What is the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for the self-directed personal development of young people. If you decide to take part, you will set yourself challenges and personal goals in the following areas and pursue these over a certain period of time:



At the end of your successful participation you will receive an Award in a festive setting as a recognition of your commitment and achievements which might also – if you add it to your application portfolio – open doors to your dreams.

Do something special – be a Duke!



How will I benefit from doing my Award?

Doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award can be a life-changing experience. You will learn new things about yourself and discover strengths you never knew you had. Together with others, you will overcome challenges and make new friends. The Duke is also a tool to learn important skills for life. At the end, you will receive an internationally recognised award for outstanding achievement, which is prestigious with many employers, and might just open a door to your dream for you.

Last but not least, you will create memories for a lifetime.

Can anyone do the Award?

Any young person between the ages of 14 and 24 can do their Award – completely regardless of ability, religion, social background or anything else. The Duke is not about being better than others, but about setting challenging goals and moving personal boundaries. Participation is more like a marathon than a sprint!

How old do I have to be and how long will it take?

As the expeditions are conducted without direct supervision, young people are only allowed to participate in the Duke from a certain age.

The following minimum ages apply for the respective levels:

– Bronze: 14 years
– Silver: 15 years
– Gold: 16 years

If you are under 14 but most of your friends are 14, you may be allowed to join at Bronze level – check with your Award Leader. If you have already done your Bronze Award, you may continue at Silver level without waiting for your 15th birthday.

Gold Level: No activities prior to the participant’s 16th birthday may be counted to ensure that this level is a particularly demanding challenge.

The following table shows the minimum duration of your Award depending on the level you choose:



How much does it cost to take part?

The Duke costs participating teenagers and young adults 7.50 Euros per level at public schools or institutions and 15 Euros per level at private schools. In some cases, at a public school, you can receive a kind of “scholarship” through your school’s funding possibilities and participate for free.

If you would like to document your activities in our printed record book, this can be purchased by your Award Leaders in our shop for 5 Euros (optional). Alternatively, you can use the Online Record Book (ORB Participant) which is available also as an app.

Your school pays an annual licence fee in order to be entitled to offer the programme and a fee of 6 Euros for your Award at the end of your participation.

These are the basic fees. In addition, there will probably be costs involved for expeditions. To be well equipped on an expedition, you will need equipment. This includes at least a tent or a tarp, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat and a cooker. If your school or organisation cannot provide equipment, it can be expensive. In certain cities (e.g. in Berlin at “Der Aussteiger”) you can get discounts on expedition equipment. Indicate the school through which you are attending the Duke.

Otherwise, flea markets for expedition equipment are a good way to buy equipment relatively cheaply. You may also be able to borrow equipment from family or friends. Or you can start an appeal at your school among parents and teachers to donate equipment that is no longer needed for participation in the Duke.

You can find a sample packing list of what you will need for the expeditions on our Resources page.


If your school participates in the Duke as part of a “Strong Teens” project, the costs for the expedition section usually include mainly the ticket to the expedition area and costs for the food you take with you on the expeditions. Equipment (backpack or bike bags, tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, cooker) is provided free of charge.

Registration and first steps

  1. Fill out our registration form and ask your parents or guardians to sign it if you are under 18. You will receive it directly from your school along with information for your parents but you can also download it on our Resources page.
  2. Give or send the signed form to your Award Leader along with your registration fee.
  3. Register online using the Online Record Book and make sure to verify your email when asked to.
  4. Wait for your Award Leader to confirm your registration.
  5. Choose activities and set yourself a personal aim for each activity. You can find out more on the Activities page. Your Award Leader will help you put together a challenging programme that is perfect for you. It’s important that you enjoy all the activities and that they include something you’ve wanted to do for a long time! Remember that you will also need an assessor for each activity. For example, if you play football for a club in the Fitness Section, this can be your coach. In the Service Section, if you work at a homeless service, this could be a contact person there. If a neighbour teaches you chess, he/she could be your assessor. Special rules apply at the moment because of Covid-19. If your school has to close, you can also change your activities and choose something you can do from home.
  6. Once you have chosen an activity, set yourself a goal and provided your assessor’s email, ask your Award Leader to confirm your choice via the ORB.
  7. Now you can really begin: Do your activities and enjoy them! But: Don’t forget to document what you are doing by uploading a log in each section every week! You can provide a photo there as well.
  8. When you have completed a section, ask your assessor to send you his/her assessment via the ORB.
  9. As soon as you have received the assessment you can ask your Award Leader to confirm that you have successfully completed a section. Congratulations!
  10. When you have completed all sections ask your Award Leader to confirm that you have successfully completed your Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at the chosen level. Well done!

How to find an Assessor

The assessor confirms that you have successfully completed an Award section. Evaluators must be independent, so they cannot be family members.

Anyone who is interested in supporting you, knows a little about your activity and has enough time can be your evaluator. This could be a football coach, the head of a charity, a neighbour who knows web design or a teacher who teaches you how to fish.

Here you can find forms for the assessments that you can give to your assessors. Alternatively, they can use to forms provided by the ORB.


Gutachten Dienst Gutachten Talente Gutachten Fitness

Duke in Training and Studies

Even in training or at university, it’s not just about school, lectures, assignments and exams. It’s also about personal growth, making friends, trying new things, being active and healthy, and taking responsibility for others.

Over 18 months, you will gain experience, build confidence and self-esteem, develop resilience, perseverance and special skills through your own chosen activities, while having an interesting and fun time together with like-minded people.

Employers value participation in the Duke highly, so your award may open doors for you. Many of the skills you will gain can be used in your education or training as well as for your personal and social development.

If you are unable to find an Award Operator, you can participate in Duke on your own through Duke Direct and will be supported directly by the Association.

Duke Direkt

Duke Direct is a way for teenagers and young adults to do their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award independently of a licensed institution if there is none in their area.

Independent participants can do their Duke activities at their own pace with dedicated support from an Award Leader in our association. Mentoring takes place via video, email and/or phone depending on where you live. However, for the Expeditions section of the programme, collaboration with an external provider such as Outward Bound is required.

However, due to the high level of self-motivation and discipline required to participate outside of a school setting, we recommend first exploring all options for participation with a nearby Award Operator. We are happy to assist with this.

For more information on independent participation, please see our flyer. If you have any further questions, please email us and we will be happy to help.


Wie funktioniert Duke Direkt? Anmeldeformular Duke Direkt


Let the video inspire you! It is aimed at anyone over 18 as this is the age limitation for Duke Direct in UK. In Germany, we offer Duke Direkt from the age of 15 onwards in special circumstances.