The Portuguese Government launched the Youth pass certificate in November 2017. This is a recognition and validation instrument for competences acquired by young people via non-formal education; it is also a personalised free-of-charge certificate that, over time, can be updated with new competences.

This initiative was based on recommendations made by European and national institutions and responds to the need for a national strategy enhancing and recognising young people’s non-formal skills acquired through voluntary work and participation in youth associations, so promoting citizenship education, youth associations and volunteering. This strategy could link school with professional life and associated work.

The Youth pass helps young people (aged 12 to 18) to create a record of their skills and competences, which can be used later when applying for a job. It is also a new way for young people participating in the Youth in action programme to describe what they have done and learned during activities such as youth exchanges and training courses.

Youth pass is created, managed and issued by the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth (Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude). The recognised and validated competences are classified into the following areas:

  • Area A: communication in mother tongue;
  • Area B: communication in foreign languages;
  • Area C: mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology;
  • Area D: digital competence;
  • Area E: learning to learn;
  • Area F: social and civic competences;
  • Area G: sense of initiative and entrepreneurship;
  • Area H: sensibility/cultural expression/creativity.

The Youth pass is more than a certificate; it is a tool that allows young people to describe what they have done and to show what they have learned. It is accompanied by a guidebook that helps them to present their life experiences and the key competences they have acquired in youth exchanges, European voluntary service, training courses, and through youth worker mobility.

More information:

Portaria (Ordinance) n.º 336/2017, de 7 de novembro
Certificado “Passe Jovem” para jovens entre os 12 e os 18 anos
A fresh look at Youthpass
Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012on the validation of non-formal and informal learning