Our Framework

The Award Framework is the enduring structure of the Award that has changed little since it's inception in 1956. The unique framework of the Award encourages young people to set and achieve goals in four sections, with a fifth at the Gold level. Our Framework enables young people to build and develop the skills that will support them as they navigate the transition from youth to adult. 

This section of the Award provides a young person with a greater sense of worth from having given voluntary service and help to others and their community. The opportunity to give voluntary service over an extended period of time enables young people to witness and experience the benefits that their service provides to others and encourages them to become more active, engaged citizens.

Providing service to others also develops a young person’s humanity and character, both of which will enable them to continue to develop positively.

Benefits and Outcomes of Voluntary Service 

  • Learning patience, tolerance, and compassion
  • Overcoming ignorance, prejudice, apathy and fear
  • Increasing awareness of the needs and challenges of others
  • Exploring and improving interpersonal skills and self-development skills
  • Enhancing leadership qualities
  • Trusting and being trusted
  • Making a real difference to the lives of others
  • Accepting the responsibility of commitment to others
  • Meeting new people from different backgrounds
  • Forming a lifelong habit of community involvement
  • Enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction in helping others
  • Being able to relate to others from different generations

The Skills section provides the opportunity for a participant either to improve on an existing skill, or to try something new. As with other sections, a level of commitment over time to progress in a skill leads to a sense of achievement and well-being as well as possibly leading to improved employability.

Benefits and Outcomes of Skill development 

  • Discovering and developing new abilities, or improving on existing talents 
  • Increasing self-confidence by successfully setting and achieving a goal
  • Refining awareness of one’s own potential
  • Developing time management and planning skills
  • Enhancing self-motivation
  • Interacting socially by meeting new people and interacting with other people, often older, in a meaningful way
  • Improving employability by learning vocational skills

Encouraging healthy behaviours has benefits not only for participants but also for their communities, whether through improved health, or active participation in team activities. The Physical Recreation section therefore specifically aims to improve the health, team skills, self-esteem and confidence of participants.

Benefits and outcomes of Physical Recreation 

  • Developing a healthy lifestyle
  • Improving fitness 
  • Increasing self-esteem
  • Interacting socially, especially in a team sport, but also through meeting people with interest in a similar individual sport
  • Enhancing self-discipline, perseverance and self-motivation
  • Experiencing a sense of achievement
  • Raising awareness of the variety of opportunities available in the area
  • Encouraging teamwork, if the activity is a team sport
  • Enjoyment​

The Adventurous Journey section encourages a sense of adventure and self-discovery while undertaking a journey within a group of peers. Working in a small group, all participants plan, train for and undertake a journey with a purpose, in an unfamiliar environment.

The opportunity to engage in adventurous and challenging activities in a new environment provides participants with the chance to learn more about their wider environment, including the impact that their and others’ activities can have. The opportunity also helps develop their self-confidence, health and fitness, teamwork, and leadership.

Benefits and outcomes of Adventurous Journey

  • Working as part of a team
  • Understanding group dynamics 
  • Enhancing leadership skills 
  • Improving planning and organization ability and attention to details
  • Learning to make real decisions and accept real consequences
  • A sense of achievement and satisfaction by overcoming challenges and obstacles 
  • Developing self-reliance and independence 
  • Developing health and fitness 
  • Experiencing and appreciating the outdoor environment 
  • Gaining the appropriate knowledge and skills to journey safely in that environment
  • Exercising imagination and creativity by choosing their own journey
  • Improving their investigating, reviewing and presentational skills


The Gold Project gives participants a shared, purposeful experience with people who are not their usual companions, working towards a common goal. It should be an experience that broadens the participant’s outlook and horizons.

Benefits and outcomes of the Gold Project 

  • Meeting new people
  • Experiencing an unfamiliar environment 
  • Building new relationships
  • Working as a team
  • Taking responsibility 
  • Developing communication skills 
  • Developing confidence 
  • Showing initiative 
  • Learning new skills or enhancing existing ones 
  • Enjoying living and working with others 

Award Outcomes

The Award can play a vital role in providing opportunities for young people to develop essential universal life skills, complementing their formal education or things they are learning in the workplace. This enables them to grow in confidence and in their ability to contribute positively to their communities.

The Award’s success and flexibility is evidenced by the fact that it has spread to more than 130 countries and territories. Drawing on previous research undertaken on the Award and other youth organizations and existing research and recommendations on the outcomes of non-formal education, the Award has developed a description for the outcomes of the Award for young people. It has been found that the Award helps young people develop the following social and emotional capabilities:


Self-reliance, self-esteem, self-efficacy, capacity to act in one’s own interest
and need, self-belief and ability to shape your own life and the world around you.

 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-resilience-determination-png.png   Resilience and determination
Self-disciplined, self-management, self-motivated, focused, having a sense of
purpose, persistent, self-controlled etc. 

 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-relationship-leadership-png.png   Relationship and leadership
Motivating others, valuing and contributing to team working, negotiating,
establishing positive relationships, interpreting others, managing conflict,
empathizing etc.

 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-creativity-and-adaptability-png.png   Creativity and adaptability 
Imagining alternative ways of doing things, applying learning in new contexts,
enterprising, innovating, remaining open to new ideas, reading situations
correctly and adapting as required.
 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-planning-and-problem-solving-png.png?a=r|75-75   Planning and problem solving 
Navigating resources, organizing, setting and achieving goals; decisionmaking,
researching, analyzing, critical thinking, questioning and challenging,
evaluating risks, reliability.

 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-managing-feelings-png.png   Managing feelings 
Reviewing, self-awareness, self-control, reflecting, self-regulating, selfaccepting
 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-communication-png.png   Communication
Explaining, expressing, presenting, listening, questioning, using different
ways of communicating.
   Personal and social well-being
A person’s state of mind, relationship with the world around them and the
fulfilment they get from life: well-being, life satisfaction.
 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-civic-competence-png.png   Civic competence 
The ability and willingness to engage in active participation, based on an
attitude of trust in other people, in all the contexts of social life: school, local
community, working place, recreational activities.

 /_uploads/images/icons/award-icons-intercultural-competence-png.png   Intercultural competence
Ability to operate in different cultural settings (of different ages, skills,
religions, languages, etc.) and adaptability to changing circumstances and
ability to sense and respond to new contexts.