2016 saw the Standards Board involved in a number of different areas of work and engaging with new organisations. We welcomed new board members and recruited additional readers and reporters.

Summary of our work

1. Dual validation and endorsement with National Youth Agency.

We have further developed our relationship with the Education and Training Sub Committee (ETS) of the National Youth Agency. Reciprocal arrangements exist for being represented on each other’s boards. Work achieved as a result of this relationship includes developing a dual validation/endorsement for the Youth and Community Work programme already endorsed by ETS to strengthen the community development input and assessment. This has involved

  • applying the lessons learnt during the Hull University pilot to the process at Ruskin,
  • producing a guidance handbook including a number of matrices that help with recording of evidence and mapping it to the CD NOS,
  • agreeing a process and clarifying the roles that each organisation will take.

2. Training Agency Group conferences and workshops.

We negotiated a workshop space at each of the three English events held to present the interim results of our commissioned research on the current state of community development. The results of the workshop can be found at http://www.tagpalycw/AGM%20Papers/Association%20Thematic%20Prioritiies%20for%202017-17.pdf . While the workshops were very youth work focussed, we found them useful in raising the profile of ESB and its endorsement work.

3. Research into the current state of community development and learning.

This work was commissioned to inform the above workshops. It took place between March and June and over 180 people completed the practitioners’ survey and nearly 30 training providers. The collation and analysis has produced some useful results, giving a good glimpse into the diverse areas in which community development is practised and the issues being faced as well as identifying a number of training needs. The report will be available early in 2017.

The following endorsements have taken place

  • Conditional endorsement of Edge Hill
  • Full endorsement of Ruskin.

Another dual validation is planned for 2017. We are having discussions with a number of universities about developing a wider community development focus to their youth and community programmes, as a way of attracting more students.

While Sostenga continues to be the only endorsed Recognition Centre, discussions have started about the longer term development of Community Development Learning Hubs which can also be Recognition Centres. A pilot has taken place at Hexagon Housing Association in South London leading to three cohorts gaining certificates and certificating a trainer programme for some of the participants. New cohorts are planned for North Tyneside, Durham, Liverpool and Nottingham.

6. QAA benchmarking

Two board members have been involved to ensure a greater focus on community development.

7. KIS Accreditation.

We are now accredited by this professional, statutory and regulatory decision making panel.

8. Looking to the future.

Following from the closure of some high profile national organisations in 2016, a conference on the future of community development was held at the Third Sector Research Centre, attended by a number of board members. A detailed report was produced which identified some potential areas for development around learning and qualifications.

Following the conference, the Big Local Trust was chosen to receive the legacy money from CDF which, initially, is funding a large scale piece of research into the needs of local communities. ESB has a representative on the research steering group.

Work has been carried out to the Recognition criteria and guidance which are now available for use.