Membership System Updates 2021

December 2021

Guidance for moving or leaving your role

If you, or another volunteer in your area, wants to move role or leave guiding completely, there is new guidance that will help you to manage this smoothly. Commissioners can use the new checklist to make sure everything is handed over when someone leaves a unit. This can be found on the Girlguiding UK website- leaving or changing your role page

Emergency File Updated

The Unit (and other levels) Emergency File has been updated. All units and levels of guiding should have their own file and should take it to all activities. Please check that you have all current documents which can now be downloaded from the emergency file page on the Girlguiding UK website.

Enquiries and DBS/Safe Space Compliance

Please be aware that the compliance process applies to both members and enquirers. The 4-month notice period for enquirers starts immediately they are moved into Awaiting Recruitment Checks, in the Enquiry System. Please do not move enquirers onto this stage until you, and they, are ready to progress with the checks.

Unsuitable Referees

There appears to be an unprecedented number of referees being rejected as unsuitable. In a number of cases this seems to be related to an attempt to respond and submit the reference on a phone or tablet. Please advise referees to use a PC wherever possible.

Referees must also respond within 60 days. The email is sent to them immediately their names are submitted on GO. Please ask volunteers to check that their referees have received the email and, if not, to check their email spam folder. Girlguiding emails are notorious for being rejected by email servers or spam filters.

November 2021

Bank Accounts – Single Signature Authorisation and Debit Cards

All units and levels must have a bank account and keep the cash in hand they hold outside the account to a minimum. Your bank account must be in your unit or level’s name. You must have at least three named signatories. Two are needed to agree and authorise all payments in advance of a purchase, but only one signatory needs to make a transaction at the point of purchase. You must never make a payment without another signatory approving it in advance.

Units should have two signatories from within the unit. The third signatory should ideally come from elsewhere, for example, your local guiding district or division – but signatories must not be related to, or in a relationship with, any of the other signatories. If a signatory doesn’t already have a role in Girlguiding, you should record them on GO as a unit administrator. They must have a DBS check and A Safe Space Level 1 training.

You can use online banking and debit cards. One signatory can make a transaction as long as another signatory has approved it in advance. Credit cards are not allowed, and you must not sign blank cheques.

You must share your bank account details with all members who need them, including the leadership team and your local commissioner. Make sure to include your bank’s name, your account number and sort code, the names of your bank mandate signatories and where you keep your bank’s associated documents and or cheque books. Cheque books, debit cards, and prepaid cards must be kept secure to prevent unauthorised usage.

October 2021

DBS and Safe Space non-compliance process

DBS checks that were granted extensions to their expiry period, due to the pandemic, should all now have been completed.

Please be aware that the non-compliance process, for both DBS checks and A Safe Space trainings, is now in full operation. Volunteers have a 4 month notice period which starts 4 months before any existing expiry date or from the date of the initial request. If the checks or trainings are not completed within the notice period the volunteer is regarded as having breached Girlguiding policy and the process of withdrawal/refusal of membership is initiated by HQ.

If there are mitigating circumstances for not being able to complete by the required date, you can apply to have these taken into account. The request should be submitted at the earliest opportunity by the volunteer or their Commissioner. Please contact Sheila Hill or Jenny Maskrey for more information on how to apply.

Historic Roles, Missing Qualifications - 30th Nov Deadline

Just a reminder. 30th November is the deadline for submission of any missing volunteer roles or qualifications to be added to your GO record.

Email HQ on [email protected] For roles they will need to know your membership number, role held, name of unit/district/division, level number (if known) and start and end date. For qualifications they need to know your membership number, name of qualification and start and completion dates. Please copy any email to [email protected] and [email protected] so that Sheila and Jenny are aware. If you need any help please contact Sheila in the first instance.

