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ESC quality label (former accreditation)

European Solidarity Corps Quality Label (former E+: YIA accreditation process)

Information about the process of awarding Quality Label for volunteering organisations in the Western Balkans

With the introduction of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) on 10th of August 2018, the European Commission replaced Erasmus+ accreditation for youth volunteering organisations by a new procedure, called European Solidarity Corps Quality Label.

ESC Quality Label – what for?

Any organisation from Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) wishing to be involved into ESC Volunteering Projects as supporting or receiving organisation must receive Quality Label.

The accreditation of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) and Erasmus+ volunteering will be considered equivalent to the Quality Label during this programming period. Therefore, organisations having been accredited under these programmes do not need to apply for the Quality Label. The accreditation for coordinating organisations and sending organisations will be considered as a Quality Label for volunteering for the supporting role; the accreditation for receiving organisations will be considered as a Quality Label for volunteering for the host role.

The Quality Label is an organisation's entry ticket for the European Solidarity Corps. It is a prerequisite for participation of the organizations from the WB in Volunteering, but does not automatically lead to a European Solidarity Corps project grant. Quality Label does not represent financial support, but is a pre-requisite for a later application for a concrete project.

Important note: An organisation from EU can apply for different scopes and roles of Quality Label, depending on the Actions it wishes to be involved in, as well as for a combination of several Quality Labels:

§ Quality Label for Volunteering – supporting and/or host role

§ Quality Label for Traineeships

§ Quality Label for Jobs

However, organizations from WB can only apply for the following action:

§ Quality Label for Volunteering – supporting and/or host role

WHEN to apply for it?

Interested organisations can apply for Quality Label at any time. Ideally, process will be carried out within 2-3 months after receipt of formally eligible Quality Label Application. However, in practice, this period can be prolonged, especially if the applicant has not prepared the application well.

PLEASE NOTE: application form is changed every year, so for example, if you complete your application, but do not send it by the end of December, you may not be able to submit it in January next year any more.

WHO runs the process?

For the organisations established in Western Balkans countries SALTO South East Europe Resource centre (SALTO SEE) is carrying out the process of awarding Quality Label with the support of external experts.

HOW to apply?

1

Interested organisations must register in the Unique Registration Facility (URF) of the European Commission's Participant Portal. Once the registration in the Participant Portal is completed, the organisation will obtain a nine-digit PIC number. The PIC is a unique identifier, which enables the organisation to take advantage of on-line application forms. Please remember that the organisation must add in URF portal the following documents in electronic versions (scans):

  • the Legal Entity form in English. This form can be downloaded from the European Commission’s website(Hint: if your organisation is an association or foundation run as NGO then choose "private company", if your organisation is managed by government or authorities then choose "public entity").
  • the Financial Identification form in English. Please fill in the form relating to the country in which your bank account is located, even if your organisation is officially registered in another country. This form can be downloaded from the European Commission’s website.
  • an extract of registration (or its equivalent) clearly indicating the name of the organisation, the address of the head office, its registration number and a legal representative (or, if applicable, a document authorizing another person to sign legal documents on behalf of organisation) with certified English translation

These official documents must not be older than 6 months.

Detailed information how to register in URF Participants' Portal and obtain PIC number is provided in on the European Solidarity Corps web page, more specifically in the Programme Guide, “Part D - Information for applicants”. Further information on Quality Label can be found in the section “Quality Label”.

2

The organisation is then invited to fill in the electronic Application Form, entitled ESC52 Quality Label. There are two types of form available: standard and for umbrella organisation. The first form is for organisations that wish to apply directly for Quality Label for themselves. The second one is for an organisation that applies on behalf of organisations linked to it by legal or capital links as affiliated entities (more information on this in the section, entitled “SPECIFICITIES WHEN APPLYING FOR A QUALITY LABEL ON BEHALF OF AFFILIATED ENTITIES” of the ESC Guide).

Organisations from Western Balkans (term used in the application form is South East Europe), please submit the application to the Slovenian National Agency, by choosing SI02 Zavod MOVIT NA MLADINA in the drop-down menu.  

The application must be completed in English language.

HOW does the process go?

Upon the online submission, the application will be checked by SALTO SEE, if it meets the formal criteria. If these are not met, an applicant will receive an e-mail with the description of ineligible / missing documents or elements of the Application.

Next, SALTO SEE will appoint expert(s) to carry out the Quality Label process. They will assess submitted documents, contact the applicant to plan a possible on-spot visit and maintain communication with it through the process.

After the visit, organisation might receive requests to provide further information and suggestions for improvements. When experts receive answers from the applicant, the organisation will be finally assessed, and soon the organisation will receive an official decision on ESC Quality Label from SALTO SEE.

In order to facilitate partner-finding, profiles of all organisations holding a Quality Label are published in a database of Quality Label organisations. Additionally, as soon as the Quality Label has been awarded, organisations have access to the European Solidarity Corps Portal where they are invited to advertise their volunteering activity when they are looking for participants. Organisations have to make use of the European Solidarity Corps Portal's database to search and select participants. Information in the database is published as it is formulated in the Quality Label application form. It is therefore crucial that organisations write clearly so that potential participants and partner organisations can get a good impression of the organisation and its involvement in the European Solidarity Corps.

Organisation wishing to change content of its currently valid Quality Label (such as adding supporting or host status, changing the number of hosted volunteers, adding possibility to organise short-term volunteering group projects, changing general ideas for tasks of volunteers etc.) are invited to apply for a new Quality Label, which will replace the previous one.

How to prepare for the ESC Quality Label?

An organisation from the Western Balkans interested in obtaining ESC Quality Label should study and be well aware of:

  1. PART A - General information about the ESC (the whole section)
  2. PART B - Information about the Actions covered by this Guide (chapters called "Quality Label" and  "Volunteering")
  3. PART C - Information about Quality and Support Measures (the whole section)
  4. PART D - Information for applicants
  5. ANNEX I - Dissemination and exploitation of results.

An organisation interested in Quality Label must meet the requirements prescribed in these documents. 

Validity period of the Quality Label

The Quality Label is awarded for the entire duration of the programming period (2018-2020) and will remain valid until the end of the last project in which the organisation is involved, implemented through a grant of the current programming period.

In case an organisation does not comply with the provisions and conditions laid down in its currently valid Quality label (such as limitation of the number of hosted volunteers), SALTO SEE might suspend or withdraw the organisation’s Quality Label.

Whom Do I Contact In Case Of Questions?

SALTO SEE Resource Centre

Andrej Troha

Dunajska cesta 5

SI - 1000 Ljubljana

SLOVENIA

tel: +386 1 430 47 47;

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