Commissioner Training

Table of Contents

Basic Training

A trained Commissioner is an effective Commissioner!  

Commissioner training has the following elements:

  1. Commissioner Position-Specific Training – Online or instructor led within 30 days.
  2. Completion of the onboarding progress record within 30 days.
  3. Continuing education (monthly and annually).
Trained Strip (Red)

Commissioner Position-Specific Training

Postion-specific training is available in the online BSA Training Center (user your login credentials to access). 

In addition to the required Youth Protection Training (YPT), there are learning plans available for the various types of Commissioner roles:

Commissioner Onboarding

A commissioner is considered trained when they complete the prescribed online training or the facilitated in-person training, and when they complete the defined onboarding requirements outlined in the Onboarding Progress Record appropriate for their position while working with an assigned onboarding coach. The Onboarding Progress Record is a set of 10 to 12 position-specific tasks that the commissioner and their coach work through together. The coach’s role is to review each of the onboarding requirements with the new commissioner and assist them in completing each task. The onboarding coach is usually an experienced commissioner who is familiar with the duties expected of the newly appointed commissioner and who will help the new commissioner to become effective in their role. 

Onboarding Progress Record Forms:

Once completed, send the completed onboading progress record form to the Unit Service Support Chair for review and approval. The appropriate Basic Training code will be added to your training record:

  • D20 = Unit Commissioner 
  • D19 = Roundtable/Assistant Roundtable Commissioner
  • D18 = Distrcit/Assistant District Commissioner
  • D17 = Council/Assistant Council Commissioner

Continuing Eduction

Discussion Documents

Discussion Documents can be used as a resource in your Commissioner Meetings. Ask your commissioners to listen to the relevant podcast prior to the meeting and use the Discussion Document to guide a follow-up conversation.

Virtual Impact Sessions

Virtual Impact Sessions are monthly 2 hour live online training events. They provide a laser focused session on a relevant topic for commissioners. The sessions will generally start at 1:00 pm EASTERN time. Participation is limited to 30 people.

Commissioner College of Science – Doctoral Program


Collefge of Commissioner Science (CSS) CSP

The purpose of the College of Commissioner Science is to provide supplemental training for all functions in the council and district related to commissioner service. It is recognized that commissioners are key to the continued health and growth of the units in the council. The College of Commissioner Science will provide the supplemental training to aid the commissioners in providing outstanding unit service.

Courses offered address National and Territory programs of emphasis, local Council concerns, and  other pertinent topics.

Degree Requirements

General requirements for all degree work include current registration as a Commissioner and completion of Youth Protection Training (YPT), Commissioner Basic/Position-Specific Training, and Commissioner Onboarding. Requirements for the non-accredited degrees and certificate in College of Commissioner Science are as follows:

  • Associate Degree  Awarded to all non-degreed students upon completion of four (4) class sessions of training (while as a student or instructor).
  • Bachelor Degree  Awarded upon completion of seven (7) class sessions of training not spanning more than two (2) consecutive years (while as a student or instructor).
  • Masters Degree  Awarded upon completion of seven (7) class sessions after obtaining a Bachelor Degree, not spanning more than two (2) consecutive years (while as a student or instructor), earned the Arrowhead Honor. 
  • Doctorate Degree  Awarded upon completion of at least ten (10) class sessions after obtaining a Masters Degree (either as a student or instructor), for a total of 24 class sessions. Other requirements include completion of the Doctoral Thesis or project as prescribed in the offered courses, and previously been awarded the Commissioner’s Key and served on the staff of the College of Commissioner Science for at least one year. The thesis or project must be approved in advance by the Doctoral Committee.

NOTE: There are requirements in addition to course attendance. Degrees will not be awarded until all requirements are verified. In order for degrees to be awarded on the day of the college we will need all of the required documentation of prerequisites submitted in advance of the college. Please check the prerequisites (located in the Administration of Commissioner Manual) and submit them to our Dean of Academic Affairs. The students may bring the documents with them on the day of the college, but we can’t guarantee that the registrar will have enough time to enter it in the student’s records. Photo copies of the documentation (BSA certificates, transcripts, degree certificates, etc.) are sufficient.

For a complete description of the courses offered please see the list in the Administration of Commissioner Manual.

Doctoral Thesis

Philmont Training Center (PTC)

Learn best practices for Scouting from world-class faculty and share experiences with Scouters from across the country at one of more than fifty conferences. Bring the whole family, as family programming is available for conference attendees. 

There is also usually an annual Commissioner Week conference that provides opportunities to meet and interact with the National Commissioner and members of the National Commissioner Service Team while networking with Commissioners throughout the country. The week includes a special fellowship reception.

Dan Beard Council has a scholarship available to volunteer leaders and professional Scouters for up to 50% of the cost of the conference at the PTC. Fees will be reimbursed to the participant upon successful completion of the conference.

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