What are the Community Development Standards?
The National Occupational Standards outline clearly the skills, values and processes required for effective and appropriate community development practice. Community development is undertaken by a wide range of people in different settings and roles. Community development practitioners may be paid (employed workers) or unpaid (community activists and voluntary workers), and all community development practitioners need to be competent in the necessary skills and knowledge and to work with integrity to support communities who may have few recognised resources and limited access to decision makers.
The Standards applied to practice will ensure that community development impacts on poverty, racism and social exclusion in a way that empowers, enables and encourages participation. Community development is rooted in a range of overlapping traditions of practice which have developed in the different contexts of local, regional and devolved national governments in the United Kingdom. It encompasses the different traditions in the four countries; traditions which have not developed in isolation from one another but have history and ongoing current practice of mutual engagement, influence and contestation within and between the countries.
The standards are organised into six Key Areas. Key Area One: Understand and practise community development is core to all community development practice and underpins all the others. It applies to all community development practice in all roles, settings and levels.
The National Occupational Standards will support:
- Community development workers and community activists
- Individuals and organisations adopting a community development approach in their work
- Employers of community development practitioners
- Community development education and training providers
- Funders of programmes and projects
- Development and delivery of strategic plans
- Evaluation of community development practice