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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.7 Skills recognition

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 12/08/2020 - 12:08

On this page
  1. Policy Framework
  2. Existing arrangements

Policy Framework

The policy statements which refer to youth volunteering mention the benefits to young people in terms of developing personal skills, while gaining transferable skills and experience which help them in their further studies or transition to employment. However, the Government does not provide criteria or mechanisms for formal recognition.


Existing arrangements

The Millennium Volunteer (MV) programme is open to anyone aged 11-25 who currently volunteers or would like to start and wants to have their commitment, skills and experience recognised.

Registered volunteers receive a certificate, backed by the Department of Education, after completing 50, 100 and 200 hours of volunteering.  There are three strands to the programme:

  • MV Schools is for young people who volunteer in or through their school; the 50 hour certificate is replaced by a special 'School Certificate' signed by the school principal.
  • MV Sport ~ GoldMark is for those who volunteer within a sport club or organisation.
  • MV Pure recognises all other types of volunteering.

The programme is run by Volunteer Now  with the support of the Department of Education and the Education Authority.  

Millennium Volunteers (MV) was first launched in 1999 as part of a UK-wide initiative designed to promote and recognise sustained volunteer commitment among young people aged 14 to 24.

Participation in the National Citizen Service (NCS) results in certification. It is also encouraged by UCAS, the University and College Application Service, and helps young people frame their skills and experiences for interviews and university applications. Some UK organisations involved in delivering the National Citizen Services have enabled NCS participants to document their learning using the EU’s Europass framework. All accredited organisations are expected to support individual volunteers to gain accreditation under the EU’s Youthpass framework at the end of their placement.There do not appear to be any arrangements to use the ECTS and ECVET systems to validate learning during voluntary activities.