If you work with in the area of informal education for young people, Erasmus+ accreditation is a great opportunity for you! In our last blog, we explained how to apply for accreditation in the school and adult education sectors. This time we would like to explain the accreditation procedure for the youth sector. The main differences concern deadlines, eligible activities, and the questions you will be asked in the application form.
The accreditation is a new EU mechanism that guarantees regular funding for Erasmus mobility activities, provided that the activities are carried out in accordance to your project and the programme rules.
Why is it worth applying for accreditation?
- STABLE ORGANISATION FINANCING – You do not need to apply for a grant each year. Instead you will receive annual funding for mobility activities planned in your accreditation project.
- YOU CREATE YOUR OWN STRATEGY – For the application, you need to create a 3-year development strategy. You set up your own goals and have freedom to choose types of action, mobility destinations, etc. During the accreditation period, you always have the right to update your plan.
- INVESTING IN THE FUTURE – Thanks to accreditation, you can focus on long-term goals. Mobility activities can be used to gradually improve the quality of activities your organisation delivers to the target groups.
- OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVELOPMENT AND NETWORKING – Accreditation allows you to work on new types of activities and to collaborate with new partner organisations without the necessity of developing a new project and completing a new application form.
What kind of activity can you plan in your accreditation project?
Your accreditation plan can cover three types of actions: youth exchanges (mobility of young people), mobility projects for youth workers, and youth participation activities. To each of these, there are different types of eligible activities:
- Youth Exchanges are meetings of groups of young people from at least two different countries who gather for a short period to implement jointly a non-formal learning programme (a mix of workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, simulations, outdoor activities, etc.) on a topic of their interest.
- Professional Development Activities (PDA’s) are transnational learning mobility activities supporting the professional development of youth workers. They can take the form of
- study visits and different types of assignments, such as job shadowing, youth worker exchanges and peer learning.
- Networking and community building among youth workers taking part in the action and supporting its objectives.
- Training courses supporting the development of competences (e.g. based on relevant existing competence models).
- Seminars and workshops supporting in particular knowledge
- System development and outreach activities – mobility projects for Youth Workers may include system development and outreach activities, which are complementary activities aiming at enhancing the impact of the mobility project on the field.
- Preparatory visits aim to ensure high quality of mobility project by facilitating and preparing administrative arrangements, building trust and understanding and setting-up a solid partnership between the organisations and people involved. They take place in the country of one of the receiving organisations before the start of the mobility.
- Youth participation activities – examples of such activities:
- face-to-face or online workshops and/or meetings, seminars or other events/processes at local, regional, national or transnational level offering space for information, debate and active participation of young people on issues relevant to their daily lives as active European citizens;
- consultations of young people identifying topics/issues of specific relevance to them (in local, regional, national or transnational context) and identifying their needs related to participation in addressing such topics/issues;
- awareness-raising campaigns revolving around participation of young people in democratic life;
Who can apply?
- Erasmus+ Accreditation in the Youth Sector is a tool for organisations that provide non-formal education to young people and plan to carry out mobility activities on a regular basis.
- Organisations that have at least two years’ experience working with young people (non-formal education!)
- The Erasmus+ experience is not required but you need to prove that your organisation has sufficient operational, professional and financial capacity to implement the proposed Erasmus Plan. Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their regular activities during the implementation of the proposed Erasmus Plan. However, financial capacity will not be checked as part of the selection procedure for this Call. It will be checked when the accredited organisations apply for a grant, according to the rules set in the yearly calls for proposals published by the European Commission.
How to apply?
- STEP ONE – Applicants must have an Organisation ID (OID). Applicants that have already participated in Erasmus+ (2014-2020) should use their existing OID and should not register again. Applicant that have previously used a PIC number (Participant Identification Code) should not register again. These applicants have automatically received an OID and are able to find it in the Organisation Registration System. Applicants that have never participated in Erasmus+ (2014-2020) must register for an OID through the Organisation Registration System.
- STEP TWO – Fill out an online project application. Applications must be submitted to your National Agency using the official electronic application form: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/erasmus-applications/screen/home.
- The application is extensive because the agency has to check whether your organisation has the potential to, and if it is operationally ready to, implement the activities. The more detailed the information you provide is about resources and the specific people who work in your organisation, the higher the rating will be.
Deadline for the youth sector is 31 December 2021 at 12:00 CET.
Online applications can be found here.
Official application rules are here.
- One of the most important steps is to ensure that your application aligns with the accreditation objectives set up for Youth sector:
- Strengthen personal and professional development of young people through non-formal and informal learning mobility activities;
- Foster the empowerment of young people, their active citizenship and participation in democratic life;
- Foster quality development of youth work at local, regional, national, European and international level by building capacity of organisations active in the youth field and supporting the educational and professional development of youth workers;
- Promote inclusion and diversity, intercultural dialogue, European cooperation and the values of solidarity, equal opportunities and human rights among young people in Europe.
- There are also four programme priorities. Make sure to include them in your accreditation application:
- Inclusion and Diversity
- Digital Transformation
- Environment and fight against climate change
- Participation in democratic life
In Youth sector you also need to describe how you will contribute to the three main objectives of the EU Youth Strategy (engage, connect and empower young people) and/or the Youth Goals.
- Quality of the applications will be assessed by assigning points out of a total of 100, based on the listed criteria and weightings. To be considered for award, applications must pass the following thresholds:
- At least 70 out of the total 100 points
- At least half of the maximum points in each of the four award criteria categories
- Accredited organisations/institutions cannot apply for co-financing additional short-term projects, i.e. projects not covered by the action plan in the accreditation. However, they can act as a partner in projects carried out by other organisations/institutions.
- In the application form, you do not specify how much money you will need. Your budget will be calculated on the basis of the number of mobilities, travel destinations, number of participants with special needs, etc. Once your organisation is awarded with accreditation, you will be able to request your grant each year.
Accreditation practical guide
To help with the application form, we have created a practical guide. This document will help you to prepare for your Erasmus+ accreditation in the field of youth.
The first part of Guide contains the most important application rules, the second part will guide you step by step through the application form. We prepared several practical examples that will help you to write a strong accreditation application. To help with the application form, we have created fictional organisation 4Youth Foundation and used is as an example to show you how to answer questions in the application form.
The third part is a workshop that you can run with your team, management and/or stakeholders to help develop your development plan.
The Guide is available HERE