In the field of youth work you often hear reference to The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth and Community Workers. This is the body that sets the national framework used to grade and pay youth work jobs. The JNC agrees the salary scales and other terms and conditions of service.
There are two pay ranges within the JNC framework:
- Youth Support Worker
- Professional Youth worker
The JNC recognise youth and community workers’ qualifications which have been professionally approved by the Education and Training Standards (ETS) Committee of the National Youth Agency (NYA). The NYA endorse Youth Support Worker qualifications and have a process of professional validation for Higher Education programmes. List of JNC courses.
Gaining a qualification that is either endorsed or validated by the NYA and recognised by the JNC ensures it is fit for purpose; developing youth work practitioners that can meet the needs of young people and employers in the youth work field.
Qualifications for Youth Support work roles
Since January 2011 revised qualifications at L2 and L3 in youth work practice have been available on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) replacing the previously used L2 and L3 VRQs and NVQs. If you have an exisiting qualification that is recognised at L2 or L3 then your qualfification remains recognised. However if you are looking to become qualified at one of these levels there are several options for you to consider
Youth work qualifications are made up of a combination of mandatory and optional units from the QCF. The credit and units required to complete a qualification recognised by the JNC are set out by the rules of combination. The rules of combination for the youth work qualifications have been agreed through consultation with employers, practitioners, sector skills body and the awarding organisations that will offer the qualifications. Only qualifications that follow these rules of combination are able to be called youth work qualifications, and be recognised by the JNC.
What is available in Youth Work for youth support work roles?
At Level 2:
- Level 2 Award in Youth Work Practice (10 credits) – this qualification is also suitable for young leaders, aged 14+
- Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice (23 credits) -Only the Level 2 Certificate constitutes a ‘full’ qualification classified as meeting the requirements for conferring occupational competence within the JNC framework for Youth Support Work roles.
At Level 3:
- Level 3 Award in Youth Work Practice (12 credits)
- Level 3 Certificate in Youth Work Practice (32 credits) The Level 3 Certificate constitutes a ‘full’ qualification classified as meeting the requirements for conferring occupational competence within the JNC framework for Youth Support Work roles.
- Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice – (44 credits) This qualification provides additional learning and preparation for those seeking progression into Higher Education programmes leading to Professionally Qualified status.
Please note: The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth and Community Work has amended the JNC report to recognise the Level 3 certificate as conferring occupational competence for Youth Support Work roles (July 2012)
Levels for youth support work roles
The different level indicates the complexity or challenge of a qualification. For the youth work qualifications a Level 2 is equivalent to GCSEs grades A-C and a Level 3 to GCE A-Levels.
Within the rules of combination, QCF qualifications can be made up of units from different levels, and the level of the majority then determines the level of the qualification. So, for a Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice, the learner may have completed some units at Level 2 which can be credited across so the majority of units successfully completed by the end of the qualification are achieved at Level 3.
What’s the difference between Award, Certificate & Diploma?
The combined size of all the credit value required to complete a qualification will determine the title of 'Award', 'Certificate', or 'Diploma'. A QCF Diploma is not the same as a 14-19 Diploma or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE).
- Award = 1-12 credits
- Certificate = 13-36 credits
- Diploma = 37 credits or more.
The size of the ‘full’ JNC recognised level 2 and level 3 qualifications for youth work have been decided through consultation with the sector and are based on what is considered as required for somebody working in a Youth Support Work (or equivalent) role in a range of settings.
For more information, contact your local provider or the one of the JNC endorsed awarding bodies who will also be able to give you details of local providers.
A level 3 Youth Work Qualififcation can provide access to higher education and will enable learners to progress to a professional level qualification, leading to Professional Youth Worker Status.
You may already hold a JNC professionally recognised qualification, achieved on a programme started prior to September 2010. Although the minimum qualification required has now changed, your existing qualification is still recognised as conferring JNC professionally qualified status for you.
JNC recognised professional qulaifications in Youth Work are available at BA (Hons) and PG levels.
All qualifications vary in length. Courses are available for both full and part time study and require completion of substantial field work placements. A few institutions offer distance learning programmes.
- BA (Hons): three years full time and part time equivalent.
- PG Cert / PG Dip: one year full time and part time equivalent
- MA: one year and part time equivalent
All the professional qualification programmes of study are offered by universities or colleges of higher education. The programmes of study will only offer professional recognised qualification if they have first been professionally validated by the NYA. Professionally validated HE awards are currently offered by around 40 English universities and colleges of higher education.
Because Youth and Community workers work in a wide range of settings, Higher Education qualifications reflect different occupational needs, and have a range of titles, including youth and community, community and youth studies, childhood and youth studies, and informal and community education, and some have a particular curriculum focus. List of JNC courses
An employer may support you to undertake the Higher Education awards by giving financial assistance for payment of tuition fees, or time off for study, but you can also study for the qualification independently of full or part time employment.
Whilst most universities stipulate minimum academic entry requirements, all institutions offering youth and community work qualifications welcome applications from those without academic qualifications providing they can show that they have relevant experience in youth work and have the intellectual ability to complete the course. All universities will have support services for students with different learning needs, e.g. deafness or dyslexia.
In this section there is a list of all the currently validated professionally qualifying programmes that are JNC recognised. These are also presented in a geographical map to help you find opportunities in your region. A comprehensive list of all programmes current and historical is included for those wishing to check whether a qualification carries JNC recognition.
To find out about training in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, please use the contacts below:
CLD Standards Council for Scotland, 9th Floor, The Optima, 58 Robertson Street. Glasgow. G2 8DU
Tel: 0141 282 5263