Visitors to your meetings

Experts and enthusiasts can visit your meetings and help girls explore new topics. Use our checklist to do this safely

Whether it's an artist, a yoga teacher or even an astronomer – people outside guiding can help your unit learn and grow.

It can be great fun to invite a visitor to join your unit or attend an event, whether it's to run a skills session, talk about their work or bring some adorable animals to meet the girls. To make sure everyone's staying safe, follow this checklist and complete the external visitors form.

This checklist should be used with volunteers from outside groups - you don't need to follow these steps if you have a potential new volunteer coming or are running a taster event for volunteers. This form shouldn't be used at adult events, however if there are young volunteers, especially under 16 year olds, at the meeting or event then the form should be completed. 

External visitors checklist

Check your visitor's credentials

If there's a membership body associated with the activity you can check that your visitor is registered or holds a membership with that association.

If they're not a professional, but are coming to share an interest or hobby, they may not have any credentials, but you should still check that they're suitable to attend.

Share with them our unit safeguarding guidelines.

Complete a full risk assessment and share it with your unit team.

Make sure everybody is insured

We provide public liability insurance, which covers anyone attending a Girlguiding activity, event or meeting.

This insurance covers any accidental injury or property damage caused by one of our members. This includes members, parent helpers and anyone at the meeting who's not a third party or representing another organisation.

  • Visitors are covered by this insurance if they're coming to your meeting as a volunteer and they're not representing another organisation.
  • If your visitor is a member of another organisation or a paid professional, they'll not be covered and will need their own public liability insurance. This is because our insurance doesn't cover third parties.

Examples of what our insurance covers

  • A parent with a hobby of beekeeping comes in. If they accidentally cause an injury or damage and someone claimed, our insurance would cover them.
  • A professional yoga instructor visits and causes injury or damage. Any claim would go against their own insurance.
  • However, if the professional yoga instructor was injured during a visit or their equipment harmed by Girlguiding, that would be covered by our insurance and they could claim against us.

Remember, it's just the actions of third parties' that aren't covered by our insurance.

How much cover does the visitor need for their public liability insurance?

We recommend any third-party providers have £5million in public liability insurance. But you can make bookings when it's less than that.

To decide if you want to go ahead with insurance under £5million, risk-assess the activity first. Think about things like the nature of the activity, equipment being used and so on in your risk assessment.

The visitors insurance is to cover Girlguiding members if injury or damage is caused by the third-party provider. So if one of our members gets hurt or something gets damaged during the event, the claim the member can make will be limited to the level of the third party's insurance.

Even if you decide to accept a lower limit, the third party provider must have some valid public liability insurance and you should see the certificate.

If it's an in-person event

  • Check the premises or property you're leasing to make sure they allow the activity.
  • Organise any additional hygiene measures as appropriate for example for an event with food preparation or animal encounters.

If it's a virtual event

  • Create a password for the meeting that's different to your normal virtual meeting.
  • Enable the waiting room function so you can control when you give the visitor access.
  • Remember to turn off the chat and break out room functions if it's a virtual event.

During the event

  • Introduce your visitor to the rest of your team and volunteers. Check in and make sure everyone knows your plans.
  • Ensure everyone is adhering to Girlguiding’s guidance on photo permissions throughout the event.
  • Don't leave the visitor alone with the girls at any time.
  • Make sure you follow any additional hygiene measures throughout the event.

After the event

If there were any safeguarding concerns, allegations or disclosures, report them to your commissioner or HQ.

Visitors should report any concerns to the unit leader, unless the concern was about the leadership team, in which case they need to inform the safeguarding team at [email protected].

Report any accidents and include the insurance details of the company or individual involved the HQ insurance team at [email protected].

If there were any data breaches, report them to the HQ data protection team at [email protected].

When parents and carers attend meetings whether to share your skills, as part of a parent rota or to support an individual young member, they don’t need to complete the external visitor form. You can find more information on having parents as visitors and helpers on our Involving parents webpage.