Youth Service Professionals' Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities Training Modules

About the YSP/KSA Training Modules

The Youth Service Professionals’ Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (YSP/KSA) Initiative has developed training modules designed to strengthen youth professionals’ competencies for working with all youth. The interactive, day-long training sessions address the knowledge, skills, and abilities that youth service professionals need to better connect all youth, including youth with disabilities, to workforce, educational, and independent living opportunities.

The YSP/KSA Training helps enhance staff performance to improve youth outcomes.

Learn more about the 10 Competency Areas (Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities - KSAs) of Youth Service Professionals which participants develop through the YSP/KSA Training. 

Overview of Training Modules

Click on the following links to learn more about each of the eight YSP/KSA Training Modules:

  1. Knowledge of the Field: This Work That We Do
  2. Communication with Youth: The Helping Relationship
  3. Assessment and Individualized Planning: Charting a Course with Youth
  4. Relationship to Family: Working Together
  5. Career Exploration and Workforce Preparation: Youth Opening the Door to the World of Work
  6. Community Resources: Weaving a Web for Youth
  7. Employer Relations: Beyond the Handshake
  8. Program Design, Delivery, and Administration: It’s All in the Design

Interested in receiving training?

Contact NCWD/Youth at Ph. 202-822-8405 or email:

Why Professional Development?

  • Professional development is linked to increased job satisfaction, more youth involvement, better practice, and improved youth outcomes.
  • Youth Service Professionals can use the KSAs to identify their own strengths and areas for improvement and to create a professional development plan.
  • Administrators, Managers, and Program Directors can use the KSAs to hire and promote staff, as well as to assess and address their organization’s professional development needs.
  • Policymakers can use the KSAs to improve youth outcomes, to promote the professional development of practitioners, and to develop RFPs that strengthen programs.
  • The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals adopted the KSAs as the basis for the Youth Services Endorsement to their Certified Workforce Development Professional Credential.

Blended Online & In-Person Training

For those interested in a combination of online learning and in-person training, NCWD/Youth is developing "blended modules." The blended modules contain all the interactive activities, content-rich handouts, and national resources of the YSP/KSA Training Modules with more flexible delivery options. By offering some online training delivery with in-person delivery, the blended modules may reduce scheduling conflicts and the amount of time staff spend traveling to trainings while still providing the live interaction and connections during in-person training that really brings the learning to life.  The online component allows participants to access readings, post comments, get trainer feedback, and share resources online to gain the foundational knowledge necessary for the module.  Participants can then gather in-person for a live session with a trainer to process what they are learning, make connections to their own professional experiences, network with other youth service professionals, and gather strategies and resources to improve their work with youth.

Stay tuned for more details about the Blended Modules - Coming Soon!

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