About us

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a non-formal education and learning framework operating in more than 130 countries and territories around the world, through which young people’s achievements outside of academia are recognised and celebrated.

We at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation are the engine that drives and supports the Award’s growth, access and impact across the globe.

We are not limited by boundaries and are committed to making the Award available to 1% of the youth population by 2023, which is 7.9m young people. This represents a 600% growth on current participation numbers.

It is our long term ambition that every eligible young person aged 14 – 24 will have the opportunity to participate in the Award. Our vision is that 20% of them are from at risk and marginalised communities for whom the Award can be truly life-changing.

How the Award works

The Award encourages young people to learn new skills, get physically active, volunteer within their communities and discover a sense of adventure outside the classroom.

It offers young people opportunities that help them unlock their potential and be ready for their world, whatever that world may be.

Using the Award framework and with the support of adult volunteers, young people develop their own bespoke programme, as they work towards achieving the internationally recognised Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

The Award framework and levels

Young people – with their dynamism, their energy and their inherent understanding of our interconnected world – have much to teach us. Increased educational attainment, advances in technology and the spread of information have made this generation the best educated, most connected and most informed in history."

Kofi Annan, 2013

Why now?

Formal education is vital in helping young people to arm themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the world of tomorrow. But not all learning happens in the classroom. Formal education alone is not enough to ensure they have the skills to tackle life’s many challenges head on. Young people also need experiences outside the classroom to become committed, responsible and fulfilled citizens of the world.

Non-formal education and learning plays a role in the development of skills such as resilience, confidence and communication and can help young people find their purpose, passion and place in the world.

The Award is a non-formal education and learning framework through which young people’s achievements outside of academia are recognised and celebrated. The Award focuses on allowing young people to step outside of their comfort zone; to try, test and reassess new ways of doing things. This set framework encourages young people to explore new frontiers, push their limits, and learn from both their successes and their mistakes. Through doing their Award therefore, young people can be empowered with not just the confidence but the desire to create meaningful change; to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.