September 2021

Long Service Awards awarded April-July 2021

20 year

Anita Kelly
Claire Rahman
Gillian Hoggarth
Jacqueline Chaston
Joanne Sear
Pat Goodrich
Rachael Harrington
Tina Evans
Tina Bailey

10 year

Alice Hildrop
Anna James
Bekki Olah
Beth Chilton
Carly Jane Singleton
Diane Small
Elizabeth Pavlik
Fiona Kessell-Holland
Gloria Greener
Janet Spooner
Judith Bell
Kathryn Shepherdson
Katie Waite
Lisa Chaplin
Lucinda Bozier
Natalie Sealy
Pippa Gomar
Rebecca Keen
Samantha Pavlik
Sooze Brown
Sophie Ben Taieb

5 year

Abi Edwards
Abi Smith
Alicia Campkin
Amy Sherar
Anna Bex-Martin
Benji Lanzkron
Beth Ladley-Ellmers
Charlotte Day
Claire Harvey
Cliff Lee
Danielle Jones
Dayna Cripps
Del Ford
Gemma Berridge
Grace Harrington
Issy Short
Joanna Cunnington
Kayleigh Plumb
Kerrie Dommett
Lauren Whittaker
Leonie Brady
Lisa Joy Waldock
Lucy Park
Lucy Throp
Lydia Barton
Naomi Eaton
Natalie Mackrell
Rebecca Stevens
Rosie Proctor
Ruth Johnson
Sharon Jackson
Stephanie Fox
Tara Mangan
Valerie Morgan
Vanessa Randall
Victoria Bennett

Recognised Prior Learning for Safe Space Level 3 – Suspended

Please be aware that the suspension of recognised prior learning for A Safe Space Level 3 is now in force, pending a review. There is currently no alternative to completing the Girlguiding training.

DBS Extension Period Ended - Membership Withdrawal Process Started

Due to the impact of the pandemic any DBS checks that were due to be started or renewed between March 2020 and 1st  May 2021 were given an extension. The extension period for these DBS checks ended on the 1st September 2021.

Any volunteer who was given this extension, and whose DBS has not been submitted on the DBS site, has now entered the final stage of compliance. This means their membership may be withdrawn/refused. “Submitted” means that the ID checks have been done, the online form has been completed and you are awaiting the result.

Going forward all DBS checks must be completed within 4 months. If this is the volunteers first DBS, the period starts the day it is requested. If a volunteer is renewing their DBS the period starts 4 months before their current DBS expires. If a DBS is not completed within the given time period the volunteer will enter the final stage of compliance and their membership may be withdrawn/refused.

If there are mitigating circumstances for not being able to complete by the required date, you can apply to have these taken into account. The request should be submitted at the earliest opportunity by the volunteer or their Commissioner. Please contact membership systems coordinator or county commissioner for more information on how to apply.

Current Covid-19 guidance

The Covid-19 guidance has recently been updated on the Girlguiding website. Please read the up- to-date information on

Current Risk Assessments

Please continue to use the Covid-19 risk assessment when guiding. If you have had a face to face risk assessment signed off by your commissioner already, you don’t need to resubmit another risk assessment for sign off unless:

  1. This is your first time meeting face to face since March 2020.
  2. There has been a big change in circumstance ie a change to your venue or you’re planning to move from outdoor to indoor guiding. Remember, you should still review it regularly yourself even if it’s been signed off to make sure it reflects any changes in guidance too.

Full information can be found here:

Historic Roles, Missing Qualifications and Service

If you have any missing volunteer roles or qualifications on your GO record, we are being given another opportunity to add these. We don’t have long as any request needs to be with the HQ Membership Systems team by 30 th November. Roles, in particular can change the amount of service that you have gained.

Email HQ on [email protected] For roles they will need to know your membership number, role held, name of unit/district/division, level number (if known) and start and end date. For qualifications they need to know your membership number, name of qualification and start and completion dates. Please copy any email to [email protected] and [email protected] so that Sheila and Jenny are aware. If you need any help please contact Sheila in the first instance.

