Getting parent or carer consent
How to get consent from parents and carers when you're planning exciting activities for your unit
Planning activities for your girls? Here's how to get parental consent.
If participants are under 18, you need parental consent for any of the below:
- Adventurous activities
- Activities local to the unit meeting place during unit meetings
- Events and activities outside usual unit meetings
- Online and virtual unit meetings
You need to get parental consent for any adventurous activities using our day events and activities information and consent form. If adventurous activities will be part of a residential trip, use either the form for a residential in your home country or an international residential as appropriate.
You need to get parental consent using one of the information and consent forms even if the adventurous activity is taking place at or local to your unit meeting place or during your unit meeting times.
You can find out which activities are adventurous using the adventure for girls activity finder. Choose ‘adventurous activities’ from the categories list and select ‘search’ to see a full list.
Check our adventurous activities policy if you are planning an adventurous activity for your unit.
Activities local to the unit meeting place during unit meetings
If parents and carers have signed the December 2023 version of our new starter forms, you don’t need to get separate consent from them for their child to participate in a non-adventurous activity in an indoor or outdoor space local to the unit meeting place during your usual unit meeting times.
You’ll still need to:
- Risk assess the activity and decide if you should set up a home contact.
- Let parents and carers know about the activity and how you plan to get there in advance of the meeting so that they can have time to make an informed choice to bring their child to the unit meeting to participate.
- Follow the adult to child ratios for activities and events outside of your usual meeting place.
If you want to slightly extend or change your unit meeting times by up to an hour to make the most of an activity, make sure all parents and carers are aware and have agreed that they'll be able to drop off or pick up their child from the unit meeting place at the new time.
If a parent or carer has already signed an older version of our new starter form, they can either fill out the December 2023 version you can use this one-page form to get consent for activities local to the unit meeting place.
If parents and carers haven’t signed the latest version of our new starter forms or the one-page form, you’ll still need to get separate permission each time you plan to visit an indoor and outdoor space local to the unit meeting place during unit meetings using our day events and activities information and consent form.
Indoor and outdoor spaces should be within a short distance of the unit meeting place, and you should be able to get there and back comfortably within the agreed unit meeting times. The usual unit meeting place must remain as the drop-off and pick-up location. If you’re going to use public or private transport, make sure this is part of your risk assessment and that you’re following our transport guidance and our safeguarding policy.
You can let parents know about planned activities in the local area in the usual way you contact them. You need to make sure all parents and carers know about your plans including how you'll get to the activity, so they can make an informed choice to bring their child to the unit meeting to participate in the activity.
You need to make sure that parents and carers have enough time to read about planned activities in the local area during unit meetings. If you haven’t already let parents and carers know about a visit to the local area, you can’t change your mind about this during a unit meeting.
Your plans could be dependent on weather, for example, so you should let parents and carers know this in advance to give you flexibility. For example, you could say that if the weather is good for the unit meeting next week, the unit will walk to the local park to play on the equipment there.
Yes – the important thing is you need to get parental consent for activities local to the unit meeting place using either the December 2023 version of our new starter forms, the one-page consent for activities local to the unit meeting place, or a day events and activities information and consent form.
Events and activities outside usual unit meetings
If you’re meeting away from your usual meeting place and/or outside of your usual meeting times for an activity, event, day trip or residential with your unit, you’ll need to get parental permission using one of our information and consent forms.
Be clear about whether any deposits or payments for activities or trips are refundable should the event not take place or their daughter decide not to participate. Read our advice on including members with low incomes.
Use this form for day trips, events and activities that aren’t part of a residential. To make it easier, if you have multiple activities planned for the next term, you can list them all on the form. Include details of each event and activity, date, time, location and anything else parents and carers need to know. Once they’ve signed, you then have their permission for all activities listed.
Remember that if you add another activity to your programme for the term, you'll need to ask parents to fill out an extra form.
Use this form for a single residential event in your home country, including any activities. You’ll also need to ask parents and carers to fill out a health form for the event, so they can give you information about their child’s health and the details of two emergency contacts for your home contact.
Use this form for a single residential event in an international country, including any activities. This form includes an ‘in loco parentis’ statement which is an entry requirement for some countries. For this reason, this form must be printed and have handwritten signatures from parents and carers.
You’ll also need to ask parents and carers to fill out a health form for the event, so they can give you information about their child’s health and the details of two emergency contacts for your home contact.
Online guiding and virtual unit meetings
You need written permission from parents and carers for girls to be able to join online meetings. This is because it is an activity outside the unit meeting.
- Download the virtual meeting parent/carer consent form (PDF)
- Download the virtual meeting parent/carer consent form (Word)
These consent forms can cover your programme for the term - you don't need a signed form for each online meeting.
These forms have been designed to be filled out remotely, so you don't need to meet with parents for their signatures and they can email the completed forms back to you. All instructions are included on the forms.
Photos and video
You need permission from parents and carers before taking pictures of members under 18. You should also ask the girls themselves before taking photos of them.
Parents and girls can share their consent for filming and photography on the new starter form and on GO.
For large-scale events (those with 100 or more participants) parents can share their consent for filming and photography on the relevant information and consent form.
Do not make your own forms
Always use our official Girlguiding permission forms to collect personal data. Using your own forms will make it difficult for us to support you if there's an accident or incident.