CCC Competencies and Learning Pathways Resources & Tools

The purpose of the CCC competencies and learning pathway work and outputs is to define and promote the role and vocation of Community Climate Coaches, to catalyse, scale and accelerate community climate action. These outputs explain the many roles and activities to be delivered, facilitated and activated by Community Climate Coaches in the communities they are working in to respond to the socio-ecological emergencies.

The CCC Competency & Learning Pathway summary guide will help you to:

  • Map existing competencies / competency gaps / learning pathways for you and your climate action team;
  • Plan how to put in place and develop the competencies (skills, knowledge, attitudes, experience, etc) you, your team or your climate action initiative needs;
  • Understand how those competencies relate to particular roles and activities of your team or climate action initiative;
  • Plan how to use these competencies as a local or regional catalyst to activate community transformation.

A Community Climate Coach’s role is normally to work with, or as part of, a community climate action team to initiate, support and complete the 5 step journey that is illustrated below. CCCs should look to enhance their own competencies that determine their capacity to activate community-led approaches to resilience and regeneration.

In considering competencies, distinctions can be made between important roles, all of which will have advanced or expert levels of competence:

  • Catalysts:  competence in engaging, mobilising and activating people, and facilitating group processes and purposeful collective action, with advanced or expert levels of Inner-reflective competence (e.g. self-understanding) and Outer-communication competence (e.g. sensitivity to group dynamics), often accompanied by strength in areas such as Visioning, planning and organising;
  • Trainers:  competence in the design and delivery of training (e.g. specific courses) and self-directed learning (e.g. over a period of time, with clear learning goals) to bring about transformative outcomes, with this often requiring a depth of subject knowledge in one or several areas as the subject for the training;
  • Coaches:  competence in supporting individuals and groups to identify and achieve appropriate goals, to reflect on their situation, learning, personal experience and progress toward those goals, and to help the individual or group they are working with to respond to insights in these areas with awareness of their inner and outer world.

Why coaching?

The essence of coaching is to help people identify appropriate goals, make changes and learn about themselves in order to help them achieve those goals. If individuals, households, groups and organisations have challenging goals around climate action and community resilience, coaching-based approaches can help significantly as part of the ecology of skills and experience needed to achieve those goals effectively. In more detail, the essence of coaching is: 

To help a person (or group) change in the way they wish, and to help them go in the direction they want to go. Coaching supports a person (or group / community) at every level in becoming who they want to be. Coaching builds awareness, empowers choice and leads to change… It unlocks a person’s (or group’s / community’s) potential to maximise their capacity to achieve their goals. Coaching helps them to learn, rather than teaching them.

Source: adapted from

Worldwide an increasing number of people are deciding to join forces and self-organize within communities working together to co-create new models for resilient and regenerative lifestyles. Within this process they need the right competencies to ask and respond in constructive ways to questions that require self-awareness, consideration of values, skills, talents and passion, which will arise as part of the transition process from individuality to collectivity. Questions that ask ‘what’s mine to do?’, and about how I bring, use and develop my talents for the good of all, in combination with those of others. Coaching ideally creates a supportive and safe environment in which this individual and collective transition can unfold.

Why community coaching?

In general, a coach is there to help a person/group to meet their goals. On a community level the objective is the development of the community itself.  For community climate coaches working with a motivated community, the goal for using their coaching competencies is:

  1. to agree the community direction and destination – usually by asking questions that enable the community to uncover and describe that destination for itself
  2. to support the community in their work to reach that destination

A systemic coaching approach encourages community members to think and act for the beneficial development of the community to identify and achieve their collective goals, which ideally will integrate with and complement many of their personal goals. A Community Climate Coach team will integrate their coaching skills with engagement and facilitation skills, and in doing so will assure that consent and willingness of all the community members is established during the coaching process and that challenges such as lack of motivation, exclusion tendencies or unconscious power structures are transformed for the good of the community. If this process is facilitated with skill and integrity, the beneficial outcomes should be numerous and provide a solid foundation for the development of the community and of its members, including:

  • Shared wisdom and collective intelligence
  • Improved conflict resolution
  • Increase of personal and systemic/group awareness.
  • Improved knowledge transfer
  • Enhanced capacity to collaborate
  • Increased commitment and accountability
  • Heightened emotional intelligence of the members
  • Development of support and trust within the community

Community Climate Coaches Competence Framework

Five primary fields of competence have been identified that are important for ensuring that CCC’s can properly support communities to identify and achieve the climate and resilience goals they are seeking. Typically, these competencies will be spread across a team or group i.e. it is not expected that any individual would cover all these competencies. These competencies are set out in the following 1 page Overview Table, and in more depth in the following Summary Guide:

There is no perfect way to define the competencies needed by CCCs, because some of the competency themes defined here will cross-over where transferable skills apply across all areas – such as good communication and ‘people’ skills. For example, many of the inner-reflection and people skills that are relevant for community facilitation are equally relevant for coaching. Nevertheless, the distinction between these fields of facilitation and coaching is important – because the specific practices, methods and tools used in these roles are different, and needed in different situations. As CCCs pursue their learning pathways these distinctions will become clearer, better understood and more refined.


