Awards and qualifications

Find out about the awards and qualifications available for volunteers

We’ve listed below some awards and qualifications currently available that recognise your volunteering contribution. Contact your local authority or community college to find out about courses. The Skills Development Scotland website might also be useful.

There are several courses available nationally which enable you to gain a qualification while you are volunteering. They vary in content, learning style and duration.

Saltire Awards

Saltire 150








The Saltire Awards are a national initiative, supported by the Scottish Government, which acknowledge, celebrate and reward the commitment and contribution of young volunteers.

Develop and follow your volunteering journey through the 4 Saltire Award levels:

  • Saltire Challenge: volunteer in a one-off team event to get a taste of volunteering by joining in with a no strings team event.
  • Saltire Approach: regular volunteering in manageable chunks and helping you find out what you like to do best.
  • Saltire Ascent: making a longer commitment to volunteering.
  • Saltire Summit: for outstanding contributions to volunteering.

Volunteering Skills Award

SQA logo

The Award in Volunteering Skills provides formal recognition of volunteering activity. Through participation in volunteering activities, candidates develop a range of skills and personal development experiences which will help to prepare them for responsibility, further education and employment.This SQA qualification is available in schools and colleges.

Youth Achievement Award

Youth Scotland award logo

Youth Achievement Awards offer significant opportunities for young people to develop the four Curriculum for Excellence capacities.  They recognise young people's contributions in a variety of settings including youth work, volunteering, active citizenship, and formal education.

Aimed at young people aged 14+, the Awards recognise four levels of responsibility taken by young people participating in activities that interest them.

John Muir Award

John muir

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

The Award is open to all, and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust. Four Challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award; discover - explore - conserve - share.

Duke of Edinburgh Award


A Duke of Edinburgh's Award gives recognition of a young person’s successful journey of self-discovery and development, renowned by employers and universities alike for the qualities young people have who've achieved a DofE Award.

Aimed at young people aged 14 – 24 young people can compete 3 stages of the award – bronze, silver and gold.  This is achieved through a programme of activities including Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition.