What is the competence framework used in Youthpass certificates for youth workers?

The new Youthpass certificates for 2021-2027 use the European Training Strategy (ETS) competence model for youth workers to work internationally as the reference framework for the self-assessment of participants in training activities (youth workers and other youth work practitioners), as well of team members.

ETS Competence Model defines competence as a combination of attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviours.
More specifically each competence area is defined as the following within the ETS competence model:

Facilitating learning means facilitating individual and group learning, as well as establishing dialogue and ensuring cooperation mechanisms with individuals, groups and communities. This means that the youth worker supports young people in identifying and pursuing their learning needs and is able to choose, adapt or create methods, methodologies and digital tools in residential and online environments accordingly. The youth worker supports young people’s learning processes.

Designing programmes involves a good understanding of the different groups and environments that a youth worker works with. The youth worker applies non-formal learning values and principles in the programmes and responds to the needs and realities of young people, which are more complex in an international context. This competence area includes how designing programmes can involve addressing political, societal, technological and cultural issues in youth work and how it can be opened up to include the wider community.

Managing resources means understanding the values and working culture of youth projects and youth organisations. The youth worker identifies leadership styles and assesses the impact they have on the target groups during an activity. They understand what motivates young people to take part in projects, how to nurture this motivation and manage risks accordingly. This competence also includes knowledge of national legislation, data policies and financial resources management, with a special attention to the (often bigger) amount of resources needed to design, prepare and deliver activities of digital youth work.

Collaborating in teams means that the youth worker contributes to team work and maintains good working relations with everyone involved in the project. The youth worker motivates and supports colleagues in achieving given objectives.

Communicating meaningfully means building positive relationships with individuals and groups. The youth worker knows how to interact with young people as well as with international partners and contributes to smooth communication regarding programmes and projects. This area is also about how the youth worker constructively handles emotions, inspiration, intuition, empathy and personalities.

Displaying intercultural sensitivity is the ability to support successful communication and collaboration among people from different cultural contexts and backgrounds. The youth worker has to address and deal with diverse attitudes and behaviours in international youth work and tackles underlying values. The youth worker takes these intercultural dimensions into account in their work.

Networking and advocating involves developing and managing partnerships with other relevant actors. Youth workers facilitate networking with others (in their community and outside it) and advocate for the value of youth work. They are conscious about (political) values and beliefs at play in youth work and support young people in developing independent ‘political thought’.

Assessing and evaluating means developing evaluative practices to assess and implement appropriate change. Youth workers work on helping and empowering young people, the environment, and society to change for the better – supporting the development of collective and solidarity actions that stimulate change and transformation. Youth workers support actions that change policy and practice. This area also means to pay attention to the data gathered through online and digital tools.

Being civically engaged means being aware and taking a principled stance on political and societal issues affecting young people, civil society, human rights, democracy, digital rights, environment, etc. The youth worker supports critical youth civic engagement and encourages young people to: reflect on their social and political context, including the specific issues posed by digital contexts; reflect on their values and engage constructively with issues, actors, political, and social processes; focus on local and global issues, act in solidarity and advocate for progressive social change in their societies, in Europe and beyond; address what is deemed sensitive and controversial; understand power dynamics and deal with ambiguity and change.

YOCOMO - What is ETS Competence Model for Youth Workers? (video on Youtube) provides more information on the competence model.