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FAQs for Internet Advancement

Q: How does our unit begin using internet advancement?

  1. Select an advancement processor. Preferably, this could be your Committee Member responsible for advancement.
  2. Review the online training and/or attend a district-level training session.
  3. Obtain your unit’s Unit Login ID code from the council webpage.
  4. Gather information for advancement, including merit badge advancement records with dates. If you are using PackMaster, TroopMaster, Rank N’File, Scoutmate or ScoutSoft, you may simply create an export file for upload. If using Scoutbook, the information will automatically be uploaded once the unit has synced their Scoutbook account.
  5. Click Internet Advancement which will take you to the national Internet Advancement portal website. We suggest that you “bookmark” the page to return later.

The first time you log into the advancement system, we strongly suggest that you compare the recorded advancements against your records. If your records include advancements that are not recorded, please record them.

After submitting advancements, please make sure that you:

  • Print the Unit Advancement Report from Internet Advancement (you may also want to print a copy for your records).
  • Have the appropriate people sign the printed Unit Advancement Report.
  • Pick up your advancements and recognitions. When doing so, the Scout Shop will collect the Unit Advancement Report.

Units should submit this report monthly before the end of each month, or more often if needed.

Q. Will the Internet Advancement application work with any browser?

The supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11. If using IE10, change browser settings to Compability Mode. To do so, go to the tool bar at the top of the page, select “Tools”, then choose “Compability View Settings” from the list. JavaScript must also be enabled in Internet Explorer.

To enable Javascript:

1. Open Internet Explorer. From the main menu, click Tools > Internet Options.
2. Click the Security tab. On the Security screen, in the Security level for this zone area, click Default Level.
3. Click OK to close Internet Options.

Q: Why doesn’t Internet Advancement remember me?

Windows XP users may find that the cookie for Internet Advancement is blocked. To allow cookies for this site:

1. Open Internet Explorer. From the main menu, click Tools > Internet Options.
2. Click the Security tab. On the Security screen, click Trusted Sites.
3. On the Trusted Sites screen, click Sites...
4. In the text box, enter Click Add.
5. Click OK to exit the Sites… screen. Click OK to close Internet Options.

Q: What is the difference between the buttons First Time User and Returning User?

First-Time User takes the user through the Internet Advancement registration process. This is the choice users should make if they haven’t previously registered themselves as the unit advancement processor or are replacing a processor and need to create a new profile.

Returning User takes the user to the Log In page. This is the choice users should make if they have already registered themselves as the unit advancement processor and, thus, already have a password.

Q: I am the unit advancement processor for another unit. Should I choose First-Time User or Returning User?

The user will have to go through the First-Time User process for every unit for which they are the unit advancement processor. That is because they are both registering themselves and the unit for Internet Advancement.

Q: What is the unit advancement processor privacy policy?

Every page on the site contains a link to the Privacy Policy in the footer.

Q: How does my unit get its unit ID number for Internet Advancement?

Unit ID numbers are listed on the Council webpage. This only applies for new registering Units; if a Unit is already registered or re-registering, its existing Unit ID will not change.

Q: I lost my unit ID. What can I do?

Unit ID numbers can be found on the council webpage by clicking on internet advancement under the advancement tab.

Q: I forgot my password. What do I do?

Select the Forgot password? link. The new password is sent by e-mail. The password is case sensitive and must be entered exactly as shown. You can copy the password from the e-mail and paste it into the Password field at the Returning User log in screen.

Q: I think I have entered everything correctly to log in, but Internet Advancement is telling me that these three pieces of information do not match a valid unit. Why?

Make sure that the unit advancement processor is using the full four digit unit number. Some units will refer to themselves as Unit 876 or Unit 444 while council has them registered as Unit 1876 or Unit 0444.

Q: When is Internet Advancement available?

Units are only eligible to use Internet Advancement while they are active, registered units of council. While there is no limited access window as there is with Internet Rechartering, a unit that drops can no longer log in to Internet Advancement. Once a unit is renewed, then their unit advancement processor can log in. Internet Advancement is available at all times except during brief periods for maintenance.

Q: Can a Unit Look at Another Unit’s Data?

No. When a new Advancement Processor registers for the first time, he or she will be asked to create a password.  This guarantees that access to Unit records is solely controlled by the Advancement Processor.

Q: What about the use of unit-management software and advancement file uploads? 

