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.
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.