The Approval Suite


The Standards Council Approvals Suite is made up of the Developmental Approval route, the Professional Approval route and the Standards Council Standards Mark.

This suite has been created by the Standards Council in collaboration with the field to address the demand for quality assurance at all levels of learning.

The Developmental Approval route is for providers offering learning opportunities below degree level that have already been verified by the SQA. The process is paper based: providers are asked to submit their SQA report alongside a brief CLD focused submission; these papers are then shared with the panel electronically and discussed in teleconference before a decision is agreed.

The Professional Approval route is for providers offering learning opportunities at degree and post graduate level. The process involves a significant written submission followed by a panel visit to the provider.

The Standards Council Standards Mark has been developed to recognise the quality of CLD learning opportunities provided to CLD staff by their employer. The Standards Mark looks at the whole range of learning opportunities offered, not one specific programme, as well as the learning culture of the organisation.

Approval is a form of quality assurance and ensures that the programme, course or provider:

  • Has adhered to the relevant set of guidelines
  • Is judged by peers to equip an individual with sufficient knowledge and skills to begin practising in the broad field of CLD.

Which route is for me?


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The aims and objectives of Approval

  • To raise the quality of existing learning, where appropriate, in line with stated standards of competence
  • To ensure comparability of learning standards
  • To provide a national system of mutual recognition and transferability of an individual’s qualifications
  • To enhance the learning provision through co-operation, networking and collaboration between participating bodies
  • To enhance the effectiveness and range of learning opportunities
  • To enhance the status of Community Learning and Development

Why go for Approval?

There are clear benefits in gaining professional approval for your learning programme. Approval by the CLD Standards Council can help with:

  • Promotion of your learning programme and your organisation to prospective practitioners wishing to undertake professional development
  • Aligning your programme with the CLD Competences
  • Preparing practitioners for working in the CLD sector by helping them to progress in their career
  • Clearly demonstrating that your programme has been written to align with CLD values and principles
  • Ensuring your learning programme matches the relevant national occupational standards

The Committee

Garry Cameron, Chair of the Approval Committee 2009 – 2012, explains the purpose and impact of the committee’s work here:


The work of the Standards Council Approval Committee builds on the work of the former Community Education Validation and Endorsement Committee.