Volunteer Role Description
COMMISSIONER
Could you lead, motivate and inspire a group of dedicated volunteers, making a real difference to
guiding in your local area? Becoming a Division, District or County Commissioner could be for you!
Role title: ...................................................................................................................................
Level (County/Division/District): ........................................................................................
Supported by: ...........................................................................................................................
Suggested time commitment: ..............................................................................................
Length of time in role: ..........................................................................................................
Location: ....................................................................................................................................
If you are interested in this role: .......................................................................................
Girlguiding is the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK. Thanks to the dedication and
support of 100,000 amazing volunteers, we are active in every part of the UK, giving girls and young
women a space where they can be themselves, have fun, build brilliant friendships, gain valuable life
skills and make a positive difference to their lives and their communities.
Our incredible volunteers contribute more than ten million hours to guiding every year. Some give
us a couple of hours here and there – helping out with driving for trips and holidays, fundraising and
events planning, or even doing the annual accounts for local groups. Others give their time as Leaders
or Assistant Leaders for units, providing girls and young women with a space where they can be
themselves. Whatever your skills and interests, and no matter how much time you have to spare,
one of our volunteering roles is bound to suit you.
‘As well as giving the girls amazing opportunities, I feel I’ve also
personally benefited from volunteering. It’s really rewarding for me
and I feel I’ve achieved something great.’
Lisa, Girlguiding volunteer
Caring
Challenging
Inspiring Inclusive
Fun
Empowering
© Girlguiding 2016 www.girlguiding.org.uk Volunteer Role Description
Commissioner
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Commissioner
Commissioner at level above
3 + 2 years (District/Division) / 5 + 2 years (County)
COMMISSIONER
Level: County/Division/District
Who can do this role?
Commissioners are women over 18 years old. They should already be, or be willing to become,
a member of Girlguiding.
Do I need a qualification?
You don’t need a specific qualification to become a Commissioner, but training will be given to you as
part of this role.
What is the purpose of this role?
Becoming a Commissioner offers a fantastic opportunity to influence guiding in your area and create
real change that improves the opportunities for girls and young women to experience guiding. It is also
an opportunity to engage with teams across your area, meet new people, work together and have fun!
The County, Division or District Commissioner is responsible for and accountable to the whole
membership of her guiding area. By leading a team of dedicated and skilled volunteers you will ensure
that quality guiding is delivered.
As Commissioner you are both an internal and an external ‘figurehead’ for guiding. You should be a
visionary leader who can formulate and follow a strategic plan, communicate effectively at all levels
and network with local communities. You will need to give time to building up relationships and
managing people; a County Commissioner directly supports Division Commissioners who in turn support
District Commissioners, where this structure exists.
A Commissioner role can be shared between two or more people if required, as Joint Commissioners,
and you may also appoint Assistant Commissioners. The Commissioner role sits within a team of area-
level volunteers and many of the tasks can be delegated to others, making the role flexible
and collaborative.
What will I do in the role?
The responsibilities listed below will be shared among the County, Division or District Team. As a
Commissioner you may delegate parts of the role to other volunteers, working together to make the
most of the skills and time you are able to give.
Leadership and team management
zz Lead and support a dedicated team of volunteers to ensure high quality guiding is happening in your
area, focusing on providing more opportunities for girls to get the most out of guiding.
zz Ensure local guiding business is conducted efficiently and effectively via team meetings; establish
appropriate methods of communication and build effective relationships throughout the team.
zz Recognise the commitment of all adults within the area, giving informal thanks and, where
appropriate, nominating individuals for awards.
zz Help members of the team to identify and fulfil training needs.
zz Recognise when support is needed by members of the team and respond appropriately.
zz Manage enquiries, complaints and disputes in a timely fashion.
