Online Scout Manager Consultation

County Licencing of OSM

As part of the new 'Skills for Life' 2018-2023 national strategy, the Scout Association is looking to provide improved support for programme planning and delivery and for programme tracking. It is likely that this will involve a relationship with Online Scout Manager, which the 2018 census tells us that 60% of sections in Durham Scout County already use. However, this may not be for some time.

A number of districts have already considered district based licencing, but it had previously been agreed (by District Commissioners and the County Commissioner) to favour county-wide licensing should the Scout Association not include the programme tracking initiative as a priority under the "Skills for Life" strategy. We now believe that the time is right to move forward with this initiative so that we can better support programme planning and tracking in sections that do not currently use OSM. We encourage the use of OSM because it makes the process of planning programmes, linking to badge/award requirements, tracking progress and awarding badges easier - in simple terms, it makes leaders live easier and more young people appear to get more badges and awards in sections that use OSM.

We therefore intend to work with districts to encourage adoption of OSM and to provide support, guidance and training where required. We also intend to licence OSM on a county wide basis and are looking for the views of leaders on the preferred model.

In the survey below we ask you to indicate your preferred licensing option as follows:

OPTION A: Under option A, sections would continue to choose their preferred OSM subscription, ranging from the free to use Bronze option up to the 'bells and whistles' Gold+ option. Upon next renewal, sections would use a county discount code to receive a 10% discount on the renewal cost and would pay OSM directly (take a look at the various packages and features here)

OPTION B: Under option B, the county would licence the OSM Gold package for all sections. Sections wishing to still take the Gold+ package would receive a 10% discount on the additional cost of the Gold+ package. To pay for this, £1.25 would be added to the county levy per young person per year.

This has the advantages that:

  • Every section in the county has access to OSM, for programme planning and badge tracking
  • No need to renew with OSM directly
  • Smaller sections (those with less than 19 youth members) would pay less to use OSM Gold

However, for larger sections (those with 20+ members) the cost of OSM would be greater

OPTION C: Choose option C if your section is not interested and wouldn't use OSM (remember that we intend to provide training and support for non-users)


Please speak with your fellow section leaders and complete the survey with one response per section. You can also provide any comments you would like to make. Note that the consultation closes on 31st May 2018.

The results will then be collated and discussed with District Commissioners and the County Executive Committee before a final decision is made.