The Five Primary Learning Pathways and Fields of Competence for Community Climate Coaches

Transformation These are the competencies that enable a deeper kind of change to happen, best described by the word transformation. Transformation implies that underlying characteristics of the situation or system, community or individual, have changed for the good. Transformation competencies for Community Climate Coaches cover what can broadly be called ‘people skills’. This involves obvious areas such as communication skills and experience in facilitating groups, and also a good level of self-awareness so that a CCC can reflect on the processes they are facilitating, be open to explicit and unspoken feedback, and learn from and refine their practice as a Community Climate Coach.
Community Facilitation & Engagement These critical competencies enable a creative and meaningful process of community engagement to be initiated, maintained and developed. Facilitation and engagement implies that the needs, interests, priorities and potential of the community and the individuals and groups within it are the primary focus (rather than an imposed agenda). Facilitation competencies are ‘people skills’ that are applied to initiate and develop the processes that enable and encourage transformation to happen, in individuals, groups and across a community over time.
Coaching The essence of coaching is to help people identify appropriate goals, make changes and learn about themselves in order to help them achieve those goals. If individuals, households, groups and organisations have challenging goals around climate action and community resilience, coaching-based approaches can definitely help as part of the ecology of skills and experience needed to help achieve those goals effectively.
Carbon Reduction, Regeneration & Sustainability  Competences needed for a) a meaningful process of community climate action to emerge and be sustained; b) the overall goals or outcomes that community climate action aims for to be achieved. In some ways, developing the community’s carbon reduction, regeneration and sustainability competencies is like growing a forest garden or transforming a conventional monocultural farm to a regenerative farm, with a diverse range of elements and polycultures.
Scaling, Expansion & Deepening  A range of important competencies are needed to achieve a major increase in the scale, reach and depth of climate action and its positive impacts. The competencies covered by this section are set out only in simple terms, as they are either a) set out in detail in other frameworks or b) are broad areas that need to be held in mind for expanding the movement, supported by multiple competencies detailed earlier in this document.

The importance of particular competencies will shift depending on the phase of community climate action. For example, there will be a very strong emphasis on their facilitation, engagement and communication skills in the earlier phases, during the process that leads to a community resilience plan being developed. Once the community has decided its goals, then the balance will shift to more of an emphasis on the coach and coach-educator role when the community is in the implementation phase for its climate action or community resilience plan.

The Five Main Learning Pathways

The five learning pathways for Community Climate Coaches address the 5 competency areas, and respond to the needs of:

  1. the individual community climate coach;
  2. any CCC team or community climate action group that the individual is part of;
  3. the wider communities or organisations that the CCC is engaging with.

These are not mutually exclusive paths, so some CCC’s might follow them one after another, or in parallel. Many of the competencies that are developed on the Community Facilitation and Coaching learning pathways will be common between these fields or highly complementary. In considering the learning pathways that we can take to develop our competencies, a simple three-stage model can be used to illustrate a common learning pathway (see diagram below).

Within the overall learning journey of Community Climate Coaches

  • The entry stage may involve a short training that introduces the ‘Why? What? And How?’ of any field, such as being a Community Climate Coach. 
  • The core stage is the central training to embed and develop CCC practitioner competencies in that field. 
  • The deepening stage involves much more self-directed learning, project-based learning and practice-based learning – and probably messy learning. In this way learning arises from the action that the ‘learner’ is involved in – who by this time is a Community Climate Coach ‘practitioner’ – over an extended period of time, such as a year or more. 

In this sense, a CCC’s learning pathway is also a climate action pathway, because they are helping to make climate action happen through their work. It is a vocational journey that, through their work life, enables CCCs to learn more and more about how to generate and support climate action. It is a learning-by-doing journey that validates the vocational role of the catalyst and activator in making the change happen that is so widely talked about, but still so lacking in actually happening.

The full set of tools and resources relating to competencies and learning pathways are set out below as part of the overall Community Climate Coach Support System (Toolkit, Good Practice Guide, Curriculum for training CCCs, Regenerative Knowledge Commons), which incorporates the other materials developed by Community Climate Coaches project that CCC’s will be expected to use and become expert in using to help facilitate, expand and deepen Community Climate Action.

The detailed competency framework and learning pathway information is also set out in the Communities for Future Wiki Competencies for Community Climate Action pages.

CCC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Proj. ref.: 2020-1-IE01-KA204-066023

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