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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.9 Skills recognition

Last update: 13 January 2023
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Policy Framework

Skills recogntion for young volunteers in Erasmus + projects

Young volunteers, when participating to an Erasmus + project, may recognise their skills through the Youth Pass.  

Skills recogntion for voluntary staff

Skills recognition affects mostly specialised voluntary staff such as leaders and coordinators in summer camps. Holidays centres must have a certain percentage of highly qualified staff to supervise kids and teenagers. Young volunteers aged above 16 years old have the possibility to follow a training which may lead to the award of a certificate. This training must be undertaken in collaboration with recognised youth organisation or youth centres.

The Decree of 17 May 1999 establishes the standards to get a certificate.

There are 2 authorities responsible for validation and recognition of competences:

  1. The training ooperators which decides whether the certificate is awarded or not;
  2. The Youth Department of the French-Speaking Community which approve the certificate.

Existing arrangements

Young volunteers can validate skills through a certificate. The latter is awarded by a training operator and approved by the Youth Department of the French-Speaking Community. There are 29 training operators recognised by the French-Speaking Community whose 17 are specialised in training in holiday’s centres. Training operators have their own methods and tools to train young volunteers.

There are 2 others skills recognition mechanisms established in the Decree related to holiday’s centres:

  •  Equivalence: the commission of holiday’s centres examines on a case-by-case basis the professional path of the volunteer to determine if he/she is eligible for the certificate without doing the training. The commission takes its decision according to a reference document which gives common indicators to evaluate.
  • Assimilation: the National Office of Childhood (ONE) assigns this status to volunteers if they meet the criteria (formal diploma in the education sector and professional experience). 

The certificate is not a formal document valid in the official education sector but it still has a value on the labour market.

There are no synergies between national validation arrangements and European credit systems applicable to the formal education and training system.

According to the Decree related to holiday’s centres, the Government organises the supervision and the educational support of holiday’s centres.

The Youth Department is responsible for the recognition and the financial support of training organisations.