Engage with and empower young people to make use of digital media in their daily lives

Business Sectors (Suites): Youth Work
Developed by: CLD Standards Council Scotland
Approved on: 29 Mar 2019


The importance of understanding the digitalised world that young people live in, and having confidence to support young people to navigate, and become empowered within the online and technological aspects of their lives is critical for youth work in a digital age.

It is not essential for all youth workers to demonstrate high levels of technical expertise, but it is important that youth workers appreciate the role that digitalisation and the internet play in young people's lives and can engage with them.

This standard is about the skills, approaches and types of knowledge needed for youth workers to develop their competence to support young people to be more aware of their relationships and behaviour online, think critically about the media and products they consume online, create content, use online platforms to share their voices, defend their rights and influence society.

This standard is for all youth work practitioners.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1.     Investigate possible opportunities for collaboration with other agencies and improved practice

2.     develop, implement, reflect and redesign engaging activities for individuals and groups involving the use of digital media and technology

3.     plan digital youth work alongside and according to the needs of young people

4.     assess the digital literacy level of each young person and adjust digital youth work activities accordingly

5.     assess the risks involved in digital youth work activities and mitigate them by applying appropriate measures

6.     assist young people to use digital media to promote their ideas and to encourage participation in and views on youth work activities 

7.     challenge young people to think critically about digital content and services

8.     assist young people to make informed choices about the appropriate digital tools with which to interact, collaborate and share with different target groups

9.     assist young people to make informed decisions about how they want to create an online presence, how they protect their information, who they want to share their content with and how to control this by using privacy settings and strong passwords.

10.  help young people to decide whether they should accept the terms and conditions of digital services 

11.  help young people deal with problems they may encounter in digital settings

12.  give young people opportunities to explore coding or create digital content 

13.  establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries in online relationships with young people

14.  reflect on your digital identity in a youth work setting

15.  use evaluative techniques to reflect on the effectiveness of undertaking digital youth work and to improve practice

16.  meet the values and principles underpinning youth work in relation to the requirements of this standard

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how digitalisation is shaping society, including its impact on youth work and on young people and on their future opportunities
  2. typical needs of young people, including their interests, preferences, aspirations, hobbies, styles and online habits
  3. young people's digital cultures, including how young people communicate in digital environments
  4. how to support existing youth work goals with digital media and technology
  5. methods to involve young people in all stages of digital youth work, including peer activities, giving responsible roles to young people, volunteering
  6. the barriers to participation in the aspects of digital youth work and how to overcome them
  7. the digital devices and applications available and how to select the most appropriate one for your requirements
  8. available tools for digital creativity, including free and open source tools
  9. the types of problems young people may encounter online, including how to react to hate speech, cyber bullying and other unwanted behaviour online and reporting to platforms and to police or other agencies
  10. how copyright and licences apply to data, information and digital content
  11. the legal issues associated with uploading digital content, including ownership of data
  12. where your digital competence needs to be improved or updated
  13. where to find practice sharing and learning opportunities in this field
  14. the values and principles underpinning youth work in relation to the requirements of this standard


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

28 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

CLD Standards Council

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Youth Workers

SOC Code



Youth; young people; relationships; digital; online digital content; boundaries