Facilitate community leadership

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


This standard is about encouraging and, when necessary, demonstrating leadership in communities. It is about nurturing inclusive and effective community leadership which will motivate and support individuals and communities to become involved and work together to achieve collective objectives.

In this standard the community development practitioner facilitates the development of community leadership skills. This may include demonstrating and role modelling certain behaviours and styles, giving advice, feedback and identifying areas for development and learning. This standard is relevant to all community development practitioners who encourage, motivate and support others to lead community activity.

The community development standards are arranged in six key areas:

  1. Understand and practise community development

  2. Understand and engage with communities

  3. Group work and collective action

  4. Collaboration and cross-sectoral working

  5. Community learning for social change 

  6. Governance and organisational development

This standard is within Key Area Three.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. promote styles of leadership appropriate to community development organisation
  2. use different leadership styles in developing, supporting and nurturing community leadership 
  3. lead by example to win the trust and support of others in own community
  4. support others to work together, take the initiative and demonstrate leadership when appropriate within the organisation
  5. manage the tensions that arise from different understandings of the term 'leadership'
  6. involve others in developing and communicating agreed vision, purpose, objectives and plans for the community
  7. use participative decision-making methods which are open, transparent and accountable to the communities involved
  8. establish understanding of roles in relation to achieving goals agreed for the community
  9. support all involved to perform their roles to achieve agreed aims for the community
  10. motivate others to present their ideas; to listen to ideas, overcome obstacles and deal with setbacks and change in own organisation
  11. recognise people's achievements, effort and creativity in achieving community goals

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to use different theories, models and styles of leadership to empower, motivate, support and influence others
  2. the tensions associated with the term 'leadership' in a community context
  3. how to recognise and develop the leadership capability of others
  4. how to create a culture which encourages and recognises creativity and innovation
  5. the positive and negative impacts of different leadership styles
  6. how to use leadership skills to involve people in open and transparent decision making
  7. own strengths and weaknesses in a leadership role and how to address these
  8. the importance and ways of encouraging others to take the lead
  9. different ways of communicating effectively with different audiences
  10. how to work with others to plan, set objectives, recognise achievement and monitor progress
  11. the importance of ensuring that there are clear lines of public accountability for decisions made and actions taken
  12. how to show others the contribution of their individual role to the achievement of collective objectives
  13. methods for motivating, supporting and encouraging people; and recognising their achievements


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge


Community development is underpinned by a set of values which distinguish it from other, sometimes related, activities in the community. These values are at the core of community development and underpin each of the standards. The values are;

  1. Social justice and equality
  2. Anti-discrimination
  3. Community empowerment
  4. Collective action
  5. Working and learning together

The following examples illustrate how each of the community development values might inform practice in this standard. These statements are not part of assessment requirements.

  1. community strengths, skills and assets are regularly celebrated
  2. a culture of respect, trust and valuing of diversity is promoted and nurtured
  3. community members are supported to develop their own community leadership skills
  4. participatory decision-making is fostered at all levels
  5. community members are encouraged to reflect on and learn from their own leadership experiences





Involves being responsible within and to communities for the actions taken and decisions made; and the opportunities for members of communities to hold to account representatives, decision-makers, groups and individuals working on behalf of communities


The strengths and aspirations in a community and can refer to cultural, economic (including occupational and financial), environmental, interconnections and relationships, physical, social, spiritual and political factors.


The web of personal relationships, groups, networks, traditions and patterns of behaviour that can develop  among those who share a geographic area or identity or interest.

Collective action

Working together with others to achieve a common aim.

Community development practitioner

A person doing community development work as a paid worker, unpaid worker, group member, community activist or volunteer.

Community Engagement

A way to build and sustain relationships within and between communities, community groups or organisations, public sector, third sector and other agencies.  It provides a foundation for collaboration helping them to understand and collectively take action.


A process where people gain control (eg confidence, knowledge, skills, resources) to affect decisions impacting on their communities.


Can be informal, formal and non-formal:

  • Informal refers to experiential and personal learning
  • Formal learning refers to what we gain from courses, academic studies and continual professional development
  • Non-formal education is that which can be informal or formal but occurs in non-traditional settings e.g. in communities.


Any collection of people in the community, voluntary, public and private sectors and any hybrid configuration across these sectors. It refers to community groups, charities, community and social enterprises, statutory agencies, businesses.


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


The work a community development practitioner may undertake to ensure the group can pursue its aims. The types of activities may include: providing information, moral and motivational encouragement, researching particular topics, identifying sources of help, listening to group members' ideas and thought processes and reflecting them back, facilitating decision-making, acting as an advocate, coach, mentor, critical friend.


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

Community Voluntary Workers, Community Activator

SOC Code


community development; community development practitioner; community development practice; community development values; community development research; community development consultation; community development groups; community development methods