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Youthpass Certificate

1. General Information

General Information
Youthpass Certificate
Name of BP
Youthpass Certificate
Implemented by
European Commission via the support of the SALTO Training and Cooperation Resource Centre
Year established
2007
Country
European Union states (including Romania)
Description of the action

Youthpass Certificate is a document of recognition of training activities and competences obtained within the Youth in Action Programme (YiA) that is supporting non-formal learning experiences among young people. YiA is a continuation of the Youth Program (2000-2006) and it is implemented in 2007-2013, with an 885 million EURO budget. Romania has a budget of around 3 million EURO annually.

Principle aim or goal of the program

To provide young people involved in Youth in Action the possibility to describe what they did/learned (activities, knowledge, abilities and attitudes) by participating in the respective projects.

Beneficiaries
Young students and workers
Keywords
Youth, certificate, non formal learning, informal learning
Contact

Mr. Florin Popa - Youthpass Coordinator for Romania
E-mail: florinpopa@anpcdefp.ro
Phone: +40 (0) 21 201 07 16

2. Introduction

Youthpass Certificate is a document of recognition of training activities and competences obtained within the Youth in Action Programme (YiA) that is supporting non-formal learning experiences among young people. YiA is a continuation of the Youth Program (2000 – 2006); it is implemented in 2007 – 2013 with an 885 million EURO budget. Romania has a budget of around 3 million EURO annually.

The Youthpass certificate is a comparable Europe-wide instrument which allows young people and youth workers to confirm their participation in a Youth in Action project and describe the carried-out activities as well as the developed competences. The certificate allows including data about the project - its aims, activities and actors involved - and its relation with the objectives of the Youth in Action Programme. Additionally, it offers participants the opportunity to look back at their experience and carry out a self-assessment exercise focused on analyzing the degree of acquisition of the eight key-competences defined at EU level.

This Certificate addresses competencies obtained in non-formal and informal contexts. As this kind of competencies usually remain uncertified, they are difficult to use in one’s training and professional activity.

3. Regional extent

This is an initiative implemented in the European Union, as part of the community project Youth in Action.

 

4. Goals

This initiative that became effective since 2007 provides young people involved in Youth in Action the possibility to describe what they did/learned (activities, knowledge, abilities and attitudes) by participating in the respective projects.

The Youthpass Certificate does not represent:

- A document offering certain rights to its owner,

- A formal recognition of competencies,

- A document replacing certificates obtained during formal learning,

- A certificates for people participating in other programs other than YiA,

- A document recognizing learning results within a Youth Program (that was finalized in 2006).

The Youthpass Certificate can be used for:

- Better managing individual training process and for presenting results of non-formal learning,

- Obtaining social recognition of youth activities,

- Strengthening young people’s chances to get a better job,

- Strengthening one’s chances at gaining access to the lifelong learning programs. 

5. Action Plan

Youthpass is part of the European Commission’s strategy to foster the recognition of non-formal learning. As a tool to visualize and to validate learning outcomes gained in “Youth in Action” projects, it puts policy into practice and practice into policy:

•    Creating their Youthpass Certificate together with a support person, participants of “Youth in Action” projects have the possibility to describe what they have done in their project and which competences they have acquired. Thus, Youthpass supports the reflection upon the personal non-formal learning process.

•    Documenting the added value of a “Youth in Action” project, Youthpass visualizes and supports active European citizenship of young people and youth workers.

•    Being a Europe-wide validation instrument for non-formal learning in the youth field, Youthpass contributes to strengthening the social recognition of youth work.

•    Making visible and validating key competences through a certificate, Youthpass finally aims at supporting the employability of young people and youth workers.

6. Implementation and realisation

The European Commission implements Youthpass via the support of the SALTO Training and Cooperation Resource Centre, who coordinates the communication between the structures and actors of the Youth in Action Programme involved and organizes the development of the validation instrument. The activity of the Commission and SALTO Training and Cooperation RC is supported by a Youthpass Advisory Group, composed of representatives of Commission, National Agencies, SALTOs and experts.

Despite the fact that Youthpass certificates are generated by promoters through a dedicated website, the National Agencies of the Youth in Action Programme also play an essential role in raising awareness and know-how about Youthpass among their stakeholders. A network of contact persons within the Agencies has been established for the purpose of improving the implementation of Youthpass in each national context by exchanging information and practices.

