Home Pinsent
& Expeditions
& Development
& Giving
Press Releases Contact Us

Photography, video and audio recording at Scout events

Following a few simple guidelines for recording photography, video and audio at Scout activities and events will make the taking and use of photographs for Scouting a straightforward matter.

When a new member joins or you are running an event, seek permission for photographs, video or audio to be taken and add the following extra paragraph to a personal details form:

On occasions, photographs, videos and audio of Scouts taking part in activities may be submitted to the local newspapers, the Group, District or County newsletters, websites or put on display. If you have any objections please indicate you are not willing for your child's image to be used in this way by ticking the box.

Safeguarding young people
There have been concerns about the risks to children and young people when their images are used on websites (including on social networking sites and YouTube etc) and in publications by following a few simple guidelines (based upon those suggested by the NSPCC) will reduce the potential for concern.
  • Avoid using both the name and the photograph of a young person in a publication or on a website.
  • Seek parental permission (see above)
  • Only allow photographs to be taken of suitably dressed subjects and in appropriate situations
  • Follow Young People First (the Yellow Card) at all times
Seeking young people’s consent
You should ask for the young person's permission to use their image. This ensures that they are aware of the way the image will be used. This does not need to be a formal permission form, an informal verbal agreement that explains what the photo will be of and how it will be used is sufficient.

Advertising or promotional photographs
When photographs featuring young people are being taken specifically for use in advertising and/or promotional material, it is recommended that parental consent is obtained using a specific release form (Word document for download).
A release form is not a legal requirement, (as the copyright of an image belongs to the photographer and not the subject), nevertheless, it is good practice and good manners to seek specific parental approval.

Media coverage
Promoting Scouting through the use of appropriate and positive images is important. Scouting needs publicity and a picture is worth a thousand words.
Where a newspaper photographer is attending a Scout event it is important that parental consent using a permission process like the one above is obtained in advance in order to avoid any confusion or disappointment.
External media companies will be keen to use full names. If you are being asked for more detailed information and they want the full name and age then it’s acceptable to give it . Never provide the full address of the young person. For group photos you can ask media companies to use a collective term such as “Cub Scouts from the 6th Anywhere Scout Group”.
It can be appropriate to give the location of a Group meeting place (street name etc), however if you give a telephone number make sure the person whose number you are giving out is happy for the number to be published.
Photographs taken by press photographers without invitation or permission are subject to the normal Press Complaints Commission Code of Practise. The full Code can be viewed at pcc.org.uk

Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act is unlikely to apply in the majority of situations in Scouting and the fear of breaching the act should not be used to stop people from taking videos, photographs or audio.
Photographs, video and audio taken for personal use, for example photographs taken by parents of their daughter and her friends being invested would be for “personal use” and the Data Protection Act would not apply.
Photographs taken and kept for official use, (for example for an identity card scheme at a camp) and stored (electronically or in hard copy) with other personal data, are likely to fall under the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
In most cases, even where the act applies, asking permission to take the photograph and storing that photograph (and the associated data) securely and appropriately would be enough to ensure compliance with the act. (See Factsheet FS270001 - Data Protection and the Data Protection Act 1998)

Scout Shows
In addition to the guidance given above, in the case of Scout Shows and similar performances the potential copyright implications of recording and copying music and other material should be borne in mind.