Managing youth sector activities and spaces during COVID-19

The National Youth Agency (NYA) as the Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in England has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific advice and guidance. The guidance will support local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. It is intended to guide the youth sector in opening up services for young people at the right pace and time.

This guidance must be used in conjunction with the readiness framework and your existing safeguarding policies and procedures. It is complementary to government guidance on social distancing, travel and other measures which must be adhered to.

Everyone should read the guidance documents below and follow the recommended actions and requirements. This guidance is intended for use in England (Red Readiness and Version 4.2) Click on the images below to view the guidance documents.

** From 5th January 2021 we can confirm that the youth sector moves into RED in the readiness framework. **

Additional tools and resources to support this guidance can be found here

National associations for specific types of organisations (uniformed, etc.) and activities may have additional advice and guidance to safeguard young people and in related areas of sports, culture and the arts, which are included in or make use of facilities for youth activities. The NYA is grateful to members of a ministerial task-force who supported the development of this guidance and approved of its release. NYA is grateful to members of a ministerial task-force who supported the development of this advice and guidance. Our thanks to:

  • Minister for Civil Society
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Youth and Loneliness Team)
  • Department for Education
  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Girl Guides
  • Local Government Association
  • Onside
  • Princes Trust
  • Regional Youth Work Unit’s Network
  • Scouts
  • UK Youth
  • Unison
  • Unite the Union
  • Youth United Foundation members

If you have any feedback for us, please email

Please read our legal statement on the above guidance

Youth Workers recognised as Key Workers

Please see the letter below (click on the image to get a downloadable PDF) confirming that all youth workers currently holding or actively training for NYA (JNC) recognised qualifications are classified as key/critical workers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.  If you have any queries, please contact us on:

Click here to find out more about our Level 2 and Level 3 funded qualifications

FAQ’s on NYA recognised qualifications

Q: I’m a Youth Worker with years of experience however I don’t hold a qualification, am I classed as a Key Worker?

A: Unfortunately only those holding an NYA recognised qualification (or working towards one) are recognised as Key Workers.  There are funded bursary Level 2 and 3 qualification places available nationally, please complete the expression of interest form on our website ( and one of our team will get back to you.  We also advise you to speak to the awarding bodies and regional youth work units for centres delivering in your area.

Q: I have a JNC qualification, is this recognised by the NYA?

A: Yes, JNC qualifications are an NYA recognised qualification

Q: What qualifications are recognised by the NYA?

There is a list of all of the relevant qualifications historic and current that are recognised by the NYA held on our website (  If you aren’t sure whether your qualification is recognised, please get in touch with


We've just added a load more Routes to Success webinars to our Youtube playlist! Watch along here:

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Join us for the next hour as we run the details of guidance changes for the youth sector and take your questions!

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