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    An undergraduate qualification .

Certificate in Working with Young People

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Please note that this certificate is only available until 31 December 2016. In order to claim this qualification, you must have completed the required 90 credits by this time. This qualification is not available to new students.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for this qualification please contact the Credit, Qualifications and Ceremonies Centre on +44(0) 1908 653003 or by email.

Do you have experience of working with young people in informal settings such as youth clubs, youth organisations like the Guides or Scouts, or other groups working with young people aged 13–19 years? Are you thinking about volunteering for such a role, or considering a career in youth work? This certificate is an excellent place to start – even if you’re not yet working with young people, as it’s not until you study the second module (which is work-based) that you’ll need to be working in an appropriate setting. The Certificate in Working with Young People is designed to develop your knowledge of ethics, values and purposes, and the understanding required to work effectively with young people. You’ll also gain the essential skills expected of professional workers in this field, and be well prepared for further study, enquiry and reflection on your practice.

Fees and facts

Where will you be resident whilst you study?

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Fee: Choose country above to see fee and ways to pay.
Study method: Flexible, part-time study through distance learning.
Type of qualification: OU Certificate
OU Certificate

OU Certificates are specially designed Open University qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study. For example The Open University's Certificate in Supporting Learning in Primary Schools is designed for teaching assistants and other kinds of classroom support staff, including volunteers. Not all OU Certificates are entry level qualifications.

You can use an OU Certificate to:

  • enhance or progress your current career
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in.
Code: S09

Entry requirements

To study this qualification you will need to be working with young people when you begin the second module as it involves work-based learning.

You will need to:

  • be working with young people in an informal education setting such as a youth club, scout group, or voluntary organisation, or working in a school or college in an informal education role for a minimum of five hours a week (135 practice hours in total).  You may be in paid employment or working as a volunteer
  • have the permission of your employer to study and identify work-based learning support from appropriately qualified individuals in your organisation
  • confirm that you have recent experience of working in an informal education setting or role. A suitable level of prior experience might be six months of one session (two/three hours) per week during the last three years
  • obtain the necessary clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (England and Wales), or have passed a Disclosure Scotland check or Access NI or Garda (ROI) check.

It is your responsibility, and that of your employer, to ensure you meet these requirements at the point of entry to the qualification. You and your employer will be asked to confirm these requirements when you register for the work-based learning module and if your circumstances change at any point during study of this qualification, you will need to keep us updated.

To study this certificate you must also:

  • Be living in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, the Republic of Ireland or have a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address outside the UK.

If you are unsure whether you meet these entry requirements contact the Working with Young People Team on (01908) 654218, or email.

Career relevance and employability

This Certificate is recognised on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) at Level 4 and it is recognised as a Youth Support Worker qualification by the National Youth Agency (NYA). It is also recognised as a pre-professional qualification in Scotland by the Standards Council for Community Learning and Development (CLD).

Although completion of this certificate will not give you access to graduate level jobs, it may help you decide whether you like this particular area of work and study. It may also help you to gain a job below graduate level and acquire the necessary experience to progress to further professional training.

There’s more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.

Register your interest

For academic year 2014/15, registration opens on 24/04/2014. If you would like to be kept updated, you can register your interest now.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

You cannot count credit for study you have already completed elsewhere towards this qualification.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Certificate in Working with Young People.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

If you have a disability

Choosing the qualification that’s right for you is very important. Depending on your disability, long-term health condition, mental health disability or specific learning difficulty, you may need to consider any challenges posed by:

  • the learning objectives: for example, to gain an honours degree in a language you must be physically able to speak the language
  • how the modules are taught: for example, some of our science qualifications require that you complete laboratory work
  • any work-based competency requirements.

Choosing the right qualification can be a complex mix of the subject requirements and the support you may need. To help you assess whether the qualification you are interested in will work for you, further advice is available from:

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study for this qualification. For most OU qualifications a Microsoft Windows (new since 2007), Apple Mac (OS X 10.6 or later) or Linux computer should be adequate. However, some qualifications require more specific IT equipment, in which case you will need additional software to use an Apple Mac or Linux computer. A detailed technical specification for your modules will be made available when you register. Please note, technical specifications do change over time to match computer developments and the way we teach.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Your questions

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