The IYW Code of Ethics : Stifling rather than Encouraging Debate?



Back in November at our Politics and Ethics event in Birmingham we suggested to the NYA and the fledgling Institute for Youth Work [IYW] that it would be beneficial to open up the debate about the IYW Code of Ethics to all interested parties. As things stood you had to sign up to the code and join the IYW before being allowed to enter the discussion. This seemed counter-productive. Unfortunately nothing has changed in the interim. Evidently there is to be a two day event on the 26th and 27th of February publicised under the heading, ‘get involved in revisiting our code of ethics’. However details are apparently only available to IYW members as access to information on the web site is restricted.  Evidently recruitment to the IYW is proving sluggish. Against this background we remain perplexed at the premature creation of an IYW ‘closed shop’. Throughout our involvement with the IYW process we have argued consistently for the widest debate about its purpose and character. Whatever stance you take up, confining discussion doesn’t seem to make sense.


  1. I hope to go to the debate (sadly I missed both recent politics workshops from IDYW and FYT), and I’m glad it’s happening – but I share your disquiet about whether it needs to be ‘closed’. But then, I find the whole idea of having a body that could be seen as excluding people as contrary to the ethos of youth work.
    I know many youth workers would like the title ‘Youth Worker’ to be ‘protected’ and IYW is one way to do that (I, for the record, am not one of those people! Although I’d encourage any new youth worker to get properly trained, I find it abhorrent that there are some who would say a person who has dedicated their life to 40+ years of serving young people doesn’t deserve the title because their training has come through non-accredited, non-academic means).

    On another logistical issue for the people who plan these workshops and conferences, from the North East there’s a significant difference in price booking a train three months in advance, and two months (like 2-3 times the amount) – so where possible a little more notice would be helpful (I think IDWY, IYW and FYT all advertised their recent conference with about 6 weeks or less – forgive me if I’m wrong!)

    • Pete – if you manage to get to the IYW debate, it would be brilliant to get your thoughts upon the proceedings. As far as the issue of notification of events goes, point taken. Our last two seminars were organised in some haste. Thus just to say our annual conference will take place in Leeds on Thursday, April 10 from 11.00 – 4.00.

  2. Following attendance at the conference in the Autumn and the points raised by IDYW members about inclusivity, your concerns where heard and the intention is that the workshops on 26th and 27th Feb are open to non-members and members of the IYW to participate and get involved in the discussion about the ethics framework for the IYW.

    To clarify the process about joining a workshop on the above dates, you can find information on LinkedIn and if you are interested in attending contact to confirm your place.

    Each day has two sessions
    26th Feb NYA Leicester

    10-12 or 2pm – 4pm
    27th Scouts Assc, Baden Powell House, London
    9.30 – 11 or 12-2pm

    All sessions will cover the same content to start the process of extending the Ethics statements agreed by IYW steering group and membership and start to build the framework around the statements. The intention is to have additional sessions that build on this over the coming months.

    If you are unable to attend a session the discussions from each day will be uploaded to @iyw_tweets and Linkedin during the days.

    I hope this helps to clarify and I would encourage IDYW members to get involved.

  3. Maralyn – many thanks for this helpful clarification plus the information re the venues. I will post these details on the IDYW Facebook page. I’m sure some IDYW folk will want to put in their pennyworth. Cheers.

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