Coming soon, the new leader development programme

Paving the way for leaders of the future

05 July 2022

The current leadership qualification has been in existence for over 10 years now.

Before the pandemic, we started to review the leadership qualification. By carrying out surveys, online meetings with volunteers and at conferences, volunteers told us that the current qualification was outdated and although it does what it needs to do, it could work a lot better for volunteers. 

To complete the qualification, leaders in training currently have to complete the red book. Our research showed that many found it daunting, especially with all the evidence required. Across counties there was a real inconsistency in how much evidence was needed, and there were lots of different processes and levels of support available to leaders in training.

Not forgetting of course, we have a different programme which, to some extent, has changed what skills leaders need.

Ultimately, we realised this wouldn’t be a case of just revamping the book. We needed to create a learning offer for leaders in training that prepares them to take on the responsibilities of running a unit. It needed to be:

  • standardised
  • accessible
  • easy to follow
  • engaging
  • achievable

In summary, it needs to meet the learning needs of our members.

What does this mean in practice?

It’s an everchanging landscape for learning, but what we found repeatedly through consultation was that there was a strong appetite from our members for online learning.

The learning platform, launched in January, is an ideal place to host the new leader training. Now the platform has been up and running with some Girlguiding e-learnings (for example, A Safe Space) and webinars, we’ve been busy building the new leader development programme in the background.

We’re now testing and fine-tuning ready for its launch in autumn this year.

What does the new leader development programme look like?

We’ll share some overviews of what the leader development programme looks like nearer to launch. But it has three different content ‘levels’, with the idea being that it’ll be able to gradually upskill any volunteer in a unit role to have the confidence to progress into leadership. 

The first two levels are optional learning available for any volunteer to complete so they learn what Girlguiding is about. For those who want to be a leader in a unit, they’ll need to work through ‘Becoming a leader’ which is the final level in the programme and is essential for anyone who wishes to be a leader. The aim is that unit volunteers can develop over time, gaining knowledge (Getting started with Girlguiding), to understanding (Growing in Girlguiding) through to putting it into practice (Becoming a leader).

There will be a range of different types of learning materials, with leaders in training being supported by a mentor. The mentor will be able to go to the unit and see how the leader in training is progressing, so they can tick off the practical side of things.

The structure is different to the previous leadership qualification but don’t worry, it’s not all new! Some things will be kept, for example, Keeping information safe, and some will be tweaked. We really started with the end in mind – what people needed to know, and do (based on Doing our best standards) and how they’ll get there.

What does it mean for me?

Anybody directly impacted by the changes to the Leadership qualification, for example mentors and LQ coordinators, already know about the changes. For everybody else, the new offer means that you’ll have a lot more training available at your fingertips – great!

From the launch date this autumn, leaders in training, currently working on their Leadership qualification will have a year to finish it

There will be something for everyone so watch this space!