RN Recognition

Sea Scout Troops or Explorer Sea Scout Units may apply to become RN Recognised, under an agreement between the Scout Association and the Royal Navy, which can bring some benefits and a great deal of honour to the Group or Unit.

There are only a total of 105 places allocated to the scheme. Groups or Units who apply for RN recognition will have an initial inspection by the Staff Officer Scouts. If the Group or Unit passes the inspection, they will be inspected every 18 months to 2 years.

Initial inspection

Sea Scout Groups and/or Units who consider that they have reached the standard required, should seek the approval of their District Commissioner and then apply to the Scout Office, Programme Team at Gilwell Park.

If the application is supported, this is forwarded to Staff Officer Scouts, who will arrange to carry out an initial inspection. If the Group meets the required standard, it may either be granted Recognition immediately, if there is space within the scheme, or be placed on the reserve until space in the scheme is available.

It the Group does not pass the inspection, it will be given guidance on what actions it needs to take to reach the required standard within an agreed timescale, so that a further inspection can be arranged.

The District Commissioner should be informed of the date of inspection, so that he or she may be present. The County/Area Commissioner and the UK Specialist Adviser for Sea Scouts should also be informed, as they also may wish to be present at the inspection. Other appropriate members of the County/Area/Regional team, such as the ACC/AAC (Scouts / Explorer Scouts) may also attend.


RN Recognised Groups are re-inspected at approximately 18-month intervals to assess whether they have maintained standards and are worthy of retaining their Recognition. The annual programme for inspections is promulgated by the RN Staff Officer Scouts who is also the Inspecting Officer.

He will expect to meet representatives of both the County/Area and District, as well as members of the Group’s Executive, parents and other local officials. To retain Recognition the Group and/or Unit must satisfy the Inspecting Officer that it continues to achieve the minimum standard required, in appearance, dress, bearing and badge work, as well as showing progress in efficiency.


The Staff Officer Scouts and the Director of Programme and Development at Gilwell approve initial and annual retention of RN Recognition. Potential applicants are advised that there are only a limited number of Recognised Groups and/or Units in the scheme and the competition for Recognition results in a very high standard.


Recognised Groups and/or Units are permitted to:

  • Wear the Royal Navy Pennant.

  • Fly the defaced Red Ensign.

  • Visit and camp at HMS Bristol in Portsmouth and at certain other military establishments, by prior arrangement.

  • Visit other HM Ships, subject to available leadership supervision.

  • Attend Sea Cadet and CCF Units for lectures and instruction by prior arrangement with the local Officer in Charge.

  • Use equipment provided by the Royal Navy.

  • Access Sea Cadet stores for Caps and other clothing.

  • Apply for grants from the Admiralty Fund towards training and new equipment.

  • Participate in the annual big, RN-sponsored events, namely the swimming gala held in February at HMS Raleigh, the Sea Scout summer camp held during the May Bank Holiday period, the Soccer Sixes competition held in late September and the Sea Explorer Scout camp held in late October, the latter three events all being held at Whale Island, Portsmouth.

  • Participate in Leader afloat training weekends held at the Royal Naval Sailing Centre, Whale Island, Portsmouth.

Public relations

This scheme provides a considerable public relations opportunity to both The Scout Association and the Royal Navy. Groups/Units should make every effort to get local press coverage by providing a press release and photographic opportunity at inspections.


All applications for initial information should be made in the first instance to:

The Programme Team

Gilwell Park



E4 7QW


More Information

A factsheet is available at http://members.scouts.org.uk/factsheets/FS120628.pdf