Completing a Dynamic Youth Award (DYA)

Follow this step by step guide to complete and submit your Dynamic Youth Award.

A close up of the cover sheet for a Dynamic Youth Award challenge sheet.

Completing Your Dynamic Youth Award

To gain a Dynamic Youth Award, young people choose a challenge, set personal targets, complete a minimum of 5 hours of activity, think about and comment on their achievements, record the time spent on their activities and gather evidence of their participation. Each young person taking part needs a challenge sheet, which can be bought here Ordering Resources

If you are ready to submit and are looking for the Candidate Registration Form (CRF) please click here: Candidate Registration Forms (CRF)

The young person needs to come up with a challenge. This can be something that they want to achieve, or a pre-planned activity.  The challenge will be based on an activity or series of activities, which together will take at least 5 hours complete. Their challenge will be printed on their personalised certificate.  

There are four questions to answer:

  • What is the activity you plan to do?
  • How are you planning to do it?
  • Why do you want to do it?
  • What are you hoping to gain from this experience?

On the next page the young person comes up with the name of their challenge, and 2-4 targets. The challenge will be printed on their certificate, so it should be clearly described. The targets are the things that they want to achieve, which could be steps that they want to take as part of their challenge, something they want to learn, something they want to improve on or a personal skill that they want to gain.

A group can work together on the same challenge, but must have different targets. The targets must be relevant to the individual young people.

Note: the award can be scribed for the young person, as long as a note is made where this has taken place

This award is peer assessed at the planning stage and the review stage. A peer can be any other young person for example a friend, a sibling, someone else in the award group or a young person who they don’t know but has done a similar project.

The peer assessor does not need to have completed an award before.

They must tick to say that:

  • the challenge is clearly described
  • the challenge and targets are suitable
  • there are at least two targets
  • the challenge will take at least five hours to complete

The peer assessor must sign the challenge sheet and add the date

There is a minimum commitment of 5 hours of activity for the DYA. The total time they spend on their challenge will be printed on their certificate.

The time can be completed all at once, or broken down into chunks. The total hours should be a whole number, so if they have completed 6 and a half hours of activity, this should be recorded as 6 hours.

The time can be recorded using the time log in the challenge sheet, or if they would like to use a more creative way to record the time they can. Youth Scotland has optional evidence templates that can be downloaded here: DYA Time Log Sheet

The time taken on their challenge can include time spent planning and evaluating their challenge, and traveling somewhere new to complete their challenge.

The young person is asked to evidence their participation in their challenge. This helps them to show what they’ve done, as well as giving a visual record for them to look back on. They may choose to talk about their DYA in a job or college interview, and the portfolio of evidence can support this.

Evidence can be given in any form. There should be evidence that links back to all their targets, evidences the level of responsibility that they took and shows what they did to make up their challenge.

Evidence should be personalised, and come with captions explaining why it’s been included. Any group photos should have the young person highlighted.

Evidence can include:

  • photos
  • videos
  • text
  • drawings
  • art work
  • receipts
  • tickets
  • emails
  • texts
  • flyers
  • invitations
  • stickers
  • witness statements
  • planning sheets
  • newspape clippings
  • social media posts
  • research
  • anything else relevant

Any personal details that are included in evidence must be redacted before submitting to Youth Scotland.

Youth Scotland has optional evidence templates that can be downloaded here: DYA Evidence Sheet

It’s much easier to complete a DYA if evidence is gathered and included in the portfolios shortly after the activity has happened while it’s fresh in the young person’s memory. Otherwise putting the evidence together can build up into a daunting task.

There is space in the challenge sheet to write in the number of hours spent on the challenge. The total hours should be a whole number.

There is also a space to share the level of responsibilty taken in this challenge. The young person should tick only one of these boxes.

The young person needs to reflect on their challenge experience and how it has impacted on them. They are asked to consider six statements  and rate themselves against each relative to how they felt before starting their challenge. There is also an option for them to include additional comments.

