Reference checks

As part of Girlguiding's recruitment process, references are required for new volunteers over 18

The reference process takes place alongside criminal record disclosure checks

How many referees do I need?

For your membership application to progress, we need to have two satisfactory references. You can ask up to four people to be referees for you - but only one of these can be a member of Girlguiding.

What kind of references do you ask for?

The references we require are personal character references. These focus more on your attitude, personal characteristics and skills relevant to the role. They focus less on your previous employment and educational qualifications. With this in mind, think carefully about who you ask to provide a reference for you.

Reference requests will be sent to the email or postal address provided for the referee and they will be asked to complete a quick questionnaire.

Who should I ask to be my referee?

A suitable referee is someone that:

  • has known you for at least one year and been in contact with you in the last six months - for example a friend or neighbour
  • is not related to you or in a relationship with you - this includes being related by marriage
  • is preferably not your employer or previous employer
  • is prepared to complete the Girlguiding reference questionnaire - a letter or email of support will not be accepted
  • can respond to the reference request within 60 days - if your referee fails to send their response after 60 days, it may be declined.

Before passing on your referees' contact details to Girlguiding, it is essential that you have their permission and they understand what is being asked of them.

Who is responsible for adding referee details to Join Us?

A member of the District, Division or County team - ideally a local Commissioner - is responsible for adding referee details onto Join Us. For details on how to do this, read the Volunteer enquiries - Help File 4 which you can find with our Girl and volunteer enquiries information.

If you are the person in this role, it is your responsibility to ensure that new volunteers understand who makes a suitable referee.

When should referee details be added?

Referee details need to be added to the system following the new volunteer's decision to join Girlguiding.

You will need to monitor the status of the references using the details tab on the volunteer’s enquiry record. This will show you whether a reference has been submitted by the referee and if it has been accepted by Girlguiding. The details tab will also show you whether a criminal record disclosure check - if required - has been completed.

Can referees be changed?

Referees can be changed but only a total of four people can be asked to be a referee in order to get two satisfactory references.

To change who a referee is, the current referee will first need to decline before the new referee's details can be added. This will mean that two of your four referee places have been used - one from the declined referee and one from the new referee.

Please remember, you can only submit four referees in total.

Do previous or existing members need to get references?

If you have a membership record on Go!, you will not be required to obtain references.

However, if you haven't been added to the membership system - so you do not have a Girlguiding membership number - then you will be classed as a new volunteer, and must provide references and complete a criminal record disclosure check if your role needs it.

More on disclosure checks

Find out about criminal record checks and who needs to do one.