Our Principles


The IYWT Guild and its members commit themselves to …

… promoting the value and guarding the practice of youth work

… championing innovation in non-formal education

… delivering and promoting quality in personal, social and civic development of young people through training

… implementing training to promote and support the professional development of those who work with young people

… fostering the growth of professional practice, quality and the identity of international youth work trainers


The trainer competences of the IYWT Guild have been developed and informed by its members based on the work of the European Trainings Strategy (ETS) and the Council of Europe (CoE):

1. Ability to facilitate individual and group learning processes
2. Promoting the values of learning to learn
3. Ability to design educational training programmes
4. Ability to effectively cooperate with a variety of stakeholders related to the training
5. Ability to purposefully facilitate meaningful communication with and between others
6. Ability to embrace and promote diversity, sensitivity, social justice and inclusion
7. Experience and/or specialism in working with young people
8. Curiosity and ability to understand yourself and a desire to actively pursue your personal/professional development.

The IYWT Guild Trainer competences are underpinned by the Guilds’ pledge, values and Code of Conduct.

*Read how we use the competences in our 360° Professional Development Appraisal process.


pledgeAll members of the Guild commit themselves to a Code of Conduct. The role of the trainer is to empower trainees and facilitate their learning. The following ethical values underpin the standards of training, knowledge, skill, competence and conduct as set out in this Code.

– Care and Professional Responsibility

The IYWT Guild members practice is motivated by the best interests of the trainees involved in the event they are responsible for. They show this through striving for positive influence, professional consideration, practising empathy and making all reasonable steps in relation to the care and safety of trainees. Members of the IYWT Guild will uphold standards of ethical conduct that reflect well on the individual trainer as well as the profession at large. They will not apply any activity without being aware of its possible dangers or negative impacts on anyone involved on physical, mental or environmental levels. They will assess possible risks and be prepared to interrupt an activity and take care about concerned individuals in the case of unintended or unexpected negative process.

– Integrity

Honesty, reliability and moral action are embodied in integrity. IYWT Guild members exercise integrity through their professional commitments, responsibilities and actions. They strive to present themselves in an honest and fair manner, being aware of their particular competences and not exceeding their limitations. They challenge themselves at least as much as their environment allows to achieve these values.

– Respect

Members of the IYWT Guild defend and protect human dignity and promote equality as well as emotional and cognitive development. In their professional practice, they demonstrate respect for individual values, embrace diversity, social justice, freedom and democracy as well as the respect for the environment.

– Trust

The relationships of IYWT Guild members with trainees, colleagues, and clients are based on trust. Trust embodies fairness, openness and honesty. Members of the IYWT Guild are aware of their role and corresponding needs and will work towards ensuring the needs of the individuals they work with are the foundation for their working relationship.

– Inclusion and protection of targeted individuals

The members of the IYWT Guild condemn discrimination in all their activities. Discrimination occurs when a person or a group of people are treated less favourably than another person or group or are denied or carelessly not offered the opportunity to participate freely and fully in all activities. The IYWT Guild and its members strive to detect, name and interrupt devaluation, marginalisation, exclusion or violation of individuals e. g. on basis of ethnic origins, nationality, sex, gender, religion, age, individual abilities, political beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, marital or family status or any other characteristic, and strive to establish learning environments in which this is easily possible.

– Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

Members of the IYWT Guild will treat individuals they work with dignity and respect, embracing and appreciating cultural differences, ensuring the participant’s right to autonomy, privacy, self-determination and confidentiality. Trainers accord appropriate respect to the fundamental human rights, dignity, and worth of all people. They are mindful that legal and other obligations may lead to inconsistency and conflict with the exercise of these rights. Members of the IYWT Guild make any reasonable effort to become aware and diminish the effect of their own biases in their work. If they find themselves or are identified to be participating in, condoning or tolerating unfair discriminatory practices while delivering their work they will take immediate measures to interrupt this behaviour or suspend their leading role until the issue is solved.

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