CCC Coach diagram

Guide to CCC Competencies and Learning Pathways

On this page you can explore the learning pathways and competency framework for Community Climate Coaches, and information on the facilitation, engagement, coaching and other competencies they need.

The CCC competencies and learning pathways help to define and promote the role and vocation of Community Climate Coaches, in order to catalyse, scale and accelerate community climate action. They explain the skills, knowledge and attitudes for the many roles and activities that Climate Coaches will deliver, facilitate and activate in the communities they are working in to respond to the socio-ecological emergencies. Usually these competencies will be developed and shared across a team, so it is not expected that any one Community Climate Coach is an expert in the full range of competency areas.

The Community Climate Coaches training is the process through which people understand and strengthen the core competencies they need to be effective in the role and vocation of being a Community Climate Coach. After this core training, it is particularly through practising as a Community Climate Coach, usually as part of a team, engaging with the wider CCC community of practise, and working with communities to take their climate action initiatives forward, that these competencies become strengthened, developed, added to and refined over time.

Why coaching?

The essence of coaching is to help people a) identify appropriate goals for themselves, b) make changes and learn about themselves, in order to c) help them achieve those goals. If individuals and households, groups and organisations, and of course communities 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. Climate coaching questions 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 and the goals they want to achieve for themselves
  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 and the goals of organisations within the community. A Community Climate Coach team will integrate their coaching skills with engagement and facilitation skills. In doing so, they will assure that the consent and willingness of all the community members is established during the coaching process, and will aim to ensure 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

Why Competencies?

The word ‘competency’ (like ‘sustainability’) is not very user friendly. It comes from the formal education sector, and originated in the 1970’s as a way to move beyond narrow (often class-based) concepts of skills and knowledge. It recognises that any job or role needs a specific set of competencies to do it well, and focuses on what a person can learn (rather than what they can do), on outcomes and the learners' performance in the real-world. Competencies can be understood as including self-knowledge, motivation and the desire to be effective in a role. This approach is therefore of significant value for identifying what people need to learn to enhance their capacity to activate community climate action - whether they are active as individuals, as a team, as trainers or community catalysts, or in any relevant job role.

The purpose of the CCC competencies and learning pathway work is to define and promote the role and vocation of Community Climate Coaches, in order to catalyse, scale and accelerate community climate action. This work explains the many skills and aptitudes that are needed in the various roles and activities to be delivered and facilitated by Community Climate Coaches in the communities they are working in, in order to respond to the socio-ecological emergencies. In particular, 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.

CCC Coach diagram

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 Competencies: 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 Competencies: 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 Competencies: 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 Competencies: These are 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 Competencies:  The important range of competencies that 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 any of the particular competency areas 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 competencies, and carbon reduction, regeneration & sustainability competencies, when the community is in the implementation phase for its climate action or community resilience plan.

The image below indicates the overall learning journey for Community Climate Coaches to develop these competencies, and the five learning pathways for the key competencies that are described briefly above.

CCC_image_learning pathways