The certificate of participation, which is issued by the National Youth Service (Service national de la jeunesse - SNJ) and signed by the minister responsible for youth, is a document that attests to the skills acquired by a youth as a result of taking part in informal volunteering or formal voluntary service.
The certificate describes the young person’s overall mission, the tasks accomplished while taking part in informal volunteering or formal voluntary service and the skills acquired through the related activities.
The certificate of participation may be used by the youth to provide additional information – for example, when applying for a job – and is in keeping with the more general focus on lifelong learning and the recognition and validation of professional experience.
Who is concerned
The certificate may be issued to any person under 30 years of age who has completed at least 3 months of formal voluntary service, without interruption and on a full-time basis, or at least 400 hours of informal volunteer activities:
- for a youth organisation; or
- for an organisation acting on behalf of youths; or
- for a youth service organisation; or
- as part of a project pursued by a group of youths.
The youth must also have completed:
- either a minimum of 150 hours of training in the youth sector, in socio-cultural or socio-educational issues, or related to sports;
- or the training provided in connection with the voluntary service.
How to proceed
The recognition and validation of the experience gained by a young person while volunteering takes the form of a certificate describing their participation and the skills demonstrated during the related activities.
In general, the certificate is intended for youths who, as part of their volunteer activities, served in a leadership position in the organisation or the project(s) pursued by the organisation, or delivered training for a youth organisation, or actively took part in leading groups, or were active participants in voluntary service, or, lastly, managed a project on behalf of a group of youths.
For formal volunteers, the conditions of the participation are those applying to the voluntary service for youths.
The certificate is drawn up at the request of a youth who satisfies all the aforementioned conditions. It is strongly recommended that the certificate be drawn up when the youth plans to leave the organisation permanently or when a position of responsibility is coming to an end, even if the certificate is not to be used immediately. If left until a later date, it becomes increasingly difficult to fill in the required information for the certificate.
The purpose of the certificate is to:
- evaluate the youth’s participation;
- describe the tasks accomplished and the skills acquired;
- provide an official document that can be an advantage in pursuing employment opportunities;
- foster a positive concept of education and personal development.
The certificate is produced on the basis of the request lodged by an organisation or a project manager on the form supplied for this purpose.
The certificate must include, as a minimum:
- the start date and length of the participation;
- the nature of the participation;
- the tasks accomplished;
- a description of the skills demonstrated by the youth;
- general information on the training completed.
The certificate is signed by the minister responsible for youth.