The council

The council is a group whose members, appointed and elected from across our countries and regions, bring a range of input to discussions and engagement on our direction, contributing to matters at a national level

The role of the council.

The role of council is to provide a forum for its members from all countries and regions to engage with Girlguiding at a national level.  There are some specific decisions it is responsible for, and other matters upon which it can be engaged from time to time. The council members bring a diverse range of individual views and perspectives informed by good understanding of local and national issues and interests.

What does council do

The council:

  • meets at least annually
  • has an annual general meeting (AGM) at which it receives the annual report of the Association board of trustees, and the accounts; it hears and can ask questions about these and how the board has undertaken its governance duties
  • receives the names of those people elected or appointed to council
  • approves ‘regulations’ which set out the recruitment process for the chief guide (ie how, when and by whom the selection and appointment will be made)
  • appoints the patron, president and vice presidents, as and when needed on recommendation from the board
  • agrees changes to the Royal Charter and Bye-laws (this is the document that governs the Association as a national charity)
  • has an important role as a body that can be engaged at and between meetings where appropriate on matters relevant to the organisation. At times, this involvement may involve contributing to pivotal decisions such as when a separate Chair of the Board position was established by amending the Bye-laws. At other times, engagement may entail sharing information, gathering perspectives, and seeking input, such as discussion with members about our environmental strategy

Who is on the council

There are between around 50 and 70 members from time to time.  These are a mix of ‘ex-officio’ members (which means they are on council because of another role) and members who are elected or appointed to serve.

There are four categories of membership to ensure wide reach across the movement:

  • ex-officio non-voting members – around 5 people including the president and vice presidents
  • ex-officio voting members – around 15 people including the chief guide, deputy chief guide, chair of the Association trustee board, and the chief commissioners
  • elected voting members – up to 4 members elected within each country and region. Members must be 14 years or older when first elected. Up to half of elected members should be in the 14-25 age Elected voting members serve initially for a term of 3 years but may be re-elected for a second term
  • appointed voting members – up to 9 people may be appointed by the nominations and governance committee (a sub-committee of the Association trustee board) following an open application process. Appointed voting members need not be members of Girlguiding but must be age 18 or above at the start of their term of office. They serve initially for a term of 3 years but are eligible for re-appointment for a second term.

These opportunities are a great step for members who want to become more involved at a UK level in Girlguiding. Do look out for opportunities to become an elected member advertised from time to time within your country or region, or in other Girlguiding publications.

Opportunities to stand for election or appointment to the council are publicised through guiding magazine, member newsletters and on our website.