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

Mince pie or Chocolate Log? Blog from Dr Marion Allison

plate of mince piesMince pie or Chocolate Log?
The question that reflects the CLD competences over 2018.

Like every workplace across the land, the CLD Standards Council cupboards are full of sweets, cakes and a traditional Christmas treat that invites debate; good old mince pies. Some people like them, some prefer chocolate logs, or some refrain altogether.  Whilst this might appear to be inane, workplace chat, the underpinning attributes of this discussion reflect some of the key matters that have influenced Community Learning and Development in Scotland over the course of 2018.

Firstly, before you buy mince pies, it is advisable to know and understand the community in which you work. In 2018 this competence inspired the CLD Standards Council to get to know its workforce.  In partnership with Education Scotland, Rocket Science were commissioned to gather views and experiences from CLD practitioners, volunteers, employers and stakeholder organisations in order to better understand current practice across the country. There were approximately 1300 online responses to the survey and over 50 follow-up, in-depth interviews. Results are expected in Spring 2019 and will inform future CLD workforce services.

Once mince pies are purchased, it is important that you build and maintain relationships with the individuals and groups involved.  This competence influenced the CLD Standards Council’s engagement with key Scottish Ministers.  Deputy First Minister, Mr John Swinney reiterated the Scottish Government’s support at our lengthy meeting in June.  We have also had the opportunity to meet with the new Minister for CLD, STEM, HE & FE,  Mr Richard Lochhead MSP, and look forward to working with him.  The continued implementation of the CLD Standards Council’s communication strategy has resulted in improved engagement with members via social media, i-develop, newsletters and of course attending and delivering learning events across the country.  One notable outcome has been increased demand for CLD learning materials; the refreshed Competent Practitioner Framework is flying off the shelves.

Having engaged and built relationships with your fellow cake-eaters, it soon becomes obvious that you need to provide learning in a range of contexts.  Some people like to eat alone, some like group outings to the coffee shop, or some prefer gathering in smaller groups around the kitchen. This year providing learning in a range of contexts consisted of financially supporting CLD Networks for the 3rd year running.  With a general focus on CLD standards, this money has allowed Members to attend and arrange learning events closer to home in subject areas that they influence and design. In March, Members overwhelmingly rated the annual conference, which was held in Dundee. Next year’s event will be on Wednesday 27th March 2019 in Glasgow so remember to save the date.

You should know, that facilitating community empowerment amongst colleagues may result in people challenging accepted methods of baking and creating bespoke recipes.  Practising this competence led to the CLD Standards Council having a seat at the National Education Leaders’ Forum.  Our attendance at the Scottish Learning Festival in September allowed us to ask International Council of Education Advisors to give due consideration to CLD in its work to influencing system change in Scotland.  In response to requests from Members, there have also been a number of professional discussions with the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives and employers across sectors regarding the recognition of CLDSC membership.

One matter that will always cause debate amongst the mince pie makers is how to best organise and manage resources. This competence was of central importance throughout the year.  2018 began with a proposal that the CLD Standards Council would co-produce and create an Education Workforce Council alongside colleagues from the General Teaching Council Scotland.  Our Members responded to the consultation in their droves and by June, the Next Steps paper made it clear that this idea was off the table. The change in direction allowed the CLD Standards Council to get back to the day job and secure, strengthen and grow the organisation.  Accordingly, recruitment to the Committees was successful in September, with Members that practise in a range of contexts from across the country choosing to get involved. For the wider sector, another outcome of the Next Steps paper was the responsibility for CLD policy moving from Education Scotland to the Scottish Government, with Members contributing to the transition process.

Overall, it’s working collaboratively that makes the mince pie / cake eating experience truly joyful. Sharing preferences, ideas and laughing with colleagues is what makes it all worthwhile.  Indeed, it is this competence that embodies the very essence of the CLD Standards Council. This year marked new and refreshed partnerships with key agencies across the United Kingdom and beyond.  Having worked in close partnership with the International Association of Community Development, the CLD Standards Council was delighted to launch the International Standards for Community Development at the World Community Development Conference in June.  In September, we were once again delighted to welcome Professor Maki Hiratsuka and her colleagues from Tokyo. Their interest lies with our CLD standards and professional practice.  As such, Approvals work has led to enhanced relationships with the college sector and the completion of approvals and mid-term reviews across professional and CLDSC Standards Mark routes.

