Building Community Capacity - e-Learning for Healthcare
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This programme is in partnership with...
  • Northumbria University

About the Building Community Capacity programme

Learning in this programme is self-directed, supported by web-based resources over a 24 week period. Learning mainly takes place in practice. It involves carrying out a work based project through to completion.  Participants register online, and follow a series of six phases.

Building Community Capacity


  • Why health visitors, why now?

  • Getting started

  • What's in it for me?

  • Choices

  • Meet the team

How to access

Available to all

The Building Community Capacity programme is freely available to access here.
Please note your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion. If you require evidence of learning, please register and then log in to access this programme on the e-LfH Hub.

If you already have an account with e-LfH, then you can enrol on to the Building Community Capacity programme by logging in to the e-LfH Hub, selecting My Account > Enrolment and selecting the programme. You can then access the programme immediately in the My e-Learning section.

In order to access the Building Community Capacity programme, you will need an e-LfH account. If you do not have one, then you can register by selecting the Register button below.

Register >

To view the Building Community Capacity programme, select the View button below. If you already have an account with e-LfH, you will also be able to login and enrol on the programme from the View button.

View >

NHS healthcare staff in England

The Building Community Capacity programme is also available to NHS healthcare staff via the Electronic Staff Record (ESR). Accessing this e-Learning via ESR means that your completions will transfer with you throughout your NHS career.

Further details are available here.

Not an NHS organisation?

If you are not an NHS health or care organisation and therefore do not qualify for free access e-LfH Hub, you may be able to access the service by creating an OpenAthens account.

To check whether or not you qualify for free access via OpenAthens, you can view the eligibility criteria and register on the ‘OpenAthens’ portal.

Registering large numbers of users

If you are a HR, IT or Practice Manager and would like to register and enrol large numbers of staff within your organisation for access onto the Building Community Capacity programme, please contact e-LfH directly.

Organisations wishing to use their own LMS

For HR departments wanting to know more about gaining access to courses using an existing Learning Management System please contact e-LfH directly to express interest.

More information

Please select the following link for more information on how to use the e-LfH Hub.

Support from your organisation

This package is designed to be work based (mainly undertaken in your work setting) and to make a difference to your community and its health and wellbeing. A very important part of its design is that it should be supported by your employing organisation and local commissioners. The package is intended to help health visitors to refresh and develop their skills in order to deliver on the offer embedded in the Health Visitor Implementation Plan that health visitors will support, develop and promote services set up by families and communities themselves.

There will be someone designated as the Building Community Capacity Lead for your organisation, who will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the programme. One or more people (depending on the number of participants in your organisation) will be designated as Workplace Advisers. Their task is to support and encourage you as you undertake the programme, and to link you to the organisation through regular contact with the Building Community Capacity Lead.

  • Building Community Capacity Lead

  • Role of Workplace Adviser

  • Facilitating Learning


  • What IT/technical knowledge/help might I need?

    If you use a computer at work or at home, you probably have enough IT and technical knowledge to cope! You need to know how to connect to the internet on the machine you use, and be able to use Google or another way of searching for websites.

  • What next? Where could I go from here?

    If you undertake this programme using an accredited route, then it could help you to build towards a Bachelors or a Masters degree, depending on the level of your existing qualifications. The Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) allows any university or college in the UK to recognise academic work completed with another provider, and through accreditation for prior experiential learning (APEL) work based experience can also be recognised. We envisage this programme being worth 30 credits at level 7. Depending on the qualification and provider you are thinking of you will need 180 credits at level 7 for a Masters degree.

  • I already do this, do I have to do this training?

    If you are already actively involved in building community capacity, the programme will help you to document evidence of your thinking and skills through a reflective portfolio, which could be valuable for NMC and other purposes. If you are already delivering a capacity building project with clear, evidenced outcomes, you should be able to agree some updated aims and outcomes with your manager. You may well be in demand to help and support colleagues, you may want to consider applying to your workplace lead to become a workplace adviser for the programme.

  • What will the content of the 'package' look like?

    The first part will provide links to reference material and online or distance learning materials which will provide updates in relevant areas, for example population health and epidemiology, wider determinants of health, service improvement, social marketing, motivational interviewing, solution focused therapy, leadership skills as well as a wider evidence base for building community capacity and project management. The menu which participants see will be linked to their skills audit. We don’t expect everyone to need to refresh every area. We believe that people will need to go back to this as the weeks go on, and may need to access other material to help them carry out their project.

