Good news for unit leaders who use Internet Advancement to track their Scouts’ progress along the Scouting trail.
The BSA has introduced an array of upgrades designed to make your life easier. The improvements make inputting advancement updates faster, allow leaders to search advancement history in a snap and give Scouters more control over printable reports — like the kind used to make purchases at the Scout Shop.
And because sometimes those rare pockets of free time happen when you’re away from your desktop or laptop, the BSA has optimized Internet Advancement for all devices: desktop, tablet or smartphone.
These enhancements to Internet Advancement are only the beginning. More improvements are coming later in 2019.
Who uses Internet Advancement?
Unit Key 3 users, unit Key 3 delegate users and unit advancement chairs can access Internet Advancement.
Internet Advancement is primarily used by unit leaders who have decided they aren’t yet ready to switch over to Scoutbook. If you’re already using Scoutbook’s robust and user-friendly features, you can stop reading now. You already have these new features baked into the unit-management platform you love.
(By the way, now that Scoutbook is free, most units — including all new units — will want to use Scoutbook to manage and track their Scouts’ advancement.)
The previous version of Internet Advancement will be retired for all programs except Exploring on June 10, 2019.
Non-Exploring units — that means Cub Scout packs, Scouts BSA troops, Venturing crews and Sea Scout ships — will have until June 10 to download any advancement forms they need from the previous version of Internet Advancement.
What’s different about Internet Advancement now?
New features include:
- The ability for unit leaders to quickly select multiple youth before recording one or more advancements, speeding up data entry.
- A notification for unit leaders when youth have completed advancements. All pending items can be approved at once.
- The ability for unit leaders to quickly search the full advancement history for all youth in their unit using the activity tab. Search criteria may include youth name, rank, advancement type or advancement status.
- A choice of three reports — all of which can be run for one or more selected youth in the roster or for everyone in the roster if no one is selected. These reports are: Advancement History, Unit Roster and the Advancement Report, which is used to make purchases at the local Scout Shop.
- A Private Unit Forum, where unit leaders can hold private discussions within their unit. Go to discussions.scouting.org to give it a try.
- A unit roster that’s fully searchable by youth name, member ID or rank.
- The ability for unit leaders with multiple units to quickly switch between units by clicking on their unit icon in the upper right corner.
- The ability for unit leaders with multiple units to save a default unit in their settings page so their device remembers which unit to load by default.
- Instant feedback if the unit leader attempts to record a rank out of order or after the youth has aged out of a program.
- The ability to provide a partially completed Eagle application for youth who have completed the Life rank. Unit leaders can find this by attempting to record the Eagle Rank for a youth.
How can someone access Internet Advancement?
End users will access Internet Advancement via one of the following locations using their my.Scouting credentials:
What do Internet Advancement users need to know about the new version?
- When units make the transition to the new version, they should fully transition. Users may experience unexpected problems if they continue to use the old version after they have transitioned to the new one.
- Unlike before, advancement approvals are immediately stored in the BSA database with the new version. There is no longer a “Submit to Council” step after users have approved all desired items.
- In addition to the FAQs on help.scoutbook.com, a thread has been created on the BSA forums platform to assist users with any questions they may have.
- The report Unit Leaders will use to purchase items at the Scout Shop is called the “Advancement Report” and can be run from the reports menu just above the roster. The report will include all items that have been approved since the report was last run.
- The “Advancement Report” looks a little different from the report in the previous version. But don’t worry. The BSA has informed Scout Shops about the new format, so they’ll recognize it right away.