A Scoutmaster conference is an opportunity for the Scoutmaster and each Scout to sit down and visit together. A good conference should be unhurried. It helps the Scout evaluate his accomplishments and set new goals with his Scoutmaster. This is one duty that should generally not be delegated to others (except for the Scoutmaster's son).
The requirement for advancement is that the Scout participates in a Scoutmaster conference, not that he “passes” the conference. When advancement is going to be deferred, the Scout should not come to the Scoutmaster conference thinking that everything is OK and then be surprised that his advancement is deferred. He should have had plenty of warning and guidance prior to the Scoutmaster conference. This is not a time to shut the door on advancement, but rather to work with the Scout to create goals that will allow him to succeed. However, if the Scout desires a board of review even after a negative Scoutmaster conference, he must be granted his request.