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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Quality assurance
  2. Research and evidence supporting Youth Work
  3. Participative Youth Work
  4. Smart youth work: youth work in the digital world

Quality assurance

The National Youth Service is in charge of the quality assurance of professional youth work. According to the revised Youth Law of 2016 (loi du 24 avril 2016 portant modification de la loi modifiée du 4 juillet 2008 sur la jeunesse), quality assurance is guaranteed on a regular basis. Furthermore, the 1998 law (loi du 8 septembre 1998 réglant les relations entre l'État et les organismes œuvrant dans les domaines social, familial et thérapeutique) regulates the structural quality of youth work in open youth centres (e.g. number of employees, size of groups, infrastructure, and security standards).

With the introduction of a framework of non-formal education for open youth work in 2017, quality assurance and a systematic monitoring has been established. The quality of results, e.g. indicators of personal development, acquisition of competences or educational success are explicitly not defined by this regulation. It rather aims at improving the quality of the learning environment and stimulating learning. An important element of the framework is that every youth centre has to define a general action concept ('Concept d'Action Générale'). After the concept is reviewed positively by the National Youth Service and adopted by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, it is valid for a period of three years. The concept includes four parts:

  1. A pedagogical part describing the objectives of youth work and basic pedagogical principles at local and regional level
  2. Measures of self-evaluation
  3. A definition of action fields in which projects for pedagogical quality assurance are implemented
  4. A plan for further training of the educational staff.

With the adoption of the 2017 grand-ducal regulation, youth centres are required to fill out an event log which contains detailed information on their visitors and the activities provided. The event log includes information on five fields: (1) Description of members, (2) number of visitors per day, (3) number of participants in activities, (4) information, guidance, assistance, and (5) information on further training of educational staff.

The youth centres' quality standards are supervised by regional agents of the National Youth Service. Besides a review of the documents (concept, the event log and activity reports), these regional agents conduct interviews with the educational staff (once a year). These interviews address the concept, the specific objectives and the individual priorities of the youth centre. The results of these interviews form the evidence base for deducing strengths of and challenges to the youth centres. Besides this internal evaluation, there is an external evaluation to assess the entire programme. The mechanism is only applicable for youth centres not for other types of youth organisations (associations, clubs, etc.). 

Furthermore, quality assurance is conducted through professional standards and through specific funding mechanisms. Professional standards for professionals working with young people are defined by the 1999 grand-ducal regulation (see: 10.5 Youth Workers). Funding of youth work is regulated by the 1998 law regulating relations between the State and organisations (loi du 8 septembre 1998 réglant les relations entre l'État et les organismes œuvrant dans les domaines social, familial et thérapeutique) (see: 10.3 Support to Youth work).

Research and evidence supporting Youth Work

The Centre for Childhood and Youth Research (CCY) at the University of Luxembourg is the main youth research centre in Luxembourg. Research on youth work and the evaluation of youth work are essential parts of the research agenda. Research projects are jointly funded by the state and the University of Luxembourg. 

In a recent project, the CCY investigated what educational experiences young people have through youth work (Study "Educational experiences in non-formal settings"). It also investigated what young people learn when they are active in youth work themselves. 

At international level, Luxembourg takes part in the RAY-network (Research-based analysis of European youth programmes). Based on the collected date, the research team at the CCY in collaboration with Anefore, the Luxembourg Erasmus+ Agency produces reliable evidence and publications on the impact of the programme on young people in Luxembourg. For example, a study published in 2020 investigates on the effects of social inequalities on learning outcomes (Meyers, Mayerl & Fennes, 2020). 

Participative youth work

The National Youth Service organises conferences for youth workers on a regular basis. They aim at supporting and facilitating the exchange between youth work providers and youth workers. Furthermore, the National Youth Council or the National Assembly of Young People are important stakeholders at national level where young people and their representatives are involved. 

'Smart' youth work: youth work in the digital world

BEE SECURE is a governmental initiative which is implemented by the National Youth Service and the 'Kanner-Jugendtelefon' (a counselling service for children and young people, via telephone, mail or chat). The initiative is co-funded by the European Commission. BEE SECURE specifically addresses media literacy and the safe use of new media by young people in Luxembourg (see: 6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media).

Promoting media literacy and online safety through non-formal and informal learning is organised within the framework of the BEE SECURE initiative. BEE SECURE offers various training opportunities for youth workers and youth leaders on request, according to their specific needs and objectives. BEE SECURE regularly on request, according to their specific needs and objectives. BEE SECURE regularly publishes guidebooks or pedagogical guidelines for youth centres or youth work in general. One example is the guide on 'How to be a good role model in digital matters' which gives tips and information for professionals and volunteers who work with children and young people on the use of social networks, the lawful handling of photos/video and the legally compliant use of works with third parties.