Appeals and review procedure

The procedures for making an appeal

You can ask for an appeal after an investigation has been carried out under the following Girlguiding policies and procedures:

You need to request an appeal in writing, within 28 calendar days of the investigation outcome letter. This deadline may be extended only in special circumstances at the discretion of Girlguiding.

We will respond to your appeal request within 14 calendar days. In complex situations the timescale might be extended at the discretion of Girlguiding - in which case you’ll be informed.

The chief guide or operations director, or most appropriate senior staff or volunteer that they delegate to, will decide whether an appeal is appropriate, with rationale from other HQ teams if needed. Other than in very exceptional circumstances, an entirely new investigation will not take place.

A person requesting an appeal is called an ‘appellant’.

When will an appeal be granted?

You can ask for an appeal of the proposed resolution, or - as an adult volunteer – of any restriction, withdrawal or dismissal sanctions applied to you, if there is new information to consider. The only reasons for which an appeal will be granted are:

  • New information or evidence is brought forward which may change the outcome.
  • Our policy, procedure or investigation process has not been followed.

What happens when I request an appeal?

Before the appeal:

  • The appeal request is passed to the chief guide and operations director for consideration.
  • Chief guide or operations director, or appointed individual, taking advice from the relevant HQ team, decide whether or not to accept the appeal request.

The possible outcomes to an appeal request are:

  • Appeal request accepted: If the appeal request demonstrates that there was a substantive or significant issue with the investigation, Girlguiding will accept the appeal. If accepted, we will explain the next steps to involved parties and appoint an appeal investigator or an appeal panel to hear the appeal. It’s at the discretion of Girlguiding to determine the person or persons most appropriate to undertake the appeal. We will appoint individuals who have not been involved at previous stages - to make sure the appeal is impartial.
  • Appeal request declined: If we do not consider the appeal request to be adequate, or there is no new information submitted, Girlguiding will decline it, and this is the end of the appeal process.

Carrying out the appeal investigation:

  • We appoint an appeal investigator or appeal panel.
  • The appeal investigator or panel will review new evidence submitted and the original investigation.
  • The appeal investigator or panel may need to gather and analyse new additional information or conduct new interviews. Only in exceptional circumstances will an entirely new investigation take place.
  • Any further investigation will follow our Investigation process.

Closing the appeal:

The investigator or panel will collate and share their findings:

  • They write a report showing the findings of their review of the original investigation, and of any reinvestigation.
  • They make recommendations on either keeping the original investigation outcome and/or sanctions or amending them.

The chief guide or operations director, or appointed individual, reviews these findings to:

  • Confirm the original decision.
  • Revoke the original decision.
  • Amend the original sanction.
  • Substitute a different sanction.
  • Girlguiding informs involved parties of the outcome of the appeal.
  • The appeal investigator or panel informs the country/region office and the relevant HQ team of the outcome and what needs to be addressed. 
  • The decision is final and marks the end of the appeal process.

Final review:

Girlguiding is committed to providing the best and most robust investigation and appeals procedure we can. We have a final review as part of this process, to look at how we dealt with a concern. If you are not satisfied with how we investigated your concern you may request a final review. The final review does not consider the original concern – it only looks at the way we applied the relevant policy and procedure.

You can request a final review once a concern has already been investigated.

The chief executive will accept or decline the request. Examples of reasons when we will consider conducting a final review include a failure to:

  • Make Girlguiding policy and procedure available.
  • Follow our own policies and procedures.
  • Make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a person’s background and individual circumstances, for example their first language or disabilities
  • Keep parties informed of developments. 
  • Resolve the case in a reasonable length of time. 
  • Make sure the investigation is impartial.
  • Treat you fairly.

The final review is not a re-investigation. It’s there for us to make sure there has been a thorough investigation and the decision is based on accurate findings and supported by evidence. It’s an examination of how we conducted our investigation and an opportunity for us to identify learning points.

How do I request a final review?

Contact the HQ complaints team within 14 calendar days of being given the appeals decision. If your request is accepted, we will appoint a senior volunteer or appropriate employee to carry out the final review.

You can contact the Complaints team on [email protected] or on 020 7834 6242.

Closing the final review

Once the final review is completed, we will write to tell you and everyone involved the outcome and action taken or planned. If we have found a member to be in breach of policy or code of conduct as a result of the final review, we may address that behaviour under the managing concerns about adult volunteers policy.

The decision of the final review is final – there cannot be any more reviews.