    The second part will contain master classes which will present a series of perspectives, from experts and practitioners, and pose questions for discussion with colleagues or individual reflection. The content of these master classes will be driven by current policy developments and key public health agendas. The initial example looks at community development and its role in building community capacity but others will look at some of the implications of current public health and health policy, social care developments, urban and rural regeneration, developments in education , issues around leisure and others related to children and families.

  • How will the programme be accredited?

    The basic programme will enable everyone who completes it to gain evidence of their thinking and skills through a reflective portfolio, as well as delivering a capacity building project with clear, evidenced outcomes. The programme has also been designed to enable participants to gain academic credits towards a Masters level qualification. You may choose to do this at your local University or by contacting Northumbria University where this has already been accredited.

    If you do not want to go for accreditation now you may wish to use this evidence of your learning at a later date.

What do I need to do?

Understanding My Learning Journey

You will need to negotiate sufficient time to develop and implement a specific project. You may want to structure your days differently, what is important is that you protect time to do this.

Your learning journey will follow the Phases of the package. In order to be successful you are expected to complete all Phases to the satisfaction of your employing organisation (and academic tutor if going for accreditation). Whilst each Phase is shown in chronological order it is expected that you will revisit various elements as you go through your learning journey in order to review and enhance your knowledge and skills.

The package is supported by a workbook. You are also able to access the relevant section within each Phase below.

There will be two specific points where you will need to demonstrate your achievement, they are:

  • Presentation of Learning Needs and Project Proposal
  • Brief Report on Your Final Project Outcomes

At both of these points (regardless whether you are going for accreditation or not) you should submit your documents by email to

This will enable core information about projects to be shared with other programme users on this site, and help to build capacity across communities of practice and inform the ongoing evaluation of this programme.

  • Phase 1

    Developing your learning contract
  • Phase 2

    Accessing learning resources
  • Phase 3

    Developing your project
  • Phase 4

    Managing your project
  • Phase 5

    Reporting back and sharing your findings
  • Phase 6

    Reflection and future development

Learning zone

In this area you will find links to a variety of resources which can help you to refresh and extend your knowledge and skills in relation to particular aspects of building community capacity and enabling people to identify and address their health needs.

Masterclasses are presented to encourage you to think through key areas relevant to community capacity building, to listen to relevant debates, to be presented with potential resources and to reflect on how the material presented might influence your work based project. If you access the masterclasses using the links below, you will not have to log in but your activity will not be tracked and you will not be able to generate a record of completion.

In addition, we have several additional links to websites, and papers on related areas, which you will be able to access in order to follow up issues in more depth.

This resource area contains a range of useful information and links to other websites and publications that may help you in your project as well as day to day work if you aren’t already familiar with them. Use the navigation below to go to the resource area you are interested in.

  • Demography

  • Determinants / Morbidity / Mortality / Outcomes

  • Public Health Observatories

  • Big Society

  • Poverty

  • Early Intervention

  • Community Development

  • Other Useful Resource Links

  • Reports & Publications

  • More Reports & Publications


Please note that if you access the content below, your progress and completion of sessions will not be recorded and you will not be able to generate a record of completion. If you require evidence of learning, please register and then log in to access this programme on the e-LfH Hub.

  • Building Community Capacity: Community Development

    This package is designed to enable you to review and reflect on the processes involved in community development, and its place in building community capacity.

  • Building Community Capacity: Policy master class

    This package is designed to facilitate you to reflect on recent policy initiatives of importance to building community capacity and consider their relevance in your setting.

  • Key Principles of Behaviour Change: using motivational interviewing

    Most motivational interview training would occur over several days and would include intensive support and practice components. This package provides a brief introduction to the use of motivational interviewing.

  • Building Community Capacity: Service Improvement - Making time

    This package is designed to enable you to review and reflect on the principles of service improvement and consider how you could release time to build community capacity.

  • Building Community Capacity: Workplace Advisor Briefing

    This package is for Workplace Advisors to provide an overview of the Building Community Capacity Programme, discuss its principles & structure and explore the role of the workplace advisor during health visitor participants' journey.

  • Genetics - What do I Need to Know to Help the Families in my Care?

    This session has been developed to help health visitors when caring for children, to understand the important part genetics plays in their clinical role. It focuses on the practical, ‘must know’ knowledge that they can put to immediate use in their day-to-day work.

  • Help and Support for Separated Families

    This session will help health visitors better understand the needs of separating parents. It provides practical information about child maintenance and the specialist sources of help they can direct parents to and will enhance their capacity to support separating families in their community.

