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The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a global framework for non-formal education and learning, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. Through developing transferable skills, increasing their fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in their community, the Award helps young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.
It operates in more than 130 countries and territories, helping to inspire millions of young people. And although the Award’s framework remains the same wherever it is delivered, no two Awards are the same. Instead, each young person designs and creates their own bespoke programme, unique to them. There are currently more than a million young people doing their Award around the world, via hundreds of thousands of youth-focused partners and operators, including schools, youth organisations, examination boards and youth offender institutions.
Founded more than 60 years ago, the Award is available to all 14-24-year olds and equips young people with the skills they need for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability or interests. On an individual level this can make a transformational difference to a young person’s life; on a collective basis, it has the power to bring significant change to wider society.
Every day, hundreds of thousands of dedicated people help to deliver the Award around the world. They do this through a simple but effective social franchise model run by us at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation – the body which supports Award activity around the world. The Foundation is at the heart of the Award and licences and supports its global growth.
The Award is licenced to operators around the world and whilst its framework does not differ from country to country, it can be uniquely tailored to every participant, to ensure it is nationally, culturally and personally responsive and relevant to each and every young person involved. In many countries the Award is delivered via licensed National Award Operators. In countries where a National Award Operator (NAO) is not present, the Award is delivered through Independent Award Centres (IACs), licensed directly by the Foundation.
From slums, favelas and rural villages; correctional facilities in Malaysia and the USA; youth centres in Israel and the Netherlands; national schools and sports clubs in India and Australia; to the most prestigious private and international schools across the world, the Award’s framework can support and thrive in a multitude of different environments.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is an excellent model to get us back grounded into one of the key things that's starting to be left out of the conversation on a global level – diverse backgrounds, diverse people in challenging situations, learning to work together as a team. That's how people thrive in the workforce. And as adults.”
Rob Acker, CEO Salesforce.org