoutmaster. Rank advancement formally takes place in a ceremony which should follow very soon after the completion of the Board of Review.

If the Scout is not actively participating in the Board of Review, or does not appear to be taking the process seriously, the Board is obligated to inform the Scout that they will need to come back at a later date when truly prepared to fully participate in the meeting. Wearing a sloppy uniform is one way that Scouts could show that they are not taking the process seriously.

If the members of the Board are not satisfied that the Scout has earned their next rank, the Board is required to specify to the Scout exactly why they did not pass. The Board must list specific and reasonably obtainable goals which the Scout must achieve. A written copy of these goals must be given to the Scout and the Scoutmaster at the conclusion of the Board of Review.

Voyageur Scout

Personal Data (Good ice breaker)

What Do You Think...


The Big Picture...

Do you have any questions or concerns of us, your board?

Pathfinder Scout

Personal Data (Good ice breaker)

What Do You Think


Your Progress

The Big Picture

Do you have any questions or concerns of us, your board?

Chief Scout's Award

It is particularly important that Boards of Review for the Chief Scout's Award candidates uphold the significance of this rank. The Scout must demonstrate that they have achieved the high standards of commitment to Scouting's values that are expected from a Chief's Scout.

Personal Data (Good ice breaker)

What Do You Think


Your Progress

Service Projects

The Big Picture

Do you have any questions or concerns of us, your board?

— Adapted by Scouter Jay Treacy.

This document is based on a similar US-oriented document which appears without citation on several web sites.