Rank Boards of Review

Purpose of Boards of Review

After a Scout has completed the requirements for any rank or Eagle Palm, he appears before a board of review. Its purpose is to determine the quality of his experience, decide whether he is qualified to advance and, if so, and encourage him to continue the quest for Eagle or the next Palm. The board of review date becomes the date the advancement is effective.

Composition of the Board of Review

A board of review must consist of no fewer than three members and no more than six members of the Troop Committee.  Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters may not serve on a board of review for a Scout in their own unit. Parents or guardians may not serve on a board for their son. The candidate or his parent(s) or guardian(s) shall have no part in selecting any board of review members.

Wearing the Uniform-or Neat in Appearance

It is preferred a Scout be in full field uniform for any board of review. He should wear as much of it as he owns, and it should be as correct as possible, with the badges worn properly. The Scout should be clean and neat in his appearance and dressed appropriately for this milestone.

Troop 25’s expectations for a Scout at a Board of Review are:  Class A uniform shirt, Scout shirt or pant with belt, closed toed shoes and red Troop 25 cap.  At a Board of Review conducted inside, the Troop 25 cap should not be worn. After the third week following new patrol formation or rank advancement, the uniform should have the current patrol patch and rank patch affixed to the proper place on the uniform.  Hair should be combed and hands washed.


One reason for a board of review is to ensure the Scout did what he was supposed to do to meet the requirements.  It is not an exam or challenge of his knowledge


A Scoutmaster or other Leader introduces the candidate to the Board of Review panel.  One member of the panel serves as the Chair.  The Chair will conduct a uniform review and ask the Scout to recite the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout Motto and Scout Slogan.  For higher ranks, more is expected and it may be appropriate to recite the Outdoor Code.



During the review, board panel members may refer to the Boy Scout Handbook, Scoutmaster Handbook, and other references.  A Scout may be asked where he learned his skills and who taught him, and what he gained from fulfilling selected requirements. The answers will reveal what he did for his rank. It can be determined, then, if this was what he was supposed to do.

Discussion of how he has lived the Scout Oath and Scout Law in his home, unit, school, and community should be included. We must remember, however, that though we have high expectations for our members, as for ourselves, we do not insist on perfection. A positive attitude is most important, and that a young man accepts Scouting’s ideals and sets and meets good standards in his life.


To approve awarding a Scout rank or Palm, the board must agree unanimously. Every effort should be made to deliberate with careful consideration of each member’s perspective, and in sufficient detail as to avoid factual misunderstanding.


It is appropriate to call the candidate back if additional questions may provide clarification. Still, if any member dissents, the decision cannot be for approval. In the case of such disagreement, the Scout shall not be informed about the specifics of the conversations or any arguments taking place. As indicated below (“After the Review,”, he is told only how he can improve.



If the members agree a Scout is ready to advance, he is called in and congratulated. The board of review date-becomes the rank’s effective date.  The Scoutmaster is informed of the decision of the panel.

If a board decides not to approve, the candidate must be so informed and told what he can do to improve. Most Scouts accept responsibility for their behavior or for not completing requirements properly. If it is thought that a Scout, before his 18th birthday, can benefit from an opportunity to properly complete the requirements, the board may adjourn and reconvene at a later date. If the Scout agrees to additional time to complete the requirements and does so, if possible, the same members should reassemble for his board of review.  . If he does not agree, then the board must make its decision at that point. A follow-up letter must be promptly sent to a Scout who is turned down. It must include actions advised that may lead to advancement, and also an explanation of appeal procedures.

Presence of Persons who are not part of the Board of Review Panel

The Scoutmaster may remain in the room, but only to observe, not to participate unless called upon. The Scout’s parents, relatives, or guardians may not be in attendance in any capacity-not as members of the board, as observers, or even as the unit leader. Their presence can change the discussion or its dynamics.  If a parent or guardian insists on being present, they may remain in the room as observers.


How Boards Can Lead to Program Improvement

Periodic reviews of members’ progress can provide a measure of unit effectiveness. A unit might uncover ways to increase the educational value of its outings, or how to strengthen administration of national advancement procedures. For example, if it is discovered troop leaders are not assuring that all requirements have been met before Scouts present themselves for the board of review, then process improvements can be recommended. A board can also help by considering the style of leadership best suited to current circumstances and ways to adjust it to different needs. Note that boards of review may also be held for Scouts who are not advancing.


Rank-specific Board of Review Questions

A supporting document has been developed that includes rank-specific questions and process suggestions for participating on a Board of Review. This document is named “BOR Questions” and is located on this website.


Guide to Scout Advancement Requirements

A supporting document has been developed that includes a summary of BSA’s rank requirements to use as a reference during Boards. This document is the BOR Rank Requirements document and is located on this website.