Manage internal organisational development and external relationships

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


This standard is about creating an environment in which organisations can carry out inclusive and effective community development work. The standard involves managing internal structures and systems to ensure effective community development work. At the same time, the standard encourages community development practitioners to be outward looking to respond to community issues and needs. This standard relates to the tasks that need to be undertaken to raise awareness of community development within own organisation and to managing the relationships between the organisation and the communities with which it works.

This standard is relevant to those who manage relationships in community development and to all managers of community development organisations.

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 Six.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. gather evidence to analyse political, social and economic changes to the working environment for their implications on own community development practice
  2. manage change, uncertainty and conflict that is internal or external to the organisation
  3. support joint problem solving within teams and between practitioners and other organisational staff to achieve organisational objectives
  4. develop and implement practice to increase community empowerment and involvement in planning and decision-making processes
  5. manage the tensions that may arise between professional and organisational values in own organisation
  6. manage the impact of own organisation's decisions on communities 
  7. develop organisational policies to support the continuing professional development of community development practitioners
  8. give guidance on models of devolved decision making and planning to others in the organisation
  9. reflect on practice to inform management decisions relating to organisational development and change
  10. assess the impact of community development practice on particular communities and share this with relevant others to support future planning
  11. use different leadership styles for different situations in own organisation and external relationships

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. key issues in managing and supporting community development 
  2. the context for own community development organisation within local, regional and national policy
  3. the nature, composition and history of local communities
  4. organisational ethos and procedures that will impact on communities
  5. legislation affecting work with community groups and communities
  6. how to advocate for community development practice at a strategic level in own organisation
  7. how to measure the impact of community development on communities and organisations
  8. how to facilitate individual and organisational change and development
  9. approaches to managing conflict
  10. the value community development practice experience brings to a management role
  11. how to source and access specialist advice and information relevant to improving organisational practices and structures
  12. models for devolved decision-making and their suitability in different situations
  13. the importance of critically reflecting on internal organisational practice as part of professional and organisational development


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. creative thinking is applied to ensure inclusive approaches to problem solving
  2. issues of discrimination raised by communities are listened to and acted upon
  3. participatory decision-making processes are adopted which actively involve communities and organisations
  4. the collective nature of community development is maintained in the face of targets relating to individuals
  5. community members are motivated and supported to take the lead on building external relationships





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

Community groups and organisations

Located within communities of geography, identity or interest. These groups are controlled by their users and are usually small and informal with no paid staff. They are often referred to collectively as the community sector.


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