‘Young People First’ code of practice (yellow card)

To give positive guidance, the ‘Young People First’ code of practice (also known as the yellow card) sets out a code of behaviour for all adults in Scouting.

Every adult should have a copy of the ‘Young People First’ code of practice. It is designed so you can keep it with you at all times during Scouting activities.

Check that:

  • You have your own copy.
  • All other adults involved in working with young people have a copy.
  • You have a copy displayed in your HQ or meeting place.
  • Parents/Carers are made aware of the yellow card and our child protection policy.

Code of behaviour

Do remember that you are a role model at ALL times, inside and outside Scouting. Set a good example for others to follow.

Do treat everyone with dignity and respect in line with the Scouting Values

Do treat all young people equally – do not show favouritism

Do follow the adult-to-young person ratios at all times

Do remember that you have been placed in a position of trust – do not abuse this

Do report all allegations, suspicions and concerns immediately

Do remember that someone may misinterpret your actions

Do respect a young person’s right to personal privacy

Do act within appropriate boundaries, even in difficult circumstances

Do encourage an open and transparent culture, where people can challenge inappropriate attitudes or behaviours

Do make everyone (young people, parents and carers, Young Leaders and other helpers) aware of our safeguarding arrangements and share our Yellow Card – our Code of Behaviour

Do create an environment where young people feel safe to voice their concerns

Do have separate sleeping accommodation for young people, adults and Young Leaders working with a younger section

Do plan activities that involve more than one other person being present, or at least within sight and hearing of others.

Do not plan to be alone with a young person.

Do not drink alcohol when you are directly responsible for young people and never allow young people on Scouting activities to drink alcohol

Do not trivialise abuse or let it go unreported

Do not join in physical contact games with young people

Do not overstep the boundaries between yourself and young people by engaging in friendships or sexual relationships

Do not allow activities that encourage bullying behaviour including initiation ceremonies, dares or forfeits

Do not use inappropriate, suggestive or threatening language, whether verbal, written or online

Do not rely on your reputation or position to protect you


To get copies of the ‘Young People First’ code of practice (yellow card), including the large version, please contact Scout Shops on 01903 766921 or visit the website.

Young People First (yellow card)(PDF)


Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls