Girlguiding splits chief guide role into two

08 Nov 2017 News

Girlguiding has voted to separate its chief guide role into two separate roles, with one focusing on its members and one chairing the board of trustees.

The volunteering charity’s council, which is responsible under its Royal Charter for managing the regulations for the appointment of its chief guide, has now voted to make them into two separate roles. The application for the charity’s chief guide, which it describes as its most senior volunteer, is now open.

The chief guide will focus on the charity’s members, while the chair of the board will focus on governance leadership.

Valerie Le Vaillant was chief guide from 28 May 2016 to 9 March 2017 when she stepped down from the role due to family health problems

The charity’s website said: “In the past our chief guide has also been the chair of the board of trustees. With Girlguiding growing as an organisation and with the increasing importance of good charity governance and regulation, this role has become too big for one person.”

'Such an enormous role'

Girlguiding’s chief executive Julie Bentley told delegates at the Association of Volunteer Managers annual conference last month that discussions were underway over the possibility of separating the two roles.

She had said that Girlguiding is "currently looking at whether or not those roles should be split because it is such an enormous role. It is almost impossible to find anybody that has the time and different range of skills to fulfil the role".

A spokeswoman said that the recruitment of a chief guide will involve two stages of interviews and a presentation to council members. A shortlisting panel drawn from its council and its trustee board, along with a youth panel will be involved in the selection process.

Val Elliott is currently the charity’s interim chair.

Five-year term

The chief guide is a five-year appointment. The chief guide would be a member of board of trustees, “setting its future strategy and working in partnership with the chair and chief executive to ensure it is delivered effectively”.

The Scouts has a similar set up to that of Girlguiding following its recent changes, with Dr Ann Limb as the charity’s chair and Bear Grylls its chief scout.


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