Pickford served as the Calcutta District Scout Commissioner in 1916, and in May 1919 was promoted to Chief Scout Commissioner for India. He was nominated Sheriff of Calcutta in 1920 and a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly in 1921; he was knighted in the same year.
Lord and Lady Baden-Powell arrived in Bombay in late January 1921 for a short tour of the subcontinent before leaving Calcutta for Rangoon. Pickford accompanied them and became one of their closest friends.
In the 1920s he served as Headquarters Commissioner for Overseas Scouts for The Boy Scouts Association. The Boy Scouts Association encouraged its branches to seek control of the Scout Movement by obtaining statutory monopolies from respective local governments. This was the major purpose of the visits by Overseas Commissioners Pickford and Lt. Col. Granville Walton in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1946 Pickford was Headquarters Commissioner for Publicity for the Boy Scouts Association and received the OBE in the New Year Honours.
- PICKFORD, Sir Alfred Donald, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007, accessed 24 Jan 2012
- Chronology of Scouting in the United Kingdom