Join our next practitioner training programme and become licensed to award the Standard Mark

28th Sep 2017
We are delighted to announce the details our next Practitioner Training Programme - our dedicated community shares training course, which supports emerging practitioners to become licensed to award the Standard Mark.

To apply to attend either via the Training or Foundation Pathway, please complete the application form which can be found here by 12 noon on Friday 10th November.  All candidates applying for a bursary will be notified by 14th November as to whether you have been successful or not.

Complete the Application Form now 


About the training programme

Our seventh training programme involves five action learning workshops where you can apply your learning to support a client through the process of making a community share offer. We plan to hold the workshops in Birmingham with the venue to be confirmed.  The dates of the workshops are as follows:

  • Workshop 1 (Introduction) – 22nd November 2017 (webinar)
  • Workshop 2 (Community Engagement) – 5th December 2017
  • Workshop 3 (Business Model) – 9th January 2018
  • Workshop 4 (Governance) – 6th February 2018
  • Workshop 5 (Offer Documentation) – 13th March 2018


About the assessment

To make the most of this programme you should already be working with a client which intends to launch a community share offer in the next six months.

Once you have completed the workshops, you will need to complete a client case study assignment to become a "probationary" licensed practitioner. This involves supporting your client in the development of their share offer to the point where it is awarded the Standard Mark, under supervision of the Community Shares Unit (CSU). 

You will be required to carry out an initial assessment of your client’s share offer, which will also be assessed by the CSU, given feedback on your assessment, and supervised in the support you give your client through to the award of the Standard Mark by the CSU. Typically, it will take you four to six days client work to complete this process. You will also be required to write a case study of your work supporting the client with their share offer, which may take one or two days to produce.


Once you’re licensed

All licensed practitioners are listed on the CSU directory, and can offer Standard Mark assessment to fee-paying clients, under the supervision of the CSU. To become a fully licenced practitioner you must complete a further three Standard Mark assessments, at least one of which must be as the lead assessor with your own fee-paying client, the other two can be peer reviews of a share offer where the CSU is the lead assessor. Opportunities to participate in peer reviews are frequently available. When you become a fully licenced practitioner you can independently award the Standard Mark without the supervision of the CSU.  You should allow at least two working days to complete a peer review, which means that together with four to six work days it takes to complete a lead review, it may take you another ten days work to become fully licenced.  



The costs are dependent on the pathway you decide to take to become a Community Shares Practitioner. We're now offering three pathways to cater for individuals' circumstances and motivations for getting involved with the programme. 

Training Pathway

The full route, in which you participate in all the training workshops and complete all the assessments to become a fully licensed practitioner, is called the Training Pathway.

The Training Pathway fee is £3,000 + VAT per person.

Foundation Pathway

Alternatively, you can choose the Foundation Pathway by attending the five workshops and then satisfactorily completing a peer review of a share offer. You do not need to be working with a client group to participate on this pathway. You will be listed on the CSU directory as a "foundation practitioner” and will be recognised as having a very strong grounding of the community shares model.

The cost to participate in the Foundation Pathway is £1,000 + VAT.  

You can then, if you wish, progress to become a fully licensed practitioner by completing the Experience Pathway – explained below.

Experience Pathway

The Experience Pathway involves the same practitioner assessment process as the Training Pathway (client case study assignment plus three further reviews) but the practitioner does not attend the workshops.

The cost of the Experience Pathway is £2,000 + VAT or £1,750 + VAT for foundation practitioners.


Financial Support

We are happy to tell you that we are once again offering a small number of bursaries via the Peer Network Programme which is being funded by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses.  You can use this bursary to fully fund either the Training Pathway or Foundation Pathway.  The bursary is for freelancers and individuals from organisations with limited training resources who are actively involved with community businesses.  

Power to Change has produced a blog showcasing the experience of a practitioner who is working towards becoming licensed as part of the Peer Network programme. 

You can apply for the bursary on the application form and you will need to tell us:

  • how you are currently involved in community businesses;
  • how this will be enhanced by participating in this programme; and
  • if possible, tell us who you will be working with as a consequence of this. 



To apply to attend either via the Training or Foundation Pathway, please complete the application form which can be found here by 12 noon on Friday 10th November.  All candidates applying for a bursary will be notified by 14th November as to whether you have been successful or not.