When the mince pies have been eaten and plates are full of crumbs, that’s when people evaluate and inform future practice.  The pies could have been sweeter, we should have stuck to chocolate logs are statements that will inform future choices.  The life-long learning principle is evident as people’s tastes in mince pies and chocolate treats change and develop over time. Member engagement and continuous evaluation of our work, scope and ambitions led to a number of new initiatives this year, including the CLD Christmas Lecture. The aim of this event is to highlight CLD research in Scotland.  Over 70 Members attended the inaugural event in Glasgow. I was deeply honoured to be invited to present my doctoral research into Young People, Enterprise and Social Capital and sincerely thank Members for the warm reception and helpful feedback.  As the Year of Young People draws to a close no one can doubt that the CLD: youth work sector embraced and delivered impactful work with young people across the country, and so we are pleased to have sponsored the Scottish Youth Work Research Steering Group. Their recent report on the Impact of Community-Based Universal Youth Work in Scotland is a must read for every CLD Standards Council Member. This year highlighted quality across the sector. From SCVO, COSLA Youthlink, Herald Society Awards and everything in between; we are absolutely delighted that CLD and our Members were recognised at the highest levels and rewarded for their work.  Congratulations to nominees and winners in all categories and we look forward to working with you in the New Year.

Fundamentally the mince pie, chocolate log debate comes down to valuing self-determination and choice. For us, people are choosing to join the CLD Standards Council; by the dozen.  Our membership is continuing to grow and in one week alone we received 54 applications!

For the sake of team harmony it’s important that everyone is included in the Cake debate and has an equitable piece of the pie. The development of the CLD Standards Council relies on inclusion, particularly in times of change.  In September this year we bid a fond farewell to Mr Ashley Pringle, who was our appointed Chair for 6 years. It was a privilege to work with Ashley who steered, supported and challenged the Council in its development. Mr Mike Naulty is the Interim Co-Chair and recruitment for Ashley’s successor is now underway. Across the sector Mr Jim Sweeney M.B.E. retired from Youthlink Scotland to be succeeded by Mr Tim Frew.  Presently, Jim will continue as Co-Interim Chair of CLD Standards Council and we very much look forward to continuing our partnership with Tim. Mr Robert Hynd moved on from CLD Managers Scotland and we are delighted to be working with his successor, Ms Avril Nichol on all things CLD.  Our thanks must also go to colleagues across Education Scotland, Jackie Halawi, Brian Taylor and Gayle Gorman to name a few.

It goes without saying that the CLD Standards Council would be nothing without its Members. The team and I are indebted to the Chairs, Committee Members and the hundreds of Members across the country who shape, promote, contribute and support our Council.  On a personal note I would like to extend my thanks to everyone for your well wishes on completion of my doctorate.  Working within this vibrant sector makes it all worthwhile.

So now the cakes are finished, we look forward to the new year ahead.  Budget constraints continue to challenge yet Community Learning and Development prevails, grows and inspires thanks to the commitment of our Members. As CLD policies are refreshed and the new CLD plans unfold, maybe next year, for once, the CLD sector will be able to have its cake and eat it!

Until then I wish you all a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year!


CLDSC 2019 Conference – Save the date

The theme of the CLD Standards Council Members 2019 conference is: The pursuit of social justice: leadership in CLD

The conference will be held on Wednesday 27 March 2019 in Glasgow.

The conference will consider how CLD practice enables people and communities to identify individual and collective goals, to engage in learning and to take action for positive change.

This will be a day of professional learning with a choice of seminars / workshops to attend, focused on:

  • Inclusion
  • Life-Long Learning
  • Communities
  • CLD Professional Learning

The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney M.S.P. will give a keynote address.

We will be opening conference booking in the new year.  Get the date in your calendar now !

Remember this is a members only conference so if you are not a member – apply for membership now !

Recruiting a new chair

Are you the person to shape and support professional body for Community Learning and Development in Scotland?

We are recruiting for a new chair of the CLD Standards Council following the resignation of Ashley Pringle after 5 years in the role.

This appointment will be for up to 3 years in the first instance, and will be formally effective from 1st March 2019.

Information on the appointment and how to apply is available on the Scottish Government website –

The closing date for application is 18 January 2019.

Interviews will be held on 13th February.

CLD Workforce Survey 2018 – moving to next phase

The CLD Standards Council and Education Scotland have commissioned Rocket Science UK Ltd to conduct research into the community learning and development workforce.

