About The Award
  Award in India
  Award Philosophy
  Sustainable Development
  Licensed Operators
  Calendar of Events
  Contact Us

Follow Us

About the Award

The International Award for Young People
Levels of Award
Voluntary Service
Adventurous Journey
Physical recreation
Gold Residential Project
The Award’s Management
The International Award Management structure.


The Award Programme was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1956 as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The aim was to motivate young people aged between 14 and 25 years to become involved in a balanced programme of voluntary self-development activities to take them through the potentially difficult period between adolescence and adulthood.

The Award’s concept is one of individual challenge, giving young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community. Those who participate in the Award are expected to follow its requirements in a non-competitive manner with a determination to succeed, either individually or as part of a team. The Award therefore is challenging, and can be undertaken at your own pace.

The Participation Age is between 14 and 25 years. The basic structure of the Award consists of 4 mandatory sections Voluntary Service, Adventurous Journey, Skills and Physical Recreation. There are 3 levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver & Gold. Participants must complete the four mandatory sections of Voluntary Service, Adventurous Journey, Skill & Physical Recreation.

Participants can undertake all three categories of the Award programme or enter directly at any of the three levels in the following age group; Bronze Award (for those over 14), Silver Award (for those over 15) and Gold Award (for those over 16 years).

The minimum period of participation is 6 months for Bronze, 12 months for Silver and 18 months for Gold. For each of these levels a participant is required to undertake activities under each of the four sections. At Gold level, participants undertake a Residential Project in addition.

The Award

  • Available to all.

  • Participation is voluntary and offers a wide choice of activities.

  • An individual challenge as it is non-competitive.

  • Achievement focused – only positive remarks are recorded.

  • A marathon, not a sprint. Successful completion calls for persistence and commitment.

  • An enjoyable experience for both participants and adult volunteers.

  • All about teamwork and the building of interpersonal skills.

  • Non-political; no considerations of religion, caste or creed are relevant.



Levels of Award Minimum Duration
  Bronze 6 months
  Silver 12 months
  Gold 18 months
For each level, participants have to complete the requirements of each of the 4 different sections. Qualifying standards are measured in terms of progress, proficiency and sustained effort.




Aim: To learn how to give useful voluntary service to others.

People in the Community

  • Helping people in need, such as elderly or disabled people, with shopping, gardening, domestic tasks, etc., on a regular basis.
  • Voluntary work in hospitals and care centres.
  • Visiting prisons or detention centres
  • Helping with a local community radio or newspaper
  • Sports coaching or leadership
  • First aid

Youth Work

  • Acting in a leadership role in a youth club or uniformed youth organization
  • Assisting in teaching of primary school children
  • Helping other young people participate in the Award by acting as a leader.

Community Education and Health Education

  • Working with experienced persons to educate the local community in AIDS education, primary health care, immunization campaigns, drug / alcohol awareness, etc.
  • Teaching a person to read or write
Environmental Service
  • Participating in a conservation project, such as, cleaning wasteland, cleaning a river, caring for threatened wildlife or trees
  • Caring for a public or school garden
  • Providing, maintaining and encouraging the use of public wastepaper bins
  • Caring for animals under threat
  • Working for a clean up campaign

Charity Work

  • Fundraising for a charity
  • Creating or maintaining a charity website or newsletter

Emergency Services

  • Helping a emergency service team, such as, fire services, life saving, police, mountain rescue, civil defense.
  • Assisting with local or national disaster operations

Why Voluntary Service?

  • To learn how to give useful voluntary service to others.
  • This Section seeks to give participants a sense of responsibility to each other and the community, and to help them become better citizens
  • Participants should undertake an activity in which they give service to others, and should learn and benefit from undertaking this voluntary service.

Examples of Voluntary Service

  • People in the Community - visiting people in need, elderly or disabled, voluntary work in hospitals, first aid, etc.
  • Youth Work – acting in a leadership role, assisting in teaching, etc.
  • Community Education and Health Education – working with experienced persons to educate the local community on AIDS, etc., teaching a person to read or write, etc.
  • Environmental Service – participating a conservation project, caring for a public place, caring for animals, etc.
  • Charity Work – fundraising for a charity, etc.
  • Emergency Services – helping an emergency service team, assisting with a local or national disaster operations, etc.


