The International Award is a rewarding self-development programme, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world.


Over 7 million young people worldwide have taken up the Award challenge since it began in 1956 and the Award is presently operating in more than 120 countries. The Award is tough but it is about individual challenge, not about reaching specific standards set by someone else. Young people design their own Award Programme, set their own goals, and record their own progress. The only person they compete against is themselves, by challenging their own beliefs about what they can achieve.

There are three levels to the Award:

BRONZE is for those over 14. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 6 months.

SILVER is for those over 15. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 12 months.

GOLD is for those over 16. The minimum period of participation to gain this Award is 18 months.

Four Sections

To gain an award, participants must complete activities in four Sections for a minimum period of time and participants decide what they would like to do for each Section.


Participants help their community and discover the impact they can have, through for example: community service projects, conservation work and voluntary service in hospitals or community homes.

Adventurous Journey

The Adventurous Journey is about adventure and discovery. The journey can be on foot, by bicycle, boat or on horseback and involves camping overnight, cooking outdoors and usually takes place in areas of outstanding natural beauty. Training, preparation, self-sufficiency and self-reliance are the key elements.


The Skills Section is about developing personal interests and learning something new. There are almost limitless possibilities to choose from and participants set their own goals and measure their progress against them.

Physical Recreation

By undertaking an organised and regular physical activity, participants show perseverance and improve their fitness. Most team and individual sports are included, such as football, athletics, and archery.

The Award Framework

Students will be expected to give a minimum of one hour per week for each section of the Award for the minimum period stated. In addition, they will have to attend a weekly meeting with the Award Leaders and, of course, they will need to participate in the adventurous journey training trips and final expedition.

There is also an additional requirement to complete a Gold Residential Project at the Gold level. The aim of this section is to broaden experience through living and working with others.

Young people who do the award:

  • discover what they are made of
  • make an impact on their community
  • become responsible, mature, independent and successful young people
  • have fun and adventure and acquire lifelong memories
  • gain an award which is highly respected and valued by universities and employers around the world

In order to complete the award, students will need to devote a considerable amount of time and effort - commitment, determination and perseverance is what it is all about. The rewards however are well worth all the hard work.

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award demonstrates the school’s commitment to offering high-quality extra-curricular provision to complement excellent academic attainment.

The components of the award also reflect the school’s desire to equip students with relevant life skills that will also serve them well as they make their way toward Higher Education and employment.