Reviewing the leadership qualification

New leadership training for volunteers - hear what our Learning and development team have been working on

03 March 2021

The last time we told you about this project, it was in the very early days.

Our volunteer specialists had just been recruited and we were setting out to review the Leadership qualification. Since then, so much has happened, and we’re excited to share the next steps of this project with you!

Volunteers are essential to this project, so we’ve been reaching out to you every step of the way, from gathering initial feedback to testing proposals.

So why review the Leadership qualification?

Over the past few years, volunteers told us that completing the Leadership qualification took a long time, and it needed to change. The way units run has changed over time, and it’s important that, as a movement, we’re up-to-date and supporting our volunteers with what they need in order to deliver great guiding for young people. In addition to this, what volunteers expect from an organisation has also changed; people now often volunteer for Girlguiding specifically to develop new skills that they can apply outside of guiding.

What we’ve learned

One thing we quickly learned is that this is no small feat! When we started this project, we assumed it would be an easy fix – maybe updating the workbook or putting lots of pictures in. We’ve now held a number of focus groups and been to lots of events so we can find out exactly what you want, and we discovered that our assumptions weren’t right.

Here’s what you told us:

  • The current Leadership qualification (LQ) workbook is daunting and doesn’t excite new volunteers.
  • You want more ad-hoc training opportunities which are relevant to young leaders too.
  • There is lots missing from the current qualification which would be useful for volunteers in their roles.
  • Support from mentors can be inconsistent across the organisation.
  • There’s a strong desire for prior learning and existing skills to be considered.

What we’re doing about it

We'll be splitting learning into modules made up of a number of topics - for example, communicating, team working and programme. We'll suggest which ones you should focus on at the start of your role, and you can choose to do the rest in any order that works for you. This means you can start with the topics that you and the person supporting you feel are your most important priorities.

These bite-sized modules will be available to all volunteers, so if you’re already a qualified leader, you could still complete the learning available as a refresher and it would still be added to your record.

What does this mean for volunteers?

We’re constantly testing and carrying out consultations with volunteers, and as we continue to develop content, we’ll be listening to feedback and tweaking where needed – after all, we want to get this right.

If you’re currently working on your Leadership qualification, don’t worry. We’re currently developing learning content for the new offer and anticipate that it won’t be complete until December 2021. When it’s all available, we’ll allow a year of transition so that anybody who wants to finish off their Leadership qualification has the opportunity to do so.

Throughout 2021, we’ll be further investigating how volunteers can be supported through all of this, and how everything comes together. We’ll also be testing content and piloting a few different approaches which will support this offer, so do keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved.