Getting started

The Youth Achievement Awards recognise the achievements of young people aged 10+. Find out how to register and get started with Youth Achievement Awards today

Registering for the Awards

More than 500 statutory and voluntary youth organisations and education institutes in Scotland offer the Awards to young people. There are two tiers of registration to access the awards: Operating Agencies and Participating Units.

Here is a breakdown of the differences between Operating Agencies and Participating Units:

  Operating Agencies Participating Units
 Access to unlimited Dynamic Youth Awards  Yes Yes
Number of Youth Achievement Awards per year  500 25
 Included training session for up to 20 people per year Yes No
Requirement to access further YAA training  See above Yes

Further details about the two tiers of registeration are as follows:

Operating Agencies

An Operating Agency is the body responsible for maintaining and overseeing standards in the operation of the awards within the groups (Participating Units) it agrees to support.

An Operating Agency usually has responsibility for a number Participating Units. Their role is to ensure that groups using the Awards:

  • registered with Youth Scotland
  • ensure workers have received the necessary training
  • both young people working towards an Award and workers are supported through this process and that the completed Award meets national standards

We offer to train 20 members of staff each year you are registered as an Operating Agency. The training takes place at a date and venue suitable for you. See more on the training link.

If a school registers as an Operating Agency, their feeder Primary Schools are invited to register as a Participating Unit, meaning they can collaborate on joint activities, such as transition programmes.

Operating Agencies are usually schools, national organisations, larger regional organisations, local Area Associations of Youth Scotland, local authorities or local authority services e.g. Youth Service or Education Service.

Participating Units

A Participating Unit is a group that operates the Awards directly with young people.

A Participating Unit must register with Youth Scotland through an existing Operating Agency and will receive support in the delivery of the award directly from their Operating Agency. Participating Units are usually Primary Schools, individual clubs or groups, small projects, local offices or branches of national organisations.

Do you want to register?

To register, simply download the forms that are relevant to your organisation from this page and fill in your details. Return your completed form by email to: or by post to: Balfour House, 19 Bonnington Grove, Edinburgh, EH6 4BL.

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