National Standards for Community Capacity Building: Scoping Exercise

Building the skills, organisation, involvement and influence of community groups is an essential contribution to National Outcomes. Community capacity building (CCB) continues to be a key priority for community learning and development (CLD). However, the current understanding of CCB, and its contribution to policy and practice, needs to be improved.

Education Scotland and its partners want to strengthen the focus on CCB in the light of the new strategic guidance and future legislation for community empowerment and community planning. The strategic approach to CLD, outlined in the guidance, will improve awareness of the principles and practice involved in strengthening communities and how best to create a more supportive environment for this. 

Scoping exercise

As a means to improving clarity about the principles involved, it has been suggested that it may be desirable to build upon the existing experience of the National Standards for Community Engagement (NSCE). These are seen as successful in achieving common understandings, improving practice and involving a wide range of stakeholders.

Scottish Community Development Centre was commissioned by Education Scotland to explore whether there is scope for the development of national standards for community capacity building - and, if so,  what form these might take. 

The results of the research phase indicate that there is an appetite for a more strategic approach to CCB, which will deliver consistent, equitable and sustainable opportunities for communities across Scotland.

Education Scotland will work with partners in the coming months to explore the best way to move this discussion forward - using the research report as a springboard for further discussion - in parallel with the implementation of the strategic guidance. Education Scotland is welcoming comments and will hold a series of meetings in Autumn 2012. For further information visit Education Scotland.