University of Dundee Community Education courses approved

Congratulations to the University of Dundee on achieving professional approval for the

  • BA (Hons) Community Education
  • BA (Hons) Community Education work based route
  • PGD Community Education

The passion and commitment of the teaching team came across very clearly throughout the process and appreciation for their hard work was expressed by practice supervisors and students.

During the approval visit the CLD Standards Council approval panel noted some strengths within the 3 programmes approved:

  • They commend the ongoing work on the World Community Development Conference 2019 and support for students
  • The re-introduction of the work based route is seen as a positive step to support sustainability and viability of the BA programme
  • The Student voice is strong and the panel wish to thank the students for their open and honest feedback at the event.
  • Students are well prepared to undertake and develop research skills. The Internship is a real commitment to research in the CLD field and will support organisations and the field more generally
  • The Value based approach is embedded throughout all programmes
  • The University’s strong fieldwork networks and the positive working relationship with practitioners.

The courses were approved from 2019 to 2024.

Appointment of new chair for the CLD Standards Council

Alan SherryYesterday at the annual members’ conference in Glasgow, Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, announced that Mr Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, has been appointed as the new Chair of the CLD Standards Council Scotland. The appointment was approved by the Deputy First Minster, Mr John Swinney MSP, following a public, competitive process.

Alan started his career in Community Education and is a Member of the CLD Standards Council.  Under his leadership Glasgow Kelvin College has been at the forefront of community learning and community development in the East of Glasgow for many years. Alan has a wealth of experience in lifelong learning, influencing key developments at city-wide, national and European levels.

Alan will take up post on 1st April; responding to his appointment, he said:

“I am delighted and honoured to be appointed as Chair of the CLD Standards Council Scotland.

“This is an exciting time for all of us involved in CLD, with the renewed emphasis on Lifelong Learning, the importance of youth work in support of Scotland’s young people and in championing community empowerment. I look forward to working with the CLD Standards Council and its partners to take it into the future.”

Practitioner Spotlight: Laura Sutherland

Laura SutherlandOur latest #becauseofCLD practitioner spotlight is Laura Sutherland, Community Development Advisor at Robertson Group.
Laura is in her 4th year studying for the BA Honors in Community Education at the University of the West of Scotland.

What’s your current role?

Group Community Development Advisor at Robertson Group (Construction Firm)
As a community educator who is employed by a major contractor within the construction industry in Scotland my role is to deliver, implement and monitor community activity/engagement including the recruitment, training, SME and social enterprise benefits, community engagement and other community benefits.

Robertson’s Community Development team – alongside project managers and site teams – works tirelessly to make sure that engagement with local schools, community groups, building users, project neighbours and other stakeholders create real benefits rather than being a box-ticking exercise through the delivery of community benefits.

ALSO 4th Year Student at University of West of Scotland, studying on the BA Hons Community Education

Where did you begin your #becauseofCLD journey?

Everyone has a story and I always laugh when I think of where my #becauseofCLD journey began. There I was, at the back door of my local Youth Club, a young 12 years old, 20 years ago!! My Youth Worker at the time worked so hard at trying to build a relationship with me and my friends to entice us all in to the world of a Youth Club and away from the streets. She managed to get some of us in for tuck shop only and then we would retreat to our usual spot at the back door for some banter. However, I remember asking the Youth Workers, “Do you get paid to do this!?” and their response was “Yes, but it’s not the only reason we do it Laura!”
They had my attention – which at that age for me was rare! I couldn’t believe they were getting paid to do something which appeared so fun, and it seemed like it wasn’t work!
As a Community Educator, I often get asked this question by young people and when I do, it still grabs my attention!

For me I didn’t feel like I fitted in to a typical box-set standard world of any form of an education setting. Education wasn’t for me when I was younger – I couldn’t apply myself and just wanted to get out and work. I never really fitted in to the learning environment of a high school, college etc. and I pretty much disengaged from any education, the systems and processes altogether. I didn’t like the environment, didn’t have the concentration – I was better at practical things that I thought I could use.

A few years later, I was asked by another Youth Worker if I wanted to get involved in some peer education work. They explained I could use some of my own experiences to educate other young people of similar age. Something inside me was triggered; the thought that I could make even a small difference in someone’s life or change the direction of at least 1 person was so powerful for me and for once I felt like I could really make a difference. People helped me identify my experiences and skills and I could then recognise and value those and that they might be useful.
I’m glad someone helped me to recognise that when things were difficult, it meant a lot that I might be able to do that for someone else, nurture and empower them to have a voice and to use it positively.

Since being involved in that pilot project, I have never looked back and have had the privilege in having numerous roles within the CLD field and off I went on a journey of self-exploration! I have had the pleasure of working in the Health & Social care setting and Community, Youth Work sector on local & national levels.

I wish I’d found CLD a bit quicker – both as a participant and a potential career. I was hungry for a career but didn’t find anything I fitted into until I found CLD. I believed in it and for the first time felt confident in my ability to deliver something.