Aim: To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery

  • Exploring the natural world
  • Exploring historic land use
  • To investigate the evolution or extinction of a language
  • Exploring human impact
  • Personal artistic expression or aesthetic appreciation
  • To carry out health surveys or health education in remote areas
  • To complete a demanding journey
  • To investigate group dynamics in challenging conditions

Why Adventurous Journey?

  • To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery whilst undertaking a journey in a group.
  • This Section seeks to provide participants with a unique, challenging and memorable experience.
  • The journey, with an agreed purpose, should be undertaken in a small team in an unfamiliar environment, requiring determination, physical effort, perseverance and cooperation to complete.

Examples of Adventurous Journeys

  • Exploring the natural world
  • Exploring historic land use
  • To investigate the evolution or extinction of a language
  • Exploring human impact
  • Personal artistic expression or aesthetic appreciation
  • To carry out health surveys or health education in remote areas
  • To complete a demanding journey
  • To investigate group dynamics in challenging conditions


Aim: To encourage the development of personal interests and practical skills.

  • Music
  • Sports related
  • Crafts
  • Arts
  • Nature
  • Communication
  • Hobbies
  • Games
  • Life skills
  • Vocational skills
  • Performance skills

Why Skills?

  • To encourage the development of personal interests and practical skills.
  • This Section should stimulate new interests or improve existing ones.
  • These interests are typically of a non-physically demanding nature and may be hobbies, vocational or job-related skills, social or individual activities, cultural activities or life skills.

Some examples of Skills

  • Music – playing of a musical instrument, etc.
  • Sports related – umpiring, refereeing, etc.
  • Crafts – basket weaving, bookbinding, etc.
  • Arts – painting, photography, etc.
  • Nature – agriculture, dog training, etc.
  • Communication – film and video making, sign language, etc.
  • Hobbies – coin collecting, model construction, etc.
  • Games – snooker, chess, etc.
  • Life skills - political studies, event planning, etc.
  • Vocational skills – accounting, hair dressing, etc.
  • Performance skills – drama and theatre skills, etc.


Aim: To encourage participation in Physical recreation and improvement of performance

  • Ball sports
  • Athletics
  • Water sports
  • Winter sports
  • Martial arts
  • Animal sports
  • Fitness activities
  • Adventure sports
  • Dancing
  • Miscellaneous

Why Physical Recreation?

  • To encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance.
  • This Section should encourage participants to improve their personal physical performance through training and perseverance in their chosen activity.
  • Involvement in physical recreation should be an enjoyable experience, regardless of physical ability.

Examples of Physical Recreation

  • Ball Sports – football, etc.
  • Athletics – running, jumping, etc.
  • Water Sports – Swimming, water polo, etc.
  • Winter Sports – skiing, snowboarding, etc.
  • Martial Arts – karate, judo, etc.
  • Animal Sports – horse riding, polo, etc.
  • Fitness activities – aerobics, jogging, etc.
  • Adventure Sports – rock climbing, mountaineering, etc.
  • Dancing
  • Miscellaneous – cycling, gymnastics, etc.


Aim: To broaden experience through involvement with others in a residential setting by choosing a purposeful activity with people who are not usual companies, in an unfamiliar residential setting. Minimum 5 days and 4 nights.


The Award’s Management

  • The work of the International Award Association (IAA) is carried out by an International Secretariat, which is based in London.
  • The IAA is financially supported by The Duke of Edinburgh's Award International Foundation, a charitable company in the UK.
  • The International Award Association (IAA) is made up of 62 National Award Authorities (NAAs) and over 200 Independent Operators (IOs) in more than 143 countries.

The International Award Management Structure

With its Headquarters in London, the Award is administered through the four regions each having a full time Regional Director. The four Regions are AFRICA, AMERICAS, ASIA PACIFIC & EMAS (Europe, Mediterranean & Arab States).

Our Region, which was earlier known as the Australasia Region is now called the ASIA PACIFIC REGION. The member NAAs in this region are Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, INDIA, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh, Japan, Macao, Thailand, Brunei, Nepal, S Korea and Vietnam are some of the Independent Operators in this Region.


Copyright © 2019 The Award Programme Foundation, India