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3.3. Structure of a Peer Group

There is no required structure for a Peer Group, save that there must be one person who is the nominated Contact Person. The Contact Person must be willing to be accountable for:

  • Passing on communications from State Olave Program Manager or Region Manager to the Peer Group (for example, information about events, opportunities or important Guiding updates) to ensure that all Olaves are fully informed; and
  • Responding to requests from the Region Manager or State Olave Program Manager as required (for example, requests for information about activities that the Peer Group has engaged in, requests for assistance with region events) to ensure that the region and state are aware of what is occurring in the Peer Group.

Remember to notify the State Olave Program Manager if the Contact Person for a Peer Group changes!

Peer Groups can operate in different ways – some have a formal structure with regular meetings, some might meet at region or state events, and others depend on particular individuals to make things happen.

One of the downsides of Peer Groups where there are no set roles, is that everyone assumes that other people will organise events and activities – and so either nothing happens or plans fall through.  For that reason, it can be useful (especially with a new Peer Group or a Peer Group that is seeking to become more active) to appoint or elect positions as Chair, Secretary and Treasurer (or whatever names the Peer Group chooses).

For example, the Chair might be responsible for coordinating planning sessions every semester and being the Contact Person, the Secretary responsible for ensuring that all events are advertised in plenty of time, and the Treasurer responsible for money received by fundraising and ensuring that payments are collected from Olaves for each activity.

Giving people specific roles can make it clear what responsibilities lie with whom, and to keep the Peer Group on track.  However, it is also important to rotate these roles regularly so that individuals don’t get overwhelmed and everyone has a chance to participate. It would be important for the Peer Group to be clear about the boundaries of the position and to ensure that everyone still has a say in the Peer Group and a share of the responsibilities and opportunities.

Check out the Learning Topic on Effective Meetings.

Last Modified: 07/09/15 at 9:33 PM