We believe in the power of partnership

More than ever, local communities, global economies and the planet as a whole need innovators and changemakers who are truly world-ready.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (the Award) equips young people with the skills they need for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability or interests. On an individual level, this can make a transformational difference into a young person’s life; but also has the power to bring significant change to wider society. 

There are several different types of partnership, both operational and organisational, that The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award works with. We strive to create bespoke, mutually beneficial and value-driven partnerships, to increase the access, reach and impact of the Award globally. 

In order to help achieve this, we work with youth-focused partners and operators around the world, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and businesses. 

What is an Operating Partner?

An Operating Partner (OP) is an organisation licenced to deliver the Award within an existing network of their affiliated organisations/branches across different locations.  

What kind of organisation can be an Operating Partner?

  • Any legally registered organisation that owns and/or manages a network of affiliated organisations that engage with young people aged 14-24 years old.  
  • Organisations already delivering educational programmes to young people and want to enhance their offer by adding an internationally recognised framework for non-formal education.   
  • An organisation able to develop a strong central Award team able to manage the implementation of sub-licences (or equivalent agreements), training, digital support, quality assurance and ongoing account management to its affiliated organisations.  


Examples of types of organisations that are OPs: 

  • School groups  
  • Learning Centres 
  • Uniform groups (Scouts, Girl Guides, Cadets, etc) 
  • Youth Centres/Organisations 
  • Corporate businesses with youth employees 

Why should my organisation become an Operating Partner?

Delivering the Award brings your organisation many benefits, not least the opportunity to help develop young people and support them on their journey as they discover what they are truly capable of. For OPs, the Award is a tool to enhance and complement existing programmes and for young people to gain international recognition for their achievements. 

By delivering the Award your organisation will: 

  • Raise the profile of your organisation internationally and position it as a leader in Non-Formal Education and holistic youth development.  
  • Give young people the opportunity to participate in an internationally recognised Non-Formal Education and Learning framework. 
  • Complement existing extra-curricular activities and receive external recognition for achievements.  
  • Provide recognised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for staff and volunteers to enhance their resumes.  
  • Make a lasting difference in the communities where you operate.  
  • Attract more support , strengthening opportunities for proposals or funding applications.  
  • Become part of an international network of Award Operators, Leaders and like-minded individuals and organisations.  

How does my organisation become an OP?

  1. Determine the Level of Interest 
  2. Identify and Recruit your Central Award Team
  3. Apply for an OP Licence and Compile Evidence (link to application and required evidence)
  4. Sign Licence Agreement and pay Annual Licence Fee
  5. Induction and training for Central Award Team 


Useful documents:

Contact [email protected] for more information