Build and maintain relationships with learners to ensure a learner-centred approach

Business Sectors (Suites): Adult Learning
Developed by: CLD Standards Council Scotland
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard is about initiating, building and maintaining relationships with learners to make sure they are at the centre of, and driving, their own learning and development.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. establish contact with learners using suitable locations, resources and channels
  2. provide learners with information about your role and responsibilities and how you may work together
  3. show respect for learners' needs and preferences and that you value their point of view
  4. discuss and agree the basis, benefits and boundaries for learner-centred relationships with learners
  5. enable learners to identify and talk about their needs
  6. adapt your responses to learners to show you are aware of their strengths as well as their needs
  7. seek learners' views on the relationships and how these could be improved
  8. reflect on your relationships with learners and adapt your approach to meet the evolving needs of learners
  9. agree with learners the type and amount of support required towards achieving their goals and assist in securing the support agreed, in line with your level of authority and organisational requirements.
  10. monitor learners' activity to ensure their physical safety and mental wellbeing and respond to changes in behaviour
  11. deal with misunderstandings, disagreements and barriers to progression in ways that maintain positive relationships
  12. develop learner-centred relationships in ways that enhance learners' self- esteem, self-confidence and ability to take ownership of their own development
  13. communicate with learners in ways that are appropriate to them, including the use of technology where appropriate, recognising when there are communications difficulties and adapting the way you communicate accordingly
  14. check that learners have understood what you are communicating
  15. act in ways that adhere to the ethical practice required within your organisation or profession
  16. challenge any prejudice, use of stereotypes, discrimination and unethical or oppressive behaviour
  17. encourage individual autonomy in the learning process
  18. promote inclusivity, diversity and equality of opportunity
  19. maintain confidentiality and security of individual information that meets relevant legal requirements and organisational policies
  20. demonstrate understanding of legal requirements, local procedures and your own accountability for safeguarding young people and vulnerable adults

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. legal, organisational and policy requirements relevant to your role and the activities being carried out
  2. relevant ethical principles and codes of professional ethical practice and the consequences of not adhering to them
  3. the benefits of building learner-centred relationships based on respect and recognition of learners' strengths and individuality
  4. how to ensure your practice supports learners' needs
  5. how to encourage learners' ownership of the learning process
  6. methods of supporting and building learners' self- esteem, confidence and empowerment
  7. why it is important to set and agree boundaries for the relationship with learners and how to do this effectively
  8. the cultural, linguistic, social, economic, emotional, physical and educational factors which impact on learning experience throughout life
  9. locations in the community where adults meet
  10. the role and scope of the provision in your local area
  11. the importance of building trust and rapport with adults, and methods for achieving this for a range of adults
  12. principles of effective communication including how to adapt your approach to different contexts and identification of barriers to communication their causes, and ways to overcome them
  13. different styles and forms of communication that may be appropriate for communicating with adults, including electronic channels
  14. the importance of non-verbal communication, such as body language, and how others use and interpret body language in different ways
  15. the boundaries and limits of own professional expertise
  16. the boundaries of confidentiality, when it is appropriate to disclose confidential information to others and the processes required
  17. measures to safeguard young people and vulnerable adults
  18. the importance of sharing information and expertise with others, where appropriate, for the benefit of learners
  19. the importance of non-judgmental/non stereotyped attitudes and approaches and how you ensure that these underpin your practice
  20. what support you can seek when you are involved in conflict situations


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge






This covers any physical or human resource that supports the adult learning process and could include technical equipment, IT-based resources, buildings, sources of specialist knowledge, local assets. 


This refers to both hardware and online tools/apps which can be used in practice and communication (including social media).

Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2028





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Adult Learning Worker

SOC Code


adult learning