The young person needs to do is to tick to tell us if the peer assessed others and if they’ve completed a DYA before. They then sign and date their work.

The finished award is peer assessed again. This can be by the same peer assessor as before, or someone different.

They must tick to say that:

  • there is good evidence to show that the challenge was completed
  • there is good evidence of all targets
  • there is good evidence for the number of challenge hours
  • there is good evidence for the level of responsibility

The peer assessor must sign the challenge sheet and add the date

The award need to be checked twice to see if they meet all the criteria. This can be done first by the person delivering the award, for example a teacher, youth worker or young leader, and then again by someone who has completed Internal Verifier training.  The criteria of the DYA are:

  • the challenge is clearly described
  • there are at least two targets
  • the targets are appropriate, individual and personal
  • the plan has been peer assessed, signed and dated
  • whole hours are recorded on the challenge sheet
  • the young person has identified a single level of responsibility
  • ‘My challenge experience’ clearly describes the individual challenge undertaken
  • a single level of responsibility has been ticked
  • the personal learning section has been completed
  • the second peer assessment stage has been completed, signed and dated
  • the peer statement reflect the young person’s special achievement
  • there is evidence of the challenge
  • there is evidence of the targets
  • there is evidence of the responsibility level claimed
  • there is evidence of the challenge hours claimed
  • the portfolios are well organised and presented


To submit DYAs to Youth Scotland you must complete a candidate registration form (CRF). This can be downloaded here: DYA Candidate Registration Form

This is an excel spreadsheet with multiple tabs. The first tab is a guide to completing the spreadsheet.

The text for the certificates will be lifted directly from the CRF, so please ensure that everything is spelt right.

The Candidate List tab needs the following details about the group:

  • Local authority area – please select from the dropdown list
  • Awards delivery hub
  • Awards delivery group
    If your hub or group name isn’t here please contact to find out why and get it added
  • Group contact details – this is where the certificates will be sent back to so please ensure it’s correct

It then needs the following information about the young people:

  • Challenge sheet number – this can be found on the front page of a paper challenge sheet, or was emailed to you alongside the digital challenge sheet
  • Name (first and surname, as they wish them to appear on the certificate)
  • Date of birth
  • Scottish Candidate Number (if known) – this is so that their school can gain tariff points for their completed award
  • Postcode (home postcode ideally)
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Award group worker (the person who supported them through the award)

This sheet has a drop down to confirm that you have permission to share the young people’s data with Youth Scotland. If this isn’t ticked the CRF will be sent back.

The challenge sheet data tab needs:

  • Challenge titles
  • Hours spent on their challenges
  • If they’ve completed a DYA before
  • Level of responsibilty
  • Their evaluation data

The assessment form needs the worker to confirm that they have assessed the awards and they meet all the criteria. The internal verifier form needs the internal verifier to do the same.

My graphs is a page that shows you the breakdown of young people completing the awards in this submission, which may be helpful for your group

Once this spreadsheet is complete, please send it to LINK

Youth Scotland will ask for a sample of the portfolios from the submission. You will need to scan or photograph the challenge sheets, and send these to the Awards team. These will be standardised to check that the quality of the awards is being upheld. After standardisation you will receive feedback, and you will either have your certificates sent back to you, or you will be asked to make changes before this can happen.

Standardisation happens fortnightly, and certificates will be sent out within one month of standardisation.

If you have direct claim status then you will not be sampled, and your certificates will be sent to you within six weeks.

If you would like to attend DYA standardisation please book here LINK

Once a young person has completed an award this should be celebrated! This might be by sharing on social media or holding a celebration event.

If the young person completes a second DYA the hours from their first will be included on their certificate. Once they reach 14 years old they can push themselves further and complete a Youth Achievement Award. The DYA counts towards up to 30 hours of the Bronze Youth Achievement Award.