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Health Issues in the Community (HIIC) is a course that helps people understand what affects their health and the health of their communities.

It's run by tutors all across Scotland to support people to learn, but also take action on the issues important to them in an empowering and participative way.

The SCQF credit rated courses draw on the social model of health which views health and illness as having as much to do with economic and social factors as with individual behaviour.

With community development at its core, the courses promote the values of equality and non-discrimination, and the idea that everyone should be able to have a say in decision-making processes that affect them.

There are 3 distinct HIIC courses:
  1. Tutor Training: this 2-day course is credit rated at SCQF level 7 with 8 credit points. The tutor training gives trainee tutors an opportunity to find out about the pack content, how to use it, the learning methods that are used and the expectations/responsibilities of tutors. It aims to equip tutors to deliver Part 1 and Part 2 Health Issues in the Community courses (see below) to a wide variety of groups in a broad range of settings. It is delivered via local authorities, NHS and community and voluntary sectors.
  2. HIIC Part 1: Health and Society, SCQF level 6 with 5 credit points. Through the course, participants gain a broad understanding of the social model of health, health inequalities, power and participation and community development approaches in health – and how they can use these to make change happen in their communities.
  3. HIIC Part 2: Ideas into Action, SCQF level 7 with 10 credit points. Here, participants deepen what they have learned in Part 1 and undertake a piece of Action Research where they put their ideas into action.
All 3 courses share the following guiding principles and core values:
  • The life experience and knowledge of participants are recognised as the starting point for analysis and discussion.
  • One of the basic processes in learning is the opportunity to reflect on our ideas with other people.
  • It is important for people to develop the skills of critical reflection on the determinants of health and ill-health, and about themselves in relation to society.
  • People should be enabled to participate in the political process as active citizens and helped to acquire the knowledge or confidence needed for this.
  • Learning can be a creative, fulfilling and enjoyable activity.
Participants from the Tutor Training course said:

“Really enjoyable, reminded me of some theories which influence practice. Handbook is great, full of information. I thought there was a good balance between activities/discussions and input. ”

“Both trainers were very encouraging and supportive. Pace of training was great and the exercises on identifying inequalities were really helpful.”

“Pace was good, lots of variety and not too presumptive. Very well thought-out course and materials.”

Partipants who completed parts 1 and 2 said:

“The course was better than I’d anticipated, I have learned so much and had my eyes opened massively, I'm far more aware to what is going on directly around me.” 

“I would encourage anyone thinking about the course to do it. It has changed my life in a very positive way and I have made lifetime friends.”

“I never really sought out the demographic profile of my local community area before or looked at the health inequalities we as BME faced. It was an eye-opener and made me realise my own family and friends’ families experienced health inequalities as we grew up in Britain. It will be interesting to see what the statistics are after the new census as a lot of stats used in reports rely on the census taken in 2011. I never had these discussions with my family, we just have a comment or two said on certain issues, but mostly we ignored the inequality we faced and our friends faced. I’d like to think I will try to talk to my children about these things when they are able to appreciate and understand these things.” 

“My self-confidence has massively improved throughout the course. I feel I understand a lot of the situations of the past more clearly and it has made me confident to improve or ask for things to change.” 

For me, it’s just amazing to witness our qualified HIIC tutors go on to deliver HIIC Parts 1 and 2 in their communities and see the transformative changes in people and communities. The fact that HIIC has been going for 26 years now is testament to this impact.

To find out more, view HIIC stories here and find out about HIIC Tutor Training here.


Health issues in the community

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