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Leadership training

Taj Khan quote, Tyne & Wear Citizens, training

We believe that community leaders are trained, not made – which is why we invest so much time and effort into leadership development. We also believe that people learn best by doing, which is why our training always focuses on putting the theory and the skills into practice.

All our training is delivered by experienced members of the Guild of Community Organisers, which includes the leading practitioners of the craft in the UK, with over a century of experience between them.

There are four opportunities to access training with Citizens UK:

1) Local taster training: Introduction to Community Organising

Most of our training consists of short workshops and one or two day local taster trainings delivered in the community or online. If you are part of a Citizens UK member organisation, ask your local Community Organiser for details of taster training courses in your area.

2) Regional community leadership training: The five steps to social change

For those who have completed a local taster training we offer our regional community leadership training. 

The purpose of this course is to equip you with the method and skills to lead action for change in your local Citizens alliance. We use the five steps to social change framework and a suite of complementary skills to help community leaders translate their anger at injustice into effective action for change. This is a three-day course, followed by 25 hours of additional workshops, and a 50-hour practical placement in your community. This course is accredited by Newman University, Birmingham as a Professional Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership.  

Paul Phillips, Waltham Forest Citizens

3) National community leadership training: Our flagship course

Our national community leadership training is a six-day immersion in Community Organising theory and skills, with a particular emphasis on building the method into the culture of your organisation through institutional development. After the six-day residential course there is a 50-hour practical placement in your community. This course is accredited by Newman University, Birmingham as a Professional Graduate Certificate in Community Leadership.

Abdikayf Farah, Leicester & Leicestershire Citizens, training quote

4) Learning Thursdays: Free weekly online training workshops

During the first Covid-19 lockdown, we ran a weekly Organising civil society in Covid-19 session on Zoom. Hundreds of leaders participated from every chapter across Citizens UK, sharing experiences and learning on Covid-related issues such as bereavement and grief, volunteer training, and staying relational, as well as encouraging action on issues such as the Living Wage for Key Workers campaign, mental health and Black Lives Matter.

Since October we have formalised Learning Thursdays. Every Thursday afternoon from 16:00 to 17:15 we will offer a free learning opportunity. On most Thursdays there will be a choice of two types of session:

  1. Learning for leaders. This is aimed at any leader within Citizens UK. These sessions will run on a monthly theme. Learning for leaders will be accessible even to those who are very new to Citizens UK and Community Organising.
  2. Community Organising masterclasses. These are aimed at leaders who have some experience of Citizens UK and are likely to have been through our training. These will be stand-alone masterclasses focused on the key skills of Community Organising.

On the final Thursday of each month at 16:00 there will be a topical learning session open to anybody, where we will seek to apply Community Organising skills to a topical issue.

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February: Institutional Development

February 25th: Organising Voters & Voter Registration

Join us for our topical learning session on organising voters and voter registration, ahead of 2021 local elections!

March: Organising an Assembly

Seven Secrets of a Super Accountability Assembly

March 4th 2021 - 16:00-17:15

Getting Turnout, Developing Leaders and Strengthening Your Institution

March 11th 2021 - 16:00-17:15

Testimony; Acting on Power; Recognition; Tension

March 18th 2021 - 16:00-17:15

Organising an Assembly: Evaluation

March 25th 2021 - 16:00-17:15

Leaders take part in training

Find out more about our training

For any questions about our training opportunities or registration process contact our learning team at