Youthpass Certificate can be filled in on the Youthpass portal by the organization organizing the mobility activities and hosting the young persons. The procedure to issue a Certificate is the following:

- create an account of the issuing organization,

- introduce project data,

- introduce beneficiary data:

- activities undertaken during the project,

- competences acquired or developed (the framework of the 8 key competences: communication in mother tongue, communication in foreign language, mathematical literacy and basis competences in science and technology, digital competence, learning-to-learn, interpersonal and civic competences, entrepreneurship, cultural expression).

The specific information to be filled in depends on the type of project (the action it belongs to). The Youthpass Certificate is generated in a .pdf format. It can be modified and generated again at any time. All data introduced can be modified or deleted at any time.

In Romania, the programme is managed by the Europass National Center in cooperation with Youth in Action Department, both par of the National Agency for Community Programmes in the Field of Education and Training.

7. Results and benefits

The results presented illustrate the main quantitative results of the Youthpass implementation in the period 2007-2009. These results take stock of a more extensive set of data collected by the SALTO Training and Cooperation RC and contained in the document "Analysis of results on Youthpass developments" elaborated together with the Youthpass Advisory Group.

 

Global figures

Until 2009, more than 50 000 Youthpass Certificates were generated by beneficiaries of the Youth in Action Programme. This represents a good result, if considering that one participant out of three decided to generate a certificate to validate and recognize her/his experience.

Since August 2007, more than 3 450 promoters registered in the Youthpass website in order to be able to issue certificates. This is an indication that NGOs and public bodies growingly recognize the value of Youthpass as a tool to be offered to their participants.

 
2007
2008
2009

Number of certificates issued
10,739
22,414
19,087

Percentage of eligible participants
17.6%
35.1%
31.9%

 

Figures on learning outcomes

The quantitative analysis of the self-assessment sections in Youthpass certificates shows that, until 2009, more than 9 500 participants reported the acquisition or improvement of at least one of the key-competences defined at EU level. This figure represents 60% of Youthpass certificates generated in those Actions and sub-Actions where the self-assessment section has been introduced (i.e. European Voluntary Service and Training Courses certificates).

The figures in Youthpass certificates have been analysed in comparison with the qualitative outcomes of the European monitoring survey launched by the Commission end of 2009. The results of the two sources are coherent, thus offering a positive indication on the capability of the Youthpass certificates to track down knowledge, skills and attitudes developed or improved under the Youth in Action Programme.

8. Main hurdles and their solutions

There were no major problems encountered.

9. Replicability or Repeatability

The first years of implementation of Youthpass provide overall positive results in terms of efficient organizational set-up, methods and formats envisaged, as well as in terms of quantitative results.

The Commission proposes to pursue the Youthpass implementation until the end of the Youth in Action programming period, along the lines followed, and to further consolidate its achievements in close cooperation with the National Agencies and the SALTO Training and Cooperation RC. In particular, efforts would be made in activities aimed at decreasing country differences in implementing Youthpass.

The Commission also envisages taking actions to further develop Youthpass. With this regard, the Commission would explore the possibility to extend Youthpass certificates to possibly all Actions of the programme. In this sense, a specific focus would be given to sub-actions 1.3 (Youth Democracy Projects) and 5.1 (Meetings between young people and decision-makers), as well as to actions promoting the mobility of youth workers.

Furthermore, activities aimed at gathering qualitative evidence about the Youthpass achievements at individual and at organizational level would also be envisaged. A qualitative analysis of Youthpass may further support the processes of recognition of non-formal learning both at European and national level, with particular emphasis on young people and youth workers.

A stronger link to Europass and synergies with the process of defining a European Skills, Competences and Occupations framework (ESCO) would also be sought, as a way to further reinforce the recognition of non-formal learning Europe-wide.

Finally, the Youthpass' processes, models and practices would be put forward in national, regional and local contexts in order to be used as inspiration for the development of similar tools outside of the Youth in Action Programme.

The initiative has not yet been replicated but it is fully adjustable to all sorts of beneficiaries.

10. Conclusions

The success of the initiative has to do with the fact that it is presented as a way of improving the efficiency of the labor market through increasing the mobility of workers; the visibility of skills, knowledge and competences; the opportunities for immigrants etc.

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