Our Guiding Principles

The Award is intended to help both the young as well as those who are concerned for their welfare. The object is to provide an introduction to worthwhile leisure activities and voluntary service, as a challenge to the individual to discover the satisfaction of achievement and as a guide for those people and organizations who would like to encourage the development of their young fellow citizens.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - Founder of the Award

Individuals design their own program, which can be tailored to suit their personal circumstances, preferences, and local provision. They start at whichever level suits them best and can take as long as they wish (within the age limit) to achieve their Award.

Doing the Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Every participant’s program is tailor-made to reflect their individual starting point, abilities, and interests.

With the right guidance and inspiration, any young person aged 14-24 can achieve the Award, no matter their gender, cultural background, religious or political affiliation, or physical ability.

While the Award may be offered within school, college, work time, or extra-curricular activity, individuals choose to do the program and must commit a substantial amount of their free time to undertake their activities.

Participating in the Award fosters personal and social development. Individuals gain valuable experiences, life skills, grow in confidence, and become more aware of their environment and community; transforming themselves into responsible young adults.

The Award provides a balanced framework to develop the individual’s mind, body, and community spirit by engaging them in a variety of activities, and encouraging them to become more well-rounded.

At each level, the Award demands progressively more time, commitment, and responsibility.

The Award inspires individuals to exceed their expectations of their own abilities. They set challenges and goals before starting an activity, work towards these goals, and by showcasing their progress and improvement, will move towards achieving their Award.

The Award requires persistence and cannot be completed with a short burst of enthusiasm; it is a marathon, not a sprint. Participants are encouraged to continue with activities and to maintain their interest beyond their program requirements.

The activities that a young person selects reflect their own interests and passions. Participants and Award Leaders should find the Award enjoyable, fulfilling, and rewarding.