Why we're excited about the Doing Our Best standards

The quality steering group tell us how the new Doing Out Best standards will help all members

Quality steering group
24 July 2018

In September we’ll be launching the Doing Our Best standards - checklists for good quality unit guiding.

We’ve spent the last few years piloting the standards across Girlguiding, testing various ideas. Thank you to everyone who has helped to make this happen.

We asked the quality steering group why they got involved in the project and how the standards will help all Girlguiding members in ‘Doing Our Best’.

Sue Walker, Scotland

I joined the quality steering group because I wanted to make sure we produced something that was genuinely useful for unit teams. With my Brownies, we did both phases of the pilot to experience first-hand what we were asking other volunteers to do. The externally accredited Quality Mark we piloted was far too onerous and because we knew leaders use 'Good Guiding Is' we decided that the Doing Our Best standards would be an up-to-date replacement checklist to help us all navigate the changes that are happening across guiding this year.

Jean Tennant, North East England

I joined the quality pilot as a district commissioner and Guide leader and found it a helpful tool in both roles. It reminds all of us what we do well and what we could improve. As a county commissioner the introduction of the standards will give our county team a great framework to support units to ensure we offer the quality of guiding that we all want every one of our girls and young women to experience. I’m already thinking about how we can use the standards to recognise and celebrate all of the fantastic work I know is already happening and will be building them into our county meetings and events too.

Norah Whittaker, Ulster

As a district commissioner I’m looking forward to using the standards to support units in my area. We all know that a lot is changing across the organisation and this can be unsettling, so I hope that running through the checklists with leaders on my unit visits will build their confidence in what they’re already doing, and also help them to identify where they’d like more support or training from us as a district and county team.

Bev Botting, Anglia

I chaired the quality board which reviewed the examples and evidence submitted by units in the phase 2 pilot. This was both a privilege and an incredible source of inspiration for me in running my own unit. We’ll be publishing ideas from units who took part in the phase two pilot and developing new tools to help us share examples of great guiding in action nationally and locally.

Georgina Rolfe, Scotland

I’m a member of The Senior Section and a Rainbow leader.  I really love how the standards encourage girls and young women to share their views and experiences, and what they like and what they want to make even better. As any Rainbow leader knows, it’s amazing how many great ideas and suggestions even the youngest girls have when you ask them! 

Kate Fawell-Comley, North West England and LaSER

I’m a member of The Senior Section and a Brownie leader. I’m also part of the team of volunteers developing Girlguiding’s new offer for young women aged 18 to 30. One benefit I see in the standards is that they make it clear exactly what is involved in running a good unit, and how a range of volunteers can contribute: from leaders and young leaders to unit helpers and even some of the flexible opportunities that will be part of the new offer.

Kim Whitmore, LaSER

As lead volunteer for growth and retention, I’m also super excited about how the standards could help to make our units more sustainable, building confident leaders; so more girls and volunteers stay in guiding. And of course, the more we can shout about all of the great things that Girlguiding offers, the more we will attract new girls and women to join us too!

Sandy Kinnersley, Midlands

As a deputy chief commissioner, I’d already begun to develop my own quality checklist for units and commissioners before I got involved in this national project. The volunteers I worked with found that a checklist empowered them to have better conversations, as leaders and commissioners could work through the questions together, taking a step back and reflecting on the quality of the unit’s guiding in a consistent, objective way.

Debbie Payne, South West England and British Guiding Overseas (BGO)

From the beginning we wanted to make sure that the standards were flexible enough to take account of the different context that units overseas operate in, while still achieving our vision of high quality guiding for everyone, everywhere. This project has been shaped by Girlguiding members at every stage, and we’ll continue to work with you after the standards launch, and develop additional tools, guidance and resources based on your feedback.

Hazel Plant, Midlands and British Guiding Overseas (BGO)

For me, the key thing about the standards is that they can help all of us to learn and develop, and get better and better at what we do. Ultimately we all want to be the best we can be for girls and young women. As well as using the standards in my own unit, I’ll also be including them in my training sessions, and encouraging other Girlguiding qualified trainers and mentors to do the same.

What’s next? 

The standards will launch in September. In the meantime, visit our Doing Our Best page to find out more. When planning your local meetings, events and training for 2018, consider including Doing Our Best in these sessions.

Any questions? Get in touch with us on [email protected]