Adult members policy

Our policy on who can be a member of Girlguiding and the benefits and expectations of membership

Approved: 18 March 2021
Version: 2.1
Content owner: Volunteer experience

Everyone who gives their time freely to help with Girlguiding is called a volunteer.

Not all volunteers are members of Girlguiding and the purpose of this policy is to explain who is, or who can be a member of Girlguiding.

It also outlines Girlguiding’s expectations of you as an adult member, and the benefits of being a member.

We have two categories of member - adult member and young member. This policy is for adult members. Adult membership of Girlguiding is open to all, although there are some roles that are only open to women.

Girlguiding delivers services to girls and young women only. This is permitted as an exemption under schedule 16 of the Equality Act 2010.


Adult member – anyone over 18 years of age who is a member of Girlguiding.

Young member – anyone who is a Rainbow, Brownie, Guide or Ranger, or who is in any role and is under 18, for example a young leader.

Volunteer - anyone over 18 years of age who gives their time to Girlguiding without being paid. This covers all volunteering roles within Girlguiding – including those involving working directly with young members and those involving no direct contact with young members.

Who can be an adult member?

There are lots of different volunteering roles, at all levels of Girlguiding . All roles are valuable to the organisation but for some roles volunteers must be a member. You can find out more about all the different requirements in the documents below:

And you can find more information about specific roles in the volunteer roles in guiding pages.

Membership is at the discretion of Girlguiding in line with the recruitment and vetting policy.

What does Girlguiding expect of me as a member?

As an adult member and a volunteer of Girlguiding you have an important responsibility – to be a role model to young people in your care. So, you are expected to take a lead in reflecting Girlguiding’s values in the community. As a member:

  • You must go through the recruitment process and keep relevant disclosure checks up to date.
  • You must agree to have your details stored on the Girlguiding membership system and other relevant digital platforms, keep these up to date and have a working email address that only you can access (this helps us keep admin costs down, so we can invest more elsewhere. If you need help with this you can contact your commissioner).
  • You must read, understand and follow the Volunteer Code of Conduct. A record of this will be made when you join as a volunteer and every time you update your safe space levels 1 and 2 training.
  • Annual subscriptions must be paid for all members.

What happens if I don’t fulfil these expectations?

If you are unable to fulfil any of the above expectations, a commissioner will follow the managing concerns about adult volunteers policy and procedures to offer support and guidance. If necessary, a sanction may be imposed on your membership.

What are the benefits of being a member?

Being a member means that you become part of a global guiding community and have the opportunity to build a network of like-minded people and lifelong friends that will support you in a shared passion.

  • Members are invited to make the Promise - this is what brings everyone in guiding together.
  • Members can apply to hold all roles in Girlguiding . Some roles can only be held by women.
  • Members in an active role take further training that can develop valuable, transferable skills that can also help in your professional life.
  • Members may wear guiding uniform or volunteer clothing appropriate to the role and occasion.
  • Members who are women may wear the Promise badge (if they have made the Promise) and the Leadership qualification badge (if they have completed that qualification).
  • Members receive the guiding magazine if they opt in.
  • Members with eligible roles may receive Long Service and other awards.
  • Members receive a membership card.
  • Members may receive offers and discounts from our national partners.
  • Girlguiding is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). A benefit of this is that Girlguiding members are able to access and take advantage of any opportunities that they offer.

Girlguiding policies and procedures are reviewed and updated from time to time as part of a review cycle.