Obtaining the quality mark – SKOCKANO organization

From June 1, 2023, Sunce carries the #SKOCKANO quality mark based on its educational programs! SKOCKANO is a quality assurance system that supports associations in improving educational work.

Since its founding in 1998, Sunce has emphasized the importance of educating all generations about the need to protect and preserve the environment and nature and about the principles of sustainable development. Encouraging the introduction of behavioral changes and active action of the individual is a fundamental component of all educational activities carried out by Sunce.

One of Sunce’s tasks is to provide knowledge and the latest information necessary for understanding the issues of environmental and nature protection and the key causes of local and global environmental degradation. New generations can and must build a perspective relationship to the Earth, acquire new relevant knowledge and insights, and develop abilities and skills that will help them solve existing environmental problems, as well as prevent new ones. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to introduce innovative learning and teaching methods into schools. Thus, students from being passive recipients of information, develop into active participants in the teaching process and become more aware of their rights and responsibilities, as well as the possibilities and ways of acting in the community.

Beginning of educational activities in Sunce

From the very beginning, Sunce has made an extraordinary effort to ensure that the education of students and young people is continuous in order to encourage changes in behavior and in the active actions of individuals.


In the beginning, educational activities for primary and secondary school students were organized as various lectures and workshops conducted by Sunce’s educators at the request of teachers. All lectures and workshops were conducted mainly for one class with the presence of the teacher. In advance, in agreement with the teachers, the content would be adapted to the prior knowledge of the students and the content of the material being studied at that moment.

The place of education was either in the school or outside the school at the agreed locations. We always tried to approach the students in an interdisciplinary way and with accompanying multimedia materials, as much as possible (even in a cave near the town of Kistanje during a lecture on the Day of Water in 2013 in Šibenik-Knin County).

The workshops usually lasted between two and four school hours. At all workshops, students were offered exercises to be performed in pairs or in smaller groups in order to encourage communication skills and teamwork skills. The goal of all workshops was to develop critical thinking, reduce problems in the environment, and independently find answers to individual questions.

The workshops organized by Sunce in the past had various names: Let the Blue Stay Blue; Climate Change and Biodiversity; Waste – From a Necessary Evil to a Useful Good; Why to Compost; Protection and Conservation of Nature; Water and Wetland Habitats; Planet Earth Day and I; Environment and Civil Society; Biodiversity and Man; Ecosystem Services.


In addition to a large number of different workshops, lectures on the mentioned topics were held for a duration of 45 to 60 minutes. All the mentioned lectures and workshops were arranged sporadically, depending on the needs of the schools, whether it was a celebration of some environmental days or a project day. By conducting over 500 different lectures and workshops for slightly less than 10,000 participants from 2007 to 2013, we determined that one-time trainings do not have as much impact on participants as Sunce expected, although all trainings are carefully planned and organized to encourage the best in participants, encouraging them to work together, think critically, etc.

Educational programs for students as a tool for strengthening influence and encouraging participation

Following the results of our external evaluation in 2016, we started designing and implementing long-term educational activities, more precisely educational programs, both for children and for educational staff. By moving from individual educational activities to longer educational programs, we are changing the way of teaching and increasing the inclusion of environmental protection and sustainable development in educational processes.

The goals of the educational programs were to develop awareness of the interconnectedness and interdependence of the living world, to encourage readiness for active and responsible participation in the community, and to develop the skills of noticing problems in the community and solving them in cooperation with others.


Educational programs that we have been conducting since 2013 until today:

  • Responsible Waste Management (for preschool teachers)
  • School Composting (teachers and other educational staff)
  • Sea Birds (for children of preschool age and school children)
  • Sustainable Student Companies (for high school students)
  • School Composting (for primary and secondary school students)
  • Responsible Waste Management (for primary and secondary school students).

Participatory methods are common in all mentioned educational programs, and they imply the participation of participants in all stages of the educational process. The idea is that the institution provides a safe space in which participation is practiced using participatory learning methods and necessary competencies are built, such as communication skills, cooperation, complex thinking, planning and critical reflection. We link the involvement of participants in the work through participatory forms and learning methods, whenever possible, to important areas of action for sustainable development. This is very necessary for acquiring competences for responsible shaping of the future.

Obtaining the SKOCKANO quality mark

Through the activities of the SKOCKANO project: Quality Standard of Civil Society Organizations Constructively Engaged in Non-Formal Education at the end of 2022, we learned about the possibility of obtaining a quality mark for the program or for the organization.

As we have already stated, SKOCKANO is a quality assurance system that provides support to associations in improving their educational work. It contains standards and criteria that guarantee the quality of non-formal educational programs and is dedicated to the values and principles of non-formal education in planning, development, implementation and evaluation. The quality mark is a guarantee of good work for participants, collaborators, donors, schools and other important stakeholders.

By obtaining the quality mark:

  • the organization can improve its educational programs by following the standards and criteria of the System and achieve better educational effects and the impact of its educations
  • it is confirmed that the organization works professionally, which makes it a more desirable and recognizable partner and collaborator for various stakeholders
  • participants are guaranteed to attend a program that is well and seriously prepared
  • the organization becomes more visible and contributes to trust in civil society organizations.

The system is a pioneering innovative undertaking that aims to contribute to regulation in the civil society sector by introducing quality standards in work with communities and different groups. It was developed by member organizations of the GOOD initiative with the desire that civil society organizations have a support system in the development and improvement of their educational programs and the establishment of the educational work of associations.


The evaluation included the fulfillment of most of the 62 criteria from the following 6 standards:

Standard A: The organization implements non-formal education programs in accordance with the values and principles of non-formal education.
Standard B: The organization strategically plans and manages non-formal education programs.
Standard C: The organization develops and implements informal educational programs in accordance with the needs of the target group.
Standard D: The organization communicates clearly, appropriately and in a timely manner with target groups and participants.
Standard E: The organization ensures and takes care of the expertise and qualifications of the program implementer.
Standard F: The organization regularly evaluates all segments of the implementation of the non-formal educational program.

After the evaluation, Sunce is the proud bearer of the SKOCKANO quality mark from June 2023!

You can find other civil society organizations, or their programs that carry the quality mark, at the end of June on the register.