This year has been quite busy with more Recognition programmes running in the North East. Our work to endorse programmes remains core area of work, we are involved more with the dual validation of Youth and Community Development programmes with the NYA through their ETS committee. We continue to be active members of the ETS and contribute to their development and updating work. Board members have continued to be involved with the Local Trust research and with PALCYW, otherwise known as TAG – the group representing lecturers running youth and community work programmes. Through this work we  make a substantial difference to the programmes being offered to people interested I a CD approach to their work in communities. We welcomed some new people who are getting involved in the work of ESB, especially around the idea of running regional workshops or working within specific area such as housing.


University of Cumbria: Youth Work and Community Development and PGC, PGD and MA in Youth and Community Studies.

University of Ulster: BSc [Hons] Community Development

Northern College (United Reformed Church [URC]): BA Faith in Living


Shildon Recognition Project

Shildon is a small town in County Durham, with a history of coal mining and railways, but now described by residents as having ‘no hope’.  What it does have is effective and extensive community activity, involving not only people whose families have been there for generations but also people who are being rehoused from the south of England because of the existence of cheaper housing.  St. John’s Church in Shildon is part of the Durham Diocese project Faith in Community which has supported faith based community action across the county.  Early last year, Paula Nelson, the community development worker, successfully applied for a grant from the local Community Foundation to pay for a number of workers and activists to go through the Recognition process.  

Approximately twelve people attended the community development training in summer 2018.  Five followed through to submit work for Recognition.   These included a man who works as a volunteer and had no confidence that he could achieve anything but achieved several standards at level 2, a 15 year old girl who volunteered as part of being home schooled and submitted work successfully at level 2 and three paid workers.  Two achieved at level 3 and the third is yet to submit because of domestic issues but gave an excellent presentation and is expected to achieve very soon.   It was a positive process and Paula described the group has ‘having grown’ as a result.

North Tyneside

We continue our partnership with Justice Prince and two cohorts went through this year which celebrated the amazing work of some of the activists in Long Benton and East Howden who have been involved in the Listening Conversations project and the activities that have come about as the result of that. Justice Prince run all the workshops and provide the mentors and we undertake the standardisation and assessment of portfolios and chair lead the panel. We plan to run mentor training session early in 2019 to skill up people who have come through the Recognition programme to be able to support the learning and activities of other residents who are getting involved in community development. We will also be offering a workshop on how to upgrade  from the Baseline or Full Recognition that people have gained so far.

Short Course development

The short course training programme was completed at the end of 2017 and we spent some time in 2018 evaluating the  bite sized community development programme and the mentoring programme, and the pilot of using e-portfolios. This had not proved a viable way for people to present their work for qualifications issued by other warding bodies. We have now agreed with the group in Nottingham  a way for them to run bite sized training programmes in 2019 and a training for trainers. They have raise the funding for these programmes and ESB will undertake the assessment and issue certification on the basis of a  reflective practice journal.

Work with ETS

Throughout 2018, ESB continued its membership of ETS (Education, Training and Standards Committee) with NYA (National Youth Agency). This has enabled us to continue to participate in developments for the youth and community workforce – mirroring the shared content of the QAA statement benchmark for youth and community workers. This working relationship has also enabled us to offer endorsement and recognition services to HEIs as a dual process – the outcome of submission reviews and a one-day visit being endorsement by ESB and separately recognition by NYA. A time effective process for all concerned which offers the benefit to students on programme of having their completed programme professionally recognised. 

We continue to attend the quarterly ETS and contribute a community development perspective to their focus on youth work. During this year we were part of a working group established to review their requirements for  validation of degree programmes. We have updated our endorsement paperwork to ensure that programmes seeking dual endorsements have a painless a task as possible in dealing with two different organisations.

There have been a number of programmes who have faced internal problems this year which promoted ETS  and ESB to jointly  draft a new concerns document about how we respond to  crisis that develop and potentially affect students and staff significantly and indeed the future of some programmes

Support to programmes

One of the outcomes of working with ETS on revising their requirements and processes was that ESB decided to clarify more clearly  how the dual validation process worked, producing a chart that showed how the two processes run alongside each other and where they are the same and where different.  ESB decided to focus more on the development of professional practice and the associated teaching of community development within a youth and community work programme to support people becoming competent CD practitioners. PUT LINK TO THIS DOC

In order to support programmes seeking dual validation we have changed our systems to ensure that there is a substantial number of hours available at the start of the validation programme to provide advice on the coherence of the overall programme outline, to look at the details of modules, their learning outcomes, assessment methods and resource lists, as well as the arrangement for reflective practice. This is helping programmes to develop programmes that will meet ESB requirements, or for programmes to decide that at this point they do have the resources to do this at this point in time.

ESB has provided support to a number of programmes that have encountered internal difficulties with the continuation of their programmes and have sent people into the programmes as part of a tam with NYA, to meet students, staff and others involved in the programme, and where necessary have met senior management.

ESB is now offering all endorsed programme the opportunity to have a member of the board, often one of the original endorsement team, to  meet annually to complete the required annual monitoring form and to talk through issues arising. Hopefully this will enable ESB to pick up any problems that might be emerging, to support staff and celebrate good practice.


ESB continued to send a representative to the meetings of the lecturers involved with Youth and Community Work programmes whenever possible and a working relationship with key members has developed along with an exchange of information.

Research by Local Trust

ESB were pleased to be part of the steering group for the “Empowered communities in the 2020a” project with Local Trust. This work which commenced in November 2016, culminated in the launch of the IVAR research report “The future for communities: Perspectives on power” in July 2018. This baseline research is continuing from the production and release of this report initially by a further consultation in September 2018 which resulted in a new briefing “The future for communities: Continuing the conversation”.

ESBLearnCertFramePromoting the work of ESB

This year we created a new leaflet which summarises our three main areas of work; the endorsement of programmes, the certification of individuals learning through practice on short course, and Recognition. The leaflet also outlines our new learning and certification programme. You can see a copy here NEED LINK, or ask us for hard copies.

HACT/ Centre of Excellence for community investment

For some years now we have been discussing with some housing associations how e can get more involved in promoting community development approaches to their work, and have run some Recognition programmes with Hexagon HA. With the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment by HACT we have found a way to take this forward. We will be jointly presenting a workshop at the 2019 conference to launch the work of this new centre with Hexagon and  CIH, and then looking to be involved with the working group tasked with taking forward the development of the professional learning framework for HA staff.

Future plans

The board 2 day event in the autumn agreed to try and run a series of regional workshops with different partners under the title of ‘CD still standing’, with the aim of showcasing CD work being undertaken on the ground and to explore what learning and support ESB and others can offer to people in their day to day practice. Potential partners have been approached and we are working up a programme of workshops over the next couple of years.

 The board has also started discussions about how we can best continue to fulfil our key role of promoting quality CD learning and how to involve a wider range of people in its work.