The role of our trustees

Our board of trustees makes sure we use our resources in the best possible way to deliver our vision and mission

How we recruit and work with our trustees.

Girlguiding is led by our board of trustees who make sure we’re using our resources in the best possible way to deliver our vision, mission and Girlguiding's strategy. 

What do trustees do?

Our trustees meet at least 4 times a year. At each meeting, the CEO and staff team report on progress against the targets of our strategic plan, and how the money is being spent against the budgets the trustees have agreed. The CEO is responsible to the board of trustees for the performance of the staff.

Who are the trustees?

We have to have between 10 and 15 Trustees in total, and because Girlguiding is a membership organisation, most of our trustees are members. They’re Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Rangers leaders and they bring everyday experience of working with our young members to the board table. Some of them are young members (aged under 26) too - but they need to be 18 to act as a charity trustee.

To balance this, at least 20% of our trustees must be external to Girlguiding.

Find out more about the current trustees and their experience. 

How trustees are recruited

Trustees serve on the board for 3 years and can then be asked to serve for a further 3 years. We look for new trustees through an open recruitment process nearly every year. 

If you'd like to become a trustee, watch out for vacancies in our opportunities finder and email newsletters.

The chief guide and chair of the board of trustees

In the past our chief guide was also the chair of the board of trustees. With Girlguiding growing as an organisation and with the increasing importance of good charity governance and regulation, this role became too big for 1 person. So, in 2017, our council, who are responsible under the Royal Charter for managing the regulations for the appointment of our chief guide, voted to make them 2 separate roles:

  • A chief guide to focus on our members
  • A chair of the board of trustees to focus on governance leadership

Both our chief guide and chair are members of the board. Together with the other trustees they set and develop the strategic direction of Girlguiding.

Our deputy chief guide is also a trustee and chair of the operational board. She ensures that decisions made by the trustees are informed by the countries and regions and that being our best informs our priorities across the UK.

Our sub-committees

The board of trustees are responsible for looking at a lot of detail so some areas of work are delegated to a sub-committee.

Each sub-committee is chaired by a trustee. They make recommendations back to the board if they think that something significant within their remit needs to be changed.

  • Nominations and governance - oversees the appointment of trustees and sub-committee members, and considers board development and succession planning.
  • Audit and risk - scrutinises the fine detail of the risk register and receives reports on how risks are being managed. The committee also oversees the annual audit process.
  • Finance - oversees the review and implementation of Girlguiding’s financial strategy and supports the board in the effective scrutiny of Girlguiding finances.
  • Operational board - leads the operational delivery of guiding within the countries and regions, ensuring that national Girlguiding strategy is delivered and reviewing performance against agreed key performance indicators; acts as a sounding board to the board of trustees by considering the impact of national policies and plans on guiding locally.
  • Remuneration - reviews performance and development of the chief executive and has oversight of organisational remuneration.