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CAT Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT)? 

The CAT is a self-assessment tool that supports Member Organisations to evaluate and understand their own organisational capacity as measured against WAGGGS organisational capacity model and defined minimum standards of membership. The tool also assists the WAGGGS Global Team to identify what type of support is required to most effectively develop and grow each organisation.  


What is the difference between the current Capacity Assessment Tool and previous tools? 

Until 2012, we used a Performance Assessment Tool, which focused on results and actions, and not on processes. It was primarily a tool for the National Board. In 2019, we launched the Capacity Assessment Tool, which was designed to be used collaboratively by all staff and volunteers contributing to organisational leadership (whether as part of the executive or the governance team). The 2023 version of the CAT retains this principle but has been simplified to ensure that it is more MO-centric, easier to use and easier to understand. The organisation of this new version of the CAT is different from that of previous versions. It is now structured into five equal sections focussing on: Organisational Identity, Organisational Structure and Management, Adults in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, Young People in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and A Safe Space for All. It is also more flexible, allowing Member Organisations to choose whether to work through the entire CAT in one go, to work through section by section or to focus on ‘essential’ indicators which support the WAGGGS membership criteria. New icons have been introduced to highlight indicators which support the key themes of Compass 2032. 


Who can complete the Capacity Assessment Tool?  

This will depend on your organisational structure. To make it an active and effective means of self-reflection, both volunteers and staff must be part of it. These can be the members of the National Board, senior members of staff (National Direction) and any key decision makers. It is recommended to assign a team for each different area of the assessment. When possible, each team should be led by the member of the National Board who is responsible for the area of work. The CAT is a participatory process, which requires real teamwork. For best results, it suggested to include everyone involved in key leadership roles. 


How often/when should we use the tool? 

The frequency of use of the tool may vary from one organisation to another. You can use it as often as you like, according to your organisation’s needs. You can use it annually if you wish to, as a means to monitor and evaluate your progress, or at the start of the development of your strategic plan. WAGGGS recommends to use the tool only every three years. 


Our organisation has already completed the previous version of the CAT; do we need to do it again?  

Most organisations have now completed the CAT at least once. However, it is designed as a tool to help you to monitor and evaluate your progress so we recommend that you revisit it at least every 3 years. You can use it more often, if you like, according to your organisation’s needs.  


I am a Component Association in a Federation; do I need to complete the Capacity Assessment Tool? 

The Capacity Assessment Tool is intended for all organisations regardless of their size and whether they are Component Associations (CAs) or SAGNOs (Scouts and Guides National Organisations). The objective is to strengthen the capacity of our Movement becoming robust in the different areas assessed.  

Can the Capacity Assessment Tool be done online?  

Yes, the CAT can be completed online, using the Campfire platform. We recommend using this if it is possible but a PDF version is also available.  


What if we do not fit into any indicator? 

 If you consider that the suggested indicators do not accurately reflect the reality of your organisation, choose the closest option to your current situation. 

What are the pieces of evidence or documents we should provide?  

As you work on the CAT, we recommend that you try to compile evidence to support your response to each indicator. While WAGGGS does not require you to submit this to support your conclusions, you may find it helps to firm up your thinking. If you subsequently seek support from the Capacity Building team, you may also find it provides a helpful focus for your initial discussions with the team.  


How to ensure objectivity?  

  • Make sure your answers are based on the statistical data of your organisation and its documents (policies and procedures). 

  • Choose the answer that demonstrates your current situation.  

  • Gather the right people and make sure everyone involved is part of the process.  

  • Be honest and transparent. 

  • Avoid over/underestimating your organisation’s capacities.  

  • Step back and think of what would an external observer choose as an answer.  

  • Keep in mind that this tool is developed to help you identify the gaps in your organisation and the areas of improvement. 


What if we do not understand something during the process?  

If something is unclear during the process, refer to the guidelines and the glossary. If your question remains unanswered do not hesitate to contact your Regional Team (Regional Capacity Building contact or Regional Manager) (*). They will be able to help you and provide you with the support needed. (*) the name of this team may change from region to region. If your question is particularly complex, they will be able to seek additional support from a small team of Capacity Assessment Tool consultants. 


What happens after the Capacity Assessment Tool is completed?  

A tailored support provision process is already in place. However, we have now streamlined this process to make it easier to navigate and be more responsive to Member Organisations’ needs.  Your first point of contact is your Regional Team (Regional Capacity Building contact or Regional Manager). They will be able to support you in completing the CAT. Once you have completed the CAT, you should be able to use the results to identify your own priorities for development or improvement. If, as a result of this, you have identified a support need and want to access the capacity building service from WAGGGS, you can contact the team directly by emailing We also ask you to copy your email to your Regional Capacity Building contact so they are aware of your needs. They may also be able to offer regional support and/or organisation-to-organisation support. Where there is a significant demand for support, we may need to prioritise associations which identified the area in question as being a priority for the organisation, allowing WAGGGS to focus its resources more efficiently. 