July 2021

Long Service Awards awarded January-March 2021

20 year

Diane Medcalf
Elaine Wilson

10 year

Amy Bartlett
Ange Smith
Clare Williams
Danuta Nott
Karen Pett
Katie Manning
Kirsty Hoskins
Lesley Douglas
Louisa Wright
Lucy Funnell
Sarah Aldersley
Sarah Shreeves
Sofie Merryweather

5 year

Angela Gatland
Catriona Briggs
Charlotte Day
Charlotte Poulton
Danielle Flexton
Eleanor Rousell
Emily Challis
Emily Petty
Gemma Phypers
Georgina Dance
Hannah Crewe
Hannah Hobin
Jaz Cooper
Kathleen Lovatt
Katie Parslow
Kelly Dollin
Lisa Meyer
Mia Bogush
Nicola Faichney
Nicola Wright
Sam Condon
Sophie Clark
Suzanne Dyer

The next batch of 5, 10 and 20 year awards are being sent out now and cover April to the end of July. Names will be published in the September newsletter.

New Unit Roles table available

There is a new updated Unit Roles table available. This is an invaluable resource for checking what is required for each role with regard to DBS, Membership, Age, Safe Space training, Role Length, Level of access to GO and whether or not the role accrues service (if the individual is a member).

The unit roles table can be found here:

Links to all the roles tables (Unit, District, Division and County) can be found here:

June 2021

Online REN Forms/Learning Tab

Online REN forms can currently only be seen by commissioners. This is causing problems in making them accessible to advisers. HQ have said that “In the next few weeks, we will be renaming the ‘Learning’ area on GO to be called ‘adviser/coordinator’ to better reflect what the area is used for and who it is used by. If you currently use the area, aside from the change of name nothing will be different. If you’re a residential, international or outdoor activity adviser you’ll be given access to the area, so you can see and give advice on REN forms submitted in your area.” Meanwhile, you are still able to use paper forms.

Unit Occasional Helpers

We still have 183 Unit Occasional Helper roles within county. They must be changed, locally, as soon as possible, to avoid HQ changing them automatically to Unit Helpers. It would be better to discuss this change with your UOH now, so that you can decide what the right role for them would be. Please be aware that a Unit Helper role will require a DBS check, Safe Space Levels 1 & 2 and will attract subscriptions when they are due next year. An alternative might be to move them to district level where the Occasional Helper roles are still available.

May 2021

Parent Volunteer Registration

If parents wish to become volunteers, they must register through their parent profile not through the enquiry system. This will prevent duplicate records and problems with email addresses, already in use in the system, preventing logins being created.

Change in Young Leader and YLQ Registration Process

We have reviewed the use of the Young Leader form and have decided that this is no longer needed. Commissioners should add a Young Leader role as usual. If the Young Leader wishes to do the Young Leader Qualification (YLQ), their commissioner should add this on GO and mark as in progress.

To do this you need to:

  • Login to GO at District Level.
  • Click on the Learning tab and select Other Qualifications from the left hand menu.
  • Click on ‘Add Qualification’ at the top right of the first table.
  • Select Young Leader Qualification from the list of Qualifications.
  • Click on the spyglass to search for the mentee’s name and select.
  • Click on the spyglass to search for the supporter/mentor and select.
  • Click on Submit.
  • Change the table view to see New Qualifications.
  • Find the YL and click on the action arrow at the end of the row.
  • Select ‘set in progress’.

When all modules have been completed, county will still need to verify and update the qualification on GO. The unit leader or commissioner should sign off the qualification and then email the county young leader lead volunteer at: [email protected]. They will mark the qualification as completed and arrange for a badge and certificate to be sent out for presentation.

Action Needed Now: Unit Occasional Helpers

All Unit Occasional Helpers must now be changed, locally, to Unit Helpers. If not done by a certain date (tbc), HQ will do this. It would be better to discuss this change with your UOH now so that you can decide if this is the right role for them. They will have 120 days from creation of their new role to complete a DBS and Safe Space Levels 1 and 2. Membership is mandatory, and subscription will need to be paid next year.

Unit Residential Occasional Helpers

All Residential Occasional Helper roles have now been changed to Unit Helper.

April 2021

Revision of Unit Roles

HQ has carried out a review of unit roles and they will be introducing changes over the next couple of months. Commissioners should already have received an email making them aware of this. Anybody affected by these changes should receive a communication on 6th April.

There will be some new role descriptions that encompass a group of roles previously considered as separate. Some roles will now need a DBS where it was not required before and some will have a change to the membership requirement (mandatory or optional) which may have an implication for the payment of annual subscription.

