Internet Advancement Highlights

Reporting advancement is a requirement of the Boy Scouts of America. Internet Advancement makes this a simple process. All councils should strive for 100 percent of their units using this functionality. Benefits of Internet Advancement

Internet Advancement is available to any council using Internet Rechartering. It is for reporting Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, and Sea Scout ranks; Venturing awards; and activity badges, belt loops, and merit badges. Simple and intuitive, it works best from a faster Internet connection using Internet Explorer 6 or higher. Units can enter advancement at any time, print reports, obtain current rosters from the BSA system, and print order sheets for the Scout shop.

When Internet Advancement is used to comply with reporting responsibilities, it alleviates issues in documenting progress as Scouts submit Eagle applications or transfer from one unit to another. Consistent and constant reporting also assures accurate records for use by commissioners, other district and council volunteers, and the NationalCouncil. These are critical in evaluating unit health, adjusting service delivery, and researching changes in programs and requirements.

New features in Internet Advancement now allow unit personnel to view past advancement reports submitted from the Internet Advancement system and to see the dates their leaders have taken Youth Protection training. How Internet Advancement Works

Units select an advancement processor who is granted access with a council-provided unit ID. It is recommended that units report advancement at least monthly. They must submit a final annual report each December. Ranks must be entered in sequence based on unit type and program. Because of documentation requirements, the Eagle Scout rank may not be entered through this system. Neither may nominated recognitions such as meritorious action awards.

Internet Advancement is accessed through the local council's website or from MyScouting. When first-time unit processors enter, they are greeted by a welcome page with instructions and invited to log in and accept a confidentiality agreement. Once they have provided some registration information, they move to an overview page with additional instructions. Returning users skip these steps and go directly to selecting members for advancement. Once this is done and verified, an advancement report is printed, signed, and forwarded to the local council as awards are purchased.

Councils may continue to accept file uploads created by commercially available unit-management software applications such as PackMaster® or TroopMaster®. Internet Advancement accepts files from these applications as well.

Because unit advancement processors access data directly from ScoutNET, deciphering handwriting is not an issue. The system also validates entries against advancement rules and generates error messages as appropriate. Errors must be corrected before the process can proceed. Where to Find Internet Advancement Help

The system includes a link to Frequently Asked Questions on every page, as well as an indexed help tool that can be searched by keyword or topic. The National Council has developed a sample training outline with a PowerPoint presentation, and other support documents for orienting unit and district volunteers on functionality and benefits. An editable presentation version is available from the MyBSA Knowledge Base and on the ScoutNET Support site. Councils can add local processes and information. Most councils have established "Help Desk"-style assistance, assigning staff responsibility for answering questions, providing unit access IDs, monitoring activity, changing passwords, resetting profiles and data, and creating reports requested by council management forstaff and volunteer use.