Quality Standards for Policy

How to follow our policies in your unit

These standards help you to put our policies into practice in an effective way

Our policies and related statements provide a structure that ensures guiding takes place safely, consistently and in accordance with legislation.

The standards below were used in the 2016/17 quality pilot and are currently being improved based on your feedback. You can still use the statements below to help you to plan ahead, to evaluate what has gone before or to review what your unit or area is doing well and what could be improved. However, please make sure you also refer to the policies section of our website for the latest information and guidance on how to follow our policies in your unit.

The finalised version of the new standards will be available to use from May 2018.

Policies must be followed by members and recognised volunteers who are involved in delivering or supporting guiding.

1. Safeguarding requirements have been met

a. A Safe Space has been adopted and implemented

Girlguiding’s safeguarding requirements (A Safe Space) have been adopted and implemented.

Girlguiding’s safeguarding requirements should be adopted and implemented in the following ways.

  • Leaders should complete A Safe Space training - face-to-face or e-learning.
  • Leaders and volunteers should have a working knowledge and understanding of A Safe Space principles and adopt these into their regular programme.
  • Girls and parents know who to contact in the unit to address safety and safeguarding concerns.
  • Girls and parents know how to report grievances - for example, instances of bullying, harassment or discrimination - in the unit.
  • Volunteers feel confident and comfortable with how to handle grievances in the unit.
  • Volunteers know where to find additional support and resources for safeguarding.
  • Leaders and volunteers understand their role and responsibility in offering appropriate support when addressing safeguarding concerns.
  • Volunteers know how to report safety and safeguarding concerns about girls and concerns about volunteers if they arise.
  • Volunteers are aware of the impact that their behaviour has on young members they come into contact with and abide by Girlguiding's Code of Conduct at all times.

If a parent, girl, or fellow Leader brings to your attention any safeguarding concerns, you should consult A Safe Space to help determine what action should be taken.

For further support and guidance, please contact the Safeguarding team.

2. Equality and diversity standards have been adopted

a. The unit is equally inclusive to all girls, young women, and adult volunteers

  • Volunteers encourage girls to respect the differences in others.
  • Volunteers know where to find additional support and resources to include all girls.
  • Volunteers make sure that unit activities do not exclude anyone and are adapted where necessary.
  • If necessary, there is a range of payment options available for collecting unit fees - for example weekly, monthly and termly - to support members in financial hardship.
  • If necessary, there are different methods available to help all girls access unit necessities - uniform loan schemes, printed resources loan schemes, and uniform recycling programmes.
  • Volunteers structure activities so that they accommodate everybody.
  • Badge work is pursued with a flexible approach and challenges are tailored to individual skills and abilities.
  • Volunteers encourage girls to use sensitive and inclusive language that promotes a comfortable environment for everyone.
  • When planning unit events that involve food or catering, volunteers take into account each member's dietary requirements, and make sure they have a range of options available to suit everyone's needs.
  • Volunteers try not to make assumptions about members’ beliefs, ethnicities, sexual orientation or boundaries, and allow members to develop their beliefs and make their own informed decisions.
  • Leaders and volunteers meet all new members and their parents/carers to discuss any support needs that they may have.
  • Reasonable adjustments are made to ensure all girls and volunteers have access to the same great guiding experience. 

b. Equality is actively promoted throughout the unit

  • Set clear guidelines about how people should be treated and how girls, young women, and volunteers in the unit should behave.
  • Ensure all girls, young women, and volunteers have equal access to opportunities in the unit.
  • Treat all girls, young women, and volunteers fairly and equally in the unit.
  • Avoid stereotypes in examples and activities.
  • Ensure unit activities don’t discriminate against anyone.
  • Challenge negative attitudes.
  • Ensure that inappropriate behavior is appropriately addressed.
  • Ensure all members of the unit are equally involved in planning and participating in the unit programme. 

c. Diversity is explored and celebrated through a range of activities

  • Members learn about global issues and people from other countries.
  • Members learn about their wider guiding family across the world, and how there are units everywhere.
  • Girls are encouraged to respect the differences in others by learning about different cultures, faiths, physical disabilities, and more.
  • Cultural themes and ideas are explored:
    • clothes worn in other countries
    • unit members in another country
    • endangered animals
    • food from around the world
    • events/celebrations from around the world
    • games from other countries
    • collecting for an appeal
    • international craft ideas.
  • Girls are encouraged to try different approaches to games and activities in a safe environment.
  • Members learn about news or stories that challenge perceptions and stereotypes, encourage them to think about their beliefs and look at the world in a different way.
  • Girls are encouraged to work collaboratively in diverse groups.

3. Data Protection Policy is enforced

a. Girlguiding’s data protection requirements are enforced

Girlguiding’s data protection requirements are enforced and observed by all members of the unit.

All members collect or refer to data at some point. Here are the ways you should comply with Girlguiding’s Data Protection Policy.

  • Members should not hold information outside of Girlguiding’s membership systems - such as personal databases, notebooks, index cards - from which individuals can be identified.
  • Print reports only when necessary and for immediate use. Keep these in the unit’s Emergency File. Personal data such as emergency contact reports and permission forms should be destroyed immediately once they are no longer required. The only exception is health forms where some form of intervention has been needed - in which case, the form should be retained securely for three years and then destroyed by shredding or burning.
  • Avoid storing sensitive Girlguiding data on laptops and PCs. It is better to access sensitive data through the membership systems rather than store it locally on a laptop. If this is unavoidable, ensure the laptop is encrypted by a password and the document is deleted as soon as it is no longer required. Do not download data to an employer’s PC, laptop or tablet.
  • Members are responsible for making sure their own information is up-to-date on the membership systems. Volunteers should regularly update their unit’s information to keep the data held on young members accurate.
  • All personal information needs to be used for guiding purposes only, and should not be passed to anyone outside the organisation without consulting Girlguiding Headquarters first.
  • Volunteers should encourage parents and girls to memorise their membership number and quote it in correspondences.
  • Confidential data may occasionally be sent by email attachment, but only if a secure encryption procedure is followed. Operating systems can encrypt files – find out on your operating system's website.
  • When composing an email, check that the auto-complete function hasn’t brought up the wrong email address and always use the bcc (blind carbon copy) option when emailing a group of people. Do not forward chain emails to young members or other adult volunteers.
  • To stay safe online, if volunteers decide to set up a social networking group on Facebook for the unit/District, make sure it is a ‘closed’ group. If a group is ‘open’, there is no guarantee that all members will be genuine members of Girlguiding.
  • Volunteers should ensure that they have checked parental permission before sharing photos or videos of young members on websites, social networking sites or specialist media sharing sites such as YouTube.
  • Avoid mentioning members’ full names or including other information that could reveal their identities. Be aware that members’ full names will be visible on Facebook and Twitter, so think carefully about the content being posted.
  • Make sure girls are aware that they should not share photos or videos of their friends online without permission from parents/carers.
  • Volunteers should have conversations with girls about online safety, and make girls aware of the potential risks to interacting online, and how they can stay safe. A Safe Cyberspace For Young Members (taken from A Safe Space) is a great starting point for volunteers to promote some open and honest conversations about online safety.