CLD Review 2024


At the start of December 2023 the Minister for Higher Education and Further Education Graeme Dey confirmed that the Scottish Government will carry out a review into Community Learning Development (CLD). The independent review of CLD in Scotland will run from December until June 2024. It will examine the extent to which CLD is delivering positive outcomes for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable learners and marginalised groups.

Mr Dey said: “Our review of CLD will identify strengths and highlight areas for improvement so that, as we progress reforms, we can ensure that everyone benefits. It is critically important for us to be able to identify strengths in our current approach to CLD and to highlight where improvements may be necessary.”

In recognition of the changing landscape and emerging needs of learners, the Scottish Government committed to reviewing the CLD regulations in 2021. The Minister for Higher and Further Education has requested this commitment to be taken beyond the legislative requirements for CLD with a focus on how the CLD service offers support and development to learners in Scotland’s communities.

Further information can be found on the Scottish Government’s Independent Review of Community Learning and Development page.


Taken from the terms of reference:

The review will:

  • consider the extent to which CLD is contributing to delivering positive outcomes in line with Scottish Government priorities, including examination of the respective roles and responsibilities of those involved and
  • provide information and recommendations relating to:
    • Effective and consistently measured outcomes delivered through CLD and reported across the sector. This includes data on the CLD workforce, engagement opportunities and outcomes for learners.
    • Delivering positive outcomes and improved life chances for marginalised and vulnerable learners in communities, in the context of wider education reform and public finance constraints.
    • A strong and suitably professionalised CLD workforce equipped to deliver high quality outcomes for learners.

This will help us(Scottish Government) to understand the breadth and impact of CLD on learners in Scotland’s communities, and where services support outcomes for marginalised learners.

Scottish Government Consultation

The independent reviewer, Kate Still, wants to hear from people who take part in CLD or might want to in the future. And also from those that work in this area.

CLD practitioners can complete the CLD practitioners/stakeholders survey on Citizen Space.
Learners can complete the 12 question learner survey at Citizen Space.
Alternatively the learners questionnaire is provided below as a word document to download and complete and send back by email.

A BSL video for learners is also available on Vimeo

Practitioners are encouraged to support their learners in completing the survey.

There are also some responses from the Independent Review Team to questions raised by CLD Practitioners –

Responses to the consultation surveys should be submitted by 3 March 2024.

CLD Standards Council Response:

As part of CLD Standards Council’s participation in the current independent CLD Review by Scottish Government, we offered our members the opportunity to explore and discuss each of the four themed areas: Awareness & Visibility; Accessibility & Availability; Support & Learning; and Pathways & Progression. These sessions were for CLD Standards Council members only and focused on how the review may impact the work of the Standards Council and how it supports its members.

A series of five themed Member Meet-ups were be held during February 2024. Members were encouraged to attend as many as they could. Sessions 1-4 looked at a specific theme. Session 5 looked at all areas and was an opportunity for any members who were not able to attend one or more sessions to input. As well as these online Sessions each Session had a Padlet to capture member responses live during the sessions or after.

  • Member Meet up 1: Awareness & Visibility – Wednesday 7 February 14:00 – 15:30
  • Member Meet up 2: Accessibility and Availability – Wednesday 14 February 10:00 – 11:00
  • Member meet up 3: Support & Learning – Monday 19 February 10:00 – 11:30
  • Member Meet up 4: Pathways & Progression – Tuesday 27 February 13:30 – 15:00
  • Member Meet up 5: All themes – Thursday 29 February 18:30 – 20:00

CLD Standards Council FAQs

As part of CLD Standards Council’s participation in the current independent CLD Review by Scottish Government, we have collated a number of frequently asked questions from our members and the wider CLD field.

Response to consultation phase

In total, the CLD Standards Council made 14 separate submissions from the individual engagements.

The final response to the consultation phase, submitted March 2024 is available to download.

All of the 14 submissions are on i-develop for members to access.