ESB: Review of Standards for
Despite the strange times we have been living through, there has been much work going on the background and we are seeking your help to progress our review of Community Development Practitioner Knowledge and Skills. We plan to spend the next 9 months reviewing what we have that still works and what doesn’t and we'd like to invite you to find out more and get involved. Click here for more information.
The Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB) was set up in 1997 through a series of community development conferences in England called Towards 2001.
ESB aims to provide a robust system of endorsement of quality for all types of training and learning in Community Development. Our role is to ensure quality standards in training and learning for community development practitioners. ESB contributes to a proficient community development workforce accessing high quality learning through the endorsement of different learning opportunities.
ESB is an independent company ltd by guarantee and has chosen not to seek public funding; it generates income through its endorsement processes and its paid for consultancies with universities and other organisations who wish to develop new community development programmes.
ESB engages with the wider field of community development learning through its involvement in:
- The development and updating of the Community Development National Occupation Standards
- Creating new qualifications
- Contributing to the QAA benchmarks for Youth and Community Work and engaging in consultations
- Consulting and working with others to establish the criteria for endorsement
- The ETS committee of NYA. ESB is recognised by NYA as an equal endorsement/ validation partner; ESB has a seat on the ETS and together ESB and the ETS undertake joint validations of youth and community programmes
- Having a seat on the TAG secretariat and undertakes joint work with TAG.
- Working in partnership with other bodies, sometimes running workshops at their conferences
- Being involved in international work
- Commissioning research into relevant aspects of community development practice and learning
- The steering group for the research being conducted By IVAR for the Local Trust
The first Community Work skills manual was published in 1979 as a way for community workers to share their work and ideas with other community workers; since then there have been another 3 community work skills manuals produced, each one bigger than the last as people were very willing to share their practice and learning and so assist with the development of the skills and knowledge of community work. The last two skills manuals can be found here on skillsmanual.org
ESB recognises the phenomenal amount of energy and work that has been undertaken at grass roots / community level during the Covid-19 crisis and before it all gets lost we would like to create a new version of the Skills Manual of many of the ideas and actions that sprung up and to learn from the many different initiatives that were set up. It would give us an opportunity to celebrate all the usually invisible activities that happen at grass roots that are rarely recognised or acknowledged.
If you are or were involved in any community initiative(s) during the past few months and would be willing to share what happened and what was learned we would love to hear your stories. It seems unlikely that this will be the last pandemic or substantial crisis that affects all communities and hearing about what ideas were tried this time can help us prepare for the next crisis.
The manual will be published on line and will grow as more examples are contributed. Please get involved and share your practice with us! Visit the Skills Manual website to find out more or contact us here at ESB.
ESB-endorsed degree programmes specify a required amount of supervised practice and require that practice is completed to a required standard. This supervised reflective practice is central to the achievement of an award recognising the Community Development skills the successful student holds.
ESB are keen to ensure that processes and agreements are put in place to support the community development sector. This applies to:
- Students who may have a need to shield or whose placement is no longer operating
- HEIs in offering recognised programme content to students and employers who partner on the programme delivery
- Future employers of graduating students in employing students with the expected community development skills
- Communities who are supported by the community development workers of the future
The steps outlined below are intended to support the needs of each of the above in these changing times. Additionally, the stages outlined below have been produced while seeking to ensure that:
- Students are not unnecessarily disadvantaged by their adoption (no detriment in QAA speak)
- Attempting to avoid compounding issues by requiring students to catch up as well as completing academic work and further placement activity
- Considering alternative measures including digital work for evidencing competence
- Trusting the professional judgement of teams offering endorsed community development programmes
ESB: Our Repsonse and Guidance for Covid-19 (coronavirus)
As a response to the ongoing developments for HEIs in readiness and response to COVI-19 (Coronavirus) preparations, the following guidelines are being applied by ESB:
The potential consequences of COVID-19 (including the temporary closure of settings) are that some students may be prevented from completing the required assessed professional practice as part of their ESB endorsed programme. This ESB guidance is intended to assist with managing and minimising disruption to students and HEIs while seeking to ensure that the quality of degree programmes is not compromised.
The assumption in the guidance is that programme design will not change as a result of an outbreak of Covid-19 but that HEI’s will use flexibility in how practice is embedded in the curriculum over the duration of a programme. In all situations, we are keen to work alongside HEIs to ensure that no students are at risk of not achieving the standards because insufficient time had been afforded to practice, whilst ensuring care to trainees’ wellbeing and safety.