The Award As A Co-curricular

Formal education helps young people figure out what they want to do. Experiential learning helps young people discover who they want to be.


Increasingly, educators, policy makers and education regulators are recognizing the importance of learning outside the classroom, and the opportunities that can be created to develop the skills, behaviours and attitudes needed for adult life and work.  


The Award framework serves as a powerful experiential learning co-curricular tool for education systems. When the framework is used to support formal learning, it helps to extend learning beyond the classroom. The Award enriches existing curriculum, and deepens youth engagement, while fostering a strong student-teacher relationship. Educators act as mentors, guiding personalized journeys that enhance holistic skill development, ignite interests and prioritize mental well-being, resulting in improved academic performance. 


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program provides a unique opportunity for students to foster positive and innovative leadership in their respective communities by engaging in sound activities, promoting service to humankind, physical health, team building and peer mentoring. It also allows participants to diversify their educational experience in a non-traditional approach by fostering lifelong skills that will accompany them throughout life. Overall, the Award framework is a rich and proven learning approach that ensures diversity, equity and inclusion, while removing barriers for all to participate in this unique and challenging experience! 

A group of young people brainstorming

Become part of a Global Network of Award Delivery Partners

Offer your students the opportunity to benefit from the Award’s world-class non-formal experiential learning program. Our framework is a ready-made tool that encourages participation in the following areas: volunteerism, skill development, physical activity, team adventurous journeys and passion projects.  Participants use the plan, do, review model to set goals to engage in these activities for sustained periods of time. These goals become progressively more challenging as they move through the Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of the Award. The Award, when offered alongside academic programming, maximizes the long-term benefits of the development of young people.

Our framework is a tool that promotes the following:

Supplement your formal curriculum by helping young people grow inside and outside the classroom. The Award focuses on the development of the whole person, encompassing physical fitness, skill development, community service and adventurous journeys. These activities encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, leadership, time management and communication skills. This holistic approach nurtures well-rounded individuals who are resilient, adaptable, self-confident and better equipped to navigate the complexities of the world.

The Award framework allows participants to explore their passions, interests and talents through various activities beyond the curriculum. Whether it’s sports, arts, technology, or social causes, participants have the freedom to choose activities that align with their interests, discover hidden talents and find a sense of purpose and identity. This exploration helps them develop intrinsic motivation that fosters personal growth and self-discovery.

The Award framework encourages participants to engage in physical activities, develop hobbies and focus on personal growth. Engaging in recreational activities and pursuits can reduce anxiety, depression and burnout, fostering mental resilience and emotional stability. Furthermore, the social connections formed through experiential learning activities create a sense of belonging and support, reducing feelings of isolation and promoting overall well-being.

The Award offers numerous opportunities for students to develop leadership skills and work collaboratively with their peers. Whether it’s leading a project or working together as a team while planning and executing a journey, students learn to communicate effectively, make decisions and develop interpersonal skills. By taking on responsibilities outside of academics, students learn to manage their time effectively, set goals, delegate tasks, motivate their peers and lead by example. These experiences cultivate essential leadership qualities that are transferable to various academic, life and professional contexts.

Participation in Award activities is typically done outside the normal classroom, and fosters learning by engaging and doing. Motivation to continue the experiential learning pathway is provided through external recognition of achievement. These activities help students to develop problem-solving, reasoning, critical and creative thinking, communication, resilience and collaborative abilities.  The Award also encourages involvement in school and community events, engagement with peers and mentors, and helps to develop a sense of being involved in one’s own education. These skills are directly transferable to the academic arena, and it is shown that students who get involved in other areas of student and community life are more likely to have a positive outlook on school and future study.

The Award provides a unique opportunity for young people to step out of their comfort zones, develop progressive habits and engage in new experiences. Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and interpersonally, which exposes them to diverse cultures, perspectives and environments. This exposure broadens their horizons and fosters empathy, leading to a more enriched and well-rounded understanding of the world.

The Award fosters commitment, passion, leadership, initiative and teamwork which are highly regarded by post-secondary institutions and employers around the world. Completion of the Award demonstrates a strong ability for individuals to shape their own future by continuously setting and achieving personally challenging goals. The Award helps young people stand out, by providing them with an internationally recognized accreditation and by becoming world ready.

In the future, people will need far greater flexibility, resilience, capability, capacity to adjust, problem-solving and communication skills to deal with fast-changing times, constant innovation and ever more unpredictable circumstances. We have known this for some time, though perhaps many of us remain surprised, even shocked, at the pace it has come upon us.

Dr Howard Williamson Cvo Cbe Frsa Fhea, Professor Of European Youth Policy At The University Of South Wales. Trustee Of The Duke Of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation

Through effective use of the Award framework in your organization, a wide variety of community stakeholders can work together to ensure that all young people graduate with their academic diploma, a sense of personal worth and an introduction to experiential learning that will set them up for a lifetime of success. 


Fill out the expression of interest to connect with us about delivering the award as a co-curricular.


Download Brochure Expression of interest form