Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the community learning and development sector

Published: 31 Jul 2020
Last updated: 13 Aug 2020 - see all updates

Guidance to help local authorities, third sector organisations and partners working in Scotland’s schools, colleges and communities to provide community learning and development (CLD) services safely.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the community learning and development sector
Easing out of lockdown

Easing out of lockdown

As the CLD sector shapes services by, with and for learners and communities, decision making should be guided by the CLD Code of Ethics and should take account of the principles, as identified in Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis (Scottish Government 21 May 2020). 

Underpinning assumptions towards CLD practice and service re-design in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, reflecting the approaches set out by the Scottish Government, with a particular emphasis on:

  • recovery - to a new normal
  • renewal - building a fairer and more sustainable economy and society

In particular, we identify the following key aspects of social and economic development, in each of which CLD has an essential part to play:

  • protecting and improving health
  • learning, well-being and creating local wealth
  • building citizenship, solidarity, community voice and “future-focus”

As CLD practice plays an increasingly important role and it is essential to ensure the quality of CLD practice and the needs of staff and service users are taken into account during the development of guidance at a local level.

Many CLD practitioners have a work base that is not where much of their face to face engagement with learners or daily interactions with other people takes place.

The role of a CLD practitioner often requires practice in multiple locations and settings such as schools, community hubs, outdoor settings, homes and libraries throughout the working day. The peripatetic nature of CLD could create an additional risk of transmission within the community. This risk should be factored into the planning process and reflected in risk assessments when scheduling work activities and peripatetic working environments for staff throughout the easing of restriction measures. 

Under the Scottish Government’s route map through and out of the coronavirus crisis, phase 3 would see CLD practice return to providing some learning in schools, colleges and communities. In some cases this will result in services being provided on a face to face basis, whilst other CLD services will begin a blended learning model by combining some face to face interaction with online or outdoor activity. In some cases CLD services may remain online in order to protect vulnerable service users, CLD staff and volunteers.

Apprenticeships, training and placement providers

Apprentices can return to work at the same time as their co-workers. For specific concerns regarding the safe return to work for apprentices, there is information and support on the Skills Development Scotland website and apprentices can speak to an advisor directly on 0800 917 8000.

It is important to ensure there is a functioning training infrastructure to support economic recovery and the sustainability of apprenticeship programmes. For those training providers and assessors that are providing continuity of contracted services for apprentices, learners and employers in the workplace during the pandemic must adhere to the applicable sectoral guidance. The same rules apply to students on CLD placements. If you have specific questions relating to CLD student placements, please contact the CLD Standards Council at


If you would like to provide feedback or have any questions related to this guidance please email

First published: 31 Jul 2020 Last updated: 13 Aug 2020 -