Demonstrating your achievements

Whilst your ‘project’ may take a particular form it is intended that all Building Community Capacity projects will be focused on drawing out and strengthening your skills and knowledge in developing and influencing people to meet the health and wellbeing needs of your particular community and implement change. The programme will allow you to refresh and develop your knowledge, skills, confidence and understanding and apply this in your own practice.

Demonstrating Your Achievements are an important part of the programme. They will help you be clear about what you have learnt, and will assure your managers, clients and colleagues that you can do an effective job in community capacity building, and that you have the tools to continue doing this.

It is most important in order to meet the requirements for ‘Demonstrating Your Achievements’ that you follow the detailed guidance and complete the relevant activities which you are required to submit via

Click here for the Workbook.

Demonstrating Your Achievements for the Building Community Capacity programme is divided into two components:

Component One: Presentation of Learning Needs and Project Proposal

For this component you are required to complete two documents which should be submitted through approximately 6 weeks after beginning the package. The two required components are:

  • Learning Contract (for proforma see page 8 in the Workbook)
  • Project Proposal (for proforma see page 22 in the Workbook)

Component Two: Final Project Outcomes – Brief Report

To be submitted through approximately 6 months after beginning the package (for recommended Structure for the Final Report see Page 30 in the Workbook).


Going for Accreditation?

If you have decided to go for academic credit for your learning gained through engagement with the package, you can do this by enrolling with Northumbria University. You will normally be expected to enroll at the start of your learning journey but it may also be possible for you to do this at a later stage, as long as you are able to demonstrate that your learning is at Master’s level and includes the required elements (outlined below).

Northumbria will award you with 30 credits of learning at Masters Level if you are successful. This equates to 1/6 of a Masters qualification. The credit gained can be used as exemption against the University’s Learning in and Through Work Programme: the Masters in Professional Practice (click here) and also a number of health related Master’s programmes within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (depending upon the context in which your learning and project has been developed and applied).

There are a number of additional mandatory requirements to the Standard Package that you must submit in order to gain accreditation, However, in order to assist you to get the best from your learning journey, all these elements are recommended for all participants to complete whether or not you are going for accreditation. So, if you intend to commit fully to this package you are very likely to have addressed all or many of the elements for accreditation.

Within the Workbook (click here) there is additional guidance at each phase of the learning journey for those going for accreditation. On enrollment participants (who then become students of Northumbria) will be provided with further guidance on what they need to do and what support they can expect to receive from the University.

You may also approach your local university who may be able to accredit your learning using a similar framework (click here for a list of universities offering flexible work based learning packages).

To be successful participants/students must submit a portfolio containing the following elements:

Phase 1 Individualised learning contract
Phase 3 Project proposal
Phase 4 Evidence of Reflection and Review of Learning
Phase 5 Project Presentation/Report
Phase 6 Reflective Account of how you have put learning into practice


Emboldened elements are the additional mandatory elements which must be included with the portfolio for accreditation.

Team updates

DH/CPHVA Roadshow

In February 2012 we presented the programme to colleagues at DH/CPHVA Roadshows in North East (Newcastle) and Yorkshire and Humber (Quarry House).

DH/CPHVA Roadshow
West Midlands Partnership

West Midlands Partnership

In February 2012, we worked with colleagues in West Midlands to look at the programme.

Yorkshire and Humber Partnership

In March we also presented at a meeting in Yorkshire and Humber (at Wakefield – see below). We are also working with colleagues in East of England and in Somerset.

Yorkshire and Humber Partnership

Yorkshire and Humber Celebrate Building Community Capacity!

Pauline Watts from the Department of Health opened the celebrations in Wakefield in September 2012 with an overview of the National Context – Supporting children and families for a healthy future. Then health visitors and colleagues from across Yorkshire and Humber presented their projects, reflecting on what had worked and what hadn’t, thanking the people who had supported them (especially workplace advisers) and demonstrating what a fantastic range of work they had done with and for their communities – and are continuing to do (because it doesn’t all end here!).

See the photos below.

