The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading youth achievement award, bringing together practical experiences and life skills to create committed global
citizens and equipping young people for life. Since it was founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, over eight million people have participated in the Award in over 140
countries and territories. Every day 548 young people across the world achieve an Award.
Our ambition is that every young person aged 14 to 24 in the world should have the opportunity to participate in the Award. Whilst the name of individual operating authorities may differ from nation to nation, the Award and its unique reputation with employers, policy makers and influential leaders in society remain unchanged and consistent. The Award, with its instantly recognisable levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold, is voluntary, non-competitive and available to anyone aged 14–24. It is about individual challenge. Young people design their own Award programme, set their own goals and record their own progress. They choose a Service, Physical Recreation, Skills activity, go on an Adventurous Journey and, to achieve a Gold Award, take part in a Residential project. The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.
The Award is open to all young people regardless of their background and circumstances. It is delivered around the world by schools, colleges, universities, employers, social clubs, uniformed and non-uniformed youth organisations, young offenders’ institutions, religious organisations, sports clubs, and a whole host of other civic organisations. Recent Award projects around the world have focused on involving young offenders, street children and former child soldiers. The impact of the Award on these and many more young people is extraordinary: it transforms their lives.