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The Participatory Budgeting and Grant Making course was launched in May 2022 and aims to support young people and community activists to be involved in national and local decisions on services and budgets. The course has been developed in partnership between YouthLink Scotland, COSLA, Young Scot, the Democratic Society, Homeless Network Scotland, Glasgow Young Movers, and the Scottish Centre for Community Development.

Participatory budgeting is a way for people to get involved in community decision-making by voting directly on how local money is spent. By giving young people the skills and confidence to participate in the important decisions that affect them, the course will help to deliver a range of benefits for communities: 


  • Community engagement builds social unity by developing shared visions and aspirations 
  • Increased transparency in decision-making 

  • A sense of ownership over local spending boosts volunteering rates 

  • Local young people can come together with local authority employees/politicians to develop more effective partnerships. 

The qualification is at SCQF Level 5 and free places will be available for 750 participants who are volunteering with PB and/or Grant Making processes in Scotland. Participants will be expected to undertake around 30-40 hours of self-directed study to complete the course. The qualification received funding of £40,000 in total from Scottish Government, Scottish Children’s Lottery, and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. 

Who is the course aimed at?

This course is particularly suited to young people who have a keen interest in supporting communities. They will explore what Participatory Budgeting and Grant Making is, the backgrounds of both, and the benefits and impact the processes have on communities and individuals. The course will help young people explore ways to improve both their own practice and experiences for others in the future. Participants will develop the skills to bring people together at a local level through face-to-face events and how to take an innovative approach to budgeting. They will also develop skills in how to create empowered and resilient communities, and how to tackle poverty by sharing opportunities and power more equally.

There are no formal entry requirements for the Participatory Budgeting and Grant Making Programme, just an interest in supporting communities.

What benefits does the credit rating of this course provide for learners?

The Participatory Budgeting and Grant Making course is SCQF credit rated by Fife College. On completion of the course, participants will have achieved 3 credits at SCQF Level 5.

Quote from the course launch in May 2022

Community Wealth Minister Tom Arthur MSP said:

“The Scottish Government has supported this initiative from day one and I congratulate everyone behind the launch of this online course - the first of its kind in Scotland. The Scottish Government wants to empower communities to shape their individual and collective futures, with participatory budgeting at the forefront for involving communities in decision-making that benefits local economies, the people, and businesses within it.” 

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