National Occupational Standards

What are National Occupational Standards ?

There are National Occupational Standards (NOS), specifying the standards of performance individuals must achieve in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding required for roles, for most employment sectors. They were originally developed by Sector Skills Councils for the UK as a whole; skills policy in England has shifted away from NOS and they are currently managed by Skills Development Scotland on behalf of the three devolved administrations.

What is CLD specific ?

There are suites of National Occupational Standards for Community Development and for Youth Work. They can be used to complement the CLD Competences in reflecting on, developing and strengthening practice.

You can access the Youth Work NOS from the National Youth Association website here:

The CLD Standards Council worked with partners in the other 3 nations of the UK to review the Community Development NOS and develop a new version, published in 2015.

“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 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.”

The summary of the NOS describes their role and purpose. It sets out key values, key areas and standards that relate to these, emphasising the role of the reflective practitioner.

Download: Summary of CD NOS 2015

If you want to explore aspects of the standards in more detail, the full standards detail the knowledge and understanding required for each of the 25 standards and illustrate how the community development values inform practice.

Download: CD NOS 2015