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Tipping the Balance, a 2002 report by the National Committee on Volunteering recommended establishing “the structures and resources necessary to enable volunteer-involving organisations to nominate individuals or teams to be formally recognised by the State for their voluntary work.” It also recommended that a volunteer training programme be set up at local and national level with links to education and training institutions.
The development of a national qualifications framework (NQF) in 2003 aimed to facilitate and enhance processes for the recognition of different types of prior learning such as volunteering.
However, a National Report for Ireland from a Study on Volunteering in the European Union (2010, pg.19), stated that ‘while mechanisms are in place to enable accreditation and recognition, not all volunteering organisations follow this approach.’
The 2019 Public Consultation on the Development of a National Volunteering Strategy discussed what actions should be included in a volunteering strategy to facilitate QQI assessment of volunteers for the purposes of accrediting skills. The Strategy itself states that it “provides an opportunity to address these issues and to introduce measures targeted specifically at increasing participation amongst young people including […] access to training and the question of formal accreditation […]”.
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) launched Skills Summary in 2019. Skills Summary is both a process and a product.
- As a process, Skills Summary aims to support young people’s learning, with a particular focus on those who may find traditional academic learning challenging, by helping them to map the learning acquired through their participation in youth work and other non-formal settings to a set of competences.
- As a product, Skills Summary supports young people to articulate the competencies they have acquired both for themselves and potential employers.
Skills Summary resources are available on how to include Skills Summary in youth work practice.