Training in Surrey West

We are very fortunate in Surrey West in that we have a large training team, so we are well placed to deliver training to support new and experienced guiding volunteers.  Training is often delivered centrally, and is open to members from across the County, but can also be delivered more locally to Divisions and Districts.

All new training will be advertised in the fortnightly email newsletter to members, County Snippets, as well as being added to the Surrey West training calendar.

If you do not see what you want or need on the county training calendar, do let us know and we will organise something to support you.


Training for new Leaders and other adult volunteers

In order to complete their Leadership Qualification, new Leaders need to attend a training on Safe Space and 1st Response, and also undertake a training specific to their section (Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, The Senior Section).  New helpers who are not completing the Leadership Qualification are also welcome to attend these trainings so that they understand more about Guiding, feel more a part of the team, and can contribute more to their units.

Safe Space is Girlguiding’s safeguarding training for members.  You will be expected to attend Level 1 and Level 2 if you are planning to be an Assistant Leader (or a Unit Helper or Residential Helper): if you are going to be the main Leader for your unit you will also need to attend Level 3 training.  Level 1 and 2 will normally be delivered together, and take around three hours.  Level 3 will be a separate training, again of 3 hours.  There are e-learning modules on the Girlguiding website ( that support the face-to-face trainings, and you may like to have a look at those before attending training.

Safe Space trainings are run at County level at least once a term, but are offered more often according to need, and you may be able to attend one more locally in your Division.

If you currently have a role that involves a regular safeguarding component working with children and young people, with regular training and supervision, you may be exempt from attending the Safe Space training.  In that case, please speak to your Commissioner who will direct you to have a conversation with a Safe Space trainer in the County.  If you do not have such a role, but absolutely cannot get to the face-to-face training, you will need to apply to the Region Commissioner to get exemption: you will be expected to complete the e-learning modules, and also to have a conversation with a Girlguiding Safe Space trainer in order to have this part of your Leadership Qualification signed off.  Please contact Bronach Hughes, the County Training Adviser, for more advice in either situation.

1st Response is the Girlguiding and Scouting first aid qualification.  The full course takes 6 hours (plus breaks) to deliver, and you only ever need to attend it once; to keep your qualification up to date, you can attend a 2-hour 1st Response Refresher every three years thereafter.  The full course is normally delivered at County level once or twice a term, and the refresher course is delivered at Division level according to need.  For the full course, you need to register your interest with the County Office ( either for an advertised course or to go on a waiting list for when a space becomes available.  Your Division Training Co-ordinator will let you know thereafter when a refresher course is planned.  If you already hold an equivalent first aid qualification (see Girlguiding website for details), you will not have to attend the full course.  If your existing qualification does not cover all the elements of 1st Response, you may be able to attend part of a 1st Response training, or a refresher, to cover the missing elements.

Every guiding unit must have at least one Leader with a current 1st Response (or equivalent) certificate, although policy is to encourage everyone to do it.  If your first aid qualification has lapsed, you cannot be that designated person, but that does not mean that you have to do the full course all over again.  You may choose to do so if you last did a first aid training a very long time ago, but you could alternatively attend a 1st Response Refresher course to bring yourself up to date.

Training for qualified Leaders or existing adult helpers 

Qualified leaders and other adult helpers are welcome to attend any of the advertised trainings.  If you are new to Surrey West you may like to attend the Welcome to guiding to find out more about the County: if you are changing section, or helping additionally at another section, you may like to attend the section trainings; if you are taking over the accounts or Gift Aid for your unit, you can attend trainings on both Accounts and Gift Aid which are normally offered once a term.  Alternatively, the Girlguiding website offers sectional e-learning trainings, and also training in mentoring skills, if you prefer to do online training.

Surrey West runs a County Day every 18 months, which you will see advertised via the County e-newsletter.  There is always a wide variety of training sessions on offer – or do let us know if you would like us to add anything to the menu.  You can come for a single session, or stay for the whole day.

Once you have completed your Leadership Qualification, you may wish to take your girls away and will need to complete a Going Away With qualification.  This qualification covers girls of all ages and both indoor and camping residentials.  You will work with a mentor to complete the qualification, but the County offers a training (usually in the spring term) to cover all the theory you need to know.  Details will be advertised in the Training Calendar, with reminders via the County e-newsletter.

1st Response for existing Leaders

Every guiding unit must have at least one Leader with a current 1st Response (or equivalent) certificate.  If your first aid qualification has lapsed, you cannot be that designated person, but that does not mean that you have to do the full course all over again.  You may choose to do so if you last did a first aid training a very long time ago, but you could alternatively attend a 1st Response Refresher course to bring yourself up to date.


Other trainings for adults

Having problems with disruptive girls in your unit?  Wondering how you can make your unit more inclusive and work with girls with a range of disabilities?  Wanting to improve your skills in risk management or in involving your girls in planning activities?  Perhaps you are a mentor, working with Leaders on their Leadership Qualification and you would like more training on that?  The training team can offer a range of bespoke trainings for Leaders – these may be advertised in the training calendar or you can ask us to put one on more locally.

Perhaps you would like to become a trainer yourself?  We are always keen to recruit new trainers, so do please get in touch!

Training for Commissioners

The training team works with the County Commissioner to organise trainings and air-and- shares for Commissioners and Advisers in Surrey West.  You will be contacted directly by the County Office with details of these.  We ensure that we complement any training offered by the Region, so as to use your time most effectively.  If you have any particular issues that you feel would benefit from a specific training (e.g. handling complaints, time-management, improving communication, retaining girls and leaders), please do ask as we can organise these for you.

However, as a Commissioner, you may also identify the need for training for the Leaders in your area: please do contact us directly if you feel you have sufficient demand to warrant delivering any trainings more locally.  We can be flexible about the timing of delivery – evenings, weekends, school holidays – with sufficient notice.

Training for young members

Young Leaders are welcome to attend any of the trainings offered for new or qualified Leaders.  The Training Calendar will always say whether sessions are suitable for Young Leaders.  In addition, the county could run trainings on the Young Leader Qualification: as we appreciate that is difficult for our younger leaders to travel across the county, these are often run locally at the request of Divisions.

In Surrey West we can also offer training for Sixers or Patrol Leaders, with their adult Leaders.  We offer the Girls Learning to Lead training every other year, usually for Brownies in the morning and Guides in the afternoon.  Watch out for details on the Training Calendar.