ESB Standards Review: Stage 1 and 2 summaries

As we begin to analyse the results of our standards review we will put some summaries of the comments so far. If you would like to contribute to our standards review you can find out more information here or go to the surveys: Phase 1 Questionnare, Phase 2 Questionnare, Phase 3 Questionnare.

Phase 1 Key Purpose and Values Summary

The key purpose
There was general agreement that it worked as a summary, with suggestions for amending the wording a little to

  • Emphasis putting on place collaborative and cooperative structures and initiatives – such a social enterprises that are sustainable, offering real wealth creation, organisations firmly connected with people and neighbourhoods
  • Include on-line/social media
  • Can appear outdates and patronising so avid the word develop and use an alternative that focuses the emphasis on releasing existing skills and capacity
  • Replace ‘identify own needs and actions’ with ‘become aware of needs, aspirations and actions’.. a nod to Frierian and appreciative approaches
  • It outlines a bottom up approach and reflects the asset based approach which could be strengthened

The values
Generally seen to be still relevant with some suggestions about changing the language

  • Each value would benefit from reassessment and being relaunched so they are more clearly connected to current realities
  • Look at the language and make it more accessible; stress on community empowerment and unity
  • Add in about sustainability, climate change, climate/ environmental justice, mitigating global warming, and economic justice
  • Make anti discrimination stronger as we are often working against oppression or worse
  • Add cooperative to collective action, or in the sub text
Phase 2 Summary how community development practice links to the UN sustainability goals

The responses have been listed in the order of the number of people who said they were important to their work, along with some of the examples people gave.

1st. Goal 10 is reduced inequalities

  • providing support for disadvantaged communities & people - employment, money advice, training, specialist support for vulnerable people e.g. Thriving Hollinwood
  • focussed on people and communities in Rural areas, ensuring that those in Rural areas are not left behind or disadvantaged, ensuring they have an effective voice and support and guidance for projects and actions

2nd. Goal 3 is good health and well-being

  • working with education admission services and communities to get young people into school
  • work around health inequalities in East Leeds addresses health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities.
  • Re mental well being - Use of what's app groups for different community groups; wellbeing focus on health programmes - e,g. GM Moving local programmes, working with sports groups to increase participation; enabling service take up/GP registration etc.
  • Support groups for people with mental health difficulties
  • supporting the setting up and running of Good Neighbours Schemes but also other 'Wise and well' initiatives.

3rd. Goal 2 is zero hunger

  • linking communities with foodbanks so they have a broader reach into new and emerging communities
  • work with the Doncaster Conversation Club addresses poverty and food hunger
  • emergency Food Resource during Lockdown
  • food banks, food distribution networks; growing food projects; kitchens

Joint 4th. are:

Goal 1 is no poverty

  • teaching and discussion across our modules on issues of poverty (both relative and absolute).
  • clothing bank (clothing, housewares, toys & toiletries) for asylum seeker and refugees
  • Anti poverty work - e.g. Greater Manchester

Goal 5 is gender equality

  • support for access to careers/employment e.g. women in to construction,
  • women in Social Housing networks
  • supporting and encouraging women to take on leadership positions in communities.

Goal 11 is sustainable cities and communities

  • Placemaking & regeneration, aiming to help neighbourhoods to be sustainable, actively supporting community led housing and social enterprise.
  • improving and maintaining green spaces, such as a local park
  • focussed on Rural aspects, assistance with Community-led planning (including Neighbourhood planning) and Community-led housing and support to Community buildings

Joint 5th. are:

Goal 4 is quality education

  • working with local schools in priority areas to support achievement and aspiration;
  • careers support, working to prevent NEET

Goal 16 is peace, justice and strong institutions

  • as a society emerging from conflict, community development workers in NI have been at the forefront of peace-building and reconciliation work, but the continuation of geographical communities and a political landscape divided along religious and political lines perpetuates sectarian division and thus the need for ongoing peace and conflict resolution.
  • working with a range of organisations and structures is part of this - recognising and supporting voluntary sector network bodies, collaborating with partners as a principle, working to make local structures effective and committing time to supporting local decision making a reality.
  • Raising awareness of the needs and rights of asylum seekers.

6th.  Goal 13 is climate action

  • green & environmental policies for the organisation
  • promoting cycle lanes and 20mph speed limits on town streets.
  • support for projects like community solar farms
  • projects like plastic free communities.

