Until 1994 this award was presented by the Chief Scout Executive, National President, International Commissioner BSA, or other designated person to adults for international service to the BSA's Scouting programs, but were not registered members of the BSA. The Chief Scout Executive, National President and the BSA's International Commissioner had the group authority to authorize the award to anyone that they chose. This created several situations whereby the Silver World Award was awarded to BSA Scouters. The awards were suspended in 1994 by action of the National Executive Board until narrower requirements for the awarding of the medal could be made. Of the 40 or so Scouters that were presented the award for international service to the BSA's Scouting programs, approximately half were presented to Scouters belonging to the Direct Service Council, the Transatlantic Council, the Canal Zone Council, or to a stateside local Council.
The Silver World Award, conceived in 1971, is presented by the BSA to world citizens who give outstanding service to their nation's youth, to young people in other countries, or to the Scouting program of their nation through their participation or support. Recipients of the Silver World must be citizens of countries whose Scout associations are members of the World Organization of Scouting Movements (WOSM), to include registered adult BSA members. Nominations are accepted from anyone with knowledge of an individual's service to Scouting or to youth on an international or worldwide basis, to include individuals served by the BSA's Direct Service. Awards are presented through the BSA's National Court of Honor by the Chief Scout Executive, National President, International Commissioner, or National Commissioner or by BSA volunteers or professionals on behalf of the BSA's National officers. A limited number of Silver World Awards are presented
based upon one award for every 50, 000 registered BSA youth members at the end of the preceding calendar year. Awards not presented may be held over for presentation in subsequent years.
Award by nomination only.
The award consists of a red and white striped ribbon holding a light blue sphere with the BSA's emblem in the center, surrounded by three stars - two on the right and one on the left and superimposed meridian lines signifying the global scope of the award; a certificate; a lapel pin; and a cloth emblem for the BSA and other nation's field uniforms.