Leaving your role

Planning for the end of your role

Planning so your great work can be continued.

If you’re leaving your role as commissioner or retiring from guiding altogether, take some time to look to the future and do some succession planning. This will make sure there’s a smooth transition. And it’s a chance to think about your own role and what you might like to do when your term-of-office ends.

If you need to support another volunteer when they leave or change roles, see our guidance and checklist.

Before you finish your role, think about your successor. If you can, you should offer a period of shadowing to the new commissioner. If this isn’t possible, the country or region should find a suitable mentor. A mentor should be someone with experience of the role who is impartial and doesn’t sit on the current county executive committee.

We encourage you have a handover period when the new commissioner starts in the role. Put everything that they might find useful into one handover document - this could be electronic or hard copy.

Succession planning

Because there’s a maximum term of office for volunteers in the county team, strong succession planning will make sure important roles don’t become vacant. Keep track of when roles are due to end, this makes it easier to fill them effectively and with the right person.

Within your role as commissioner, you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet volunteers in your area. Visiting district or division events and talking to local commissioners will help you in your succession planning. Always be on the lookout for members who have skills to offer at a local or county level. And have a way of noting down anyone who may be a key contact for the future. These might not be the people that have traditionally been involved in the county. Remember - some roles, such as advisers and coordinators, don’t need to be held by a woman.

When succession planning it’s important to consider:

  • The role itself. Will it remain the same? Sometimes roles need to take on a different focus, you might’ve learnt that the role is too much for one person or that the role is no longer needed.
  • Your current team. There may be a place within your county team that has skill gaps, look at your strengths and weakness. And aim to recruit someone who can help with the weaker areas.
  • Your process for welcoming new starters. How will you welcome and support someone starting in a new role? How long should the handover process be? Remember to give people time to become familiar and confident in their new roles.

Don’t feel under pressure to fill a role straight away. It’s better to wait for someone suitable for filling the position. If a role is empty while you look for potential candidates, then give yourselves a deadline so that it’s not left open for too