About this section

As a community learning and development practitioner you will already know about the importance of understanding and developing services to meet local needs.  You might be planning CLD services, developing a CLD strategy for your area, or working directly with the local community – whatever your role, you need to be clear about who lives in your community, and what their needs are to be able to design services that are inclusive. 

Assessing local needs is especially important for equalities groups, because:

  • as a service provider, public body or education and learning provider, you may have legal responsibilities towards equalities groups;
  • some people from equalities groups will have specific needs; and
  • some people from equalities groups may encounter specific barriers in accessing services. 

If you don’t know about these, it is difficult to develop services that are appropriate and accessible to everyone. 

This section explores how you can better understand local needs to inform the development and delivery of services.  It sets out the steps you need to take to develop a needs assessment.