The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation's Policies and Resources

This page summarises The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation (IAF) key documents, policies and procedures that govern how the Award operates around the world. The policies and resources all link directly to the National Award Operator (NAO), Operating Partner (OP) and Independent Award Centre (IAC) licences.

The adoption and implementation of these policies and guidance is critical to ensuring Operators meet and maintain the required Governance, Management and Delivery standards, as set out in the licences.

These key documents and policies will evolve over time as new tools emerge, processes are updated and developed, and the risks associated with an area of work changes in response to internal or external developments.

The policies and guidance are listed in alphabetical order.

For IAC specific policies and guidance please click here.
For OP specific polices and guidance please click here.

This page was last updated on: 7 December 2022


Code of Conduct

This sets out the practices and behaviour expected of all adults in the Award, especially when it comes to ensuring the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults associated with the Award.

Complaints Policy

Everyone connected with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is committed to providing the highest quality support and service to all aspects of the Award. However, we also recognise that sometimes things go wrong, and, in these situations, we have a Complaints policy and process. Our Complaints policy provides information on how to complain and what happens when you do.

Data Privacy Notice

This Privacy Notice describes how we collect and use personal information about people the
Foundation engages and works within our existing network, and those that visit our digital sites (including but not limited to our website –, the Online Record Book and the Award Community). This includes, but is not limited to, personal information relating to our prospect and licensed Operators, participants, volunteers, and supporters.

Data Protection Policy

The Foundation Global Data Protection Policy (FGDPR) is based on the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) an EU legislation that aims to give the residents of the EU more control over their data. Under this regulation, organisations that handle data of EU residents will have to comply with data and privacy rules.

Risk Management Register

This register is intended to provide a framework for the management of risk and to increase overall awareness of risk throughout the Association and to enable your organisation and those responsible for risk reporting to better identify, assess and control risks within their areas. It seeks to enforce ownership and defines roles and responsibilities to help ensure the risk management process is understood.

Safeguarding Policy

The Foundation’s Safeguarding Policy sets out the practices and behaviour expected of all adults in the Award, especially when it comes to ensuring the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults associated with the Award.

Serious Incident Reporting Policy

The Foundation’s Serious Incident Reporting Policy sets out the procedure for Operators to report alleged and serious incidents. Operators are responsible for the safeguarding and safety of their participants, staff and volunteers, and must ensure robust systems are in place for recognising, reporting, investigating and responding to Serious Incidents and for arranging and resourcing investigations.

The effective management of incidents is essential to the provision of a safe and secure environment for the participants of the Award as well as our staff and volunteers.

Whistleblowing Policy

We expect everyone connected with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award to always act with integrity and to the highest ethical standards. However, we recognise that things might go wrong, and we need a simple way for people to let us know if a serious issue has occurred that needs investigation. Our Whistleblowing policy is designed to be a simple and safe way for anyone to report serious issues and allow us to address them as quickly as possible.



Adult Learning Policy

This policy is in development. The link references the current Award Learning Framework (2015) which sets out the guidance on minimum training requirements with which National Award Operators should comply.

Evaluation and Reporting Requirements Policy

The Foundation provides reporting requirements including annual statistics and research deliverables, as well as how the IAF and NAOs use data.

Fundamental Principles, Operational Principles and Code of Practice

These form part of the “International Agreements” enshrined in the IAA Memorandum of Understanding, it sets out the principles, practices and behaviour of how the Award is to be run. These ensure that all Operators maintain comparable standards of practice as advised by the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, manage the Award fairly and impartially in all respects and ensures that the Award is open to all, subject to the age parameters.

Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles are designed to ensure that a young person has a meaningful and purposeful journey through their Award, as well as ensuring that the impact of achieving their Award provides a lasting personal legacy.

The Award’s guiding principles are:  individual, non-competitive, achievable, voluntary, development, balanced, progressive, inspiration, persistence and enjoyable.

Please see International Handbook for Award Leaders page 14 for further information.

International Award Association (IAA) Brief for Constituents of the Association

Supporting Brief to accompany The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association’s “Memorandum of Understanding” which governs the establishment, purpose and principles of operation. This Brief outlines the commitments and responsibilities of constituents of the Association.

International Award Association (IAA) Global Strategy

A document that sets out the strategy for the Association as a whole in developing and growing the Award worldwide. The current strategy projects forward to 2023.

International Award Association (IAA) Memorandum of Understanding

One of the Key Governing Documents that governs the establishment of the Association, its purpose and principles of operation. It replaced the previous International Award Association (IAA) constitution.

Key Governing Documents

Our terms of reference.

Trustees’ Toolkit

The toolkit is provided as guidance on key elements of governance for Operators, specifically National Award Operators (NAOs) to help set up and maintain effective governance structures in order to comply with licensing requirements.



Adults Delivering the Award Policy

This policy is in development. The link references the Growing the Award Volunteer Network which details the policy, procedures and requirements relating to supporting and managing adults delivering the Award.

Operational Guidelines

The Operational Guidelines clarifies and interprets the International Agreements, helping Award Operators to deliver the Award in a manner suited to their circumstances while maintaining the ethos and principles outlined by the Founder. These form part of the “International Agreements” enshrined in the IAA MoU and are the ten principles that underpin the philosophy of the Award.

Quality Assurance Toolkit

The toolkit assists National Award Operators (NAOs) and Operating Partners (OPs) to establish and maintain effective quality assurance in their Operations by providing templates and examples for Operators to adopt as suitable and implement through all levels of Award delivery.