Recognition validates people’s learning from reflecting on their community development practice (paid or unpaid) –of learning from experience. Recognition is based on the core values of Community Development and the skills and knowledge required to be an effective community development practitioner. Recognition was initially developed by ESB to provide validation of the competence of experienced community development practitioners. It built upon the work of the original Accreditation Units’ portfolio approach to a youth and community certificate to meet an identified gap and has continued to develop different forms of Recognition to suit people more at the start of their community development practice or for people undertaking new projects. Recognition is based on the National Occupational Standards for Community Development CD NOS

Participants use their reflections on their practice to build a portfolio which demonstrates their practice and their learning from experience. Participants have an individual mentor to help them
The mentor listens to the participants current and past community involvement and community development activities and helps the participants through this process. At the validation panel participants present and discuss their work and learning using a set of guidelines. This challenging experience provides a vital rehearsal for future interviews and presentations on complex community, social and cultural issues.
Recognition is usually undertaken with others on a programme with workshops as well as mentoring sessions. Individuals can also present their own portfolios for assessment. The time scale is geared to the needs of the participants and to funders requirements. The different types of Recognition (Full, Baseline, Project – see overleaf) can all be undertaken on the same programme as the panel makes the final decision on what has been achieved.
How does it work?

  • Potential participants active in their communities attend an open session
  • Attend a 2 day induction to the scheme where they are allocated to a mentor, agree the type of Recognition they wish to aim for and start to gather information about their existing skills
  • Workshops and meeting their mentor participants gather evidence of some of their activities and complete forms showing their reflections on their work and their skills/ knowledge
  • Present their portfolio for assessment
  • Attend the panel and present their work
  • Receive their Recognition certificate

All participants will complete a snap shot of their community activities linked to the CD NOS and a map of their lives and key points. For each Standard attempted there is a template to explain the work undertaken, the participants role, their reflective learning, and their understanding of the theories that inform their practice. Supporting evidence from practice, witness testimonies and mentor comments will also form part of their portfolios. The portfolios are externally assessed and the panel will be chaired by a member of ESB board.

Please contact us to discuss your interest