Supervise and support community development practitioners

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


This standard relates to the role of supporting, guiding and managing paid and unpaid community development practitioners.

The community development values inform the approach to supervision, guidance and support that is expressed in this standard. Supervision should prepare practitioners for the issues they will have to address in their practice.

This standard is relevant to all community development practitioners in a supervisory or support role.

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. promote the use of the Community Development National Occupational Standards to support practice and professional development within own organisation
  2. implement systems for supervision, appraisal, individual development planning and reporting within organisational requirements
  3. facilitate team working and peer support mechanisms within own organisation
  4. support and guide the continuous professional development of community development practitioners within own organisation
  5. facilitate community development practitioners to reflect on their work practice
  6. support community development practitioners to analyse their work and to implement agreed improvements in their role and practice
  7. motivate community development practitioners to explore their own learning and support needs and identify how these can be met
  8. guide community development practitioners to develop a detailed knowledge of the communities they work with
  9. support community development practitioners to navigate tensions between communities' expectations and organisational remit and capability
  10. signpost community development practitioners to information on local, regional and national policies which impact on their practice
  11. support community development practitioners to record and document their work for reporting and evaluation purposes
  12. support community development practitioners to update their knowledge and understanding of trends and developments in community development theory and practice and apply this to their everyday work

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. developmental processes integral to becoming a supervisor of community development practitioners
  2. current and emerging issues in managing community development practitioners
  3. the organisational context for community development within local, regional and national policy
  4. the nature, composition and history of local communities
  5. the ethos and procedures of own organisation that will impact on communities
  6. legislation affecting work with community groups and communities
  7. techniques for identifying the skills, knowledge and support needed by community development practitioners
  8. how to encourage ownership of continual professional development for community development practitioners
  9. sources of specialist advice and information relevant to community development practitioners
  10. models for devolved decision-making and their suitability in different situations
  11. models of individual, group and peer supervision of practitioners
  12. policies and procedures to support the supervision, accountability and management of practitioners
  13. time management and individual workload planning
  14. how to manage tensions between professional and organisational values
  15. the use of evaluative material in team and organisational work planning
  16. the role of leader and models of leadership relevant to leading a team
  17. the importance of critically reflecting on practice and using the results for 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. power differences between managers and practitioners are openly acknowledged and inform the building of effective working relationships
  2. managers support practitioners to challenge inappropriate behaviour towards, and inappropriate attitudes and approaches to communities
  3. practitioners negotiate their role and input within communities
  4. practitioners are resourced and encouraged to attend networking events
  5. community members and practitioners are supported to jointly produce case studies to celebrate their activities and show their impact





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

Collective action

Working together with others to achieve a common aim.


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.

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.


Entails an overall assessment of the achievements, effectiveness and impact of work carried out.


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


A process in which support, guidance, reassurance and feedback allows reflection and negotiation of agreements on the role, responsibilities and practice of community development practitioners


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