Safety and safeguarding checklists

Use our standards and checklists to keep girls in your unit safe

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our girls and volunteers.

These standards and checklists will help you follow our policies and procedures to keep all members of your unit safe.

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

All volunteers complete the Girlguiding recruitment process for their role and follow the volunteer Code of Conduct.

  • Is everyone who regularly attends your unit registered on GO?
  • Have all volunteers completed their recruitment checks on time and do they have an active status on GO?
  • Do you make sure that any adult who hasn’t had a disclosure check is always supervised with the girls?
  • Are all volunteers aware of and following the Girlguiding volunteer code of conduct?

Recognising and acting on safeguarding concerns

All unit members understand their role and responsibilities in keeping others safe and follow our policies and procedures. They know what to do if there are concerns about a girl, young woman or adult in Girlguiding.

  • Are all volunteers in your unit familiar with and following our safeguarding policy?
  • Do all volunteers understand their role and responsibilities in safeguarding and what they must do to keep members safe?
  • Do all volunteers and girls know how to report any safeguarding concerns, allegations and disclosures?
  • Do you know how to recognise a safeguarding concern and how to support someone to tell their story safely?
  • Has at least one leader in your unit completed level 3 of a safe space training? Are they willing and able to take overall responsibility if there are safeguarding concerns?

Managing risk

Leaders complete risk assessments and constantly monitor risks to keep all events and activities as safe as possible.

  • Do you identify and manage risks for all activities and events to keep everyone safe? 
  • Have you checked that your venue is appropriate? If you need help when choosing a venue, have a look at our handy venue requirements risk assessment. Do you and your team review and update this risk assessment at least once a year? Have you completed a risk assessment form - blank template, pre-filled template or similar? Do you and your team review and update the risk assessment as appropriate? And do you reassess risks during every activity in case things change and new risks arise?
  • Do you involve everyone in your unit – volunteers and girls – in spotting and managing risks so that each person understands what they need to do to keep themselves and others safe?
  • When planning activities, do you think about any accidents or incidents that have happened in the past, as well as security issues, to identify and manage all risks?
  • Do you make sure all external venues and activities run by outside organisations have been risk assessed and meet Girlguiding requirements?
  • Do you always consider adult to child ratios to make sure there are enough adults to keep girls safe and deal with emergencies? Have you considered the type of activity or the needs of your members to provide the appropriate level of supervision?

Preparing for emergencies

Leaders prepare to keep everyone safe in an emergency. This means making sure there’s first aid cover and adequate fire precautions - and that all unit team members know what to do if there’s an emergency.

First aid

  • Is there always an appropriately qualified first aider at unit meetings, activities and events?
  • Do you have an appropriately stocked first aid kit at your unit meeting place, and other kits available (if needed) for specific activities and residentials?
  • Is there a list with each kit that clearly shows its contents? Do you check the kit regularly and restock it when something is nearly finished or near its expiry date?
  • Do you keep and use medicated items following Girlguiding’s 1st response guidance, together with health care plans for members with specific health needs?

Fire safety

  • Do all leaders and girls know the fire evacuation procedure and assembly point for your unit meeting place, and for any other venue you’re using?
  • Do you tell all new members and visitors what to do if there’s a fire?
  • Do you have a fire drill at least once a year and record this on the fire evacuation information page of your emergency file?
  • Are all fire precautions in place for your unit, in line with Girlguiding’s fire safety guidance?

Dealing with emergencies

  • Is your emergency file completed, fully stocked and available at all guiding activities? Does everyone in your team know where to find this file and how to use it?
  • Do you keep a unit register so that leaders always know who’s present at meetings and activities?
  • Do you gather information and consent for events and activities for all members using Girlguiding forms?
  • Do you have a home contact system in place for all activities outside your normal unit meeting place and time? Do you let your local commissioner know where activities outside the unit meeting place are happening?
  • Do you get a residential event notification form approved by your local commissioner ahead of time for any activity that involves an overnight stay?
  • Do all team members know what to do in an emergency and how to report accidents or incidents?

Keeping member information safe

Everyone in the unit team understands the importance of data protection and follows Girlguiding requirements for protecting data and keeping information up to date.

  • Are all volunteers aware of and following our procedures and policy for managing information?
  • Do you collect members’ personal data needed for guiding using Girlguiding forms and statements?
  • Do you keep members’ personal data only in GO – and download or print details from GO only when necessary for an event or activity?
  • Do you keep records up-to-date for everyone in your unit, both girls and volunteers?
  • Do you only share members’ personal data when necessary for activities (for example, to make a booking) or to keep members safe (for example, giving health information to the emergency services or reporting a safeguarding concern to HQ)?
  • Do you always get relevant permissions before taking or sharing photos or videos of members?
  • Do you securely destroy any personal data (including photos and videos) that’s no longer needed in line with Girlguiding’s data retention framework?
  • Do all volunteers know they have to let Girlguiding know straight away at [email protected] if they think personal or sensitive member data may have been misused, wrongly shared, lost or stolen?

A quick note on the terms we use in the checklists

  • ‘Girls’ means the young members enjoying the Girlguiding programme in a unit.
  • ‘Volunteers’ are everyone in the team who delivers guiding: leaders, young leaders, unit helpers, occasional helpers and parent helpers.
  • By ‘parents’ we mean parents, carers and other adults with responsibility for a young member.
  • When we say ‘term’ or ‘termly’, we’re assuming units have three terms in the year.
  • When we say ‘you’, we’re speaking directly to the leaders and assistant leaders in a unit.

Download the safety and safeguarding checklists

Download the safety and safeguarding checklists

Download safety and safeguarding checklists