Revisiting and Updating
the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio
The Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio is an online tool that helps individuals, teams and organisations doing youth work around Europe to understand their competence and to develop it more effectively. This tool is also be used by trainers, youth work managers and policy makers and generally all those interested in the topic of quality development and recognition of youth work.
The online Portfolio allows users to participate in a facilitated learning cycle of self-assessment that consists of:
- analysing and identifying the state and development of youth work competences.
- gathering evidence on the quality of youth work and ideas on how to improve it.
- explaining youth work to others in a way that is easy to understand.
Since 2017, over 500 online portfolios were created, and many more organisations reported use of the offline brochure of Portfolio during different educational activities. In 2023, there is a need to review the content and functions of the Portfolio to reflect current socio-economic-political situations affecting young people in Europe and, especially, developments in the field of youth work, such as the establishment of the Bonn Process and the role of the Council of Europe's Recommendation on Youth Work and Youth Strategy 2030.
In 2023 the Council of Europe commissioned a study about updating the Portfolio with the following objectivities:
- To analyse the relevance and up-to-date status of the competence framework of the Portfolio, especially in connection with the Council of Europe Recommendation on Youth Work, with particular attention to its ongoing review process, and other relevant documents and processes such as the Bonn process.
- To propose specific proposals for updates/revisions of the Portfolio that reflect possible developments of the competence framework and include/address new areas of youth work, notable digital youth work competences.
- To assess the current modes of use of the Portfolio and propose additional or alternative ways of making use of the Portfolio within the current online version, in e-learning and in-person activities.
The study currently underway employs a mixed methodology, which includes in-depth interviews with key informants, as well as broader consultations with representatives from the youth work community of practice. The process of updating the portfolio, taking into consideration the findings of the study, will be finalised by the end of 2023.
The Consultative Meeting
The consultative meeting on updating the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio is organised as a direct contribution to the ongoing study. This meeting will provide a platform for discussion and exchange among representatives of the youth work community of practice regarding the preliminary proposals for updating the Portfolio by the research team. Additionally, it will support stakeholders in affiliating themselves with the Portfolio as a tool within the field of youth work, suitable for application in diverse settings, including professional and voluntary youth work, youth worker accreditation programs, national policies, and more.
The consultative meeting has the following objectives:
- To present, discuss, and validate the preliminary findings of the study on updating the Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio.
- To make proposals regarding the visibility and utilization of the Portfolio within the broader community of youth work practice, as a direct contribution to the ongoing study on updating the Portfolio.
- To critically reflect on and share insights about how youth work is adapting and responding to the current needs and interests of young people in Europe and to explore the potential role the Portfolio can play in the future of youth work provision including in the implementation of the Council of Europe CM Recommendation on Youth Work.
- To share youth work practices, including initiatives at European, national, and local levels, showcasing the Portfolio's applications beyond self-assessment tool, such as recognition in youth work at national level, etc.
The consultative meeting will bring together approximately 20 experts and practitioners who represent a diverse range of stakeholders experienced or interested in using the Portfolio within the youth work community of practice. This includes:
- Youth organisations and civil society actors implementing youth work programs.
- Representatives from the statutory bodies of the Youth Department.
- Trainers, youth workers, and educators actively engaged with the youth sector.
- Representatives from the youth work community of practice with specific expertise in thematic areas such as digital youth work, trauma-informed youth work, etc.