Unit-management software that can synchronize with Internet Advancement does exist.  If a Unit decides to implement such software, it is their responsibility to check its validity and make sure that information is properly uploaded into Internet Advancement.

Q: Does Internet Advancement provide the same record-keeping system as unit-management software (PackMaster/TroopMaster, Scoutmate, ScoutSoft, and Rank N’ File)? 

No, and it is not intended to serve as a substitute for this type of software.  Internet Advancement is designed to automate the process for submitting the required unit advancement reports to council. Only restricted ranks and merit badges and awards that are tracked by council and BSA are recorded online.

Q: Who provides support for questions on how to use PackMaster/TroopMaster, Scoutmate, ScoutSoft, and Rank N’ File? 

Support for these products is the responsibility of each vendor who sells the unit-management software. For example, if a unit needs to know how to create an advancement file for upload to Internet Advancement, they must consult the help desk for their software or contact the vendor.

Q: What items can be uploaded from unit-management software advancement files? 

Only ranks and merit badges can be uploaded from an advancement file. You will need to add all other items to member records through the Internet Advancement application.

Q: Can the council prevent a specific unit or person in a unit from using Internet Advancement? 

Council does reserve the right to block a Unit/person from using Internet Advancement if an issue is present.  If a Unit wishes to remove their current Advancement Processor they must notify their District Executive, who will in turn get approval from their supervisor to temporarily close their advancement access.  The registrar will block the unit at that point and provide the unit with proper information when they are ready with new personnel.

Q: How can I print the draft Advancement Report before each submittal?

Click the Review Advancement Report button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. The report appears in a new window. You can print the draft, but this report is not final and cannot be turned in to the council.

To print the report:

1. Right-click in the new window.
2. From the drop-down menu, click Print.
3. In the print dialog box, choose a printer. Click Print.

Q: Why do I get an error when I click Print Advancement Report after submittal?

To view and print a submitted report, you must have Adobe Reader.   Get Adobe Reader

Q: Should I print the Advancement Report each time a submittal is made?

Yes, the Advancement Report is to be printed in two copies, one for signature to be given to the council, and one for the unit files. The format of the draft version is different from the submitted version. Units must turn in the submitted version to council.

Q: What is the purpose of the three reports in the Advancement Report package?

  • The Advancement Report lists each youth member that has new ranks, merit badges, and awards, if any.
  • The Unit Awards Summary lists the number of new ranks, merit badges, and awards by name.
  • The Advancement Update Summary lists any ranks, merit badges, and awards that were already in the member record but which were given a new date earned.

All pages of the unit Advancement Report must be given to the council. The Unit Awards Summary may be used to help create an Insignia Purchase Order for the unit.

Q: What is the Unit Advancement Summary?

The Unit Advancement Summary lists all current members of the unit and shows any ranks, merit badges, and awards that are in each person record. Advancements that are in progress and have not yet been submitted will not be on the Unit Advancement Summary. Unit members who have not earned at least one rank in the program will also appear in a separate listing on this report.

Q: What do I get when I click Review Unit Roster?

Clicking the Review Unit Roster button returns your Unit Roster, current to the date and time that you clicked Load Roster in Stage 1 of Internet Advancement. This is the council information and can only be changed by your council, except at the time of charter renewal. If a member is missing who should be registered, submit the approved application to the council. The next time you click Load Roster the roster will refresh with the most current information. You may view and print the unit roster.

Q: How do members receive a rank, merit badge, or award not available for selection?

You can only select, according to unit type, the advancements that are appropriate for the members of your unit. You cannot award in Internet Advancement any nominated awards, such as meritorious action awards, and awards controlled by other organizations, even if permitted for uniform wear.

Q: When I log out, is my work saved for future use?

Yes, if you saved the insertions and updates that you made, your work will be there the next time you log in. You may log in again and continue until you are ready to submit.

Q: How accurate will my roster be?

A Unit’s roster is based off of the membership list it submits at charter renewal time and any additional enrollments that it sends to Council.  Additional enrollments are usually processed within one week of receipt, provided they are correct and paid for.

Q:  How often should reports be submitted?

Units are recommended to submit at least one report a month.  Each Unit needs to submit a final report in December, containing any outstanding updates for the year.

Q: When our troop or crew approves rank advancement, we hold a board of review. Since we can’t enter the rank advancements for submittal and print the report until after the board, how do we obtain the signatures needed? 

