Muddy hands, dragons and fun and games played a major part in the success of the Quality Pilot accreditations. Read on to find out more.

In 2017 units from all countries and regions took part in Phase 2 of Girlguiding’s Quality Pilot which involved completing a digital portfolio of evidence against a set of standards.

In Midlands Region we asked Leaders to volunteer – and many of you answered the call and rose to the challenge. It turned out to be a very time-consuming challenge to collect all the evidence and upload it to the portfolio – but it did provide an opportunity for Leaders to show what an excellent job they do!

We are really proud of all Units which took part – and especially those which succeeded in meeting all the standards and gaining the external accreditation. Some of those Leaders have shared a little about their experiences of taking part in the pilot…

Jo-Ann Millington of 1st Whissendine Rainbows in Leicestershire put her unit forward for the pilot by mistake! However, she is now pleased that she took part, particularly because the support she received from her Division Commissioner enabled her to get to know her better. One adventure the Rainbows all enjoyed was a trip to the Sealife Centre in Hunstanton where Tilly held a dragon!

The Leaders from 1st Littleover Brownies in Derbyshire wanted to play their part in helping Girlguiding to plan a way forward that would ensure that guiding remains relevant now and into the future. Compiling the portfolio confirmed to them that they offer great guiding for their girls. They – along with most Leaders – found that the time taken to gather the evidence and to upload the information was a challenge, and the timescale to receive the feedback rather overshadowed their success. They did enjoy taking lots of photos like this one of the girls enjoying a messy activity!

Muddy mess was part of 1st Brackley Guides in Northamptonshire’s programme too, with memories captured of their winter camp! Leader Adele Cooney says that the girls enjoyed having more photos taken of them doing their activities, and looking back on the year and being able to remember all the amazing things they had done – and recognising what a great leadership team they are offering each other support and taking individual areas of responsibility – was the best part about taking part. The girls got their badges at the end of 2017, a fantastic way to lead into the Unit’s centenary year.

Jo Revell of Severn Gorge Rangers in Shropshire hoped she would gain some useful ideas from other units taking part. She involved the girls in contributing photos and documentation towards the portfolio as well as in deciding what they would do to achieve the standards – including some activities they would not otherwise have chosen to do, so a real team effort. She says the best thing about taking part was the satisfaction of having that verification that they were running a good unit through gaining the Quality Mark. One change they have made as a result of taking part is to carry out more structured evaluation of the programme.