2.6 Quality assurance
Youth volunteering in general
There are no official regulations on standards of quality for voluntary youth work and there exist no systems of quality assurance. However, trainings and workshops for quality assurance and improvement do exist, e.g.:
- The Flemish Support Centre for Volunteer Work (Vlaams Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk) is responsible for the coordination and support of voluntary work in Flanders. They provide an open offer of workshops, lectures, study days, webinars, etc., but also tailor-made workshops for organizations. Besides, they give at their website an overview of organizations that offer trainings for volunteers and organizations. Finally, organizations can find tips and resources for volunteer policy and management on the website of the support centre.
- Organizations working with volunteers usually provide a form of training, education or support for volunteers which may or may not lead to the award of a certificate. Although such certification is not legally recognized by the Ministry of Education, these initiatives give an indication of the basic quality.
- The Flemish Government dictates in the Act on Voluntary Work of 3 April 2009 also some rules concerning voluntary organizations in the welfare and health sectors and defines conditions governing recognition and subsidies.
Volunteering in youth work organizations
Also, youth work organizations organize courses and give certificates for youth animators, head animators and instructors which are nearly all volunteers. These certificates have a legal ground in the Parliament Act of 20 January 2012 on a renewed youth and children’s rights policy. In addition, the Flemish Government defines some rules concerning youth voluntary work organizations at Flemish level in the Flemish Parliament Act of 20 January 2012 on a renewed youth and children’s rights policy. The Decree of 21 March 2014 on management training pathways (decreet van 21 maart 2014 betreffende de kadervormingstrajecten) determines the conditions for recognition of management training pathways, the competencies of the three competence profiles (youth animators, head animators and instructors) and the requirements for issuing certificates to youth workers. More information can be found on https://kavo.vlaanderen.be/over-kadervorming/wetgeving (Dutch website).
The administration (Department Culture, Youth and Media) can carry out an inspection visit during a course organized by an association recognized for one or more management training programmes. An inspection visit is almost always unannounced. The purpose of an inspection visit is to determine to what extent the concrete approach of the framework formation processes corresponds with what is stated in the application file. Every association that is recognized to organize management training processes makes an evaluation of its recognition file every five years and makes adjustments where necessary.