Information for participants of the Award programme

Take up the challenge

Challenge yourself and discover the world around you: dream big and realise your potential! By taking part in the Award, you take on exciting personal, physical and community challenges and develop new skills and new friendships. The more time and energy you give, the greater the reward!

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, as long as you’re 14 to 24, you can choose the activities that motivate you and go on your own personal journey. It provides you with skills and experiences that are consistently recognised by employers and educational institutions worldwide.

The International Award for Young People, the Netherlands, is licenced by the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and offers the Award programme in the Netherlands. You could also know the programme as the DofE. 

Start your Award

Taking part in the Award requires commitment over time but it is simple to get started and you will reap the rewards for your time and effort. As an Award participant you will:

  • Design your own Award
  • Set your own goals and record your progress
  • Make a positive impact on the lives of others through community service
  • Learn valuable practical and social skills for career development
  • Connect with other Award participants at home and abroad
  • Plus, if you're already taking part in activities, such as sports or volunteering, you can continue with these and receive recognition for them as part of your Award.

The Award framework

The Award is comprised of three levels and four sections. Participants complete all four sections at each level in order to achieve their Award. At Gold level, participants also complete a Residential Project.


Bronze, Silver or Gold.    

The Sections

  1. Voluntary Service GIVE A LITTLE BACK

Voluntary Service is all about giving back to the community. Whatever passions you may have: care and concern for the environment, a love for animals, or a desire to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than you, the Voluntary Service section gives you the chance to make a difference; it feels good to help, it’s fun, and you often make new friends too.


Personal Skill gives you the chance to develop a new skill or interests. Working on a particular skill helps to boost your self-esteem, develop other practical and social skills, and learn how to set and rise to a challenge.

  1. Physical Recreation WORK UP A SWEAT

Physical Recreation is about becoming physically stronger and improving fitness. Getting moving is a sure way to make you feel healthier, think better, and live longer. You don’t need to be super fit or have participated in any physical activity before — just try it out!


Plan, prepare and undertake an Adventure Journey over a number of days and nights in a group as part of an expedition or exploration journey. Not only is the trip incredibly fun, it’s a great way of spending time with friends!

  1. Residential Project EXPERIENCE THE WORLD

The Residential Project (only for the Gold level) offers unique experiences that truly broaden horizons and challenges outlooks. The project is a shared purposeful experience with people who are not your usual companions, working towards a common goal in an unfamiliar environment.



Minimum starting age

Minimum period of participation

Direct entrants

Award holders



6 months

Not applicable



12 months

6 months

(if Bronze Award holder)



18 months

12 months

(if Silver Award holder)


With exception to the Adventure Journey, each section requires a minimum participation of 1 hour per week.

Getting started

Have you decided to go for it? Well done, you are about to start an amazing adventure. You have started to create some good memories right here! Here are some easy steps to get started :

  1. Find your nearest Award unit. It may be your school, local Scouting group or youth group. There will be trained and enthusiastic Award leaders who will help and coach you through the Award programme. If you’re not sure where to look, contact the national office by the contact form at this site.
  2. Once you have an Award leader who will coach you during your journey, you need to sign up through this website and pay the participants fee of 35,00 which will cover admin costs and support as well as your subscription fee to your ORB. (Online Record Book).
  3. Choose your Award level; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Your age and the level of commitment you are willing to give will determine which level is suitable for you.
  4. Next, choose your activities and set some personal goals. This is the best thing about the Award programme, as your activities are custom made for you – by you!! Finally do communicate with your Award leader about your choices and they can advise you and confirm that your choices fit into the chosen section.
  5. Find your ‘Assessor’ for all the activities. The Assessor must have some experience or qualification in the chosen activity. They will assess your progress, record it and sign of your record for that activity as proof that you have achieved the requirements. Again, your Award Leader will guide you in your choice of Assessor.



Ik ben in Wales en Kenia geweest en daar heb ik zoveel waardevolle lessen geleerd. / Eerlijk is eerlijk, ik ben als tiener begonnen met de Award omdat de expedities me heel gaaf leken. Dat was voor mij de doorslaggevende factor.

Chris Meeuwsen Gouden Award houder

Eerlijk is eerlijk, ik ben als tiener begonnen met de Award omdat de expedities me heel gaaf leken. Dat was voor mij de doorslaggevende factor.

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