Skip to main content

The ESB Criteria

The ESB Criteria and the new guides that ESB have produced are based on material from the 2015 UK CD NOS, the 2023 UK CD NOS, the IACD international Standards for Community Development and the UN sustainability goals. The aim is to use the material that has been generated internationally as well as nationally to create criteria that are relevant and up to date for all people undertaking community development practice in England. Community development is an academic discipline, an occupation and a way of working within communities; the aim to provide guidance for all these practitioners of community development. These include people paid as community development practitioners, activists and people who take a community development approach to their work or community activity – for example people engaged in youth work, faith related practice, health and well-being.

ESB  takes on a role similar to that of a PSRB and  sets the criteria for the endorsement of  Community Development learning and qualification programmes, and the criteria for individual practitioners. We were set up in 1997 to ensure the quality of CD training and have since set out what practitioners need to now and be able to do. In the past we have tended to use the UK CD NOS as the basis for our requirements. Recent developments have led us to update our requirements using a wider range of standards and frameworks.

Our new criteria draw upon occupational standards internationally and in the UK, digital frameworks and the UN Sustainability Goals to provide a more relevant guide to the roles and activities undertaken by community development practitioners. They may be paid workers, community activists or professional workers in many occupations who use a community development approach to their community engagement and involvement work.

The criteria set out the skills and knowledge needed to undertake quality community development/ be a competent community development practitioner.

The 25 criteria are set out under 7 key areas of practice and can be easily customised to the needs of individuals and organisations.

The criteria can be used in many different ways – here are a few:

  • To create job spec and job descriptions
  • Undertake appraisals
  • Support supervision and mentoring
  • To undertake personal reflection and CPD
  • To devise training programmes and workshops
  • To aid the assessment of practice
  • Quality assurance of learning programmes
  • Quality assurance of projects