As stated earlier a troop or crew must have three (3) committee members sit on each board of review for ranks.  The advancement chairman or unit advancement processor must sign the board of review form and then can print the names of the two others who were at the board and gave approval for the ranks being awarded.  Scoutmasters/Crew Advisors CANNOT sit on boards of review and Assistants should not.  An Internet Advancement Report will need to be printed and submitted to council.

Q: Since Internet Advancement validates that ranks are earned in sequence, if an earlier rank is missing, must it be entered? 

Yes, any missing rank must be entered with the date from the unit’s records or from other evidence provided by the member or a former unit. Although each item entered for the first time will be listed on the Advancement Report as new, the council understands that these are being reported for the record only.  Merit badges and awards previously earned should also be entered.

Q: If we find that a rank, merit badge, or award which appears on a member record is incorrect for that member, what should be done? 

The registrar must be notified in writing of the incorrect information so that the council may correct the member record. The unit cannot remove any item on a member record.

Q: If a member was transferred into our unit and the member has no advancement information, should it be entered by our unit? 

Yes, if the member’s record is incomplete, your unit should update the record. If the member came from another council, use the information provided by the last unit or verify the advancement from the member’s records.

Q: If our Unit is lapsed, can we enter and submit advancement reports?

During the lapsed period (up to two months after unit expiration) you can submit reports, but ranks, merit badges, and awards must be dated before the unit expired. Once a charter renewal is processed and posted by the council for the Unit, the Unit can then obtain its new roster and enter current year dates. If a Unit separates (drops), then no advancement can be entered.

Q: At the Update Member screen, how can I see all current members of my unit?

Click Review Roster to view the current unit roster, including the adults. You must have Acrobat Reader to view this file.

The unit advancement processor can see all currently registered youth members of the unit. If someone isn’t shown, then they are not registered in this unit. The appropriate application may not have been approved and turned in to the council, or the processing of the new registration may still be underway.

Q: Can records for adult members be updated through Internet Advancement?

No.  Only youth member records can be updated through Internet Advancement.

Q: There are some members of my current unit who are not appearing on the Update Member page.  Why not?

There are a couple of likely explanations: The member was entered after the Internet Advancement data was downloaded from the council to Internet Advancement for this unit. –OR– The member was never registered in this unit through the council. If the unit data has been downloaded for some time, additional new members who were registered will not appear until a new Load Roster is done.  If the member has never been registered, the approved application must be submitted to the council for processing.

Q: I was unable to complete Load Roster and received an error message.  What should I do?

If an error occurs during Load Roster for Internet Advancement, you may try again later.  If there is still a problem, please contact your council and provide the exact message received.  If feasible, you could copy the message and put it in an e-mail to the registrar.

Q: What information do I need to have before I begin to enter advancement?

We recommend that you gather all the required information, including youth advancement records and merit badge applications with appropriate signatures, before beginning this process. You must complete Internet Advancement on a computer connected to a printer.

Q: Are there any restrictions on dates that can be entered as the date earned for a rank, merit badge, or award?

Yes. You can only record dates for the current or previous months. You cannot record future dates. This applies to both new dates and changes to existing dates. If a unit is past its expiration date but has not “dropped,” the unit may only enter dates that are before the unit expiration date. Current month entry is blocked on expired units.  Dates are entered in mm/dd/yyyy format.

Q: What member history do I see in regard to any previously-earned ranks, merit badges, and awards?

You will see all ranks, merit badges, and awards earned by the member that are relevant to your unit type (pack, troop, team, crew, ship, or post). This is not a full history on the individual, which are all ranks and awards earned since joining Scouting. If it is on the pick list for your unit to select, then it will be shown on the member record and in the Unit Advancement Summary.

  • Cub Scout packs will have ranks and awards only with these ranks and awards segmented by program level (Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, or Webelos Scout). The award choices displayed will be appropriate to the member’s program level.
  • Boy Scout troops, Varsity teams, Venture crews, and Sea Scout ships will have ranks, merit badges, and awards.
  • Explorer posts will have awards only (although these awards are primarily used by Law Enforcement Explorers).

Q: Our Cub Scout pack is chartered to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the program level for some of our youth members is incorrect. How is this corrected so the appropriate pick list is displayed?

The pack can reassign the program level during Internet Rechartering unit renewal at the Update Member screen. At other times, you may contact the council for reassignment.