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CLE Guidance

Community Learning Exchange - Guidance notes for applicants

How does it operate?


While the Community Learning Exchange is administered by Scottish Community Alliance, it is primarily intended as a resource to be shared by SCA’s member networks and offered to their members and partners. For this reason, all applications to the Learning Exchange must come through one of SCA’s member networks

All participating networks have a designated member of staff with responsibility for promoting the Learning Exchange to their membership, facilitating visits, liaising with the SCA Learning Exchange Coordinator and endorsing applications.  Applicants must apply to the Learning Exchange through their network’s designated member of staff.

Upon receipt of a valid application, the Exchange Coordinator will process the application (we aim to do this within 3 weeks), and authorise payment of the grant.  It is up to the applicant to ensure that receipts and monitoring requirements are complied with. Applications can be made at any time for visits up until March 2023. Funding is however limited, and once all the available funding has been committed, no further applications will be accepted.

Who can access the Learning Exchange?

The Learning Exchange is open to any constituted community group that is either a member of an SCA member network or has been approved by a network as a valid application. 


What will the Learning Exchange fund? – 2 Options




We will cover up to 100% of the costs of an exchange by members of one community to another community project up to a limit of 13 hours at £35 per hour for planning and delivery. 


Some suggestions on how learning can be exchanged:

  • video call e.g. Zoom, Google Meet, Skype
  • webinar
  • distributing a pre-recorded video, supported with a live Q & A
  • conducting a virtual tour of a premises
  • podcast

The following rates will apply:

  • Planning: £35 p/h to a maximum of 5 hours
  • Delivery: £35 p/h to a maximum of 8 hours

Group exchanges. SCA networks can seek to organise exchanges on behalf of their network members. e.g. group video calls/webinars.

Face to face


Applications can be made by EITHER the hosting organisation or the visiting organisation. Where the main expense is the host fee it is sometimes simpler (administratively) for the host organisation to apply.  Please note, we need the evaluation form to be completed by BOTH organisations.

The Learning Exchange will cover up to 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 SCA. 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.

It is the responsibility of participating organisations to abide by the Covid 19 rules and regulations set by the Scottish Government at the time of the learning event.


The following rates will apply:

  • Mileage at 45p per mile for first 50 miles, 25p per mile there after – or the cheapest/most convenient form of public transport, or the hire of a mini-bus or similar if that is more economical.
  • Accommodation costs up to £70 per person per night B&B
  • Subsistence up to £25 per person per day (no alcohol)
  • Host’s fees up to £300 gross per full day (ie inclusive of any VAT if applicable). It is the responsibility of the applicant organisation to pay the fee to the host organisation out of the grant monies.

Group visits. SCA networks can apply to organise visits on behalf of their members.

Multiple visits. Visits may be made to more than one host organisation. This may result in total host fees of more than £300.


The exchange will not fund:

  • Delegate fees for conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings etc.
  • Travel/attendance at events or the hosting of events
  • Training courses, delivery of or attendance

Application Process


Prior to applying you should identify your host and discuss your learning outcomes with them to ensure they are the best match for you. You should also check in with whoever is endorsing your application to ensure they are aware of the application being submitted.  They will need to sign the acceptance of grant form prior to funds being released and you will need their email address in order to complete the application form.  Once you have confirmed that, you can go ahead and apply here. 

If approved, a letter of grant offer and acceptance of grant form will be sent to the applicant. You may be contacted for further information.

The acceptance form, agreeing to the terms and conditions, must be signed by both the applicant and the endorsing network. Once returned to SCA, the funds will be released.

The funding will also include the hosting organisation’s fee. It is the responsibility of the visiting organisation to pay the hosting organisation the agreed fee.

The survey monkey monitoring form should be completed within one month of the visit taking place. (coming soon) 

If you have any questions, you can contact the Exchange Coordinators


Follow-up mentoring support


Opportunities are available for both kinds of learning for time-limited flexible mentoring relationships that support identified learning outcomes. This should be discussed with your Exchange Coordinator.