Joint Meetings: Why Do They Matter?

Joshua Smith (National SSAGO)

Sunday 28th of January 2018

A lot is said about the SSAGO Exec meeting with The Scout Association, Girlguiding and something called the Memorandum of Agreement. But what does it actually all mean and why is it so important?

Recently the National Exec met with representatives from both The Scout Association and Girlguiding in two significant meetings to discuss our relationship and how we support each other. These meetings were the first time in almost a decade that all three organisations have met together in one room.

But what does this actually all mean for SSAGO and why does it matter so much?

The Story So Far

Remarkably these discussions have being going on across three different National Execs over the past three years. It's fundamentally about a shared core set of values where SSAGO provides a programme and opportunity for people to continue their journey through Scouting and Guiding while at university.

Discussions begun initially in 2015 with The Scout Association about renewing and reformalising our relationship with them in writing as the original version of an agreement, as of the 1990s had been lost. Everyone knew SSAGO was an Associate Organisation to The Scout Association but no one quite knew what that actually meant.

By 2016 a first draft was complete which became known as the Memorandum of Agreement. At this point the discussions were expanded to include Girlguiding and it evolved to include all three organisations. This past year the current National Exec has met with both The Scout Association and Girlguiding to finalise the Memorandum of Agreement and have it ready for review by Reps.

The Memorandum of Agreement

The agreement is not actually one but rather two linked documents which reference each other. One for our relationship with The Scout Association and another for our relationship with Girlguiding. Both agreements cover many aspects of SSAGO which are important to every member.

At a glance, the agreement covers the following areas:

  • Fundamental Values
  • What They Offer SSAGO
  • What SSAGO Provides Them
  • Personal Liability Insurance
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Safeguarding
  • Disclosure Checks
  • Incident Reporting
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Continuity and Communication

One of the big topics in this agreement is that every member of SSAGO who is also a member of The Scout Association or Girlguiding is insured for their activities in SSAGO through their respective organisation.

What Still Needs to be Done

The Memorandum of Agreement is in the process of being updated to a final draft which will then be taken to SSAGO’s next Reps meeting meeting in February. Here representatives of every club will discuss the agreement, any necessary alterations will be made and vote taken to implement it into official SSAGO policy.

Final Remarks

If you have any questions or comments this agreement please do get in touch. We’ve included below links to the relevant minutes and documents relating everything mentioned above. The drafts of the agreement are old now, but when new final versions are ready these will be emailed out to clubs and made available on the SSAGO website.