Philosophy and Operational Principles

What is the Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded by His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, to encourage personal development and community involvement for young people. The programme has three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, and is open to any person between the ages of 14 and 24. Participants complete The Award by achieving personally established goals, in the areas of Community Service, Skill Development, Physical Recreation, and Adventurous Journey. In pursuing these activities, young people learn responsibility, acquire new skills, and increase their level of physical fitness. In achieving the goals they set for themselves, participants demonstrate their commitment, motivation, and personal development. 

The International Declaration

“The Award Concept is one of individual challenge. It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourages personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves, and service to their community.” 

The Fundamental Principles

The criterion for gaining an Award is individual improvement through persistence and achievement, taking into account the participant’s initial capabilities and without any element of competition between participants. Participation is entirely voluntary and the individual participant has a completely free choice in the selection of the locally available options within the four sections specified below. There is no discrimination against participation on the grounds of sex, race, religion, or political affiliation.

The Operational Principles

Participants must be between the ages of 14 and 25. The basic structure of the Award Programme consists of four mandatory sections: Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills, and Physical Recreation. There are three levels of The Award: Bronze (for those over 14), Silver (for those over 15), and Gold (for those over 16). The minimum period of participation for direct entrants to qualify for an Award is 6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver, and 18 months for Gold.