Quality Standards for Programme

The fundamentals of delivering a good guiding programme

We all share a commitment to the Five Essentials and these standards can help you put them into practice

These Quality Standards for Programme were used in the 2016/17 quality pilot to help leaders review and celebrate the programme they deliver to girls. Although the Doing Our Best standards are currently being improved based on feedback from the pilot, you can still use the statements below to help you to plan ahead, to evaluate what has gone before, to review what your unit or area is doing well and what could be improved.

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

1. Care for the individual

a. Girls, young women, volunteers and parents are valued as individuals

Girls, young women, volunteers and parents are made to feel valued as individuals and are encouraged to be part of the unit

  • Talk with each girl about her interests.
  • Help each girl develop at her own pace.
  • Show interest in girls' lives outside of guiding – at school, at home.
  • Learn about the relationships in the unit to be able to support girls in resolving conflict.
  • Ensure girls do not feel pressure to do everything that everyone else does.
  • Ensure girls have the opportunity to participate and do not feel excluded from unit activities.
  • Include girls’ ideas and suggestions in the unit programme.
  • Recognise each girl’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Allocate responsibilities according to the interests and skills of individual girls.
  • Place a focus on individual challenge and achievement.
  • Encourage quieter girls - those who may find group discussions daunting - to share their experiences or thoughts.
  • Encourage the sharing of resources during activities.
  • Lead open-minded group discussions to help girls learn to listen and be sensitive to the needs and wants of others.
  • Encourage girls to respect different opinions and points of view.

b. Girls and young women are fulfilled through participation

Girls and young women have a sense of identity, achievement and fulfilment through participation.

  • Praise and value each member for her individual progress and achievements
  • Show appreciation for whatever the girls have made or have done.
  • Offer rewards to give members incentives to stretch their abilities and develop skills and knowledge.
  • Allow members a way to record and keep mementos of their various achievements through:
    • certificates
    • mini certificates
    • interest and fun badges
    • miscellaneous prizes and congratulatory parties handbooks, including:
      • Ready for Rainbows and My Pot of Gold
      • Brownie Adventures Book
      • Brownie Badge Book
      • G File
      • Look Wider and More Record Book. 

c. Positive relationships are developed with girls and parents

Leaders develop positive relationships with girls and parents. Leaders are approachable and available to talk to girls, volunteers, and parents to find out about individual needs.

  • Introduce new girls to the unit when they first join.
  • Welcome each girl by name as she arrives at the meeting.
  • Get to know girls’ parents so that parents have confidence in Leaders and feel comfortable sharing information with them.
  • Give parents a chance to tell volunteers about any issues their daughter is facing - for example problems at school, or loss of a relative or pet.
  • Make some time available at the beginning or end of each meeting to allow girls or parents to talk to you when they need something.
  • Be aware of and accommodate any additional needs a girl may have.

d. Members are encouraged to move on to the next section

Members are encouraged to move on to the next section in a timely and supported way.

  • Find out when and where units from the next section meet in order to advise members’ parents.
  • Involve the unit in District and Division events to familiarise girls with members and activities of other units.
  • Work with local Leaders from other sections to establish which units have got spaces, or if there is a waiting list.
  • Hold regular joint events or activities with units from other sections.
  • Take a group from the unit to the next section’s meeting or to their residential event.
  • Ask members from the unit to plan and run a meeting for a younger section.
  • Promote Unit Helper and Young Leader opportunities to encourage Rainbow and Brownie Helpers and young women into leadership roles.
  • Ask members from the next section to visit the unit meeting with some of their Leaders.
  • Ask the Leader of the next section if she has some welcome invitations that members of your unit can receive.
  • Ask the Leader of the next section if it's possible for your transitioning member to meet her new unit buddy before her first meeting.
  • Pass on to the Leader of the next section the transitioning member's details and records. Talk about her likes, dislikes, abilities, interests and progress during her time in your unit.
  • See girls off when they move up to the next section, and offer girls the chance to celebrate and look back over their time in the section.

2. Balanced and varied programme

a. A balanced programme of activities

A balanced and varied programme of activities is available inside and outside the unit meeting place.

Make sure to cover the six areas of development:

  • spiritual
  • social
  • emotional
  • physical
  • moral
  • intellectual.