Joint 7th. are:

Goal 6 is clean water and sanitation

  • environmental action plans

Goal 7 is affordable and clean energy

  • supporting green energy through procurement, linking with Oldham Power

Community Work Skills Manual – The Covid-19 Edition

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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 Covid-19 Quality Assurance Update for Endorsed Courses January 2021

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 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

While applying this information, the importance to students, their placements, future employers and the university reputation all require that this is balanced with ensuring all steps possible can be adopted to produce graduates best able to work within community development

However, with ongoing and regularly changing Covid 19 situations locally, it is expected that many students will be unable to complete these requirements as originally scheduled. Additionally, as needs for social distancing and self-isolation are likely to continue for the foreseeable future, we have therefore updated our guidance as follows.

Read more: ESB Covid-19 Quality Assurance Update for Endorsed Courses January 2021

ESB Covid-19 Quality Assurance Update for Endorsed Courses

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

Read more: ESB Covid-19 Quality Assurance Update for Endorsed Courses

ESB Review of Standards for Community Development

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Phase 1 Questionnare

Phase 2 Questionnare

Phase 3 Questionnare

Read the summaries of the information gathered so far here.

Community Development Practitioner Knowledge and Skills

All the work that ESB has carried out up to now has been based on the National Occupational Standards as the expression of the knowledge and skills competent Community Development practitioners hold.

The National Occupational Standards were last reviewed in 2015.

The amount of change that has taken place over the 5 years since the last review has had an impact on all we do, not least on the skills, knowledge and political situation of every community.

Given that level of change, ESB is keen to ensure that the standards against which programmes are endorsed in England are those required by the sector and respected by the users and so, a review and potential updating of those standards is necessary.

Over the next 9 months we will be undertaking a review to look at  what we have that still works and what doesn’t as well as to look at the relevance of other standards developments such as the international standards for CD and the UN sustainability goals as examples.

We intend to carry out this work using regular 1 or 2 question surveys each month – as a means of maximising the breadth of involvement and minimising the time commitment requested of participants each month.

The outcomes of the responses to the questions over the months will be used to determine:

  • whether ESB should continue to use the current Community Development National Occupational Standards as the basis for our endorsement and Recognition of practice criteria
  • whether to adopt the UN Sustainability goals, IACD standards, or another set of standards as identified through the process
  • whether to create new ESB draft standards, which could include elements of the UN sustainability goals and IACD standards, for community development practice in England.

If any changes are to be made after further consultation, our expectation is that the Community Development Standards England (2021) would then be available for use across the sector for the start of the 2021 academic year as well as informing the work of ESB

We would like to invite any of you to get involved in this work by answering some questions about the topic. Below there is an outline of the process and you can find the the first set of questions here, as a Survey Monkey questionnaire.

You can now find the second set of questions here, as a Survey Monkey Questionnaire.

The third set of questions are now available here, as a Survey Monkey Questionnaire.

We want to involve as many people as possible with this review and we want the process we adopt to encourage people to contribute to the different aspects of the review. The review will be carried out primarily on line; initially people will be asked to opt in to receive a question each month which they would respond to; people could join at any time through this web site and see the previous and current questions. As the questions are answered so the collated responses will be posted on our web site. 

As an iterative process, which may be amended as a result of feedback given, the process and timings involved may have to change, but the process outlined here is our current intention.

We are seeking people to help steer this project by joining an expert group to review the process as it develops and the information we receive from people, if you are interested please contact us.

Our current thinking is that there are a number of distinct stages to the review:

Stage 1. Exploring how relevant the standards are to community development today

This stage will explore perceptions of the key purpose definition and the current values statements.

You can find the the first set of questions here, as a Survey Monkey questionnaire.

Stage 2. Exploring links with other standards

This would explore the relevance of the UN sustainability goals and the IACD standards; and seek information about other professional standards we should consider

Stage 3. Existing NOS Standards

This will explore the relevance of the existing standards and what new areas need to be included.

Stage 4. Drafting our standards

This will explore the proposed new standard headings, how the new standards should be set out, the relevance of a common core, and how skills and knowledge are articulated

Stage 5. Exploring how to publicise and get people using the standards

This will explore how people use standards and what kinds of guides are helpful. It can also look at ways to publicise the new standards.