Our organisation is already well established (strategies, performance measurement, policies, staff, infrastructure), why do we need the Capacity Assessment Tool?  

The Capacity Assessment Tool is not primarily made for organisations experiencing difficulties or to lead you necessarily to bad results. It is designed to help you consider your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses from all angles and to support you monitoring progress to organisational capacity benchmarks.  Indicators are grouped as ‘essential’ and ‘take it further’. The ‘essential’ indicators are those which underpin the WAGGGS membership criteria. As an established organisation, sense-checking your performance in these areas may be helpful but you are likely to spend more time focussing on the indicators which enable you to ‘take it further’.  For each indicator, we have described the full range of possible performance (from poor to excellent) and have also articulated what WAGGGS would regard as a ‘solid foundation’. Less established organisations or those seeking to re-build after challenges are likely to want to focus on ensuring that they achieve this ‘solid foundation’. As well-established organisation, your focus may well be on achieving incremental improvements higher up the scale.   When reflecting about your level in an area where you already identify that you are doing well, as well as exploring ways to improve, you should also look at changes or trends that may affect your work in the future. Another benefit you can take advantage of is networking; you could be paired up with organisations which are looking to enhance their capacities in certain area. This gives a great opportunity for your experts to share their knowledge and expertise, to live a new experience at the international level and be active globally.  


My organisation has limited resources (no staff or infrastructure), how can we do the Capacity Assessment Tool?  

Your Regional Capacity Building contact is ready to offer you the support you need to make the process more efficient according to the specific situation of your organisation. She will help you to identify who can do it and how to develop an adequate framework for your existing resources. In case this is not enough, the Capacity Building team will be able to provide additional support with completing the CAT through a small team of Capacity Assessment tool consultants.  


We are a small organisation; do we still need to have a facilitator leading the process? 

 A skilled facilitator will ease and maximize process management and learning; assist you to save time and increase the working group's effectiveness. Facilitation also helps everyone to feel that they had their say, and worked together to achieve the best possible outcome. If you can’t find a facilitator from within their organisation, you can ask for support through the Regional Capacity Building contact, or by emailing  


The Capacity Assessment Tool is defined as a self-assessment then why do we need to share our results?  

Where organisations complete the CAT online, WAGGGS will be able to identify key themes automatically. We would, however, like to stress that this does not form part of any formal assessment process by WAGGGS. The outcomes will assist the WAGGGS Global Team to develop the strategies and plans required to most effectively develop and grow our Movement. Results will also be shared with your Regional Committee and appropriate executives within the Bureau to enable them to identify specific needs for support and to inform Regional Business plans. WAGGGS will not automatically receive results for organisations who complete the PDF version of the CAT. While it is not compulsory to share these with WAGGGS, it would be very helpful if you felt able to do so. We assure you that any information you share will be considered confidential and will not be made public. 


What type of evidence should we submit to support our choices for the various indicators and how do we submit this? 

While WAGGGS does not require you to submit evidence, you may find that compiling evidence will help you to decide on your response to each indicator within the CAT. If you subsequently seek support from the Capacity Building team. You may also find it provides a helpful focus for your initial discussions with the team. The recommended approach to compiling evidence is to allocate team members in charge of each area of the assessment the task to collect and compile the evidence for each standard. It is suggested to create an online folder or make files for each area to collect all the evidence in one place, as one document can be evidence for more than one criteria. Below is a list of the documents you might use to support your answers. 


Examples of evidence that could be provided 

Mission and Vision 

Mission statement, vision statement 


Value proposition, set of values statement 

Strategy and Planning 

Strategic plans, capacity assessment tools annual plan, annual reports 


Constitution and Policies, Bye-laws, Registration, Board Members/CEO Recruitment policies, Performance Appraisal policy 

Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting experience 

Educational Programmes, volunteer Resources, handbooks, educational Framework 

Adult leadership practice 

Leadership Development policy, adult development framework 

Organisational Management 

Organisational policy, operational policies, training guidance, volunteer policies and procedures, risk management policies, Performance Appraisal policy, project management policies, People Policies and  

Procedures, Recruitment policy, staff Induction policies, Code of conduct, organisation charts, Insurance / Health and safety policy, training and development policy, disciplinary rules and procedures, handover policies 

Resource Mobilisation 

Disclosure Statement, fundraising plan and policies 


Finance policies and guidelines 

Image and Visibility 

Communication policy, brand guidelines, external communication policy, social media charter, Internet Safety Pledge    


Partnerships, position/policy statements, strategic plan (Advocacy) 

Recruitment and Retention 

Confidentiality policy, data privacy policy, personal, Data Request forms, Diversity and Inclusion Policies, strategic plan (membership recruitment/retention) 

Safeguarding and Child Protection 

Safeguarding policy, Child Protection policy 


Please note that this list is not exhaustive, it represents only some examples. Names may change and you may have other documents which would work better for you.