Changes to our safeguarding policy and finance policy

We asked for your feedback on these policies. And we've made some changes based on what you told us.

06 October 2021

Earlier this year we consulted our members on these 2 policies

We've now made changes to the Safeguarding policy and the Finance policy based on the feedback you gave us. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to tell us how these policies worked for them.

Finance policy changes

Because of the comments we got through the consultation, we’ve explained a bit more about the roles and responsibilities of charity trustees and commissioners, including how and when they should escalate a concern.

A long-standing problem you told us about was that our policy insisted on “dual authorisation of a transaction at the point of purchase”  meaning that 2 signatories for the bank account had to approve any payments before they could be made. This meant a lot of our volunteers were relying on cheques, which we know isn't always the easiest way to pay. And it made things really difficult when booking and going on trips overseas. 

We wanted to make this easier for you, so we've removed this requirement and you no longer need to have “dual authorisation at the point of purchase”.  This means that one person can make payments and manage transactions  – not two – in person, over the phone, or online.

It's still important to agree spending with the other signatories before you pay. And make sure you have the money in the account before buying anything.

To help even more with your day-to-day finances and with going abroad, we now allow the use of debit cards across all levels of Girlguiding. You can still make payments by cheque, but you might find it easier to use debit cards.

And in our new information on Managing your finances for overseas trips, you'll find information about another change to the policy -  you can now use prepaid cards, also known as cash cards, which can be really useful when you're overseas.

We’ve also added to the policy:

  • A new section about lending money
  • Guidance on when you might need to take out insurance cover
  • More information on the importance on keeping accurate accounts, and who you must share bank details with
  • More definitions to explain the terms we use in the policy.

Alongside the updated policy, we have added a Finance procedure to accompany it. The policy tells you what to do, and the procedure tells you how to do it – like how to do the end of year accounts processes. Here you'll see the new guidance we've added about online banking, money coming in, handling financial challenges and lending money.

Safeguarding policy changes

The safety and wellbeing of girls and young women is our first priority, and it was fantastic to see, through our consultation, that so many of you know who this policy is for and what Girlguiding expects of you.

There's still room for improvement, so we’ve added more information on reporting a concern and we've emphasised the importance of recognising the signs and indicators of harm and abuse - to bring the policy more in-line with our training. We've also updated the types of harms and abuse to better reflect best practice.

Safeguarding isn’t just about protecting children. It’s about protecting adults at risk as well, so we have added more guidance on this to the policy. And we've given more information on what to do in a safeguarding emergency, including some examples of what an emergency situation might be and  guidance for those guiding outside of the UK.

We want you to know that HQ’s Safeguarding team is here to support you. So we’ve added more detail about the role they play,  including what happens after a volunteer reports a concern. And we've included further guidance for commissioners.

We've also clarified the importance of renewing mandatory safeguarding training, rather than just completing it, explained what we mean by a 'significant relationship’, and updated the list of relevant legislation that we comply with.

Finally, the policy has been re-ordered and re-written for easier understanding, and further information has been added to the procedures.

If you have any questions about updates to either of these policies,  contact [email protected].