The initial online survey phase has been completed. We have had a great response – thanks to the well over 1,000 individuals and organisations who have provided information and contributed their views.

Views from practitioners, volunteers, employer organisations  and stakeholders are essential to be able to understand who is doing what across Scotland. Rocket Science are conducting follow-up in-depth interviews with a sample of around 50 people. The research will help us to better advocate for community learning and development, and better support the workforce, volunteers, employers and organisations with the training and development needs.

The CLDSC will be exploring the messages from the research as they emerge, and taking a lead in identifying the issues they highlight and the action needed.

CLD Standards Council Members Update – December 2018

#CLDSC10: celebrating the first 10 years, looking forward to the next challenges!

10 ballons and cakeThe CLDSC’s inaugural Christmas lecture on 5 December marked the start of celebrations of the CLD Standards Council’s progress since being established in 2008, which are also the launch pad for the next steps for our professional body and for the CLD profession.

Dr Marion Allison presenting
Dr Marion Allison, the Head of the CLD Standards Council, presented the findings and key issues from her PhD thesis on Young People, Enterprise and Social Capital.

The full Thesis is available on i-develop.

Look out for the rest of the #CLDSC10 landmarks!

CLDSC Conference 2019: The pursuit of social justice: leadership in CLD – Save the date: 27/3/19

Our 2019 conference, open to CLDSC members only, will feature dialogue around award-winning CLD practice that demonstrates CLD’s role in the pursuit of social justice by communities and learners, and explore how we can develop the types of leadership needed to support this. The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, is scheduled to give the keynote address.

Working with Scotland’s Communities Research

The Working with Scotland’s Communities workforce survey closes on December 7; thanks to all members who contributed to the great response from well over 1,000 individuals and organisations. Last chance to respond here –

Rocket Science, who are undertaking the research on behalf of the Standards Council and Education Scotland, are undertaking follow-up interviews with a sample of around 50 people.

The CLDSC will be exploring the messages from the research as they emerge, and taking a lead in identifying the issues they highlight and the action needed.

Get ready to re-register!

The CLDSC is up-grading the Registration system and linking it much more closely with support for professional learning. Regular re-registration every 3 years will help members to demonstrate that they belong to a professional body that has high expectations of registered members.

CLDSC moving on –

  • Thank you Ashley…. New CLDSC chair to be appointed
    Ashley Pringle stood down as Chair in September after ably steering the CLDSC’s development for 5 years. The process for appointing a new Chair of the Standards Council is under way. Jim Sweeney and Mike Naulty have taken on the role of interim co-chairs.
  • Welcome to new Committee members, thanks to all who applied
    The Approvals, Professional Learning and Registration Committees are benefiting from new members appointed from a large and talented pool of applicants. Recruitment to the Executive will follow once the new Chair is in place.
  • Membership: 2,200 and rising
    More than 300 new members have registered with the Standards Council over the past year, and there is a steady flow of new applications.
    Do you have CLD colleagues, partners or volunteers who would benefit from registering as members of their professional body? Encourage them to apply at

Youth Work NOS review

The CLDSC bid successfully to undertake the review of the Youth Work National Occupational Standards. Work on the review is underway; for further information contact Kirsty Gemmell –

Other news and upcoming events

  • And another anniversary… 
    Concept  journal’s latest issue marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed – a tribute to “one of the most distinctive, compelling and (still) contemporary voices in popular education”.
    Open access at
  • Volunteering in CLD – i-develop
    Have you seen the Volunteering in CLD theme on i-develop? It aims to help support volunteers to be confident CLD practitioners, and includes advice on volunteer policies, recruitment and supporting volunteers in practice.
  • Local Governance Review
    The CLDSC submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s Democracy Matters consultation, which closed last week, following an excellent discussion at the Executive Committee. Particular thanks to Dawn Brown, who has recently joined the Approvals Committee, who shared her experience of engaging local groups in Aberdeenshire in the consultation.
    Read the CLDSC response.
  • The world heads for Dundee in 2019
    What’s new about that you may say. The difference is that the World Community Development Conference – WCDC 2019 – will take place in Dundee from 24 to 26 June next year. Details at A great opportunity for CLD practitioners in Scotland to get involved in a global dialogue. Early bird registration available until 31 December 2018. The time to make plans on how to fund your place and get there is now!