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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work

Last update: 24 June 2024
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  1. Existing arrangements
  2. Skills

Existing arrangements

As generally described in Chapter 6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning, the arrangements and mechanisms for skills recognition at the state level are yet to be fully developed. 

As stated in the Conclusions of the CoE on youth policy in Serbia, the National Association of Youth Work Practitioners - NAPOR has since 2009, secured several significant milestones related to the recognition of non-formal learning and youth work in Serbia:

1. The adoption of Guidelines for quality assurance of youth work;

2. The development of standards of qualifications in youth work on three levels:

  • Youth leader;

  • Youth worker;

  • Specialist for youth work and policies;

3. Development of standards for youth work programmes and a mechanism for its implementation ((re)accreditation   process of youth work programmes based on eight standards) that ensures building necessary skills and life values of young people to take active participation in community development along with promotion of democratic principles

4. Development of non-formal education curricula for two vocational standards in professional youth work:

  •  Youth leader

  •  Youth worker

5. The development of mechanisms for the validation of acquired competences in relation to the abovementioned  qualifications;

6. The creation of the Ethical Code of Youth Work and establishment of Council for Ethical Issues.

7. Creation of a tool for recognition of competences of young people gained through youth work programmes and NFE (Passport of Competences).

As mentioned in 10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work/ Quality assurance NAPOR has created the tool for recognition of competences of young people gained through youth work programmes (Passport of Competences) and implemented it in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports (ministry in charge of youth at the time) and other relevant actors from public, private and civil sector. The Ministry and other relevant actors from the public, private and civil sector co-operate in this process, developing the passport and aiming to improve youth employability.

In addition, young people participating in international activities within the Erasmus+ Programme are encouraged to use YouthPass – recognition tool for non-formal and informal learning in youth projects.


Inclusion of youth worker in the Classification of Occupations was a major step towards recognition of skills gained through youth work even though the occupation is still not officially part of National Qualification Framework.

The Passport of Competences, created by NAPOR, provides recognition of transferable skills (competences) that young people gain through youth work programs by employers and more efficient planning of professional and personal improvement of young people and recognition of impact of youth work on development of young people. 

Over the last couple of years, NAPOR has made additional efforts towards recognition of skills gained through youth work. With the support of UNICEF in Serbia, NAPOR has revised the program for non-formal education for youth workers, which is in line with the revised competency framework for the fifth level according to of National Qualification Framework.

A practical policy with recommendations and a model for cooperation between youth work and the social protection system was created under the title: "Systemic involvement of organizations dealing with youth work in providing additional assistance and support to young users of social protection services from vulnerable groups" (2023). The document was implemented by the association "Sociativa" in cooperation with the National Association of Youth Work Practitioners (NAPOR), the Women's Group for Peace (ŽMIG) and the association “Daj Mi Ruku” as a part of the project "Youth and social work united in supporting young people", which was implemented under the programme "Local call for the EU" led by the National Coalition for Decentralization with the partners Group 484 and the "Jelena Šantić" Foundation.

The German International Cooperation Organization GIZ, in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia, supported NAPOR in the development of three individual modules aimed at improving the competences of youth workers on specific topics. Curricula for the application of sports methodology for development in youth work and for gender equality have been developed and tested, and the development of a curriculum for mental health in youth work has been supported.