Updates to our recruitment and vetting policy and procedure

The changes we've made

10 January 2023

Our volunteers make Girlguiding. It’s really important that we welcome new volunteers – from all walks of life – to help us on our mission to empower girls and young women with fun, friendship and adventure.

The recruitment and vetting policy is all about what we do to make sure that we welcome new volunteers to Girlguiding safely and inclusively.

We recently held a consultation on this policy and its procedure, and we’re incredibly grateful to all of the over 700 volunteers who responded. It shows how important this policy and procedure is to our volunteers.

We’ve taken this feedback to heart and made some changes.

Firstly, as you may have seen with all our changes to policies and procedures recently, we’ve changed the way they’re presented. By making them all consistent we hope it makes it easier for you to find the information you need, as well making what you need to do simpler – and easier to understand.

The biggest change you need to know about is that it’s not just up to commissioners to manage recruitment and vetting anymore. Commissioners are still there to help, but it’s up to all volunteers involved in recruitment and vetting to make sure that there’s an appropriate role available for when someone becomes a Girlguiding volunteer.

Every time we review a policy and procedure we try to make them as easy to understand as possible. There was some confusion about references for those returning to Girlguiding after a break of more than 12 months.

We’ve clarified that volunteers returning to guiding after 12 months must resubmit two satisfactory references. They don’t have to be different references, but it’s really important you submit them again. This is so we can make the checks needed to make sure everyone’s safe.

The definition of 'barred list checks”' has been changed to make it clear that this is only about working with children. We don’t check to see if someone’s not allowed to work with adults.

We’ve also made it clearer that we’ll only share the results of a disclosure check with local volunteers – and nothing else.

There’s some other small changes you should know about:

Firstly, we’ve amended the definition of young member to include young leaders, young external volunteers, and Rangers.

And we’ve added a requirement to inform the complaints and compliance team at Girlguiding HQ of any new convictions, cautions, or workplace investigations as soon as they happen.

This is really important, as it helps keep everyone safe.

We’ve made some changes to the procedure as well, including:

  • Restructuring the page to make it easier to find the information you’re looking for – there’re specific sections for new enquirers, returning volunteers, and young members turning 18. And we’ve split the information on references and disclosure checks to make it clearer and easier to understand.
  • Removing the information about welcoming and inducting new volunteers. There’re other pages on the website which cover everything you need to know.
  • Making it clearer who can be a referee, and what they’ll be asked to do.
  • Creating flowcharts which you can download as a PDF. We know recruitment and vetting can be confusing, and we hope you’ll find these help you to understand it better.