RSP Member - National Youth Agency (NYA)

The National Youth Agency (NYA) has worked with Local Government for over 50 years to support councils to deliver and improve youth services for 8-25 year olds. We are the national body for youth work in England, setting the standards and qualifications that underpin practice in the youth sector.

All young people should have the confidence and skills they need to live, learn, work and achieve. Skilled youth workers build relationships that support young people to explore their personal, social and educational development, enabling them to develop their voice, influence and place in society. This is particularly so for vulnerable young people and those at greatest risk, including those on the edge of care, at risk or getting drawn into crime of reoffending.

NYA provides support and services to build high quality youth work to bring the best outcomes for young people. Some of the ways we work to support councils and voluntary sector organisations are:

Strategic service review and development

Workforce training and CPD

Programme design and management

Quality frameworks and consultation

Research and evaluation

The NYA network is a valuable source of information and free resources to all, from current best practice, policy updates to the latest research into information about sector qualifications.

To join the network for free or for more information go to

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Listening and Leading to Learn

NYA is having a transformational year. We have engaged with our stakeholders to create a new strategy to guide our vital work in the coming five years and are committed to supporting local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to develop and deliver excellent services for young people to help them thrive.

None of us can do it alone and nor should we. There is excellent practice and innovation across the land and NYA are working to capture this and maximise the reach of the learning through our networks, resources and support services.

NYA recognises the huge impact and subsequent changes that the political and funding landscape has had on services. We have responded by engaging in national review, working with the APPG Youth Affairs committee to gather evidence from across England to inform recommendations for youth work and youth services. These will be finalised and shared at the NYA Summit at the end of October and will showcase the voice of a sector. NYA is also calling for a youth work covenant – a promise from the nation for young people to be safe and secure in the modern world, and treated fairly; supporting young people in the present and ambitious in the future. It is a step in creating a shared language and commitment to support collective impact sector wide and across government. It is rooted in the values and aims of youth work and the belief that communities are stronger when young people have a sense of belonging and have their views heard and respected.

Having the tools to steer best practice are essential for all organisations. We have engaged the sector in the review of NYA frameworks that we know have been highly valued by our sector partners. These are effective in supporting organisations to reflect on the quality and impact of the work they deliver with and for young people. Best of all, these are now free to all.

Quality Mark is built solidly on youth work practice, reflecting the most recent changes in services for young people and youth work and is applicable in organisations large and small. This is based on three key areas – young peoples personal social development and learning, the quality of youth work practice and leadership and management within the organisation. Hear by Right sets the standards for young peoples participation, ensuring organisations have this embedded across their practice. Both offer an option to go for a national award yet the power is in the process and the building of a bank of brilliance that can be showcased and shared to inspire colleagues across youth work.

The best youth work is delivered by those that are confident and competent, trained to understand and apply the principles and methodologies that make it so powerful. We are building qualifications pathways for all those working with young people, providing and signposting flexible and accessible initial training opportunities that enable volunteers through to youth work leads to grow their knowledge and skills.

Our strength is through our partnerships. To connect people across England and share learning and tools we established the NYA Network. This is the gateway to our support and information. Sign up for free and join us on the journey to push youth work and youth services back up the agenda, share what works best and together we can lead and learn.

Amanda Fearn Development Director


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