National Occupational Standards for Youth Work

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Just a reminder here is List of Professional and National Occupational Standards for Youth Work

The purpose of the National Occupational Standards is to describe the knowledge and skills needed to perform a job role or work task. They exist for a huge number of vocations and provide a benchmark of good practice as they explain what needs to be done. For example, the NOS outline the purpose of youth work and define its values:

The key purpose of youth work is to:

‘Enable young people to develop holistically, working with them to facilitate their personal, social and educational development, to enable them to develop their voice, influence and place in society and to reach their full potential’

This statement refers to the holistic development of young people, recognizing that personal, social and educational development can also include, for example, physical, political and spiritual development.



Youth Work Standards

YW01 Initiate, build and maintain purposeful relationships with young people
YW02 Assist young people to express and to realise their goals
YW03 Engage with communities to promote the interests and contributions of young people
YW04 Develop productive working relationships with colleagues and stakeholders to support youth work
YW05 Enable young people to use their learning to enhance their future development
YW06 Enable young people to work in groups
YW07 Encourage young people to broaden their horizons to be effective citizens
YW08 Support young people to identify and achieve aims
YW09 Support young people in their understanding of risk and challenge
YW10 Facilitate young people’s empowerment through their active involvement in youth work YW11 Plan, prepare and facilitate activities with young people
YW12 Work with young people to manage resources for youth work activities
YW13 Support young people in evaluating the impact of youth work activities
YW14 Facilitate young people’s exploration of their values and beliefs
YW15 Advocate on behalf of young people and enable them to represent themselves to others YW16 Enable young people to access information to make decisions
YW17 Work with young people in promoting their rights
YW18 Explore with young people their wellbeing
YW19 Work with young people to safeguard their own welfare
YW20 Embed organisational policy for the protection and safeguarding of young people
YW 21 Develop a culture and systems that promote inclusion and value diversity
YW22 Ensure that youth work activities comply with legal, regulatory and ethical requirements YW23 Investigate the needs of young people and the community in relation to youth work



YW24 Evaluate and priorities organisational requirements for youth work activities

YW25 Influence and develop youth work strategies
YW26 Identify and secure funding and resources for youth work
YW27 Facilitate and engage young people in the strategic development and delivery of youth work YW28 Work in partnership with agencies to improve opportunities for young people
YW29 Monitor and evaluate the quality of youth work activities
YW30 Work as an effective and reflective youth work practitioner
YW31 Provide youth work support to other workers
32 Involve, motivate and support volunteers (Managing Volunteers UKWH B2)
33 Promote equality of opportunity and diversity in your area of responsibility (Management and leadership NOS B11)
34 Develop structures, systems and procedures to support volunteering (Managing Volunteers A3) 35 Manage your own resources and professional development (Management and leadership A2) 36 Provide leadership for your team (Management and leadership B5)
37 Allocate and check work in your team (Management and leadership D5)
38 Recruit, select and keep colleagues (Management and leadership D3)
39 Provide learning opportunities for colleagues (Management and leadership D7)
40 Make sure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety (Health and Safety HSS1)
41 Ensure health and safety requirements are met in your area of responsibility (Management and leadership E6)


There are potentially loads of uses for the National Occupational Standards. They have been used by voluntary organisations to help design youth work training courses where the learning outcomes match the NOS criteria.

What do you think about the NOS? Have you ever read them or used them? Let us know in the comments!

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