Outline of similar existing projects in Europe and Belgium
A sociologist working for the Federation of Scouts made a compilation of similar initiatives in Belgium and Europe. Several scouting federations, among other organisations, are carrying out or planning skills enhancement projects (Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, etc.). This gave us an insight into existing projects and helped us to identify the objectives and issues which are unique to Belgium.
In order to define the project better and make it useful and representative of everyone (scouts, project leaders and employers), we sought the advice of professionals active in the fields of human resources management, skills enhancement and staffing, as well as people who had already taken part in skills enhancement projects. These people are listed in the Partners and Experts section.
List of skills and behavioural indicators established jointly with the HEC-ULg
In order to identify the skills acquired by scout leaders and managers, we created panels of scout volunteers (leaders and managers, both past and present, both French- and Dutch-speaking). These panels, run under the supervision of the HEC-Université de Liège Skills Management Research Unit, revealed and confirmed the most common skills among scout leaders and managers. 33 different skills were identified. The panels then gave rise to lists of behavioural indicators which reveal to what degree someone masters a given skill. The information found thanks to these panels was then used to create the Scout Leader Skills questionnaire.
We wish to thank the 60 leaders and managers of the two movements who participated in these panels.
Creation of Scout Leader Skills, a skills assessment tool
Based on the information obtained by HEC-ULg from the panels of scout leaders and managers, the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School took the 33 identified skills and chose the 20 which are currently most sought for by the labour market. Based on the behavioural indicators and existing scientific literature on the subject, it then created a questionnaire to allow people to take their own skills assessments.
The Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School also described each skill in a scouting and in a professional setting in order to help leaders to understand their skills better and transpose them from one context to the other.
Finally, it advised us on how to make the most of this skills assessment.
Development of the IT platform hosting Scout Leader Skills
The French, German, Dutch and English language IT platforms were developed by the federations. Scout leaders use their Les Scouts or Scouts en Gidsen account to log in to Scout Leader Skills.
Spreading the word and communicating on Scout Leader Skills, a skills recognition and enhancement tool
The tool has been presented in-house to all the volunteers of the two federations of scouts behind the project, including 21,500 youth leaders and 3,500 managers.
We are currently running a communication campaign outside the movement, targeting the leaders’ parents, employers and society as a whole.
7,500 new volunteer leaders and managers will be able to use the tool every year.
An assessment of how the project has been conducted will be made at the end of the project together with the various partners. The benefits of Scout Leader Skills will be analysed a year after going public in order to fine-tune its use and communication, enabling us to make Scout Leader Skills durable and usable by all.