Basic Information

What is the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world.

Through developing transferable skills, increasing their fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in their community, the Award helps young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

It operates in more than 130 countries and territories, helping to inspire millions of young people to take control and make their own choices. And it’s not limited by the boundaries of one programme or place. There are more than 1 million young people currently completing their own unique programme, via hundreds of thousands of youth focused partners and operators, who are in tune with the interests and challenges facing young people today, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offender institutions.

Participation in the programme is open to those between the ages of 14 and 24. The bronze, silver and gold levels require increasingly more time, commitment and personal responsibility in the programme sections

Participants choose activities, set personal goals and challenge themselves to achieve them, according to the motto: There is more in you than you think! This process of goal setting, implementation and reflection is accompanied by an Award Leader over a period of 6 – 18 months, depending on the programme level.

Minimum Age & Time Commitment

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 a participant is under 14 but most of their friends are 14, they may be allowed to join at Bronze level in special circumstances. Participants who have already done their Bronze Award may continue at Silver level without waiting for their 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 the Award depending on the level chosen:

Outcomes and Impact
“Imagine anything was possible, who or what would you like to be? What would you like to be able to do? Is there anything you have wanted to do all your life? What is the most wonderful activity you can imagine?”

Award Leaders guide their participants to dream big and support them in identifying and naming (secret) wishes. Together, the young people consider what activities might support the achievement of these dreams, plan a concrete course of action and set themselves challenging but achievable goals that are specific and personally relevant to them (smart).

When participants encounter difficulties along the way, they can rely on the support of their Award Leaders, who do not prescribe a solution but rather help finding one themselves. This approach enables the young people to acquire strategies to solve difficult situations. In the face of resistance, they increasingly regard such situations as solvable and – depending on their personality – even as stimulating due to positive experiences.

Doing the Award is an exciting journey and should be a lot of fun.



How to become an Award Operator

As the National Award Operator in Germany we license organisations that work with young people between 14 and 24 years. Young people participate through licensed Award Operators. They are supported by Award Leaders in their organisation who motivate and support them and celebrate their successes.

Award Operators fall into four different categories:

  1. organisations that offer the Award to young people they work with on their premises, such as schools, youth centres and sports clubs.
  2. organisations that cover a specific geographical area and support a range of licensed organisations, such as local authorities.
  3. organisations that offer the Duke to organised groups of young people, such as Scouts.
  4. companies offering the Duke to their apprentices, trainees and staff.

Licensing is subject to our Criteria for Award Operators to ensure that every participant has an experience of the highest quality.

If you are interested in becoming an Award Operator, please contact us to receive more information.

Costs involved

Costs for schools/organisations are currently (private/public):

  • License Fee: 450/200 Euro annually
  • Participation Fee: 15/7,50 Euro per level (to be paid by each new entrant)
  • Award: 6/6 Euro
  • The costs of running expeditions are subject to each Award Operator

To become a licensed Award Operator, a team of 3 teachers needs to be trained. The cost of our one-day basic training (Programme Course) is 75/37,50 Euro per person. In addition to the digital training, Award Leaders have access to learning modules on our Award Community (blended learning).