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The Philosophy and Importance of the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II.’s husband, and German Educationalist Kurt Hahn founded the Award in 1956. Both of them realised that there was a gap in the education system in terms of equipping young people for life. As a result of this the Award was born and became a ‘civilised form reharding the art of living’.

The Award is part of non-formal education and it plays an important role in equipping young people for life and providing an opportunity for them to develop their skills. This allows them to be confident and contribute to the society in which they live in. The fact that the Award is delivered in over 130 countries proves its success and flexibility.

The views of the Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award founder, about the Award:

“Young people of every generation have to discover for themselves what life is all about. The Award functions as a complement to formal education and the purpose of the programme is to help young people gain experience of some of the most rewarding opportunities.“

These experiences serve as a practical demonstration of what can be achieved through determination and persistence. In an age when employment opportunities are scarce, these skills easily translate into the world of work, boosting young people’s career prospects."

Prince Philip, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh


The Award is based on the principle of stretching one’s personal boundaries. In this programme, young people create their own Award Programme, determine their own goals, log their own activities and race only against themselves.

Outcomes for young people

1. Confidence
2. Managing feelings
3. Resilience and determination
4. Relationships and leadership
5. Creativity and adaptability
6. Planning and problem solving
7. Civic competence
8. Intercultural competence
9. Personal and social well-being
10. Communication
Impacts Experienced By Participants and Adults

1. Improved employability and earning potential
2. Improved physical health and fitness
3. Improved mental health and emotional wellbeing
4. Increased engagment with charitable and community causes
5. Improved environmental impact
6. Increased social cohesion
7. Reduced offending