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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work

Last update: 28 November 2023

Quality assurance

There is a system of quality assurance of youth workers within youth houses. Every youth house must have a qualified coordinator in order to receive subsidies. The coordinator is responsible for the day-to-day management of a youth centre. 

The association must apply to an official qualification sub-committee for approval of its coordinator's qualification.

The coordinator is working closely with the Board of Directors or its delegate, and within the limits of his or her mandate, he or she manages the initiatives, the management team, the administration and the infrastructure. Under the authority of the Board, it implements the four-year plan in collaboration with the management team.

Furthermore, according to the decree related to youth centre's, "to obtain and retain indefinitely the recognition as a youth centre, the latter must encourage ongoing training for all members of the animation team and allow, at least one member of staff, each year to include a minimum of five days of training in their working time".

There is also a system of quality assurance to ensure that young volunteers - activity leaders in holidays Centers or Homework Schools or Sports activities are qualified. The role of the activity leader is to supervise groups of children/young people. Their job is to offer them a variety of activities adapted to their age and level of learning.

There are various types of activity leaders. For each type, there is a specific training :

  • Holiday centre leader: this refers to day camps (= children/young people take part in activities during the day and return home in the evening), overnight stays (= children/young people are supervised day and night, and spend around 10 days either in Belgium in a place with a change of scenery, or abroad) and camps (= day and night reception organised by a youth movement such as the Scouts, Patros, etc.).
  • Sports instructors: this category covers activities organised by sports associations (organising holiday courses, extra-curricular activities, etc.), ADEPS centres, local authority sports departments or voluntary organisations (neighbourhood centres, youth centres, etc.).
  • Specialised instructors: in order to become specialised instructor, there are specialised courses in certain fields, such as nature/environment instructor, 


Research and evidence supporting youth work     

The Minister of Youth maintains an institutionalised and regular cooperation with the Observatory of Childhood, Youth and Youth Welfare. This is a cross-disciplinary service of the French-Speaking Community created in 1998 at the request of the government.

This body is placed under the authority of the Secretary General of the Ministry. The missions of the Observatory consist notably in:

supporting researches and developing analysis and indicators about childhood, youth and youth welfare;

compiling an inventory of public policies and organisations and institutions that concern theses target groups;

evaluating decrees related to these topics, delivering opinions and making recommendations in these fields of competences;

promoting children’s rights. The Observatory is charged by the government to implement the article 42 (promoting the principles of the Convention in the French-Speaking Community) and 44 (reporting to the UN the measures taken at national level related to the Convention) of the International Convention of 20 November 1989 related to the Rights of Children. In this context, it is notably in charge of the follow-up and the evaluation of the Children’s rights action plans adopted by the French-speaking Community Government and the Walloon Region.

The Observatory is independent regarding the themes of the researches that it supports. To ensure that the Government is aware and implicated about the processes and the results of these studies, Cabinets of Ministers are generally invited to be part of the Committee in charge of the follow-up of the studies. The Government has also the prerogative to ask the Observatory to focus research on specific objects

The decree “Décret créant l’Observatoire de l’enfance, de la jeunesse et de l’aide à la jeunesse” (Decree of 12 May 2004 creating the Observatory of Childhood, Youth and Youth Welfare) is the official document describing the role and missions of the Observatory.

Participative youth work

No top-level youth work policies and regulations have been developed directly with the consultation and contribution of young people. 

However, The Minister for Youth and the Youth Department conduct regular dialogue and consultation with official representative bodies which involve actively young people. There are 3 main Advisory bodies in the field of youth policies that request the presence of young people in their board. This is a bottom-up approach and indirect consultation where these experts relay to the Minister of Youth young’s opinion, recommendations, impacts of politics on youth reality.

•    The Advisory Commission of the Youth Organisations (Commission Consultative des Organisations de Jeunesse – CCOJ) requests the presence of one half of young people aged under 35 for Youth Organisations ;

•    The Advisory Commission of the Youth Centres and Youth Clubs (Commission Consultative des Maisons et Centres de Jeunes – CCMCJ) requests the presence of one third of young people aged under 26 for Youth Centres ;

•    The Youth forum of the French-speaking Community of Belgium (Forum des jeunes) is a youth consultation body.  Refer to section 5.4 for more information. 

The call for projects “Youth Local Policies” (politiques locales de jeunesse) aims to encourage young people to play an active role in their local environment. 

One of the main goal of youth policy in the French-speaking Community of Belgium is to involve young people in the design, implementation and evaluation of their youth work projects. They are actors of their projects.     


Smart youth work


There are no measures regarding smart youth work.