University Qualification for Community sector volunteers and staff


The Fermanagh Trust is inviting volunteers and paid staff in the community / voluntary sector to consider applying for the Diploma in Community Development Practice. A one-year (part time) course accredited by the University of Galway.

This course is aimed at those who wish to improve their understanding in Community Development and may also support people who are looking to gain a formal qualification in Community Development for career progression in the sector.

Delivered by Rural Community Network the 32-week Diploma course begins October 2023.
It will involve practical learning, preparing those taking part to explore the full complement of issues facing the voluntary and community sector. Modules include Good Practice in Community Development, Understanding Group Work, Understanding Policy, Research, and elements of Peace Building.

Entry requirement is simply that those taking part are actively involved in community development in their own areas, either as a volunteer or as a worker. 25 spaces are available and the course will be Cookstown based but classes may move across locations in the West.

The Diploma is part a wider 'Community Leadership in the West ' led by Fermanagh Trust and their partners Rural Community Network and Holywell Trust. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund NI. Now in it’s third year the programme offers training opportunities and qualifications to support the next generation of leaders, to build their capacity to respond and react confidently to the challenges they face and give them the skills they need to make sure community voices are heard.

Lauri McCusker Director of Fermanagh Trust commented “The Diploma is an important part of our Community Leadership Programme. It is the perfect course for those wishing to broaden their knowledge and gain the practical skills required to work effectively in this sector. It will open up new opportunities for those taking part as well as providing the space to meet and learn from others in similar roles.”

Lauri emphasised “As part of our role in the programme we’ve delivered almost 60 short courses and networking events, facilitate the Fermanagh Young Leader’s Programme and provided workers and volunteers OCN Level 1 and Level 2 in Community Development. This is an ambitious project but has the potential to change the future of the community sector in the West and will make sure the needs of communities are represented where it matters in the future. With excellent feedback from participants so far we hope many more will avail of this opportunity to upskill.”

Closing date for applications to the Diploma in Community Development Practice is 14th July 2023.  For more information / course content / dates and to apply, please contact Tel: 028 66 320 210 / E: / CLICK HERE


Recent OCN Level 2 graduates as part of the Investing in Community Leadership Programme. (L-R) Karla Turner Supporting Communities NI, tutor of the OCN. Deidre O’Connor, Siobhán Currie, Emma Burton, Declan McHugh, Martin McGovern, Clare Phair, Ursula Meehan, Sharon Hower, Stephan McQuaid, Rachael Melanophy and Sonya Johnston Deputy Director of the Fermanagh Trust who deliver the programme.



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