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Awards Network for Parents

Young people have the right to be successful. Parents and carers have a responsibility to make a positive difference by supporting and encouraging young people to reach their potential. Learning outside of school, such as through youth work awards, is as important as formal learning.

The development, learning and experiences that young people gain in youth work situations… can have a positive impact which is lifelong…(providing) young people developmental opportunities as well as the ability to lead, take responsibility, make decisions…

– National Youth Work Strategy 2014 – 2019, YouthLink Scotland, 2014

Youth Work Awards

The Awards Network is a forum of providers of non-formal learning awards across Scotland. We work together to promote and recognise the achievements of young people through youth work awards. We value young people’s voluntary effort to develop their own skills and improve the communities around them.

Young people achieve awards across all areas of our community, from youth clubs and uniformed organisations to schools and outdoor spaces, care work and campaigns. These can be local, national and international. Awards can be supported by paid staff and by volunteers, and can be self-guided by the young people themselves. They can lead to credit-rated qualifications; nationally recognised programme awards; or nominated awards that celebrate exceptional achievements.

Why is it important to recognise young people’s achievements?

Because young people say so

Young people value awards programmes for fun, friendship, challenge, new skills and experiences that look great on a CV. Many young people want to engage in their communities and improve the quality of life for people around them. Personal reward is not the motivator, but the possibility of using their experience towards a recognised Award and as a way of strengthening their CV and enhancing their career prospects can be a real bonus.

Because educationalists say so

All children and young people are entitled to have the full range of their achievements recognised and to be supported in reflecting and building on their learning and Achievements.

– Building the Curriculum 5 – a framework for assessment: recognising achievement, profiling, reporting, Scottish Government. 12/2010

The Curriculum for Excellence requires schools to recognise the breadth of young people’s achievement, to include achievements gained outside of school through e.g. youth work, volunteering and hobbies, and not simply their ability to pass exams. This means that there is a growing role for community activities to support and complement school based learning.

Because employers say so

Business is clear – we need an education system which develops rigorous, rounded and grounded young people. This means a system which focuses as much on the development of key attitudes and attributes – such as confidence, resilience, enterprise, ambition – as on academic progression and attainment.

– Delivering Excellence – an approach for schools in Scotland, CBI, 3/2015

Any job requires a set of technical skills, but employees also need a range of ‘soft skills’. Employers increasingly recognise how youth work awards help young people develop these ‘soft skills’, and consequently make them more valuable as employees in the workplace.

Some of our Awards

President’s Badge

President’s Badge

The President's Badge is completed during Year 4 of Company Section. To achieve the award the young person will: - Have good attendance for one session - Be recommended by the company captain - Participate in a non-residential teamwork skills experience - Complete a Christian faith development course and either : Route A - Complete at least 30 points from the Discover programme (Company Section awards programme), having gained three badges in the last 12 months; - take part in an activity-based residential event within the BB - Complete 10 hours of practical service for the Brigade or church OR : Route B - Gain The Bronze DofE Award. - Young Volunteer Award


Preparing for Adulthood programmes

Preparing for Adulthood programmes

Preparing for Adulthood is a suite of four programmes, each suited to different ASN settings. They have been developed for learners with moderate, severe, complex, profound or multiple learning difficulties. Certificated programmes provide a real-life context to reward achievement and promote the development of personal, social, independent, ICT and work-related skills.


Dance Leadership (SCQF Level 4 & 5)

Dance Leadership (SCQF Level 4 & 5)

Young people undertaking a qualification in Dance Leadership will learn and demonstrate important life skills such as effective communication and organisation whilst learning to lead basic dance activities to younger people, their peers, older generations and within the community.

The sessions use dance as a tool to educate young people on how they can deliver fun and engaging dance activity with other students and within the community. Students will plan, lead and evaluate dance activity sessions over a number of tutored hours and then demonstrate their leadership skills as part of their assessment.

This provides a great opportunity to provide a skill development whilst having a positive impact on physical activity levels in your community.

Any style of dance can be used within the delivery of this award adding to the diversity of participation.

Dance Leadership is offered at SCQF Level 4 & 5, providing learners have a structured leadership progression pathway.


What can you do?

  • Use the Award Finder to help your child identify the award or range of awards that might best suit their learning needs, interests or ambitions – and encourage positive engagement.
  • Encourage your child to share information about their achievements, record them on their Pupil Profiles and have these recognised and celebrated by their school.
  • At school parents evenings ask how the school promotes and recognises non-academic achievement.

Related Links

COVID-19 Activities and Resources

Links to activities and resources to support learning and award achievement at home

Amazing Things

A Directory of Youth Awards in Scotland

Statement on the Nature and Purpose of Youth Work

Sets out the essential and definitive features of youth work

What is Achievement?

The importance of achievement, outlined in Educations Scotland’s Parentzone

Wider Achievement in a Nutshell

A simple explanation of Wider Achievement from The National Parents Forum of Scotland with examples of opportunities and related awards and qualifications

Interactive Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Understand qualification levels, where awards and qualifications sit and how they equate

SCQF Database

This database can help you find those qualifications and learning programmes that are on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)


Scouts Scotland’s Young Leaders’ Scheme

The Young Leaders' Scheme is just one of the exciting programme elements of being an Explorer Scout. All leaders in the Beaver Scout, Cub Scout and Scout Section who are between the ages of 14 and 18 are considered to be Young Leaders. They are Explorer Scouts who choose to devote a large proportion of their time in Scouting to service in another section. The Young Leaders' Scheme helps Explorer Scouts to develop and grow as individuals. They benefit from personal impacts such as greater employability and self-confidence.  It allows them to make a valuable contribution to their community and give service to others. The scheme also helps them fulfil the service elements of other awards such as Chief Scout’s Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Young Leaders from all over Scotland are supported to attend training events with other Young Leaders and to complete missions, which let them put what they have learned into practice. These training events take young people out of their comfort zones, often in unfamiliar settings, to learn how to be compassionate and responsible leaders. 

In this case study, we caught up with three Young Leaders; Zoe, Timmy and Richard who were attending a training event at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead where they reflected on their experiences as Young Leaders, the skills and confidence they have gained as a result of their increased responsibility and their hopes for the training event.

Scouts’ Young Leaders develop confidence and other transferable skills. These include understanding different leadership styles, how to communicate effectively and consider accessibility when planning activities, so that young people with different abilities, needs and interests can take part. They gain experience of planning and delivery, to embed this learning in practice.

Read More

Aiden - a different way of learning

"School wasn't the best for me".
Aiden shares his experience of learning post-school and how youth awards can help develop skills for employment, add to the CV and provide a good talking point in interviews.
"I had no idea there were so many awards you could get outside school..... Awards can give you the chance to get the experience....that employers look for."
"My 100 hours Saltire Award will be really helpful to me on my CV....Schools should incorporate more awards like these to give you more opportunities."

Read More