Transitioning to the leader development programme

Everything you need to know about changes being made

We’re making some changes to how volunteers become Girlguiding leaders.

This includes moving to the leader development programme (LDP), phasing out assistant leader roles, what happens if a volunteer hasn’t been in guiding for more than 3 years and how leaders change which section they volunteer with.

Moving to the leader development programme

The leader development programme, sometimes referred to as the LDP, is a self-led, flexible learning journey for anyone who wants to become a Girlguiding leader.

The LDP replaced the leadership qualification, often called the LQ. You can find more information on being a Girlguiding leader on the become a leader webpage.

Course launches: Moving sections and top-up learning 

We have launched two new courses for volunteers who have qualified through the leadership qualification (LQ). The top-up’ learning is for assistant leaders who've done module 1-3 of the LQ who want to move to a leader role and for existing leaders who want to refresh their Girlguiding knowledge. If you’ve qualified via the LQ and want to move sections, complete the ‘moving sections’ course. Both courses can be found in the leader development programme area on the learning platform. 

Assistant leader transition

As part of the transition from the leader qualification to the leader development programme, there will be no new assistant leader roles added onto GO from 30 September 2023. The leader development programme equips every leader with the same level of knowledge and skill. While we encourage existing assistant leaders to do progress into a leader role, nobody who’s currently an assistant leader will lose their role.

How assistant leaders can move into a leader role

Assistant leaders who have done modules 1-3 of the LQ and would like to move into a leader role can complete the top up course on the learning platform, under the leader development programme.

The top-up learning is also a refresher course for any existing leaders who want to refresh their knowledge. 

Responsibilities in units

The LDP equips every leader with the same level of skills, so everyone can feel empowered to successfully run a unit. While everybody completing the LDP will have the same level of leader knowledge it is up to each unit how responsibilities are divided. 1 person per unit is recorded as the main contact in GO. But, as with everything in Girlguiding, teamwork is key and part of this is supporting each other and identifying every person’s strength.

What commissioners need to know about assistant leaders

If an existing assistant leader has a sanction or restriction, for example on finance, this will still apply. Assistant leaders who have a restriction on their role that prevents them from being the main contact can ask for a review after 3 years.

If a commissioner doubts a person’s ability to be a unit leader, this needs to be managed in line with the managing concerns about adult volunteers policy and procedure. A commissioner needs to consider whether that person needs additional support, training or if reasonable adjustments, this should be made in line with equality, diversity and inclusion policy.

Being away from guiding and moving sections

Being away from guiding for more than 3 years

The process for existing leaders who’ve been away from guiding for more than 3 years has changed. If a leader has qualified as leader via the LQ or the LDP, but they have been away from guiding for 3+ years, their qualification will have expired.

They should speak to an LDP mentor who can help identify any learning needs to complete. We’d recommend the top-up course on the learning platform. Once the mentor and commissioner are happy, then the leader role can be reinstated. For their commissioner to add the leader role, they will just need to add the new ‘Returning leader after 3+ years’ course on GO.  

Moving sections

If you've qualified as a leader via the old leadership qualification, you can do the moving sections course on the learning platform, under the leader development programme. This course is for leaders who competed the old leadership qualification, have been actively volunteering, and now want to volunteer with a different section than they one they originally qualified with.

If you've completed the leader development programme to become a leader, there isn't a section specific area of learning.