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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work

Last update: 25 January 2021


On this page
1.Existing arrangements
2.    Skills


Existing arrangements

TheAwards Network brings together over 40 awards which recognise young people’s learning through youth work. This is a significant aspect of youth work in Scotland and Youth Awards are used within youth work and within schools contexts, when recognising informal education. One of the organisations offering many of these awards is Youth Scotland.

Youth Scotland has established three sets of awards to formally recognise young people’s achievements through participation in youth work.

●      The Youth Achievement Awards (YAAs) are individual learning Awards that provide a framework to support quality work with young people aged 14 and over. The YAAs are a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) customised award which, supports the aims and purposes of the Curriculum for Excellence. They can be tailored to support any activity and provide a recognised, SCQF 4-7 levelled award that recognises four levels of responsibility.

●      The Dynamic Youth Awards (DYAs) are a nationally recognised youth award for young people aged 10 and over. They are externally quality assured by Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and are level 3 credit rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). The DYAs follow a Plan-Do-Review process through self and peer assessment, which enables young people to more effectively recognise and articulate their learning and achievements within different contexts. The Awards fully support the aims and implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence.

●  The Hi5 Awards are a nationally recognised youth award for young people aged 5 and over. To gain a Hi5 Award, young people choose a challenge, complete a minimum of 5 hours of activity, think about and comment on their achievements and gather evidence of their participation. The award is level 2 credit rated on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).


Youth Scotland’s awards seek to help young people develop skills for learning, life, and work such as:

●      Improving motivation;

●      Increasing self-esteem;

●      Keeping young people engaged with learning;

●      Encouraging reflection and critical thinking.

The YAAs in particular celebrate four levels of skills and achievements:

●  Young people taking part;

●  Assisting and sharing responsibility with others;

●  Taking individual responsibility to organise and lead;

●      Undertaking training and creating learning opportunities for others.