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Weekly discussion: Qualifying to lead

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
As I understand it the ALQ is currently being reviewed. Change is often a good thing, especially when it comes to how we prepare volunteers to lead units. Having a set list of things a potential leader should experience or have knowledge of should set her up for independent success, giving her the tools she needs. But not all like the current criteria. Some think it’s too long, others too short. Some feel that its too much of a tick box exercise, easily done if in an already well “staffed” unit without actually needing much from the individual which wouldn’t prepare her for moving to a different unit. Some feel it’s too practical others too theoretical.

What do you like about the current ALQ, what do you think needs to change, and what would you like to see?
 

caroline68

Regular (50+ posts)
#2
Can you clarify ALQ please? Is this the 1-3 part of the leader qualification without the part 4 accounts?
Therefore is the whole leader qualification changing?
 

Spittal Belle

Beginner (10+ posts)
#3
I do hope they dont make it too long as it would definitely put some volunteers off, if they are not going to be running a unit they only need the essentials ie Programme planning, safety, safe from harm, and first aid, and where to find extra help when needed.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
Can you clarify ALQ please? Is this the 1-3 part of the leader qualification without the part 4 accounts?
Therefore is the whole leader qualification changing?
I’m not 100% sure myself, but I have seen in several places that “the ALQ” is under review. I would assume that this means all of the modules.
 

Tregi

Veteran (100+ posts)
#5
The whole system is under review- looking at manuy different aspects, including whether certain modules could also give you a level 2 (gcse equivalent) qualification, whether things could be done online, uploading documents etc.
It also hasn't changed in over 18 years apart from adding go and safe space stuff, so needs to be looked at.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#6
I’d like to see more for all leaders on how to use Go and general admin for running a unit, not just those who want to be the “main” leader.
Quite often those who become the main unit leader on their own have been an assistant leader before, which is what happened to me. When I took over I had been a qualified assistant leader for some time but I wasn’t all that clear on some of the admin, only because I had never had to be. It would have been useful to know even if I hadn’t been become a unit leader.
 

Willow

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
There is lots of stuff which could be in it: some Guiding history and traditions - sometimes when two or three new-to-Guiding people start up or take over a unit, this gets lost along the way. More awareness of where the girls are coming from and going to, having a general overview of a girl's progress from Rainbows to adulthood; this will be easier with the new programme. Having to take proper responsibility for larger aspects - planning the meeting, ensuring that roles and responsibilities are shared out during that meeting, preparing the materials, turning up and running it whilst dealing with the parent and girl queries, ensuring the clearing up is done effectively and in a timely fashion, recording what was done - not just 'run a Promise activity'. Having contingency plans; being prepared to run a meeting at short notice and/or with minimal equipment.

But - we don't want to make it too much, or impossible to achieve, and we don't want to put people off.

I think we need to see what the quality standards say when they are released, and then the LQ will perhaps follow from those.

It would be lovely to have small, optional modules in things like traditional Guiding skills (canvas tents, knots and lashings), the Promise, outdoor activities (wide games, trails, backwoods cooking), World Guiding, Guiding history, science activities - but tailored to the individual and based on doing personal research, training and practice, before sharing with a unit or group in a way that suited the leader and the group - and definitely with badges :)
 

BigBlueCanoe

Beginner (10+ posts)
#10
This is very specific but I'd have loved something looking at practical methods for improving my girl wrangling/ behaviour management skills in my ALQ and not just an airey "Maybe they have a special need that you don't know about".

For example, 90% of my girls no problem but I have one girl who joined this term she's very used to getting her own way, will talk over the others and goes into full sulking, flouncing, crying drama queen mode when the group in her words "won't listen to me" which alienates the others. Now watching all this dispassionately you can see she's insecure and desperate to be liked but lacks the skills to see how she can do something differently to achieve her aims..so I need to help her with this but there is nothing in the ALQ to support me in this.
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#11
This is very specific but I'd have loved something looking at practical methods for improving my girl wrangling/ behaviour management skills in my ALQ and not just an airey "Maybe they have a special need that you don't know about".

For example, 90% of my girls no problem but I have one girl who joined this term she's very used to getting her own way, will talk over the others and goes into full sulking, flouncing, crying drama queen mode when the group in her words "won't listen to me" which alienates the others. Now watching all this dispassionately you can see she's insecure and desperate to be liked but lacks the skills to see how she can do something differently to achieve her aims..so I need to help her with this but there is nothing in the ALQ to support me in this.
I have a girl who acts out, and often hurts others. When starting to look for support on managing this, I found the Guiding Conversations on behaviour quite useful. I know these are aimed at discussions at District or Division level, but actually they are also useful starting points for a leader to use. https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/glob...nteers/guiding_conversation_behaviour2013.pdf
 

Epona

Veteran (100+ posts)
#12
I like the idea of having optional modules Willow. You could have the mandatory ones (first aid, safeguarding, programme, go etc) and then do any 3 (for example) extra modules of your choice.
Although I still say I don't need safeguarding training; I need a helpline phone number for that.
BigBlue's idea of behaviour basics would be much more widely applicable.
 

Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#13
Although I still say I don't need safeguarding training; I need a helpline phone number for that.
If you work in a school you probably don't need safeguarding training, as you already do that each year (or should do). But it's such an important topic - knowing what warning signs should make you think about acting, or just knowing how to react if a child suddenly confides a terrible secret with you. What to say back to that child, what to do in that immediate moment - a helpline would be great for the next step, but you need to know the first line actions.
 

Epona

Veteran (100+ posts)
#14
Yes, because it's so terribly important there is absolutely NO WAY that I, a mere neighbour, would do anything at all without consulting a professional. We are NOT professional educators, professional health care specialists or professional social workers. So what the average working volunteer needs is a reliable hotline.
 

badgemad4

Veteran (100+ posts)
#16
We still need some degree of safeguarding training regardless of getting professional help and advice, or own professional training because:
1) We aren’t always in a location where immediate help is possible
2) We need to know how to avoid making the situation worse/ causing unintentional additional distress
3) It’s often assumed that safeguarding relates only to young members. We also need to look out for our fellow volunteers. I was pleasantly surprised to see in the e training that there was consideration to if another adult is showing signs of needing help and what can be done.
4) It’s important to know what GG considers to fall inside of safeguarding, and what the GG process is, especially following informing any outside services such as the police. For example, you should contact CHQ safeguarding and then your DC following a serious incident after any emergency services. Lots of leaders assume that you need to tell your DC who will on time contact CHQ on your behalf after making her own assessment. From what I was told when talking to someone who worked at CHQ in safeguarding is that there also seems to be lots of confusion on what is a compliance issue and what is a safeguarding one.
5) The dynamic or focus of a work place training may be different. Some training is easily transferable others not so much. It can be hard to tell where gaps may lie.

For those reasons alone I agree with the current stance that everyone should have L1 Safe Space which quickly outlines GGs code of conduct and other GG specific actions which couldn’t be learned outside of GG. Some might seem to be clarifying the obvious but it keeps everyone on the same page of what safeguarding means within GG.

*Edited for grammar*
 
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Pixielation

Brown Owl (x2)
#17
Yes, because it's so terribly important there is absolutely NO WAY that I, a mere neighbour, would do anything at all without consulting a professional. We are NOT professional educators, professional health care specialists or professional social workers. So what the average working volunteer needs is a reliable hotline.
You don't always have a choice. If a child comes up to you in a meeting and wants to confide in you, or blurts something out, or doesn't want to go with the parent because she's afraid, you need to know what your next action should be. You can't say - Hang on Flossie, let me call the hotline. You need to have a basic knowledge of best practise for frontline actions and then immediately seek support. It's another reason why there must always be a minimum of two adults at meetings.
 

Quack

Veteran (100+ posts)
Staff member
GuiderPlus
Moderator
#18
I think the 'safe space' aspect and the 'safeguarding' aspect get confused. Everyone needs to understand the importance of providing a safe space for our members, allowing some element of risk in our activities (lighting matches, building fires) but understanding how to control those risks and ensure they are acceptable. Then we need to understand our safeguarding responsibilties, there will be leaders that never need to use this knowledge others will use it more ofter but there is an effective process in place with support for leaders from professionals. No leader will be left on their own to deal with a situation beyond their capabilities if they follow the policy in place. But we need to be trained to understand our role in the process, we can't close our eyes and say this is none of our business when a child or fellow leader needs our help.
 

turnip

Veteran (100+ posts)
#19
As someone with no safeguarding training outside of Guiding I am glad we have some within Guiding. I’m fortunate to have a unit team who have extensive safe guarding training in their professional lives so as a unit we would be ok, but for myself I think it’s important and certainly if you had a unit team without that sort of background it’s important.

I love the idea of optional modules like Guiding traditions, outdoor activities etc. People could do ones that interested them or where they felt they had a skills gap in their team
 
#20
This is very specific but I'd have loved something looking at practical methods for improving my girl wrangling/ behaviour management skills in my ALQ and not just an airey "Maybe they have a special need that you don't know about".
I agree completely! I'm working towards my ALQ now, but have been struggling since I started with some of the girls behaviour. They seem lovely on their own but take ages to be quiet and listen, and tend to get quite silly and mess around. I've come back to Guiding after I left at 18, so didn't have a lot of recent experience in a unit. I don't work with children, and very few of my friends have children either. I'm coming in blind almost, and some support for this would be a welcome addition.

I also still don't seem to have a mentor which is NOT helping things!