AIEB was established in 2010. The precursor to AIEB was the Towards Standards Ad Hoc Group which consisted of community workers, educators, and other stakeholders from a variety of agencies and institutions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
In 2006 the Towards Standards Ad hoc group published and disseminated Towards Standards for Quality Community Work: An All-Ireland Statement of Values, Principles and Work Standards. Its purpose was to provide a framework for community work in the context of economic, social, and cultural developments across the island of Ireland. It set out the knowledge, skills, qualities, values, and practice principles that combined to form standards relating to community work practice and to education and training for that practice.
In 2010 AIEB was formed, building on the work of the Towards Standards Ad hoc Group. It was from the outset hosted and supported by Community Work Ireland, independent and autonomous of education providers and institutions yet with the capacity to convene and facilitate a body which brings together a range of related sectors.
The early work of AIEB saw the piloting of an endorsement process which led to the endorsement of the then BA in Community Work and Youth Work and the MA in Community Work and Youth Work programmes, Maynooth University, now the BSoc Sc in Community Work & Youth Work and the MSoc Sc in Community Work & Youth Work. The next programme to be endorsed was the BSc in Community Development, Ulster University, followed by the BA in Community Development and Youth Work, Technological University of Dublin.
Another key development in the work of AIEB occurred when in 2016 AIEB received funding from the Pobal Community Fund to revise Towards Standards for Quality Community Work and to publish and disseminate the revised All Ireland Standards for Community Work. The document provided an updated framework to support community work and community development as a profession. The All Ireland Standards for Community Work are consistent with similar documents in the other social professions including youth work, social care, and social work.
In this endeavour AIEB seeks to particularly promote the idea of partnership with providers and practitioners in order to ensure the highest standards in education and training. The anticipated outcomes of this work are that it will ensure community work practitioners with the professional competencies required to work as professional community workers, producing quality outcomes for communities and for the organisations within which they work.
Over the years AIEB has sought funding in order to support and enhance its work, to create the conditions for doing a thorough job nationally and throughout the island of Ireland. This led to a successful outcome in 2020 when we received funding for 2 years from the Department of Rural and Community Development to implement an ambitious programme of work building on the work to date and for this, we are extremely grateful.
This has given AIEB the opportunity to work directly on the implementation of a number of core actions identified in Sustainable, Inclusive and Empowered Communities: A 5-year Strategy to support the community and voluntary sector in Ireland’.