5.9 Managing Saltire Awards for Young People


5.9.1 What are Saltire Awards?

​Saltire Awards is the Scottish Government’s national youth volunteer awards. They celebrate, recognise and reward the commitment, contribution and achievements of young volunteers in Scotland, aged between 12 and 25. Young people gain nationally recognised certificates, signed by Scottish Government Ministers, for the different amounts of volunteering they do. Saltire Awards help young volunteers to reflect on, capture and communicate their learning and development gained through their volunteering. The marketing and development of Saltire Awards is coordinated at a national level by Voluntary Action Scotland www.vascotland.org Saltire Awards are delivered in West Lothian by VSGWL

There are four milestones to the Awards designed to help you celebrate your volunteering journey:

The Challenge This is a great way to start for young people who may not be ready to regularly commit to volunteering. Young people can volunteer in a one-off team event to get a taste of volunteering.
There is no need to log hours or register online, the organisation can simply complete a Saltire Challenge Registration Form detailing the volunteering event (coffee morning, fundraiser etc).
Once your event is complete the organisation can claim certificates for all of the participants using the Saltire Challenge certificate Request Form and email completed forms to  vsg@vsgwl.org.uk
A toolkit to help you arrange a Challenge Event and forms are available on the Saltire Website www.saltireawards.org.uk or our Resource Library
The Approach Young people can register themselves online to claim certificates for regular volunteering commitment.
Certificates can be claimed at 10 & 25 hours of volunteering achievement at the approach level.
The Ascent ​Young people can register themselves online to claim certificates for regular volunteering commitment.
Continuing from the Approach level or starting at this level young volunteers can claim certificates for 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours of volunteering achievement.
The Summit Your organisation can nominate a young volunteer for the Summit Award to show outstanding commitment and achievement. Generally available after a young person has completed 200 hours of volunteering but flexible depending on the volunteer circumstances and barriers.
A Nomination form and guidance information is available on the Saltire Awards Website www.saltireawards.org.uk or our Resource Library
Saltire Ambassadors Young people can be encouraged to become Saltire Ambassadors after participation in the Awards scheme to promote the awards to peers. For more information on Saltire Ambassadors contact  vsg@vsgwl.org.uk

5.9.2 How can organisations offer awards to young volunteers?

You can sign up your organisation to deliver Saltire awards to young volunteers. Simply complete the Organisation Registration Form in our Resource Library and email completed form to vsg@vsgwl.org and one of our advisors will contact you.

5.9.3 What is expected from Organisations?

Once you have registered your organisation to participate in the Saltire Awards Scheme you can promote the awards with your young volunteers and offer them support to sign up online.

Young volunteers create an online account on the Saltire awards website www.saltireawards.org.uk A Saltire Manual is available to assist and can be found in our document library.

After your young volunteers register themselves online they can manage their volunteering roles, add their volunteering hours and claim their Saltire certificates.

When a young person claims a certificate VSGWL will contact the named supervisor of the organisation(s) they volunteer with. After the supervisor has verified their volunteering hours we will issue the Saltire certificate.

Some initial things for organisations to consider include:

  • Would it be best to ask volunteers to sign up together during a volunteering session where you can assist them?
  • A Saltire online account is personal to your volunteer and you will have no access to see it as an organisation
  • New accounts need to be activated so young people will need access to the email account they registered with
  • The hours recorded must be done so under the ethos of volunteering as defined below:

Volunteering has three clear characteristics which must be present and respected in all cases: Volunteering is a free will activity. It must not be undertaken through coercion and under no circumstances can it be mandatory; It is not undertaken for financial gain. Outwith reasonable expenses there must be no financial transaction to encourage someone to volunteer; It is a public and civil good undertaken for the benefit of the community, society at large or an individual other than the volunteer. Voluntary Action Scotland, Volunteering Principles for Scotland, 2014.

  • The young person needs to add your organisation name and a volunteering role. This is the details that will appear on their certificates. If you would like this to be generic make sure you advise your volunteers of the content required here
  • The young person needs to add a supervisor for their volunteering role – Support the young person to complete their supervisor name and contact details (this is the person in your organisation who can verify their hours)
  • The Supervisor is required to verify the volunteers hours when they claim a certificate therefore you will need to maintain a log of volunteer hours as an organisation
  • Volunteers receive certificates to their home address in the post. If you would prefer them to be sent to your organisation for a presentation event let us know and we can arrange this. Please consult your volunteers in this decision
  • Volunteering undertaken by young people within other award schemes can also be counted towards the Saltire Awards
  • Volunteers can backdate their hours for two years and can claim some travel time for events attended and training
  • Volunteers can start to claim certificates at any level and at any time within the age range of the scheme.
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