I have always had is a strong work ethic and passion. I’m tenacious and determined and have a belief that you can achieve anything; even if things are bad. One of my favourite quotes is:

‘One of our greatest glories is in not never failing, but in rising every time we fall’ (Confucius)

It reminds me to never give up and that change is always possible!

This motivates me, and I have gone on quite a bit of a personal/professional journey before officially being able to find a place and profession that I feel a part of and can totally relate to, which is of course CLD.

What are the key CLD values and principles that have been your anchor in your various posts?

Self-determination, Inclusion, Empowerment, Collaborative Working and Promotion of lifelong learning are all fundamentals and underpin my everyday practice.

They all come very naturally to me which I believe are through experiences and I feel they ensure a cohesive approach is applied to practice.
However, for me there are three that through personal and professional experiences I can relate to the most, they are;
Self-determination, Empowerment and Promotion of Lifelong Learning.

I think it is paramount to respect individuals and their stories/journeys and support them in making their own choices. For me it is a real pleasure to work alongside individuals and communities, encouraging them to be all that they desire to be and working with them to build their confidence and self-worth up enough that they feel empowered to take control of their own journey.
I am in a very privileged position of being able to work with a range of people/organisations/communities and provide them with information on internal and external opportunities that they may not have known existed or didn’t think were accessible to them,

If you had to pick one of the Ethics, which would it be and why?

This is an extremely difficult question; as they are all so important.
Since I have been asked to pick one, I would have to go with Number 1 – Primary Client (our ‘constituent’) is the individual, group or community with whom we engage.

As a CLD practitioner, it is paramount to practice reflectively and critically and during this process I always remind myself of the Whys? For me the decisions and actions are always in partnership with the Primary Client.

How do you make time for professional development and who supports you in this?

I am so grateful to so many people for always encouraging and inspiring me daily. There are a few people who in particular really believed in me when I didn’t, and they almost had to push me when big steps or jumps were required in terms of professional development! Without them, I’m not sure it would have been possible, and I am forever grateful to them for believing in me when I didn’t.

I still cannot believe I’m about to graduate with a BA (Hons) Community Education from University of the West of Scotland.
A previous manager encouraged me to take up further education based on my work experience/knowledge. I thought there was no chance that I’d be accepted on to a university course, or that I was capable, after all I did drop out of school in 4th year.
However, I thought there’s no harm in enquiring. The discussion I had with Dr Annette Coburn (Snr Lecturer in Community Education at UWS) that day in 2015 took me to a place that I thought I would never be possible.

I was dreading Uni, but it has been the most positive experience ever and I have met some of the most amazing people ever, I never looked back!

Roll on graduation.

Describe CLD in one word.

Ooh another difficult one; I have many amazing words that would describe CLD but I would have to say Contagious!

But if I had two words the other would be – Inspiring!

What’s the best thing that’s happened this month?

There have been so many highlights this month but a stand out moment for me has got to be being able to create and facilitate a woman in construction programme in a prison setting, which is called unlocking potential. I have been able to utilise a resource that was created as part on an in-class assessment in 2nd year to support the programme – to see it coming to life was simply amazing!

I love to support individuals and/or communities that might feel isolated and do not necessarily fit in to the ‘norm’!
I will be forever grateful for my travels and experiences through the professional and personal world over the years, it’s those experiences that underpins my practice and motivates me every day – it’s great to feel at home in a profession that I 100% believe in.

If you would like to be in the spotlight – get in touch !

Scottish Charity Awards – Apply now

Scottish Charity Awards Logo 2019Applications for the Scottish Charity awards will be closing on the 25 March.

The Scottish Charity Awards highlight the best, most innovative and effective charity organisations and individuals from the past year, and celebrate those who make a difference in our communities.

The CLD Standards Council is delighted to support the Celebrating Communities award.

This award recognises the amazing work that is done all across Scotland, by small voluntary groups and grassroots organisations working with local communities and communities of interest.

There are seven other award categories – Charity of the Year, Charity Champion, Demonstrating Digital, Pioneering Project, Terrific Trustee, Leading Light and Cracking Campaign – with the winners to be decided by a panel of judges.

For full details and how to apply see –

Standards Mark Award for South East and Central Consortium

Congratulations to the South East and Central CLD Workforce Development Consortium on the award of the CLD Standards Council Standards Mark.

Committee of South East & Central CLD Professional Learning Consortium and Diann Govenlock, Chair, accepting Standards Mark Award

Committee of South East and Central CLD Workforce Development Consortium and Diann Govenlock, Chair, accepting Standards Mark Award.

The South East and Central CLD Workforce Development Consortium was established in 2011.  The Consortium consists of representatives of 8 local authorities as follows:

  • City of Edinburgh
  • Clackmannanshire
  • East Lothian
  • Midlothian
  • West Lothian
  • Falkirk
  • Scottish Borders
  • Stirling Council

The consortium demonstrated clear enthusiasm for their work and the approval panel commended them for this commitment.

Within the submission there was good clear evidence provided and demonstration of CLD values and links to national policy. The panel were also impressed with the good use of i-develop to share resources and increase accessibility.

Public Register vote

Following on from discussions in our member committees it has been proposed that we make the CLD Standards Council register of members public.
This is a matter for our membership to decide so we are asking members to vote.

There are a number of reasons for making the register public :-

  • Having a public register is a declaration that we are an open and proud profession. Happy to be recognised and identify with our member colleagues.
  • Having a public register is consistent with the majority of regulatory bodies such as GTCS and SSSC
  • It will make it simpler for members to provide evidence when applying for jobs
  • It will make it simpler for employers verifying applicants for jobs
  • If someone wished to make a complaint about a practitioner they could verify if the person was a member or not.

The Public Register would be available online to be queried by Name and would give the following details about a member :-

  • Name
  • Membership status
  • Geographical region the member predominantly works in

Please note that this information can already be accessed by employers or complainants if they make a direct enquiry to the CLD Standards Council giving a specific name.

A vote email was issued to members on the 15 February 2019.  If you did NOT receive this email please contact us by email on with a subject of “Public Register Vote” giving your full name and indicate your choice

Should there be a public register YES


Should there be a public register NO

Please do NOT email us if you have already voted using the email vote option.

The vote will close on the 8th of March 2019.
After that date we will count the votes and the decision will be made on the votes received and we will notify all members.

Help shape the National Occupational Standards for Youth Work

Would you like to help develop the national occupational standards (NOS) which are the benchmark used to confirm competence for those working in job roles in the Youth Work Sector?

With the support of many of your fellow professionals from across the sector, the CLD Standards Council has reviewed a range of NOS for the Youth Work sector.  We are now consulting on their content in order to determine whether they truly reflect the skills and knowledge required for those carrying out job functions.  The next stage is to hear the views of as many people as possible, from right across the sector to make sure we have got the content right.

Your input is hugely valuable and will help to define the Standards which will be used to shape courses and qualifications, job descriptions and other talent management tools for individuals, employers, trainers and educators.

Please review the updated functional map and revised standards:

Download; Updated NOS Functional Map

Download: Revised NOS for consultation

The online consultation will be running from now until 12 noon 25 February 2019.

Please answer the consultation questions in as little or as much detail as you want – reflecting your experience and current role.

 Consultation survey:

If you have any questions about the consultation, please contact Kirsty Gemmell at CLD Standards Council Scotland.

CLD Workforce Survey – Working with Scotland’s Communities

Update January 2019

The CLD Standards Council and Education Scotland commissioned Rocket Science to carry out research into the CLD workforce in Scotland, following up on previous surveys, most recently in 2015. Rocket Science have now completed the data collection; this includes survey responses from over a hundred organisations, other stakeholders, around 1,000 practitioners employed in CLD and 150 CLD volunteer practitioners, and the output from 50 interviews involving a cross-section of respondents.

Rocket Science have started work on a report, which will provide an evidenced estimate for the number of CLD staff in Scotland, and an  analysis of the CLD workforce in terms of age, gender, diversity, terms and conditions, level of identification with CLD, qualifications, professional learning, and career opportunities. It will go on to consider evidence on demand for and supply of CLD resources, on how CLD is changing and membership of the CLDSC and other bodies.

Practitioners’ commitment to their work and the principles that underpin it, and job satisfaction arising from this despite adversity in terms of funding pressures and uncertainties over the future, is one of the themes highlighted in early analysis. Addressing the gap between demand and supply, increasing the diversity of the workforce, changing its age profile and strengthening the inclusion of third sector organisations and practitioners in the development of CLD are among the issues that are emerging. CLD Standards Council and Education Scotland and key partners are working with Rocket Science to shape the final report and looking to follow-up action on its conclusions once these are identified.

Scottish Learning Festival 2019 – call for seminars now open

Education Scotland is now accepting seminar proposals for the SLF 2019 conference programme.
This year’s theme will focus on ‘Achieving Excellence and Equity’, through creating a culture of empowerment; and the importance of wellbeing.

Is there a project you have been working on that could be showcased? Or perhaps you are aware of establishments that demonstrate good practice?

Proposal’s are to be submitted by midday on Wednesday 20 February.
See the Education Scotland website for further information: call for proposals

Registration for SLF 2019 will be available in May.

2019 Conference Registration now FULL !

CLD Standards Council Members’ Conference
Wednesday 27 March 2019
Hilton Glasgow, 1 William Street, Glasgow, G3 8HT

Registration for conference is now closed as all available places are booked.

CLD Standards Council Members can add their name to a waiting list for any cancellations by clicking the following link –

The conference theme this year is: The pursuit of social justice: leadership in CLD
The aim of the conference is for delegates to consider how CLD practice enables people and communities to identify goals, to engage in learning and to take action for positive change.

In order to meet this aim, the conference will focus on 4 sub-themes –

  • Inclusion
  • Life-long Learning
  • Communities
  • CLD professional Learning

Delegates will have the opportunity to participate in workshops delivered by award winning CLD practitioners that lead in each of these areas of work.

Details of workshops : CLDSCConfWorkshops2019

(Confirmed conference delegates will be sent information on how to book workshops).

Meantime, please don’t forget to use our hashtags: #CLDSCConf19 and #becauseofCLD

We look forward to seeing you!

CLD Standards Council Team