Federation for Community Development Learning
Federation for Community Development Learning

Community Development National Occupational Standards

The Community Development National Occupational Standards (CDNOS) underpins our work and aims to bring together the skills, knowledge and values for anyone who does Community Development. We understand Community Development as a learning process, which is why we aim to support our members in any aspect this involves.


FCDL's role in developing Community Development National Occupational Standards 2009:


FCDL worked in partnership with the Lifelong Learning Sector Skills Council, supported by a project steering group, to undertake the review that resulted in the Community Development National Occupational Standards 2009. Throughout the process of the review, FCDL and the steering group consulted with Community Development practitioners across the field and the UK to ensure that the knowledge, skills and experience is reflected in the CDNOS, as they define what is good quality Community Development work practice for the next five years or so.


The key purpose of Community Development, as described in the CDNOS:

Community Development is a long–term value based process which aims to address imbalances in power and bring about change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion.

The process enables people to organise and work together to:

  • identify their own needs and aspirations
  • take action to exert influence on the decisions which affect their lives
  • improve the quality of their own lives, the communities1 in which they live, and societies of which they are a part.

1 Communities refer to those that can be defined geographically and/or those defined by interest or identity.

Community Development values:


The Community Development process is underpinned by a set of values on which all practice is based. There are five key values that underpin all Community Development practice:

  • Equality and Anti-discrimination
  • Social Justice
  • Collective Action
  • Community Empowerment
  • Working and Learning Together

Community Development key areas:

And seven Key Areas that between them contain 25 standards.

  • Key Area One (Core): Understand and Practise Community Development
  • Key Area Two: Understand and Engage with Communities
  • Key Area Three: Take a Community Development Approach to Group Work and Collective Action
  • Key Area Four: Promote and Support a Community Development Approach to Collaborative and Cross-sectoral Working
  • Key Area Five: Support Community Learning from Shared Experiences
  • Key Area Six: Provide Community Development Support to Organisations
  • Key Area Seven: Manage and Develop Community Development Practice

Using the CDNOS:


The following documents can be downloaded here:

  • The full, final and approved version of the CDNOS;
  • Summary sheet giving a brief overview of the CDNOS, developed with different practitioners from across the UK;
  • A3 Tree poster of the CDNOS, showing the key values, key areas and the 25 standards. This is a great visual tool;
  • CDNOS guide with practice examples of how the CDNOS can be applied in different ways.

What do we do?

Click here to view a brief summary of our main areas of work.

Get in touch

Federation for Community Development Learning
8 Paradise Street

Sheffield S1 2DF

Tel: 0114 258 7270

Mobile: 0789 490 2150

E-mail: info@fcdl.org.uk


Or use our online contact form.

Join the Federation for Community Development Learning

Find out more about membership.

Download an application form to apply now.

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