2.7 Skills recognition
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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 National Volunteering Strategy 2021 – 2025 sets out the aim to 'Explore the potential for the introduction of a formal qualification in recognition of the skills, knowledge and competencies acquired from volunteering'.
I-VOL is the Irish national volunteering database, managed by Volunteer Ireland. It is a search engine that allows potential volunteers to search by location, cause and activity. The National Volunteering Strategy 2021 – 2025 also sets out the action to 'Further develop the IVOL database to include a ‘volunteering passport’ section that records the accredited skills and competencies of volunteers gained through volunteering role'.
National Qualifications Framework
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, the 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 volunteer organisations follow this approach.’
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.
There are also Skills Summary resources available on how to include Skills Summary in youth work practice.
A recent adoption to this resource allows people to download different versions of their personal Skills Summary: Depending on the individual purpose, people can choose to download either the full version of their Skills Summary, or a shorter one which does not include contact details, biography or endorsements.