Through a range of activities such as:

  • indoor activities
  • outdoor activities
  • individual interest badges
  • social action projects
  • residential activities
  • cultural activities
  • participation in different groupings: Sixes, peer groups, friendship groups, the unit
  • opportunities to focus on the Promise and the Law
  • meeting members from other units, or girls from another section
  • activities away from the meeting place
  • arts and creativity
  • imaginative play
  • problem solving
  • nature and the environment
  • decision-making - for self and others
  • teamwork
  • fun and friendship
  • international and global issues
  • camp or holiday adventures
  • personal development
  • the wider guiding family.

b. Girls are encouraged to take on new challenges and learn by doing

  • Make a variety of challenging activities available inside and outside the unit meeting place.
  • Encourage members to take over their unit meetings - ensure members get a chance to plan for their takeover.
  • Allow members to choose or develop their own challenges.
  • Use skills learned outside guiding, and the skills of parents, to offer something different.
  • Revisit an activity that the unit has done before and taking it a step further.
  • Have an expert visit the unit to teach members a new skill.
  • Take on the challenge of an interest badge that the members haven't looked at before to learn something entirely new. 

c. Activities are appropriate to age, programme and abilities

Use the information about the Girlguiding programme to help you.

d. All opportunities are promoted, including those available outside the unit.

  • Arrange joint activities with other units in the area.
  • Establish links with Leaders in other sections locally.
  • Encourage members to participate in District, Division or County fun days and events.
  • Subscribe to and read Girlguiding and local guiding e-newsletters.
  • Inform girls about local, national and international opportunities, within and outside of guiding.
  • Look into ways of fundraising so that all girls have the chance to participate in activities if funds are not available.
  • Encourage girls to check their section's website for news, fun activities and games.
  • Ask Peer Educators, Duke of Edinburgh's Award volunteers or young women working on their Queen's Guide Award to run a session for the unit.
  • Invite guiding guests from outside the unit to run a session for the unit.

3. Working together in small groups

a. Regular small and whole group activity takes place

  • Find new activities that can be done in small groups to help the girls and young women learn more about themselves and how they relate to others.
  • Offer team activities that develop leadership skills, such as team challenges, wide games and role play.
  • Give girls the opportunity to teach skills to each other.
  • Use a Rainbow Chat, Brownie Pow-wow, Patrol Leaders’ Council or discussion in The Senior Section, to involve all girls in sharing their thoughts as a group
  • Engage in community action so the girls can learn more about their community and take an active role.

4. The unit promotes a shared commitment to a common standard

a. The ideals of the Promise and Law are incorporated in the unit's programme

Girlguiding welcomes girls and women from all faiths, cultures and races. A shared commitment to a common standard is expressed in the Promise and Law, which underpin every element of the programme.

  • Allow each girl to make her Promise in her own time when she feels ready.
  • Have Promise Ceremonies to give girls a memorable ‘mountain-top moment’.
  • Set a good example by keeping the Promise and Law.
  • Hold discussions on the Promise and Law, and allow these discussions to proceed at their own pace.
  • Help members explore and develop their understanding of the Promise through activities that:
    • encourage girls to be kind and help one another
    • promote a sense of personal responsibility and active citizenship
    • encourage girls to have respect for other people and their property
    • encourage girls to have respect for the environment and for the country's traditions and laws
    • help girls to develop spiritually in their own way
    • encourage girls to take positive action in response to the needs they have identified in their own community
    • encourage girls to be honest, reliable, and trusted
    • encourage girls to be polite and considerate, and to respect all living things.

5. Girls and young women are involved in decision-making and planning

a. Girls have opportunities to select, plan and appropriately lead activities

  • Host discussions as an opportunity for every member to share ideas and agree plans.
  • Take the time to remind members when activities came from their ideas.
  • Listen to what members have to say, and including their suggestions in the programme.
  • Allow members to choose which badge to work for collectively.
  • Allow members to suggest and choose which activities to do as a unit.
  • Allow members to decide which activity they would like to do first.
  • Get to know members’ personalities and value them as individuals.
  • Allow each member a turn to speak in discussions.
  • Encourage all members to share their ideas openly without fear of criticism.
  • Understand that everyone's opinion counts and should be given serious consideration.
  • Make a mental note of individual likes and dislikes.
  • Encourage members to think for themselves and help make decisions.
  • Encourage members to listen when someone else is speaking.
  • Use Participation on a Plate as a resource to involve girls in the planning of their programme.

b. Activities are evaluated appropriately with girls

    • The Leadership team builds the unit's programme together with girls and young women.
    • Members' ideas and decisions are included in the unit programme in a timely fashion.
    • Members are encouraged to develop and choose their own challenges.
    • There is a method of casting votes, negotiating or reaching a consensus to make group decisions in a democratic way.
    • Rainbow Chat, Brownie Pow-wow or Patrol Leaders' Council is used to involve all girls in choosing activities.
    • Unit and group discussions are held to help members learn about majority decisions, compromise, consideration and moral support.
    • Use evaluation methods such as 

Participation on a Plate

    • review a set period, project or event with the girls
    • ask girls to share what they enjoy in the meetings and what kinds of activities they like to do.
  • Sixers, Patrol Leaders, Rainbow and Brownie Helpers, and Young Leaders are engaged in working with the girls to develop ideas into reality.
  • Keep a programme plan of activities, starring items that members particularly enjoyed and marking those which didn't work so well, and noting any changes that would be needed if the activity were to be repeated.