Why we do it
The Scouts carry out an annual census to create a detailed picture of the young people and adults that make up our membership. Knowing who our members are helps to better inform and deliver the support and services provided to meet the needs of our members.
The census figures also provide information regarding the payment of the national membership fee for youth members and associated levies at various levels of the movement.
- January: passwords are sent out to members.
- Thursday 14 January: census site opens.
- Sunday 31 January: official census date.
- Sunday 21 February: census site closes; all data must have been submitted and approved at all levels up to County.
Getting more help
We have written a guide for each of the main census return types, and we have updated our FAQs, but if you need more help, please get in touch with Scout Information Centre by by email on [email protected], or you can use Live Chat on our website.
If you have never done the census before or want to prepare for it we suggest you look through the return guides below first. You can also access our FAQs, help for approvers, and other resources on the right hand side.
Users of OSM Gold have access to the ‘Census Aggregator’ tool which makes life easier by providing a summary of your census return that you can copy accross into the census form. For those groups who use OSM Gold, and have opted into the OSM data sharing partnership, from January 2021, a button will be available in OSM to submit your aggregated youth data for the Census. This means that you won’t need to enter the data twice, saving you valuable time. Of course, please double check your data on the Census platform at the same time as you are completing the rest of the Section return.
If you want to sign up for the pilot you still can, take a look at how you get started.
Changes for January 2021
2020 has been a difficult year for many of us, and as such we have removed a number of census questions to try and make the process smoother and more straightforward. We have added a couple of new questions to better understand the financial impact that COVID-19 has had on the movement. This means that the return guides below won’t look exactly like the final census forms. When these are complete, we will share pdf’s of the forms in our census downloads section.
Complete the Census
When you are ready to make a start, head over to the census system to complete or approve your census return.
Regular questions that pop up about the census systems, and why we ask some of the questions that we do.
A guide for those who fill in the census for Beaver Colonies, Cub Packs, Scout Troops, Explorer, Young Leader & Network Units.
A guide for those who fill in the census for Scout Groups.