Managing Unit Leadership Vacancies

There will be occasions when despite the best planning, unforeseen circumstances mean you are suddenly without a Unit Leader.  If a Unit Leader is going away for less than three weeks the Assistant Unit Leader can lead the Unit providing first aid requirements are met and there are enough adults present to meet the supervision ratio requirements.  (There must be a person with a current ‘Provide Basic Emergency Life Support’ certificate at each meeting/activity/event.)  Providing the first aid requirements are met, any Leader or Manager can temporarily lead the Unit if she holds:

  • ALQP Leadership Qualification for Unit Leaders, Assistant Unit Leaders, or
  • ALQP Management Qualification.

However, you will need to satisfy yourself that:

  • first aid requirements are met and
  • a safe supervision ratio is maintained and
  • unit management responsibilities are being attended to.

It is preferable that an Assistant Unit Leader only runs the Unit for a temporary length of time of four weeks. Other Qualified Leaders then are asked to assist.


When a Leader is unable to continue

There are times when adult members decide that, for whatever reason, they need to take a break from their Girl Guiding role.  It could be a new job or baby, moving house, or an upheaval such as divorce, redundancy, or moving home.  It might be that putting in place an interim solution – the Assistant Unit Leader or District Manager – gives the breathing space needed for the Leader to ultimately retain her role.  If the best approach is for the Leader to have a formal break, either the District Manager or Region Manager may approve a leave of absence.  The State Office should be informed and alternative arrangements made for correspondence.

If she resigns from her appointment, encourage her to stay involved through Trefoil Guild and/or Support Group and make an effort to keep in touch.  When members move to another Region for work or study it is good practice (as long as you have her permission) to inform the new Region Manager and update your State Girl Guide Organisation via their processes.

If a Leader gives you advance notice that she will be unable to continue from the end of the term or the year, have a discussion with her to find out why she feels unable to continue.  Ask lots of open questions in order to explore the following areas:

  • Is she no longer available when the Unit meets – can you look at changing the meeting time/day?
  • Does she have transport problems – can someone help?
  • Does she have childcare needs? Can the Support Group help with paying for care?
  • Does she need support with running the Unit – is there a Resource Leader or some other temporary support available?
  • Is she moving out of the area?
  • Are there family concerns or is it time for a break from Girl Guiding (Leaders can suffer from burnout)?
  • Is there another Leader in the District who can assist with the Unit on a temporary basis? Or can you?
  • Would any of the parents/guardians/carers or a member of the community make a suitable Leader or Unit Helper – ask them.

If you are not able to find an interim solution the Unit may have to be placed in recess.  In these circumstances, every effort should be made to accommodate the existing Girl Guides into other Units following discussions with the parents.

Last Modified: 27/06/23 at 3:48 PM