Administration
zz Ensure that all administrative resources for the area run effectively and online databases are kept
up to date.
zz Submit and update training and events dates on the area calendar, or equivalent.
zz Devise an area action plan to be reviewed and updated regularly.
zz Ensure ongoing good practice in all health and safety matters and legal compliance, as outlined in
The Guiding Manual, including approving REN (Residential Event Notification) forms.
zz Ensure financial matters are monitored and policies adhered to.
© Girlguiding 2016 www.girlguiding.org.uk Volunteer Role Description
Commissioner
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Membership growth
zz Understand membership needs, be aware of change and look at local demographics and
external developments.
zz Lead on strategies for recruiting more girls and volunteers for your area, delegating actions to
the team.
zz With support from the local team, welcome and induct new volunteers to the area, developing
creative ways to support teams to do this.
zz Support work around girls transitioning between sections and transferring within the area,
if required.
zz Promote inclusion and provide support to units in your area to include all girls and adult volunteers.
Being part of your local guiding area
zz Promote local, national and international opportunities available within guiding as well as externally,
and encourage young members to take part.
zz Promote opportunities for training, activities and fundraising.
zz Maintain good communications with other Commissioners in your area.
zz Keep up to date with new resources and programme initiatives, and use them as appropriate.
zz At Division and District level, visit units in your area to promote high quality guiding and to build
successful working relationships.
Being part of Girlguiding
zz Be committed to undertaking relevant training.
zz Learn about the structure of Girlguiding and how your responsibilities and position fit within it.
zz Be willing to learn about Girlguiding’s national and local strategic aims and how these are being
delivered locally.
zz Learn about Girlguiding’s policies and Code of Conduct.
zz Be an ambassador for the values of Girlguiding.
Promoting Girlguiding
zz Represent the County, Division or District at external events where possible.
zz Promote a positive image of Girlguiding at public events.
zz Implement and develop external partnerships, eg with local groups, Trefoil Guild, local authority.
zz Familiarise yourself with Girlguiding’s key messages and promote these in your external
communications.
What will Girlguiding do for me?
zz Provide a thorough and appropriate induction to the role and organisation, including a handover with
the outgoing Commissioner.
zz Help to develop skills and abilities to perform the role by providing relevant training opportunities
(including e-learning where possible).
zz Provide guidance via The Guiding Manual.
zz Provide support and development from fellow volunteers, including a Commissioner at the level
above, Mentor (if possible), other Commissioners and Advisers.
zz Host meetings and events to share information at a local level.
zz Reimburse agreed expenses (agreed locally and may differ around the UK).
zz Provide references.
zz Provide a clear complaints procedure and support to resolve problems or disagreements.
Am I right for the role?
A Commissioner is one of the key roles that support volunteers to help girls and young women to
experience how great Girlguiding can be. While we can offer you training and support we would expect
you to possess the personal qualities outlined below.
© Girlguiding 2016 www.girlguiding.org.uk Volunteer Role Description
Commissioner
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Personal qualities
zz An open and approachable manner.
zz Reliable and trustworthy.
zz Creative and enthusiastic.
zz A commitment to ongoing personal development.
zz Enjoyment of meeting new people and having fun!
Skills and abilities
While these skills and abilities are not essential when starting, they should be developed as part of
the role.
zz Excellent communication skills.
zz Ability to manage time and prioritise tasks.
zz Good decision-making skills.
zz Ability to motivate and inspire adult volunteers.
zz Computer literate and comfortable with using databases and email.
zz High level of organisation, and ability to work on your own initiative.
zz Ability to work as part of a team.
zz Ability to manage a team effectively.
zz Ability to deal with difficult situations.
Girlguiding welcomes volunteers of all backgrounds, ages, cultures, faiths and abilities. We are flexible,
and volunteering can be arranged to fit around a busy lifestyle.
As this role works directly with young people, you will be required to complete a criminal record
disclosure check, carried out by a local verifier.
Please note this is a volunteer role; this role description does not form part of any contract
of employment.
© Girlguiding 2016 www.girlguiding.org.uk Volunteer Role Description
Commissioner
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