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September 23, 2015

Networked learning

The great value of being networked with others is the opportunity to learn from what’s going on elsewhere. Scotland’s community sector is very well served by networks of all shapes, sizes and specialisms but sometimes the costs of networking and learning from others can be prohibitive. Scottish Govt has recognised this and has agreed funding for our new Community Learning Exchange. If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, you’ll need to get involved with one these networks (scroll to bottom)



Community Learning Exchange – Guidance notes for potential applicants

How will it operate?

The exchange will operate through the networks that comprise the membership of Scottish Community Alliance.  Each participating network will identify a designated member of staff with responsibility for promoting the Exchange to their membership, facilitating visits and liaising with the Exchange Coordinator who will be based with Scottish Community Alliance. Groups will apply to the Exchange through their network’s designated member of staff. Upon receipt of a valid application, the Exchange Coordinator will authorise payment of the grant to the group in question and within the stipulated period, ensure that receipts and monitoring requirements are complied with.

Who can access the Exchange?

The Exchange will be open to any constituted community group that is either a member of an SCA member network or has been vouched for by a designated member of staff of a network as an appropriate applicant to the Exchange.

What will the Exchange fund?

1.            Community to community visits. The Exchange will cover 100% of the costs of a visit by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of £750. In exceptional circumstances (where travel distances are greater or certain aspects of the visit are particularly expensive) this limit can be increased at the discretion of the Exchange Coordinator. Study visits to locations out with Scotland, but within the United Kingdom, can be considered where a project relates to a new or innovative concept and where a similar project does not exist in Scotland.

The following rates will apply:

Mileage at 40p per mile – or the cheapest/most convenient form of public transport

Accommodation costs up to £70 per person per night B& B

Subsistence up to £25 per person per day (no alcohol)

Host’s fee – £300 per day 

2.            Multiple community visits. Each visiting community will apply to the exchange separately. For the hosts of these multiple visits, the work and the associated cost involved are anticipated to be significantly higher. The host’s fee for these events will be £500.

What is the role of the Exchange Coordinator?

i.              To be responsible for the day to administration of the Exchange (allocation of grants, ensuring receipts and received monitoring reports)

ii.             To increase the number of networks who access the Exchange. In the past, a relatively few networks have used the Exchange extensively. The reasons for this are a combination of internal capacity and awareness of the benefits that can be derived.

iii.            To identify sites/communities which are likely to be of interest to a number of groups from across the sector and facilitate these ‘multiple visits’ by promoting them through each of the networks.

Application Process

1.            Fill in application form.

2.            The completed application form should then be sent by the applicant to whichever network the group is applying through, so that the application can be vouched for.

3.            Once it is signed off by the network, the completed application is returned to Scottish Community Alliance for a decison.

4.            If approved, a letter of grant offer and declaration form is sent to the community group.


5.            Once the signed declaration form, agreeing to the terms and conditions, is returned to SCA, the funds will be released.

6.            A monitoring form will be sent out for completion within one month of the visit taking place.