  • Leaders, Assistant Leaders and Leaders in Training role descriptions will be merged. There is no change to the requirement for a DBS or mandatory membership. All these roles will eventually require Safe Space Level 3, although this is not yet mandatory it is strongly recommended. As there will be no change to the roles themselves, there will be no direct communication about this.
  • Unit Helpers, Unit Occasional Helpers and Unit Residential Occasional Helpers will now all become known as Unit Helpers. They will need a DBS, membership will be mandatory and Safe Space Levels 1 and 2 will be required. Changes to Unit Residential Occasional Helper roles will be made by HQ during April/May. Changes to Unit Occasional Helper roles should be made locally, after discussion with the volunteer, unit and commissioner. The volunteer will then have 120 days from creation of their new role, for completion of a DBS and the Safe Space requirements.
  • Unit Administrators and Unit Treasurers will now all become known as Unit Administrators. They will need a DBS, membership will be optional and Safe Space Level 1 will be required. Changes to these roles will be made by HQ during April/May.  Unit Administrators will need to complete a DBS as soon as possible and will have the same compliance deadline as those currently in the system awaiting renewals (120 days from 4th May).
  • The Unit Supporting Member role is being retired and all existing individuals will be transferred to become District or Division Supporting Members. Changes to these roles will be made by HQ during April/May. If an alternative role is considered more appropriate, this can be changed locally.

If your role is changing, please be assured that there will be no change to your responsibilities, and you will not be asked to take on any additional tasks. If you are concerned about a change in your role, please contact your commissioner or me and we will do our best to answer any questions.

DBS Compliance

From 4 May 2021 the disclosure check compliance process will restart.

Everyone whose disclosure check has expired, and those whose roles have changed in the upcoming revision of unit roles and who now require a DBS, will have 120 days to complete their disclosure checks. Please try to arrange these as soon as you able but remember that you must still follow social distancing rules.

First Response – Covid Update

Volunteers whose 1st Response course has expired since 16 March 2020 can continue to act as a first aider at a unit meeting provided they have attended the full 6-hour virtual training course.

Volunteers will then have 6 months from when face-to-face training resumes to complete the practical skills session

The 1st Response course should be marked on GO as ‘In Progress’ once the virtual training has been attended and marked as ‘Complete’ once a trainer has approved this through a face-to-face skills check session. The ‘completed on’ date in GO should be the date you attended the main 6-hour training session or the date you attended the third of the three 2-hour sessions. Your 1st Response training will expire three years from this date, not from the date you complete the practical skills session.

This will not apply for those who have never completed first aid training or for residential events.

Commissioners – Risk Assessment Tracker (Face-to-face Guiding Tab)

Please could commissioners review and update the tracker for units who have had risk assessments signed off for indoor and/or outdoor guiding. This is extremely useful in showing us how many risk assessments are being signed off and giving us an overview of how things are progressing in the county. Please, then, continue to complete the tracker as part of the sign off process.

Leaders – Current Offer Tracker (Current Offer Tab)

Please could Leaders review and update the offer tracker. This helps us to see what is being offered to members, so that we can provide volunteers and young members with any support they may need.

Coronavirus Latest Update from Girlguiding – No limit on group sizes

Latest information on Coronavirus, updated on 31st March can be found here:

March 2021

Safe Space - Renewal

As volunteers come up for renewal please remember that the compliance process is ongoing so volunteers will need to complete the training before the renewal date.

Safe Space - New Listing/Download Added to GO

New Young Leaders or returning volunteers will need to complete Level 1 before their role will become active. If they need additional levels, they will receive an email telling them what they need to complete.

There is now a new listing under Safe Practice > A Save Space > Active pending roles needing A Safe Space Level 1 which shows these people and includes Young leaders who were not being listed anywhere else.

Virtual Starter Forms

Small changes have been made to the information that is collected on the virtual new starter form. Please make sure that you download forms from the website each time you need them so that you always use the latest form. A link from the virtual new starter form has been added to the new starter forms on the website to make it easier for you to ask parents/carers to complete these when lockdown restrictions are eased.

