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TSIs - Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces Saltire Awards

Why this award?

Saltire Awards is the Scottish Governments national youth volunteer awards. They celebrate and recognise the commitment, contribution and achievements of young volunteers in Scotland, aged between 12 and 25 to their communities and good causes. 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. Saltire Awards are delivered in each local authority area by the Third Sector Interface (TSI). They provide support and assistance on achieving and accessing the Saltire Awards. Find your local TSI here

Volunteering elements of some other award schemes or youth volunteering initiatives can also be counted towards Saltire Awards.

Who is it for?

Saltire Awards is for young people between the ages of 12 and 25 and who are volunteering for the benefit of the community or a good cause.

Saltire Awards recognises volunteering that meets these three clear characteristics:

1. It is a free will activity. It must not be undertaken through coercion and under no circumstances can it be mandatory.

2. It is not undertaken for financial gain. Out with reasonable expenses there must be no financial transaction to encourage someone to volunteer.

3. It is a public and civil good undertaken for the benefit of the community, society at large or an individual other than the volunteer

What time commitment is required?

Saltire Awards certificates are made on completion of a short challenge event and/or at 10 hours, 25 hours, 50 hours, 100 hours, 200 hours and 500 hours volunteering.

You don’t have to commit to attaining all the levels of the Award or getting all the certificates. You do as much volunteering as you want to or are able to, and then can claim any certificates that are available for this.

Is the award externally accredited?

There are four sections to the Award and 9 different types of certificate.

1. The Challenge: You volunteer in a one-off team event. Helping you to get a taste of volunteering, to see if it is for you. Start a team with friends or classmates or join one that’s already organised. You get a Challenge certificate after taking part.

2. The Approach: This involves choosing a project to support and fitting it around your needs; discovering more about your skills and strengths. It gives recognition for more regular volunteering undertaken. 10 hour and 25 hour certificates can be claimed in this section.

3. The Ascent: This is about taking your volunteering to the next level - making a longer commitment and developing skills and strengths through volunteer placements. 50, 100, 200 and 500 hour certificates can be claimed in this section.

4. The Summit: This Award is for an outstanding contribution to volunteering. It is awarded if you have exceeded expectations. A volunteer is nominated for this Award (e.g. by the organisation they volunteer for, their school, college or local volunteer worker). Decisions on this Summit Award are made by a local panel - those who are successful with receive an Outstanding Achievement certificate.

Saltire Ambassadors. Young people who have reached the Ascent section will be encouraged to become Saltire Ambassadors. Ambassadors are involved in helping to promote and support the Awards in their local area. If you chose to do this there are lots of roles you can help out with. Volunteers who undertake a Saltire Ambassador role will receive a Saltire Ambassador certificate.

You can register for Saltire Awards and set up your own Saltire Awards account on the website. You can use this to record who you volunteer with and to log how many hours you have volunteered. It gives you a personal journal to keep track of achievements, training, skills, etc gained - keeping them handy for any university, college or work applications. You can use your account to claim certificates.

Provider: TSIs - Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces

Website: Click here

Budget: Free

For Ages: 12 - 25

Time to Complete: 10+ Hours


  • Volunteering
  • Making friends
  • Achievement
  • Develop my CV
  • Help get into College or Uni
  • Gain new skills

Type of Involvement:

  • With Others
  • Local Community
  • On my own
  • Away from home
  • Join a group

Award Recognition:

  • Certificate of Achievement
  • To build skills and experience

Meeting Frequency: Ad Hoc