Who We Are

The Duke of Ed Award believes that not all learning happens in the classroom and our aim is to help equip young Canadians aged 14-24 for success in life. By recognizing all of the amazing things young people can do and learn outside the boundaries of formal education, the Award empowers them to discover hidden talents, develop untapped leadership potential, make a difference in their community and explore the wonders of the great outdoors. 

The personal journey to earn the Award requires young people to look beyond their comfort zone and tap in to their sense of discovery. Participants set and achieve personal goals in activities they want to experience and develop, making each Award a unique journey. Simply put, they design a blueprint to transform their lives and we support them each step of the way. 

Each year in Canada, the Award program continues to expand and reach new communities. There are currently over 50,000 young Canadians enrolled in the program. You can view on-line our 2016 National Fact Sheet for more information.

Our Vision: To inspire and promote lifelong improvement for all young Canadians by encouraging personal development and achievement 

Our Mission: To give Canadians aged 14-24 a supportive, non-competitive youth development platform that deepens self-awareness, builds confidence and broadens skills and experience to further their growth as active, responsible citizens. 

How we work 

We are a federally registered charity and are in every Canadian province which has been segmented into ten divisions to better serve young Canadians. Each division is a separately registered charity that is licensed by the National Office and operates to provide direct support for youth and organizations who embark on the Award throughout the country. We strive to be the self-development program in which any young Canadian can participate, barrier-free, regardless of socio-economic or physical circumstance.

We strive to provide an Award that is self-directed and develops the whole person – mind, body and soul.

There are three levels to The Award; Bronze, Silver and Gold.

A young person can progress through each level or enroll directly to either the Silver (15 years and up) or the Gold (16 years and up). Each level requires an increasing level of commitment and effort. Young people have until their 25th birthday to complete The Award. Once participants have completed their Award, they receive a pin and certificate to mark their achievement, and may be able to attend a ceremony within their Province or Territory (depending on Award level and ceremony availability). Gold Award ceremonies are only presided over by the Governor General of Canada or by a member of the Royal Family when their schedule permits.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award recognizes participants milestones at the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, during which they challenge themselves in the following areas: 

Aims to encourage young people to volunteer their time so they may better understand the benefit of service to their community. Learn more.
Aims to encourage the development of personal interests and practical and social skills. Learn more.
Aims to encourage young people to participate in sports and other physical recreational activities for the improvement of health and fitness. Learn more.
Aims to encourage a sense of Adventure while undertaking a team journey or expedition. As part of a small team, participants will plan, train for and undertake a journey with a defined purpose in an unfamiliar environment. Learn more.
(For Gold Level only) Aims to broaden horizons, experiences and outlooks through involvement with others in a residential setting. Learn more.

The Levels

Participants first select the level they feel is right for them. Some participants start at Bronze and work their way through all three, others start at Silver or Gold. Once the level has been selected participants must set out to achieve goals in four different program which get them involved with their community, explore the great outdoors, discover or enhancing a skill or hobby and engage in regular physical activity. Below is a brief outline of the difference between each of the three levels. 


STARTING AGE: 14 years of age.
SECTIONS: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and
Adventurous Journey.
DURATION: Minimum of 6 months.


STARTING AGE: 15 years of age.
SECTIONS: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey.
DURATION: Minimum of 6 months if completed Bronze level or minimum of 12 months if directly enter the Silver level.


STARTING AGE: 16 years of age.
SECTIONS: Service, Skills, Physical Recreation, Adventurous Journey and Gold Project.
DURATION: Minimum of 12 months if completed Silver level or minimum of 18 months if directly enter the Gold level.