Current projects

Project proposals submitted to date

  • Postnatal weight loss for overweight and obese mums
  • Increasing parental confidence in dealing appropriately with minor ailments
  • ‘Too much too young’: an antenatal group at a local school
  • A peer-led Grandparents/Kinship carers support group for those acting in loco parentis
  • Improving the health and well-being of asylum seeker and refugee families with children aged 0 to 5 years
  • Support group for parents of teenage parents
  • Developing services which improve the well-being of families moving into the Z area of [borough]
  • Increasing cooking skills to enable parents to provide healthy home cooked food
  • Providing self-weighing facilities for parents to use for babies outside of Child Health Clinic location and time
  • ‘HELLO BABY!’ A relationship-building group for mothers and their young infants
  • Play based Health Visitor Clinic
  • The setting up of a walking bus to a local primary school within the practice population
Current projects

A recently submitted project proposal is entitled:

Healthy Lifestyles Group Sessions 

The health visitor proposing it says
: The local Children Centre approached me to do a group for parents and children that would help in reducing obesity. In 2010, in the UK almost one in three children are overweight or obese, this has a devastating impact on their health in later life and increases the pressure on the NHS (THSCIC 2012). …One of the children centre key targets is to reduce obesity in their area, they have done a 10 week Henry course but found it difficult to continue supporting families around healthy lifestyles once this course finished. We did not want to focus the group strictly on weight loss as this could create anxiety for parents who have relatively healthy young children. Healthy lifestyles (healthy eating and exercise) will promote small lifestyle changes whilst highlighting the benefits and discussing the barriers. By promoting small changes to family’s lifestyle this hopefully will make a positive impact on improving long term health outcomes, such as reducing obesity.

We look forward to hearing how it has gone!

Recently completed projects include:

  • Postnatal healthy lifestyle group
  • Cook and eat sessions for parents and a ‘walking bus’ with the local nursery (aimed at reducing obesity in children)
  • Play based community clinic (aimed at readiness for school)
  • First time mums drop in (with local children’s centre)
  • Fun with food (to raise awareness of nutrition and healthy lifestyle for toddlers)
  • Promoting bonding and attachment with new parents
  • Supporting children and families encountering domestic violence
  • Healthy mums, healthy babies (aimed at mums to be and partners, and reducing health inequalities)
  • Targeting parental isolation in rural areas – in partnership with two children’s centres
  • 5 actions for babies (aimed at improved attachment)

Update on BUMPS.2.BABIES

  • Positive feedback was received after each session from clients and the final evaluation questionnaire completed by the group identified that they had benefited not just from the increased knowledge of what to expect, but also the new social networks they had formed with each other.
  • Midwifery input was initially challenging due to their lack of involvement. However, this is improving since a link midwife became involved with the project.
  • The opportunity to apply for a small grant from Derbyshire Children and Young People’s Health Promotion Programme arose. I applied for this and was successful in securing £250 for the group.
  • I have also written an article for the Healthy Herald newsletter to raise the group’s profile further.
  • A new course is underway and dates are planned for the rest of this year so it will be a rolling programme.
  • A letter has been sent to service managers in social care informing them of BUMPS.2.BABIES with an accompanying referral form.


  • Enhanced midwifery input to continue.
  • It is possible that group attendance can be increased if there is promotion of the group by young people who have attended. There are two young parents in the group who are keen to promote the group further and discussions and preparation for their involvement will take place before the next planned course.
  • Further promotion and advertising of BUMPS.2.BABIES to other agencies locally.
  • Evaluation of the parents’ confidence levels when their babies reach 4 months of age.

KSF Updates

West Midlands Partnership

A number of you have asked how BCC links to your appraisal and KSF. In response we have added more information on the site.

If you aren’t familiar with the KSF dimensions and are unsure about what the levels mean, you can follow this link to the NHS employers website which includes summary descriptions of the KSF Core dimensions which will help you understand the levels 1-4.

  1. Communication
  2. Personal and people development
  3. Health, safety and security
  4. Service improvement
  5. Quality
  6. Equality and diversity

You may want to review your existing KSF outline and mark on the grid below what levels you need to meet. The red numbers indicate the average levels for health visitors at a band 6 & 7. If you don’t have an outline you may want to use the 6 core dimensions and think about the levels you need to demonstrate and where this fits with your project. If you aren’t familiar with the KSF dimensions and are unsure about what the levels mean you can follow this link to the NHS employers website which includes summary descriptions of the KSF Core dimensions which will help you understand the levels 1-4. It also gives you more detailed information on appraisal and maximising the use of the KSF.

Communication Personal & People Development Health Safety & Security Service Improvement Quality Equality & Diversity
1 1 1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4 4 4


There is also an additional optional dimension on leadership and management which you may wish to look at, which is available on the link above. Further information for you to consider as part of your project development can be found in this document

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