What is it?

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Scheme is a programme of self-development that is available to young people internationally. It has specific requirements at the Bronze, Silver and Gold Levels and it is up to the individual to take up the challenge, develop themselves and try to achieve the Awards. It is hard work and a lot of fun at the same time. The Award provides opportunities for young people to get to know others better. Award participants are able to develop their self-confidence, independence, interpersonal skills and the ability to develop a plan to make it happen.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Programme was first introduced in the U.K. in 1956 by Prince Philip and it has since been adopted in many countries of the world.

"It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourages personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community."
(The International Programme Handbook)

Within the U.K., the scheme is of course known as "The Duke of Edinburgh's Award", after its founder. Internationally, it is generally known as "The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award" but the two versions of the scheme are essentially the same. 

Participation in the Award starts officially when the young person completes their application form and takes up the challenge of the programme. Participants must be over 14 when they start the Bronze Award, over 15 for the Silver and over 16 years of age for the Gold Award. Participants who have achieved the Bronze Award get exemptions for their Silver and so do those who start their Gold having completed their Silver Award. However, a badge and a certificate are presented to the young person on completion of each Award.

The basic structure of the Award Programme at the Bronze and Silver levels consists of four mandatory sections: Service, Adventurous Journeys, Skills and Physical Recreation. The Gold Award includes another requirement, the Residential project. It is within the philosophy of the scheme that participants enter the programme voluntarily and work towards it in their free time showing improvement in their chosen activities.

The exact requirements that participants need to complete for the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards are detailed in this website. Further information, including the latest Award Handbook can be found on The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award website at www.intaward.org
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