Which competence frameworks are relevant in the youth field?

Youthpass certificates include a descriptive self-assessment of the developed competences and learning outcomes within a project. For the self-assessment of the competences, two reference frameworks are used in the certificates:

  • European framework of Key Competences for Lifelong Learning is used in the certificates issued in activities where young people are the main learners (such as Erasmus+ Youth Exchange projects, Youth Participation Activities or European Solidarity Corps Volunteering projects and Solidarity activities. The framework is based on the Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning first adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in 2006 which was later revised and updated in 2018 to account for the changing societal and educational landscape.
    The framework aims to:
    "- identify and define the key competences necessary for employability, personal fulfilment and health, active and responsible citizenship and social inclusion;
    - provide a European reference tool for policy makers, education and training providers, educational staff, guidance practitioners, employers, public employment services and learners themselves;
    - support efforts at European, national, regional and local level to foster competence development in a lifelong learning perspective
    A competence as defined in the framework is composed of knowledge, skills and attitudes and are developed in a lifelong and life-wide perspective, throughout various spheres of life and education. 'Key competences are those which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, employability, social inclusion, sustainable lifestyle, successful life in peaceful societies, health-conscious life management and active citizenship.'
    Eight areas of key competences are defined within the framework:
    - Literacy competence
    - Multilingual competence
    - Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering
    - Digital competence
    - Personal, social and learning to learn competence (LifeComp)
    - Citizenship competence
    - Entrepreneurship competence
    - Cultural awareness and expression competence
    For hints and insights on how these competence areas relate to the youth field and how this framework is used in Youthpass have a look at the Youthpass leaflet on Key Competences:

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    In addition, the 'Learning to learn' video briefly explains this essential key competence that is central to Youthpass:

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    Finally, the video 'Expressing learning outcomes through the key competences' is meant for learning facilitators and gives practical tips on how to make use of this framework when supporting the writing of self-assessment:

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  • Since the adoption of the Recommendation on key competences, several of the key competence areas have been further described:

    DigComp Framework: Digital competence framework defines this key competence as the "confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society" and explores it within 5 main areas:
    - Information and data literacy
    - Communication and collaboration
    - Digital content creation
    - Safety
    - Problem solving
    The framework offers further breakdown of each area within a spectrum of proficiency level ranging from 'beginner' to 'advanced'. For a brief explanation of the DigComp framework, have a look at the introduction video created by the European Commission. Further support materials on DigComp were also developed, including assessment and monitoring tools on the framework.

    EntreComp Framework: The entrepreneurship competence framework describes entrepreneurship and identifies the elements that make someone entrepreneurial within three main areas:
    - Ideas & opportunities
    - Resources
    - Into action
    For a brief information on the EntreComp framework, have a look at the video developed by the European Training Forum. Additional support materials on EntreComp are made available by the European Commission including a series of video interviews, a guide and a playbook.

    LifeComp Framework: The European framework for the personal, social and learning to learn key competence was launched in 2018 to describe the fundamental competences to:
    "- achieve personal fulfilment and satisfaction,
    - develop ourselves and relate to others,
    - learn how to learn and keep being employable.
    The framework defines nine competences needed to lead a "meaningful life, cope with complexity, be thriving individuals, responsible social agents, and reflective lifelong learners": Self-regulation, Flexibility, Wellbeing, Empathy, Communication, Collaboration, Growth mindset, Critical thinking and Managing learning.

    In addition to the frameworks developed within the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning framework, the European Commission developed the GreenComp: the European sustainability competence framework in 2022. The framework aims to define sustainability as a competence for learners and educators. The four main areas within the framework are:
    - embodying sustainability values
    - embracing complexity in sustainability
    - envisioning sustainable futures
    - acting for sustainability.
    Even though this framework was not developed within the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning framework, it is possible to connect it to several competence areas of the framework, such as citizenship competence or life competences.
  • Youthpass makes use of the European Training Strategy's (ETS) Competence Model for Youth Workers Working Internationally for the self-assessment in certificates of activities where youth work practitioners are the learners (such as Erasmus+ Mobility of Youth Worker activities, Training and Cooperation activities or European Solidarity Corps Networking activities).

    Though not directly used in Youthpass, ETS also defines a Competence Model for Trainers Working Internationally.