ERASMUS+ YOUTH QUALITY STANDARDS
Organisations implementing Erasmus learning mobility activities must adhere to a set of quality standards. These standards exist to ensure quality experience and learning outcomes for Erasmus participants, and to make sure that all organisations receiving the Programme’s funding are contributing to its objectives.
I. POLICY PRIORITIES IN THE FIELD OF YOUTH :
Beneficiary organisations should contribute to the overall objectives of the EU Youth Strategy and to the European Youth Goals developed within this frame. They should apply the guiding principles laid down in the EU Youth Strategy.
II. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE ERASMUS PROGRAMME :
- Inclusion and diversity: beneficiary organisations must respect the principle of inclusion and diversity in all aspects of their activities. Whenever possible, beneficiary organisations should open their activities to participants from different backgrounds and with diverse abilities, actively engage and involve participants with fewer opportunities.
- Environmental sustainability and responsibility: beneficiary organisations must make efforts to design activities in an environmentally friendly way and promote environmentally sustainable and responsible behaviour among its participants.
- Virtual cooperation, virtual mobility and blended mobility: beneficiary organisations should integrate the use of digital tools and learning methods to complement the physical mobility activities or to improve the cooperation with partner organisations.
- Active participation in the network of Erasmus organisations: beneficiary organisations should seek to become active members of the Erasmus network by taking part in activities organised by the National Agency or other organisations. Experienced Erasmus beneficiaries should share their knowledge with organisations who have no or little experience in the programme, providing them with advice, mentorship or other support. Beneficiary organisations should also encourage their participants to take part in Erasmus community building activities.
III. QUALITY MANAGEMENT
- Responsibility: beneficiary organisations will be responsible for results and quality of the implemented activities, regardless of the involvement of any other organisations or individuals. During the implementation of Erasmus activities, beneficiary organisations must take responsibility for key decisions on all tasks that directly affect the outcomes of the implemented activities, especially in relation to these quality standards. The core tasks include financial management of the programme funds, contact with the National Agency, reporting on implemented activities, as well as all decisions that directly affect the content, quality and results of the implemented activities.
- Transparency: beneficiary organisations may receive advice, assistance or services from other organisations or individuals, as long as it keeps control of the content, quality and results of the implemented activities. If the beneficiary organisations are using the programme funds to pay for such services, rights and obligations of both parties (in particular tasks to be carried out, quality control mechanisms and consequences in case of poor or failed delivery on part of the service provider) must be formally defined and available for review by the National Agency.
- Partnerships: While overall responsibility of the implementation lies within the beneficiary organisations, activities should be planned, implemented and evaluated together with all partner organisations involved. Clear definition of roles, and distribution of tasks should be set-up and agreed.
- Contributions paid by participants: as a form of co-funding, the beneficiary organisation may ask participants in activities for contributions to pay for goods and services necessary for the implementation of those activities. The size of the participants’ contributions must remain proportional to the grant awarded for the implementation of the activity, must be clearly justified, collected on a non-profit basis, and may not create unfair barriers to participation (especially concerning participants with fewer opportunities). Additional fees or other participant contributions cannot be collected by other service providers chosen by the beneficiary organisation.
- Monitoring and evaluation: beneficiary organisations should put in place adequate plans and procedures to monitor and evaluate the activities, to enable them to assess how they are progressing towards their objectives and whether they have reached them. The monitoring and evaluation outcomes should lead to improvements in the implementation of ongoing or future activities.
- Building capacity and integrating results of the activities in the organisation: beneficiary organisations should take steps to use the results of the implemented activities in their regular activities, to build their capacity and the capacity of their staff.
- Gathering and using participants’ feedback: beneficiary organisations should encourage the participants to fulfil the standardised participant reports provided by the European Commission, and should make use of the feedback provided by the participants to improve future activities.
IV. QUALITY LEARNING ACTIVITIES
This section sets the minimum standards to follow. Further guidance and tools are available to support the delivery of high quality learning mobility activities, such as the Quality Framework for Learning Mobility.
- Practical arrangements: beneficiary organisations must ensure quality of practical and logistic arrangements (travel, accommodation, insurance, safety, visa applications, social security, etc.). If these tasks are delegated to the participants or another participating organisation, beneficiary organisations will remain ultimately responsible for verifying their provision and quality.
- Health, safety and respect of applicable regulation: all activities must be organised with a high standard of safety and protection for involved participants and must respect all applicable regulation (for example regarding parental consent etc.). The beneficiary organisations must ensure that their participants have appropriate insurance coverage, as defined by the general rules of the Programme and the applicable regulation.
- Selection of participants: participants must be selected through a transparent, fair and inclusive selection procedure.
- Preparation and support of participants: participants must receive appropriate preparation in terms of practical, cultural and safety aspects. They should be fully aware of what is expected from them before, during and after the activity. Adequate guidance and support must be available during all phases of the activities.
- Support to participants with fewer opportunities: beneficiary organisations must ensure fair and equal conditions for all participants, including those facing barriers (such as special learning needs or physical disability).
- Participatory approach: participants should – as far as possible – be actively involved in all phases of the activities and receive adequate support to do so.
- Participatory methods: activities should be based on participatory methods and offer space for interaction of participants, sharing of ideas, avoiding passive listening and allow them to contribute to the activities with their own knowledge and skills, reversing the traditional roles of outside “experts”.
- Linguistic support: beneficiary organisations must ensure appropriate language training, adapted to the needs of the participants. Where appropriate, the beneficiary organisation should make maximum use of the specific tools and funding provided by the Programme for this purpose.
- Definition and monitoring of learning outcomes: the expected learning outcomes must be clearly defined for each participant or group of participants prior to the activity. Where relevant, participants should be involved in the identification of the expected learning outcomes. Progress in the learning process should be monitored and adequate support should be provided to participants in this regard.
- Identification and recognition of learning outcomes: non-formal and informal learning outcomes gained by participants in the activities should be identified and documented, in particular through EU level recognition tools such as Youthpass. Youthpass is a tool to support validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes. It is a part of the European Commission’s strategy to foster the recognition of non-formal learning. https://www.youthpass.eu/en/
V. Sharing results and knowledge about the programme
- Sharing results within the organisation: beneficiary organisations should make their participation in the Erasmus programme widely known within the organisation and create opportunities for participants to share their mobility experience with their peers.
- Sharing results with other organisations and the public: beneficiary organisations should share the results of their activities with other organisations and the public.
- Publicly acknowledging European Union funding: beneficiary organisations should make their participation in the Erasmus programme known in their community and in the wider public. Beneficiary organisations must also inform all participants about the source of the fund.