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INTERNET ADVANCEMENT Importance and 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 advancement awards; Webelos activity badges; merit badges; and various other awards available in all BSA programs.

As stated in "Reporting Advancement,", all advancement must be reported to local councils. This is important in keeping member records up to date, and it assures an accurate count in the Journey to Excellence performance recognition program. "Unit Advancement Responsibilities,", suggests the unit advancement coordinator should use Internet Advancement to accomplish the reporting.

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 within a council. Consistent and constant reporting also assures accurate records for use by commissioners, other district and council volunteers, and the National Council. These are critical in evaluating unit health, adjusting service delivery, and researching changes in programs and requirements. How Internet Advancement Works

Simple and intuitive, Internet Advancement 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.

Units select an advancement processor who is granted access with a council-provided unit ID. It is recommended that units report advancement monthly. They must submit a final annual report each December. These reporting cycles are important because they support local and National Council data collection for the Journey to Excellence program as well as statistical analysis.

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.

If units choose to upload advancement files generated from PackMaster©, TroopMaster©, or ScoutSoft© instead of manually entering information, Internet Advancement will load the unit's roster and then allow upload of new advancement information. When manually entering ranks, you must enter each individual's rank in proper sequence. Once everything is done and verified, an advancement report is printed, signed, and provided to the local council so awards can be purchased.

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 when needed. 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. Also helpful is this pageExternal Link at 

Most councils have established "Help Desk"–style assistance. Staff members can answer questions, provide unit access IDs, monitor activity, change passwords, reset profiles and data, and create reports requested by council management for staff and volunteer use. Internet Advancement Miscellany

Board of Review Signatures. Because entering rank advancement into Internet Advancement and printing the system-generated Unit Advancement Reports typically occur sometime after boards of review are held, obtaining signatures on the report may not be practical. Therefore, after a board of review is held, it is permissible for board members to sign a completed copy of the Unit Advancement Report found at Link. This signed report may then be attached to the Internet Advancement–generated report and submitted to the local council.

Scout Transfers. BSA member identification numbers are unique only within each local council. They are not nationally universal, although it is likely they will become so as the National Council updates its computer systems in the future. Thus, advancement data associated with a Scout's ID number cannot be accessed by any other councils. For this reason, if a Scout moves to a different council, the Scout must obtain either a printout of their advancement from the council they are leaving or a copy of the Internet Advancement Member Summary Report from his/her old unit. Either of these should be attached to the application used to transfer the youth as well as adult membership the new council and unit. It is important to enter the Scout's name and BSA identification number on the youth application exactly as they appear in the records of the former council. Nicknames and other differences will only delay the transfer process.

Dual Registration. If a Scout has multiple registrations with units in different councils, the advancement records should be maintained in only one of the units. As he/she passes requirements in any other unit, the information should be relayed to the primary unit so only one advancement record is maintained. It is not possible to electronically consolidate data across different units indifferent councils. If advancement records are maintained in multiple units, then cooperation between the units will be required in order to generate the reports necessary to report and obtain the awards.


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