Unit Offer Tracker on GO

There is a new tab under the unit name on GO called ‘current offer’. This can be completed so that your commissioner can track what units are offering girls, for example, face-to-face indoors, face-to-face outdoors or virtual guiding. This is not compulsory but will help your commissioner know what’s happening and where support might be appreciated. When lockdown starts to ease, remember to check the latest guidance and inform your commissioner as you may need your commissioner to sign off your risk assessment before you can meet.

1st Response Validity - Covid

There is no set time limit between completing your virtual 1st Response training and doing your practical skills check with a trainer. If circumstances allow it would be good if they could be done within three months of each other. The virtual part of the course will not expire. Attending in-person skills checks with trainers can be done when the current restrictions ease and when individuals feel comfortable to run and attend these sessions.

Your 1st Response training will only be valid once all elements have been completed, including attending any in-person skills check and completing the e-learning. The ‘completed on’ date in GO should be the date you attended the main six hour training session or the date you attended the third of the three 2-hour sessions. Your 1st Response training will expire three years from this date, not from the date you complete the practical skills session.

Februrary 2021

Subscriptions - How to change Membership Status

You will be charged the annual subscription for anyone who has their membership status set to ‘Member’. Occasional Helper, Residential Occasional Helper, Treasurer and Young External Volunteer roles all have optional membership, and their status can be changed to Recognised Volunteer. You will not be charged the annual subscription for anyone whose membership status is set to ‘Recognised Volunteer.

To change membership status, find the member under Individuals and then select View Individual from the action arrow at the end of the row with their name. You can then use the drop-down arrow in the Membership Status field to toggle between the two options ‘Member’ or ‘Recognised Volunteer’. Then click the Update button to update the record.

First Response – Back-dated external Courses need new e-learning

Please be aware that if you wish to submit an external 1st Response course to be added to your record, you must first complete the new 1st Response e-learning. This applies to all external courses, new or backdated. We cannot add backdated courses without the e-learning, even though this was not mandatory at the time it was completed.

New Roles - Active-Pending

If you have added new roles that remain Active-Pending, please check that Safe Space Level 1 has been completed. A role will not go Active without it, although the volunteer will not show in the Safe space Level 1 required table. They will also need to have completed any other recruitment checks required such as DBS and References.

If the role is an adult role where the person has turned 18 and was previously a young member please also check ‘Letter of Commendation’ under the Safe Practice tab. This needs to be completed and marked on GO before the role will go Active.

YLQ Completions

Please try to send in YLQ completions in advance of the Young Leader’s 18th birthday. The Young Leader role is automatically set to Active Pending by GO on this date. Once the role is Active-Pending, GO prevents us adding the qualification to the record and this must be sent to HQ to be updated.

January 2021

Safe Space

Thank you to everyone for all their help in getting as many people as possible to complete their Safe Space trainings before the 31 December 2020 deadline. All those who were non-compliant by 10pm on the 31st, unless I had been notified that they had been granted an extension or had sent information up to HQ, had their roles deactivated to avoid the possibility of the withdrawal of their membership and a 3 year sanction from active guiding.

If you or someone you know has had their role deactivated and wish to carry on in guiding, their role can be reinstated just as soon as they are ready to do the training.

1 January 2021 changes now in force

All volunteers must have the appropriate levels of A Safe Space training for their role. New volunteers will have to complete Level 1 before they’re made active. If they then need additional levels they will have 120 days to complete these.

Please note that this is a rolling programme so check when your training expires and make sure you renew it in time. The 120 days also applies to renewals and existing volunteers changing roles. Commissioners – please keep your eye on these as there are already some with expiry dates in January. The date on the Safe Space tables is the start of the 120 days. Reminders will be sent from this date and the trainings need to be done before the expiry date.

Safe Space Level 3 holder must be present at all meetings, including virtual. If there is no-one available to cover this then a meeting must not take place.

Going Away With License Holders must have valid A Safe Space Levels 1, 2 and 3 when using their licence. All other attendees in a leadership role must have at least Levels 1 and 2.

1st Response refresher courses will no longer be offered or accepted. All 1st Response trainings will be full 6-hour courses using the new syllabus plus the new 1st Response e-learning. A course (internal or external) completed after 1 November 2020 will not be valid without the e-learning.